La Vaca & Pinotxos For Breakfast In Basque Country

La Vaca is probably the only tapas bar opened for breakfast in San Sebastian.  It also has a view of Playa de la Concha.  The perfect spot for breakfast.

 It was around 8 AM.  I started my San Sebastian day trip at Parte Vieja then made my way to Playa de la Concha; I spent about 20-30 minutes taking pictures and relaxing on the promenade.  With all my trips, I like to take a few minutes to really take in the scenery.  It helps remind me of how amazing every city can be if I take a few minutes to enjoy its landscapes.  San Sebastian is no different.  People live to eat versus eat to live.  It’s something I take with me to every city.

La Vaca San Sebastian Spain
The decor

While taking in the ocean breeze, I got hungry and noticed La Vaca at an intersection close by.   It happened to be open.  I got off the moist bench and made my way towards it.  It was empty with only two people inside having breakfast and a cup of coffee.  The waitress greeted me with a warm smile and insisted I can sit anywhere I want.  I grabbed the menu, laid my backpack on a chair, ordered a cup of coffee then closed the menu.  The last time I had breakfast was at Clinton Street Baking Company in New York.

There were a few pinotxo trays at La Vaca counter.  It wasn’t as extravagant as the pinotxo displayed at Gandarias but it was a perfect selection for breakfast.  It consisted mainly of pastries and small sandwiches.  I went to grab a few items off the tray and went back to my table.

  1. Croissant – The croissant was absolutely delicious and had all the characteristics of what I enjoy in a croissant.  The fluffy internal with a flaky external; it was chewy but not too chewy.  It was lightly buttered shell with the ends had a nice crunchy texture to them.

    La Vaca San Sebastian Spain
  2. Jamon Sandwich – Jamon is a Spanish specialty that can not be replicated outside of Spain.  I must’ve eaten over 20 pounds of jamon while I was in Spain.  La Vaca’s jamon sandwich is a testament to simple quality ingredients can make something ordinary to an extraordinary.  The sandwich had the perfect umami taste on my palate.  Furthermore, it was the jamon and the baguette with no condiments.  It absolutely blew my mind how tasty it was without any extra noise.

    La Vaca San Sebastian Spain
    Jamon Sandwich
  3. Pork Sandwich – The pork sandwich had a seared slice of pork loin with Swiss cheese and a thin slice of peppers.  It had the right balance of salt, spice and rich flavors within the baguette.  It had a lot of flavors; furthermore, it came with no condiments.

    La Vaca San Sebastian Spain
    Pork Sandwich

As I finished my meal, I looked outside the window to really take in my first meal in San Sebastian at La Vaca.  It was a random discovery that I could still remember the flavors and textures of the dishes.  I find it absolutely brilliant how the Spaniards capture the natural flavors of its food.  The simple sandwiches and pastries were absolutely tasty; Spain and Italy are two countries where I had the best sandwiches.  It still haunts me til this day.

Check out our other San Sebastian articles here.

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La Vaca San Sebastian

  • 8/10
    Service - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Presentation - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Flavors - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Decor - 7/10
  • 7.5/10
    Ambiance - 7.5/10


La Vaca is probably the only tapas bar opened for breakfast in San Sebastian. It also has a view of Playa de la Concha. It’s a great place to grab breakfast as they have fantastic sandwiches and pastries.

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