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Donosti/San Sebastián

Now it's settled. We are eating at Arzak on friday with my in-laws. Recieved a confirmation today on my reservation at Akelare in December, where I am bringing my friend as his girlfriend for a sunset lunch. And now I just sent a reservation request to Etxebarri, where we are planning on taking my dad.
We will probably go to Mugaritz alone where we can enjoy the experience without being concerned about our "guests". Expensive semester abroad for two students ;)
Thanks to everyone for their reviews and tips!

Anyone got anything else on their hearts when it comes to culinary-experiences in San Sebastian?

I know the streets are my best bet for tips, but my spanish doesn't take me far, and my fellow students are far less interested in food, or doesn't want to "waste" that much money on it. What a shame! ;)

Oct 18, 2011
stoffer in Spain/Portugal

Donosti/San Sebastián

I agree with you on Mugaritz maybe not being the best place for a "first experience". As i commented above, my girlfriend and I will probably go there alone since we definetly want to eat at Mugaritz.
Very interesting to read about the way the ranking is done. This could probably lead to many different outcomes, and luckily I am able to read reviews here insted of just following the list :)

Oct 17, 2011
stoffer in Spain/Portugal

Donosti/San Sebastián

I have been ignoring Etxebarri as it is harder to reach and my visitors are just staying for a few days, but since car-rental is so cheap we might take my dad there. Also he is a fan of nature, so he'll probably enjoy the drive :) I haven't read so much about Etxebarri, but do you think it could be a good alternative for my dad?

Oct 17, 2011
stoffer in Spain/Portugal

Donosti/San Sebastián

Thanks for your review.
I was thinking of bringing my friends to Mugaritz after reading this, but I just found out that my friend's girlfriend is a bit "picky" when it comes to food. The last thing I need is to be the "host" of a 1000 euro dinner for someone who won't be eating anything ;) I'm overdoing it, but you know what I mean :)

Martin Berasategui is definetly out now. I haven't spoken to one person here who doesn't mention the other three before MB, if they even mention MB at all.

Oct 17, 2011
stoffer in Spain/Portugal

Donosti/San Sebastián

Thank you very much for a good and detailed review! :) Interesting to hear about all your observations. I will definetly eat at the three restaurants you have mentioned, but I am beginning to question Mugaritz as a choice for any of our visitors. My girlfriend and I will probably go there alone since we are very open minded when it comes to a new dining-experience. My friends and family are all new to this kind of dining, and I think Arzak, Akelare and maybe Etxebarri (?) are "safer" choices. Thanks again!

Oct 17, 2011
stoffer in Spain/Portugal

Donosti/San Sebastián

Here's a long one for you ;)
I am currently living in San Sebastian with my girlfriend for some months. During our stay we are going to be visited by friends and family who we would like to take for lunch/dinner at the famous restaurants in San Sebastian. Just one per visit :)
The problem is that it is difficult to decide which ones as my dad and parents in law at 60 wont have the same preferences as my 24 year old friend and his girlfriend.
We have already booked a table for my parents in law as they arrive in 10 days, and the choice fell on Arzak. For my friends arriving in december I was thinking about lunch at Akelare because of the great reviews it has gotten on Chowhound, and the great view early in the day.
After a lot of readin I concider Arzak and Akelare as the top two choices, but now my dad also wants to go to a restaurant, and I am left with the choice of Mugaritz and Martin Berasategui (both recieving somewhat mixed/bad reviews both on chowhound and other forums) unless I switch any of these with Akelare. This will be the first time both my dad and my friends go to these types of restaurants.
So, the questions are:
1. What are the different restaurant "styles" provided by the above mentioned, and which ones do you think suits each visit the best?
2. Other than the San Pellegrino's Top 50 Restau..., and the Michelin Guide, are there other good "lists" or rankings/descriptions I should pay attention to? And how much attention should I pay to these rankings at all?
3. And out of curiosity: Anyone know why is Akelare placed 94th on the San Pellegrino list, while Mugaritz, Arzak and MB are placed 3rd, 8th and 29th? It is a pretty big difference.

A lot of text here, but this is my first post, and I had a lot on my mind ;)

Oct 12, 2011
stoffer in Spain/Portugal