Apart from the beach and the surf culture, the other main attraction of Zarautz is probably its food scene. Due to its geographical location, fish and seafood are at the core of the local gastronomy. However, that isn’t the only food available since there is a wide variety of culinary options for all tastes and budgets.
Restaurant Arguiñano in Zarautz
If you like fish and seafood, then you are at the right place in Zarautz. Among the most typical dishes are merluza a la koxkera (hake koxkera style), chipirones en su tinta (squid in its own ink) and bacalao a la vizcaína (codfish in Biscayan sauce).
However, these dishes can be found all over the Basque coast but there is one dish that is specifically typical from Zarautz and every visitor should try. That is the chipirones a lo Pelayo (squid with onions).
Although fish and seafood are the main local specialties, meat-lovers will also find several “asadores” (grill restaurants) serving the famous Basque txuletones (huge aged ox-steaks). Beef, lamb and chicken are also raised in the farms of the area and commonly found in most restaurant menus.
Whether you are sitting down at a restaurant or just having a pintxo, make sure to accompany your food with a glass of the local white wine, txakoli. The txakoli is a young, fruity and slightly sparkling wine with a very long history in the Basque coast but it has just started to become popular in recent years.
Zarautz belongs to the geographical area of the Getariako Txakolina D.O. (Designation of Origin), which is the most famous region and probably the best one.
If you are interested in learning more about txakoli, there are almost 20 wineries within a 15 minutes drive from the center of Zarautz and about half of them are open for visits and tastings. For more information about visiting wineries in the area, check out the official website of the Getariako Txakolina D.O.
As previously mentioned, there is a large number of restaurants in Zarautz. Generally speaking, most of them offer traditional Basque cuisine, but you will find many different alternatives. It would be impossible for us to mention all the restaurants in Zarautz, but here just a few recommendations:
Kirkilla Enea Jatetxea – It opened its doors in 1983 and has since offered cuisine that mixes tradition and vanguard, always with Basque soul. The atmosphere is welcoming and the restaurant has an open kitchen that allows guests to see how their food is prepared. Daily menu for lunch for 16.90€ from Monday to Friday and 21.90 € on the weekend. Tasting menu for 38.5 €. (Calle Santa Marina 12, +34 943 13 19 82, www.kirkilla.com)
Karlos Arguiñano – The famous Basque TV chef Karlos Arguiñano owns one of the best restaurants in Zarautz. Currently run by five of its children, they offer traditional cuisine with a modern touch, respecting the local produce and using what is in season. They also have a bar with a wide variety of pintxos and a terrace right in front of the ocean. Tasting menu for 37.95 €. (Calle Mendilauta 13, +34 943 13 00 00, hotelka.com)
Sidrería-Asador Izeta – This is a ciderhouse and grill restaurant at a privileged location, between the mountains and the ocean, only 4km away from Zarautz. We recommend the “ciderhouse menu,” which includes the famous txuleton (aged ox-steak). (Barrio Elkano 4, 20809 Zarautz; +34 943 13 16 93, www.izeta.es)
Telesforo – This is a very popular restaurant among locals. They offer traditional cuisine at a very good quality-price ratio. They have a daily set menu for lunch for 10.50€ from Monday to Friday and 15 € on the weekend. (Plaza Donibane 7, +34 943 83 09 01)
Like in any other Basque town, pintxos are an important part of the local food culture and can be found at the counter of nearly every bar in Zarautz. Here just to mention a few of them:
Okamika – It is a newer establishment in Zarautz with a very nice contemporary decoration. At Okamika, they take care of the detail. They not only offer delicious pintxos and raciones but also have a large wine selection as well as a very complete cocktails/gin-tonic menu. (Ipar Kalea 1, +34 943 561 328, www.okamika.es)
Taberna Naparrak – It is one of the most traditional pintxo bars in town. It offers a large variety of pintxos, both cold (at the counter) and warm (ordered from the menu and cooked at the moment). It also works as a restaurant and its menu offers traditional Basque cuisine. (Plaza Barren 1, +34 943 13 31 70)
Taberna Salegi – The taberna offers a nice atmosphere and cuisine in the center of Zarautz. Guests can choose between cold and warm pintxos as well as cazuelitas. (Plaza Barren 3, +34 943 13 32 72)