What makes it special: The restaurant situated at the top of a hill in San Sebastian has been in the Arzak family for generations, but it was charismatic chef Juan Mari who revived the menu to make it what it is today. Now 74 years old, Juan Mari still oversees the kitchen while his talented daughter Elena runs daily operations.
Restaurant interior: The restaurant has several different dining rooms, including a light-filled downstairs room which is formal yet relaxed. New diners and returning regulars receive the warmest welcome as Juan Mari roams the room to socialise with all his guests.
The food: Arzak’s extensive offering includes multiple tasting menus and an à la carte, with specialties such as the Red Space Egg with a skin of red peppers, pig trotters and mushrooms, and seabass served on top of a tablet computer with moving images of the sea. A special feature of many of the dishes is the crunchy element – dishes such as Big Chocolate Truffle with candyfloss, carob, cacao and chocolate have a range of textures, including the signature crunch.
To drink: Arzak boasts an enormous wine cellar with over 100,000 bottles.