And that means it's... Pintxos Time. First stop: La Cuchara de San Telmo.
It's right by the handsome wooden doors of the newly refurbished church dedicated to that very same saint, where the rebuilding work is finally done (the last time I was here, 2 years ago, the air was full of stone dust and judder of drilling).
Often bars like this in the old city make it hard to tell what to expect from the outside, but La Cuchara makes it perfectly plain: pintxos, cazuelas, cocina de cuchara y miniatura. In short, good food.
You can see the kitchen at the back — always a good sign.
What to drink? There's sidra, the acidic local cider; and wine of course — including txacoli. At lunchtime, though, most people seem to stick to beer.
Keler is the local lager, brewed in San Sebastian, and it's pretty good. Make that una caña for me.
The cooking at La Cuchara is as good as I'd remembered. Everybody seems to order the bacalao, and with good reason — it's great. Here it's served with a sweet-savory onion compote...
Viera toro envuelta tocino bellota = scallops wrapped in acorn-fed Iberico bacon...
Carrillera de ternera al vino tinto = veal cheeks stewed in Rioja wine (and yes, there is an English menu!). This was recommended to us by the master of the house — and it was outstanding!
And queso de cabra relleno verduras = crispy stuffed goat cheese with vegetables.
They only seem to use two different sauces: green (from parsley); and brown (bechamel, with a soy sauce accent). But that's no problem when the ingredients are this good.
A perfect start to a day of pinxos hopping...
Just in case anyone doesn't recognize the locale — this is in the old city of San Sebastian.