Known for Michelin-starred restaurants and popular pintxos bars, San Sebastian is any foodie’s dream destination. But what’s the secret to so much mouth-watering food in one tiny place? The quality of the ingredients, of course.
From earthy produce stands to polished shelves of preserved goods, make sure you don’t miss out on these amazing gourmet markets and shops in San Sebastian.
Mercado La Bretxa
Organic is the word that comes to mind when stepping inside this beautiful market. As the city’s oldest market, La Bretxa (Alameda del Bourlevard, 3) breathes Basque history and food culture. Named after and constructed above the historic breach, or “bretxa,” in the city walls from the significant battle of August 31st, 1813, this market offers an abundance of offerings. From seasonal produce to abundant fresh fish, meat, and salt cod stands, it’s one of San Sebastian’s top gourmet markets.
Insider’s tip: Locals and Michelin-starred chefs do their shopping here so keep your eyes open for your favorite celebrity shoppers.
Mercado San Martín
Located near the Catedral del Buen Pastor (Good Shepard church), this new and modern market is a gourmet foodie’s heaven (Calle Urbieta, 9).
Each morning this market opens for local shoppers from the city’s business district. It’s also a great option later on for those who stop in for the daily lunch specials, which is way butchers and delicatessen shops alike offer fresh, delicious pintxos, tapas, sandwiches—and more. Made to order and packed to-go, this market is great for hungry visitors looking for a quick bite before a day of shopping.
On weekday evenings (in the past, Thursdays, but consult with the bar ahead of time), this market turns into a super cool event that dominates the city center each week. Local bands play music and vendors offer fresh pintxos and wine to concert goers in what is known by locals as “Gastro-Pote” making this local one of the best markets and shops in San Sebastian.
Mercado Internente de Productos
Admittedly, this market does not have the easiest name to remember. But despite the long name, this place is great! Offering locally produced goodies, this open-air market is a must for any food lover. You can find organically produced honey, free-range chickens and eggs, yogurts, cheeses and a variety of beautiful baked goods including the traditional pastel vasco, or Basque cake. Also, it is easy to find great bargains on an assortment of other artisanal products like soaps, oils and Basque linens.
Insider’s tip: The address of the market changes weekly; check the schedule and location here.
Specializing in fine hand-cut Iberian ham, this family run gourmet shop is a must-stop. With an extensive selection of cured meats, canned goods, foie gras and anchovies—some of which fall on our list of Top 7 Must-Try typical Foods in San Sebastian—you will be hard pressed to leave Zapore Jai (Calle San Jerónimo, 21) empty-handed. Wine, cider and olive oils are aplenty, too making this little gem worth the visit!
Aitor Lasa Gaztategi
While other shops have a bit of everything, Aitor Lasa Gaztategi (Calle Aldemar, 12) specializes in Basque cheeses and mushrooms. Most noteworthy is the knowledge and passion the owner and staff have about the products on hand. We love the local Idiazabal cheese and this fantastic shop has award-winning versions stocked and ready to sample year round which is why we have placed it in on our list of top markets and shops in San Sebastian.
As a result, this store has become a local institution. If you’re like us, you’ll want to take the authentic flavors of San Sebastian home with you, so be sure to ask the cashier to package your purchases for international travel at check-out.
Want to try some of the local produce, fish and meat for yourself? Be sure to check out our Ultimate Pintxos and Wine Tour! This tour visits six different locations—including Zapore Jai mentioned above.—and tastes some of the city’s most typical foods, pintxos and beverages. You’ll also learn loads about the city’s fascinating history and gastronomic culture. Join us!