Spain ( Basque country and Andalucia) Restaurant Recommendation

We will return to our annual visit to Spain. I used to post in Chowhound and is nice to see Maribel active at Hungry Onion. We will be spending 3 night in Basque country and 4 night in Andalucia.
This is our current shortlist restaurant, we welcome suggestion from other
Basque Country

  1. Sunday night --Rekondo for dinner ( any Pintxos Bar open on Sunday)
  2. Monday lunch --Landa vs Bedua vs Horma Ondo vs Txispa— which one is not to miss
  3. Monday dinner-- Pinxtos crawl at San Sebastian
  4. Tuesday lunch-- Extebarri ( booked)
  5. Wednesday Lunch- Kaleja
  6. Wednesday dinner-- either tapas in malaga or at hotel restaurant( La Bobandilla)
  7. Thursday lunch-- Baga in Jaen
  8. Thurday dinner–?
  9. Friday lunch- Noor in Cordoba
  10. Friday dinner-- Los Marinos Joses in Malaga
  11. Saturday lunch-- Bardal in Ronda
  12. Saturday dinner-- Hotel Restaurant ( Finca Corstein), early flight out the next day

Thank you in advance


Sunday night----wonderful choice. Casa Urola is open on Sundays. That would be your best bet.
Monday lunch—Horma Onda in Larrebetxu or Bedua outside of Zumai, whichever is closer
Monday dinner–Pintxos crawl but consider Bergara in Gros and Antonio Bar in the center as well
Tuesday lunch—Extebarri, already booked

Wednesday lunch—Kaleja, great choice in Málaga. I love his cooking in his Cosmopolita and Cosmo
Wednesday dinner—tapas in Málaga at Cosmo at the bar but reserve (Cosmopolita is sit down) or Taberna Uve Doble but get there early as it gets very, very busy. Or Anyway Wine, a tiny place on the way to the bullring, for a nice selection of wines and creative tapas.
Thursday lunch—Baga, which all the chefs are raving about, including my Madrid chef friends
Thursday dinner–Valdelvira in Baeza is getting also great reviews. Chefs and food bloggers go to both

Friday lunch----Noor in Córdoba, great choice
Friday dinner—Los Marinos José, ditto , some of the best seafood on the coast
Saturday lunch—Bardal, ditto
Saturday dinner—Finca Cortesin, my BFF luxury travel concierge loves the hotel

What a great lineup.


Maribel, thank you so much for the suggestion.
Is the food from the same kitchen for Cosmo and Cosmopolita, aside from one is sit down restaurant? Will it be redundant to try Cosmo/Cosmopolita if we have lunch at Kalejas since they are from the same restaurant group under Chef Dani.
Is Taberna Uve Doble have better food compare to Cosmo?
Is there any tapas bar in andalucia similar to Mont Bar at Barcelona ?
As we are staying at the La BoBadilla hote, it is very close to a caviar farm ( Riofrio), is it worth checking it out
Have you try Landa in Mendaro , according to Macarfi guide, it score higher food wise than Horma Onda and Asador Bedua

La Cosmopolita is his original sit down restaurant and quite good. I had lunch there twice during my recent stay. La Cosmo is his new tapas bar/restaurant just down the street. Different kitchens. No, it won’t be redundant to enjoy Chef Dani’s Michelin-starred Kaleja, a whole different kettle of fish, and then one of his other restaurants.

No La Cosmo and La Cosmopolitan have much better food than Taberna Uvedoble, which is very inexpensive, very popular and quite casual.

Since Mont Bar now has a Michelin star, there isn’t quite any Málaga equivalent, although tiger john sent me to Cávala in the Soho district, which I enjoyed very much.
It would probably be the closest in style and quality—contemporary, open kitchen, nice wine cellar, emphasis on seafood though. Open daily, Michelin and Repsol guide recommended. It opened during the pandemic.

Yes, definitely go to the Riofrío caviar farm.

I haven’t yet been to Landa in Mendaro, but it’s on my to do list.

Tigerjohn. sent me to

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In Málaga, I would just head to either La Cosmo or La Cosmopolitan, but neither is really a tapas bar.

For fairly sophisticated tapas in a more upscale environment than Uvedoble, you might consider La Barra de Doña Inés on the Alameda Principal. I did like it but I went alone so couldn’t try many dishes.

Although it’s owned by Antonio Banderas and his group, it’s the one that is promoted as a traditional, yet sophisticated tapas bar. Items such as ensaladilla rusa, flamenquines, croquetas, albondigas con salsa de almendras, oxtail brioche, things like that… Very traditional fare but updated.

I really can’t think of any Andalusian tapas bar near your hotels that would approximate Barcelona’s Mont Bar, now with a Michelin star and not really a tapas bar anymore.


Dear Maribel
Thank you so much for the suggestion of tapas in andalucia . I didn’t know Mont Bar got a michelin star. We were there last June.
Do you know the business hours for Landa , according to google, it’s open daily but when we asked our hotel concierge to book, we were informed they closed on Monday.
As well, have your try Ama in Tolosa, it seemed to be open on Monday , and review from google and macarfi seem stellar, should we try Ama instead of Asador Bedua, given we have asador extebarri booked the day after.
Does Vandelvira offer a la carte or tasting menu only ?

Just to follow up on Cavala. We faced the same decision on whether to go with Cosmo or something else. Looking at the menu we noticed that Cosmo had a number of international influences in dishes that might or might not work well but we were looking for more Spanish flavors and selected Cavala. We had an excellent meal of four well prepared seafood and fish dishes using super fresh ingredients off a good set of seafood/fish only options with some good Andalusian wine selection options. I’d recommend it but of course I haven’t been to Cosmo.

AMA in Tolosa is worth trying, especially if you don’t want to duplicate asador type dishes. We were there in October and there were several mushroom, stew and game dishes on the menu.

If you have a car and like game, you should consider Arrea! in southern Basque Country. Complex fermentation, smoking and curing techniques for the full range of game dishes and offal. They have 2 repsol soles even through it’s a relatively simple place set in a tiny village.

I second tigerjohn’s suggestion of AMA in Tolosa and they’ve been receiving superior reviews and many awards.
It started as a tiny taberna serving highly creative pintxos and now has a new space, after receiving its Repsol sun, the 2 young chefs anointed as “Cocineros Revelación” at Madrid Fusion and making the “50 Next” version of “The World’s Best 50 Restaurants.” After receiving all these accolades, they moved to a larger space as their phone was ringing off the hook for reservations.

And Arrea!, the new venture from the former owner/chef of A Fuego Negro in San Sebastián.

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We were scheduled today to be in San Sebastián at Gastronomika, the 25th year, but due to a health issue, we’ve had to watch the presentations online. But many of those in attendance, including professional food critics, have flocked today to NARRU. It´s mushroom season and the leading food critic of ABC had much praise for his meal there this afternoon.
It´s in the Hotel Arbaso. Chef Iñigo Peña is a rising star.

And “Robin Food”, chef David de Jorge went today to Horma Ondo. All the great Spanish chefs can be found at S.S. Gastronomika in the next 3 days.


Dear Maribel,

Between Hotel Itureggi and Hotel Iriarte jauregia , which one is a better choice to stay at. We had stayed at Iturregi last year which we liked. Is Hotel Iriarte Jauregia a better option in terms of view, comfort and service level. Decor wise they looked similar in style to us

Dear Tigerjohn
We do have a car, is cavala consider a tapas bar or a sit down restaurant. Do they offer a la carte vs tasting menu only,
Have you tried Valdevira as well? If so, what is your impression?

Iriarte is isolated. We drove out to “inspect” it but decided that for us, it wouldn’t make a good base, as it’s a hike to get into S.S. or to other places on the coast, although the setting is lovely in the stunning Goierri. It makes for a beautiful wedding venue and would be a great “getaway” place. I just prefer the Itureggi because of the views and its more convenient location.

This is a new hotel in Zarautz that I haven’t yet seen.

Have not tried Valdevira.

For Cavala, they have a tasting menu but I would instead create your own menu by selecting plates and asking for either the plates to be split or just shared in the center of the table. In this way you can determine the amount of food and get the dishes you prefer. It’s definitely a proper restaurant and not a bar.

For your car, I was referencing Arrea in southern Basque Country (about 1.5 hr from Tolosa) as a unique and great option in addition to places closer to Tolosa/San Sebastian. The menu is starts with a set of bites from their different fermented/cured/smoked vegetables, fish and meats, followed by 2-3 courses of different preparations of various game and wild seafood. In our case it was river crayfish, partridge, deer and wild boar. If you like offal there are many options to include it. You can also order a la carte.

We have stayed in both and although the pictures make it seem similar, Iriarte is not of the same standard as Itturegi, and then there are the views/isolation that Maribel referenced.

About Vandelvira in Baeza, it hasn’t been open long, since June of last year and has already received a Repsol sun. It’s housed in the cloister of a 16th century convent in this Renaissance town of architect Vandelvira. This 29-year old chef, a candidate for Revelation Chef of the Year at Madrid Fusión, specializes in game dishes. He’s a graduate of the first promotion of the Basque Culinary Center and then trained at Azurmendi and Enigma and also in Tokio (Narisawa).

Capel, the gastro critic of El País, gave it a solid review in Sept. of last year.

Tasting menu only, closed Monday/Tuesday.

I haven’t been yet, but I plan to put it on my list along with Bagá in Jaén, which my chef friends rave about.

Do you mean Iriarte is a notch below or above compared to Iturregi, when you mentioned Iriarte is not the same standard as Iturregi? Which one did you preferred ?


Definitely a notch below Itturegi.

Dear Maribel,

i just came across Dama Juana in Jaen, have you been? If so, how was it. They seemed to offer a la carte option

As well, any new tapas bar to try in san sebastian beside the usual list, we had been to narru as well last year

I haven’t been to Dama Juana in Jaén. Since it has one Repsol sun and comes Michelin recommended, I’m putting it on my list along with Vandelvira in Baeza. The chef of Dama Juana is one of the principal promotors of Jaén olive oil. It looks very interesting.

A recent El País article, “Where to Eat in Jaén” by the Michelin-starred chef Pedro Sánchez of Bagá recommends CASA PEPE at Carretera de Jabalcuz, 45. He says it´s as difficult to find a table there as it is in his tiny Bagá.
For dinner the chef also likes DISCOVERY at C. del Obispo Estúñiga, 3.

New pintxos bars in San Sebastián,
not new, but now in the hands of the owner family of Ganbara is TAMBO (Tamboril) on the corner of the Plaza de la Constitución at Pescadería 2 in the Old Quarter.
We come here for their mushrooms (txampis), their gambas gabardine (battered prawns) battered hake or a dish I haven’t had, their escabeche of wild tuna (or bonito in summer), a recipe learned from Sacha of Madrid.

the new branch of ANTONIO BAR with ample terrace, directly on Boulevard, but maybe you’ve already been.

SUKALDEAN Aitor Santamaria in the Hotel Zenit Convento at San Martin 45 in the center, won a “banderilla” top prize last year from the Instituto del Pintxo, as did Zazpi STM below. But this one is something of a Basque-Asian mix. There are 2 dining spaces–the formal restaurant and the Capilla (former chapel) where one can have classic pintxos.

ZAZPI STM has moved from the center into the Museo de San Telmo. While designed mostly for sit down dining with 7 tables in the parte gastronómica, one can also have some of its inventive pintxos before the lunch or dinner hour at tables at the bar or on the terrace. We’ve been for pintxos and enjoyed them enough to want to repeat.

SSUA ARDE DONOSTIA in the Old Quarter in the former space of A Fuego Negro at 31 Calle 31 de agosto isn’t new as of this year but…
we went during Taborrada with our friend Gabriella of Tenedor Tours and had several nice pintxos. It won a “3 Eguzkilores” top award at the Miniature Pintxos Congress in Vitoria last year.
Ssua means “fire” in euskera. The menu changes every season.

In addition, in the neighborhood of Gros (where Bodega Donostiarra and its sibling restaurant, Maskerida and the Bar Bergara, the founder of the miniature haute cuisine movement, are found) there’s a new wine bar/shop----

CURDELÓN, opened by Argentine Álvaro Rigida, selling 1,400 labels of wine.
To accompany the wines by the glass, he offers charcuterie, patés and cheeses along with the famous canned seafood from Güeyu Mar in Ribadesella, Asturias and some cuts of Argentine beef.
This new spot received a solete designation from Guía Repsol.

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