La Vina, San Sebastian


Rumour has it, there is a place on the Kalea 31 de Agosto that has shelves full of freshly baked cheesecake. As we wandered through the doors at La Vina tapas bar, we could see straightaway the cheesecake wall feature in all its glory – time for dessert after another pintxo binge at Sirimiri.

La Vina, San Sebastian

La Vina does have restaurant seating to the rear of the bar but the main action (or rather, scrum) happens in the bar area. In the surrounding bars you’ll find dainty, pretty pintxos stacked up ready to be eaten – here, it’s a little different.

This is more of a nod to homely Basque food. Pots of Albondigas (meatballs) sit on the counter along with huge wedges of Tortilla and ‘Rabo de Toro’ in red wine. You don’t come to La Vina for a couple of light snacks – this is food how it used to be.

We were here for one thing and one thing only – Torta de Queso. I was half hoping the gentleman behind the bar would forget his previous encounter with the rude American tourists waving credit cards at him and grab me a cheesecake off the shelf. Fortunately, he did.

Ok, it wasn’t off the shelf this time but the serving contained two huge wedges per plate! I ordered up two mistakenly thinking it would just be a slice per portion – muchas gracias La Vina! As is customary, I ordered up a couple of beers to go with it and paid at the bar.

We managed to grab a seat next to a couple of (other) American tourists. Their gaze at my cheesecake and little murmurs of “oooh maybe we should try the cheesecake” were noted. This resulted in me eating my dessert slowly, like the lady off the Magnum ice cream advert years ago. I could almost feel them drooling on me.

Like the Americans, you’re probably wondering what this tastes like. Well, it was absolutely delicious. It’s very rich and comes with that baked New York cheesecake texture but a lot more creamy. There doesn’t seem to be much by way of flavourings, just good quality ingredients and a gorgeous almost crunchy top.

For €5 per portion, it’s a really good deal. Dessert options are always welcome on a pintxo crawl around San Sebastian. With La Vina’s prime position on quite possibly the best food street in town, this is the perfect place to end any evening in San Sebastian.

Opening Times: Tuesday – Sunday 1030-1700, 1830-0000

Nearest Train Station: Donostia


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