7 Aug 2013


This is a place worth travelling to if you love tapas. Taberna Gran Sol is located in Fuenterrabía in the Basque Country of Spain, a town with rigorous pintxos contest. This means that competition drives this town to bring out some amazing food. The restaurant does not look spectacular; it’s a casual place with outdoor standing tables and a few, busy indoor seats. In high season (July-August) you have to fight for a table, and if you do not succeed there are steps to sit on outside. You order and pay at the bar, leaving your name so that they call you to pick up the food as each tapa is ready. Whenever our group’s name was called, we would run with excitement to pick up some of the tastiest little plates ever. These are not your typical tapas, but unusual concoctions with adventurous flavours and textures. I’m not sure what most of the dishes consisted of in detail, but my favourite one is a soft-boiled egg served with thick chicken stock and crispy grated potato. The contrasting consistencies and the taste is truly special. There is too much good food to mention it all, but some of the highlights included a deep fried mushroom with cream sauce, octopus with ink and rice, cod and foie gras. Each plate was very rich and filling, and I was so happy each time a new dish arrived. To drink we had several rounds of refreshing Tinto de Verano, a mixture of red wine and lemonade served with ice. The bill was surprisingly low, especially compared to London. The only comment on the price is that one or two of the pre-paid dishes are often omitted, but by that time you are doubtlessly full, and I guess it could count as a form of service charge. Taberna Gran Sol is exquisite, and one of my favourite restaurants in the world.

Calle San Pedro 63, 20280 Hondarribia / Fuenterrabia, Spain