It is a dish originally from Hawaii and that began to be known beyond the Pacific thanks to surfers, until it became a whole ‘foodie’ trend with multiple variants. Considered a healthy alternative to fast food, there has recently been a proliferation in Donostia of places offering ‘poke bowls’, which are usually made up mainly of raw fish such as tuna or salmon, marinated in dressings that usually include soy sauce and sesame. They are generally accompanied by rice, although there are other options such as quinoa, to which are added endless other ingredients such as avocado, onion, cream cheese, cucumber, mango, pineapple or edamame.
Not all of them are, but these are some of the places that offer poke in its many variants in Donostia, a gastronomic trend with a growing presence among Gipuzkoans.
Center and Old
Bowl of fresh tuna. /
It is located at number 14 Calle Prim, in Plaza Bilbao, and was one of the first places specialized in poke that opened in Donostia, back in June 2019, at the initiative of several young people who missed “places to catch a healthy, fresh, fast bowl. To drink it on the spot, with tables and a terrace, or take it home, to the beach or to the office”, explained one of them, Rubén González.
Its ‘original’ pokes, at 12.50 euros, range from the ‘Fresh tuna’, with tuna, red onion, wakame, mango or masago, to the ‘Salm’on Fire’, with teriyaki marinated flambé salmon, edamame, avocado, tenkasu, nori seaweed and original truffle sauce. They offer the vegan version, based on heura or tofu, or the premium, with tuna or salmon marinated in truffle.
It is part of the Tasty Poke franchise network, which currently has 27 restaurants in 13 Spanish cities. Precisely, not long ago it opened another second location in the Antiguo, at number 3 of Calle Resurrección Maria de Azkue.
The two Goxo Poke in Donostia allow pets.
A nice dining area. /
It is located at number 3 Calle Ramón y Cajal in the San Sebastian neighborhood of Gros, it opens from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is presented as the first salad and healthy breakfast restaurant in Donostia. In this place, which uses the phrase ‘Don’ worry, eat happy’ as its motto, they tend to promote the use of local food, using biodegradable or recyclable materials.
In its menu there are toasts, ‘smoothies’, desserts, dishes to share, their enxalaos, super bowls and three types of pokes. The Enxalao poke has poke rice, fresh salmon marinated in sesame-soy, avocado, cherry tomato, edamame, mango, crispy onion, nori seaweed and sesame. It costs 11.5 euros.
They also offer the Tuna poke (12 euros), which includes, among other ingredients, strawberries, radishes and carrots, and the Gourmet Enxalao poke (12.9), with rice, tuna and salmon marinated in truffle-soy, caramelized onion, avocado , wakame seaweed or beet sprouts, among others.
In addition, it allows you to customize salads, based on vegetables or cereals, such as white sushi rice, red brown rice, tricolor quinoa or whole wheat pasta, to which you can add different types of fruits, legumes, cheeses, meats or fish and dressings. They cost €10.5.
The restaurant has capacity for 50 people, both indoors and on the terrace, and offers a take away service.
It has two establishments in San Sebastián. In the spacious 500 m2 premises of Norta Beach House Gros, located on the corner of Calle Zabaleta and Avenida Navarra, it offers a menu for the whole day, which also includes the option of eating a bowl of poke. The customer chooses the main ingredient, salmon, chicken or tofu, which is accompanied by rice, avocado, wakame, green soybeans, purple onion, cherry tomato, black sesame and teriyaki sauce. It costs 10.95 euros.
In its premises in the center of Donostia, located in San Martín, you can eat from pintxos, sandwiches, pizzas to pasta dishes, to salads and three types of pokes: the Norta salmon bowl, based on rice, salmon, wakame, soy green, purple onion, avocado, tomato, soy sauce; the vegan option, with rice, tofu, spinach, edamame, tomato, wakame, red onion, radish, black sesame and special Norta sauce; and a variant with chicken, which includes rice, chicken, carrot, edamame, egg, radish, wakame, green soybeans, purple onion, avocado, tomato, black sesame, teriyaki sauce. They are priced at €12.95.
Pipeline, one of the classics on the menu. /
After its premiere in Bilbao, it has reached the center of Donostia. Specifically, to Hernani street (number 11). It is focused on the concept of ‘street food’ and delivery or pick-up, although it is possible to eat quickly in a small bar.
They offer the possibility of customizing the bowls, whose prices range from €8.9 for the small size to €12.90 for the giant. You can choose the base between rice, quinoa (+1€) or lettuce; various sauces (such as soy and sesame oil, gluten-free soy, Nalu sauce, spicy sriracha mayo, or honey mustard sauce); two or three protein options depending on the size (tuna, salmon, tofu, turkey, prawns, heura or fresh cheese) and toppings, such as cherry tomato, red onion, red cabbage, cucumber, carrot or corn, even avocado, edamame, wakame or mango or fried onion, almond, furikake or nori seaweed.
They also offer 8 types of pre-designed bowls. The Pipeline is one of the classics on their menu and is made up of rice, salmon, carrot, radish, wakame, avocado and nalu mayo sauce. The Superbank has quinoa, lettuce, heura, tofu, bean sprouts, edamame, mango, wakame, almonds, sweet chili and fried onions, and the Jeffrey’s Bay with rice, tuna, shrimp, avocado, mango, pineapple, wakame, honey and mustard, teriyaki, sesame and nori seaweed. The price of these bowls ranges from €8.9 to €14.30.
The local of Garbera. /
It is one of the novelties of the new restaurant area of the Garbera shopping center, where it offers “the authentic Californian experience”. With a wide presence in Italian cities, in Spain it is present in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and now in Donostia.
There is the possibility of designing the dish to suit each one and in two sizes: regular or large bowl. You can choose the base between different types of rice, cauliflower, fresh salad or quinoa. For the protein portion, the options range from different types of salmon, tuna or shrimp to chicken or tofu. The wide range of vegetables ranges from avocado, carrot, pineapple, mango, red cabbage, zucchini to chickpeas, bean sprouts, marinated ginger or jalapeño. There are 18 types of sauces to choose from, some of them spicy, and to finish off you have to choose the ‘crispy’, which ranges from sesame to crispy onion, crispy sweet potato, nori seaweed, coconut, almonds or tobiko. The price of the bowls is around 12 euros.
They also offer pre-designed house bowls, such as the Sunny Salmon, the house brand, which includes white rice, salmon, avocado, edamame, red cabbage, special sauce, avocado cream and sesame.
As a novelty, they have created the Poke House Kids, a children’s menu that costs €7.9. Includes a small bowl of white rice, teriyaki chicken, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, accompanied by mayonnaise, bottled water in a brick, a lollipop and two stickers.
The first ‘smoothies’ place that some people from Donostia remember, where they tried açai, one of the fashionable fruits, and where they picked up some bowls to take to the beach with a mixture similar to that of pokes. Located at number 61 Zabaleta street, very close to the beach, it has 9 salads on its menu.
Some are similar to poke, like the one that includes salmon, tomato, pasta, corn, tuna and black olives. It costs €6.95. The Venice is made up of organic quinoa, kale, lettuce, tomato, avocado, carrot, tofu, walnuts and crispy onion.