Alubias de Tolosa or Tolosa beans are one of the top dishes that we recommend trying on a visit to San Sebatian.
Tolosa beans are a variety of pinto beans, with a dark purple colour. They are oval and smooth, but it’s the flavour that makes them famous.
They grow from May to October, ready to deliver the perfect hearty meal in the autumn through to winter.
Traditionally the dish is served in a vegetable broth with cabbage, morcilla (black pudding) and guindilla peppers. The combination is delicious!
Unsurprisingly, Tolosa beans originate from the town of Tolosa which is less than 30 km from the centre of San Sebastain.
However, despite their popularity, it’s not always easy to find them in restaurants. Well in this guide, we’ll run through where we think are some of the best places to try them!
What we think are the best places to find Tolosa beans
Below are some of the best Tolosa beans we think you can find. Some of the restaurants serve them all year round, but some only serve them during the season.
It’s worth checking with those restaurants beforehand if you don’t want to be left disappointed.
1. Restaurante Elane
Located in the town of Albiztur, a short 10 minute drive into the nearby countryside from Tolosa, Restaurante Elane has been serving up some of the best Tolosa beans for over 50 years.
Inside it has a beautiful traditional setting which is very cosy in the winter months. In the summer, there’s a small covered terrace too.
The best news is, they serve Tolosa beans all year round.
2. HIKA Bodega
But aside from their award winning Txakoli, HIKA serves up some pretty good Tolosa beans. That’s thanks to head chef Roberto Ruiz who ran the Frontón de Tolosa restaurant (see number 4) before joining the HIKA team.
Their Tolosa beans speciality is served with guindillas de Ibarra (hot peppers), bacon, pork ribs from euskal-txerri (Basque pork), lukainka (chorizo) and morcilla from Beasain (black pudding).
3. Hotel BideBide
If you’re looking for a spot to try Tolosa beans in the centre of Tolosa, then Hotel BideBide is the place to go!
The hotel and restaurant is situated in an incredibly beautiful building in the Euskal Herria Plaza. And not only do they offer a top nights stay in Tolosa, their restaurant has been serving up some of the best food in the town for over 15 years.
Their Tolosa beans are served in season as part of a comprehensive menu.
4. Restaurante Fronton Tolosa
Another popular spot in the centre of Tolosa, Fronton Tolosa is located just off the main street in the town centre.
A modern space with a bar, restaurant and decent sized terrace, it’s one of the top places to eat in the town.
They serve their Tolosa beans all year round as part of their main menu (€14.50), but also as part of the menu del día (daily menu) for €23.50.
Just behind Fronton Tolosa, away from the main road, you’ll find Bar Restaurante Alondegia.
Alondegia serves everything from pintxos, fish and meat in their contemporary, beautifully designed space.
Using nothing but fresh local ingredients, they’ve earned themselves a reputation as one of the best restaurants in Tolosa.
During the season, they also add Tolosa beans to their much loved menu for €22.50.