Food: fish- and seafood of best possible quality
Address: Guetaria 15, San Sebastian, Spain
Phone Number: +34 943 42 87 64
Website: No webpage
What I paid: 171 € (food for two including water and wine)
Visited: June 6, 2014
Housed in a cellar under an unpretentious Pintxos bar with only a handful of tables,
open only for lunch on weekdays, only Basque or Spanish spoken, no website, no credit cards accepted and notoriously difficult to book… This is restaurant Ibai in San Sebastian and they serve world-class fish- and seafood!
Chef Alicio Garro harvests the local market on a daily basis for the best possible
vegetables, fish- and seafood. He has done so since the restaurant opened in 1983.
You do not visit this restaurant for its interior or for a romantic dinner (it’s by the
way only open for lunch…); you go here purely for the quality of the food and that’s
indeed a very good reason!
A small amusement of sausages (the only meat we had this meal…):
As a starter we had squid in a very delicious sauce made of the black squid ink. Hands down the best squid ever!
We chose to have sole for the main course. Best sole ever, even better than the lovely one I had at Rafa’s (Roses/Catalonia) last summer. I will not even try to describe how good this sole was…
In summary: I have visited all of the “high-end” restaurants in San Sebastian and
its neighborhood and even though I enjoy most of those multi-starred Guide Michelin
restaurants, I must say that the trio of Ibai, Elkano (where we had dinner the
previous day) and Zuberoa (that I visited last year) are in many cases better when it
comes to the pure quality of the food. Moreover, those three restaurants offer an
atmosphere and authenticity that really differs from the more famous ones (even
though they also differs a lot between them). That said, they are all individually completely different establishments and I basically recommend all of them, but I urge you not to miss those lesser-known restaurants, like Ibai, and only opt for the 3-stars (as I did initially…).
Best fish and seafood ever? Though I had a fantastic seafood dinner at Elkano the night before, I did not think it was possible to top that experience on lunch the following day…. However, I actually think Ibai was one of my best meals ever. That said; both Ibai, Elkano and Rafa’s (in Roses) are world-class fish- and seafood places in Spain that I urge all fish lovers to visit. Highly recommended!