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Arzak is a Michelin 3-star restaurant in San Sebastián, Spain. It is highly awarded and features New Basque Cuisine. In 2008, Arzak's owner and chef, Juan Mari Arzak, was awarded the Universal Basque award for "adapting gastronomy, one of the most important traditions of the Basque Country, to the new times and making of it one of the most innovative of the world".

If you like your food pretty, this is the place. Father-and-daughter team Juan Mari Arzak and Elena Arzak Espina's plates look fantastic: striking, colourful and imaginative, yet for the most part unfussy. The pair run the kitchen as equals and is a major presence in the dining room. Like the food, it pulls off the neat trick of balancing tradition and innovation, with warm, familiar service. The cooking is done by an incredible father-daughter team. They have one foot in Basque tradition and the other in 21st-century modernity, fusing local ingredients with a very contemporary style. Try the smoked white tuna with fresh figs and pine nuts.

The history of the restaurant is also the history of the family. The house was built in 1897 by the grandparents, José Maria Arzak Etxabe and Escolastica Lete, as a wine inn and tavern in the village of Alza, now belonging to San Sebastian.

It was a tavern until, Juan Ramon Arzak and Francisca Arratibel, took it over the run of it. Together they started serving meals. Their effort and skill with the stoves was highly recognized. Little by little the rumour was spreading. In the Height of Miracruz, also called the Height of "Vinagres", one could eat delicious stew. The restaurant achieved renown and specialized in banquets for family celebrations.

In 1966, finished the studies in the School of Hostelería, the compulsory military service and my practices abroad, and started working at the restaurant. In the beginning I specialized in roasted meat on charcoal. Mother was a patient and constant teacher. She was the one that step-by-step revealed all the secrets of gastronomy to me. The curiosity and the will to keep on learning led me to work on the dishes of self creation.

The restaurant has grown with the family The two daughters, Marta and Elena. The restaurant from the middle of the 70's has received prizes and awards that have proved our efforts to turn the Restaurant Arzak into one's point of reference in national and international gastronomy. In 1989 we received the third star of the famous Michelin Guide.

Elena is already completely involved in the day-by-day management of the restaurant and still widens her training. She's ready to run the restaurant and continue with this tough task. You can already appreciate her hand in the changes that she's adding to the menu. It's the fourth generation of this family devoted to the catering business and enthusiasm for fine cuisine.


Chef Ambassador Juan Mari Arzak with some wonderful photographs,

Many chefs win worldwide acclaim and the ear (and palate) of high-profile food critics in New York, London and Paris thanks to a combination of hard work, indefatigable commitment to detail and innovative skill. Very few however, translate all the intangibles it takes to become a culinary star and parlay them into a de facto second career as a city or regional ambassador.
Of the minority who champion their particular birth homes on the plate, Juan Mari Arzak has to rank as a foremost pioneer. The chef-owner of restaurant Arzak in Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain is a stalwart champion not just of his city but indeed, of Basque cuisine as a whole. His efforts to promote the culinary legacy of the Basque region eventually led to what many now refer to as “New Basque Cuisine”.


This alone is impressive for Spain – a country far off the food critic map a generation ago – but even more so for the Autonomous Community of Basque Country. With just over two million people and 7,000 km2, consider the fact that the area has five of the best restaurants in the world and so many Michelin star chefs. Now contrast this with the twelve restaurants in the top 100 from the United States and the measly seven from the UK. At the end of the day, the Basque record is more than enviable. The public, critics, chefs and indeed, Basque people, have one man to thank: Juan Mari Arzak.

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Foodies from all over the globe flock to Spain to try the local cuisine. Spain has influenced the entire world in terms of what and how people eat. Other than French, Spanish cuisine is the world's most recognizable; and by sheer numbers, the most popular.

In the lush area of San Sebastian, Spain, the Arzak restaurant gives diners a gastronomical experience they won't soon forget. Arzak is a three-star Michelin rated restaurant that specializes in Basque cooking. Basque refers to the Basque people and includes local meats and fish usually grilled over hot coals. The technique also uses a wide array of pungent spices and sheep's milk cheeses.


There's a lot to be said for a restaurant that has been in business so long using the same formula. While other upstarts try to grasp your attention with hydrogen-laced foods and gold-wrapped appetizers, Arzak presents a straightforward menu with wonderful regional selections. Instead of hiring one of the hotshot chefs from around the world to share the duties, Juan enlisted his daughter to keep the tradition going. The menu prices have modernized, however, but the overall ambiance has not. Arzak remains one of Spain's finest restaurants.

Awards and accolades:

1989-Present, Michelin Guide, Three Stars
2003-Present, Top 50 Restaurants in the World, Restaurant (magazine) Top 50
2010, 9th Best Restaurant in the World, S. Pellegrino

Contact Details:

Address: Alcade Jose Elosegui 273, Alto de Miracruz 21, 20015 San Sebastian, Spain
Telephone: +34 943 278 465
Web Site:

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