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Dress Code (esp. Shoes) in Michelin restaurant in San Sebastian

taga_cebu

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portugues Nov 2015, Camino Portugues Costal Sendo Litoral Sept 2017, Camino Ingles (June2018)
Hi Folks,

Planning on my 7th Camino but this time , would stay for 2 days in San Sebastian before going to St Jean. My travel buddy has scored a reservation to a 3-star Michelin resto. Would be my first time in SS. I plan to only wear my Salomon trail shoes (gonna make sure its clean and not muddied). Along with a clean pair of pants and pressed collared-shirt. For those that have been to these places in SS, is it ok? I dont mind being thrown glances as being under-formal, my main worry is, will I be allowed in? Would appreciate guidance. Gracias!
 
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Hi Folks,

Planning on my 7th Camino but this time , would stay for 2 days in San Sebastian before going to St Jean. My travel buddy has scored a reservation to a 3-star Michelin resto. Would be my first time in SS. I plan to only wear my Salomon trail shoes (gonna make sure its clean and not muddied). Along with a clean pair of pants and pressed collared-shirt. For those that have been to these places in SS, is it ok? I dont mind being thrown glances as being under-formal, my main worry is, will I be allowed in? Would appreciate guidance. Gracias!
It is a tourist town so unless there is an established dress code indicated I would not worry.
 
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Hi Folks,

Planning on my 7th Camino but this time , would stay for 2 days in San Sebastian before going to St Jean. My travel buddy has scored a reservation to a 3-star Michelin resto. Would be my first time in SS. I plan to only wear my Salomon trail shoes (gonna make sure its clean and not muddied). Along with a clean pair of pants and pressed collared-shirt. For those that have been to these places in SS, is it ok? I dont mind being thrown glances as being under-formal, my main worry is, will I be allowed in? Would appreciate guidance. Gracias!
“It’s always better to be underdressed.” ~Coco Chanel
“When in doubt, overdress.” ~Vivienne Westwood
“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” ~Katherine Hepburn
 
“It’s always better to be underdressed.” ~Coco Chanel
“When in doubt, overdress.” ~Vivienne Westwood
“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” ~Katherine Hepburn
Indeed (great quotes) and if you are famous you can do what you want! Assuming the poster is not Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Ronaldo or David Beckham, the rest of us mere mortals need some guidance!
 
Hi Folks,

Planning on my 7th Camino but this time , would stay for 2 days in San Sebastian before going to St Jean. My travel buddy has scored a reservation to a 3-star Michelin resto. Would be my first time in SS. I plan to only wear my Salomon trail shoes (gonna make sure its clean and not muddied). Along with a clean pair of pants and pressed collared-shirt. For those that have been to these places in SS, is it ok? I dont mind being thrown glances as being under-formal, my main worry is, will I be allowed in? Would appreciate guidance. Gracias!

Smart casual like you describe is absolutely fine. The vibe in Spain is much less formal in these places than in France or here in Belgium ( though this is also changing rapidly in a good way ).
When we went in Santiago to Casa Marcelo I had a black Uniqlo trousers ( that I wore for all evenings on Camino ) and went into Zara for a classic white T shirt. Wore my clean Ecco sandals. Combined with my scarf.
From what I experienced throughout regular holidays when I went to higher end restos is that it is also not frowned upon when you decline the accompanied wines and stick to one glass or choose a beer.
 
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Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Indeed (great quotes) and if you are famous you can do what you want! Assuming the poster is not Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Ronaldo or David Beckham, the rest of us mere mortals need some guidance!
First of all, I need new hiking buddies that will book Michelin restaurants. I’m no men’s fashion expert but I’ll take a stab at this one. How about a pair of dark Kuhl hiking pants, no cargo pockets. In the summer, pair with a lightweight linen shirt (Tommy Bahama makes a bunch of colors) that can be used in other cities along the way for dinner or casual with shorts. In cooler weather, a nice tee with a hiking zip neck merino sweater or a button down with a loaner blazer from the restaurant if they offer. Shoes are difficult…If it’s a more casual, modern vibe, just walk in quickly and hide those hiking puppies under the table. But if it’s a more formal setting, I’d think about bringing something from home and sending them from the post office on the way out of town or donating. The locals will be dressed up but the trail runs through the city and they’re used to pilgrims. By the way, women have it infinitely easier. A black dress rolled up in the bottom of the bag always comes in handy.
 
Appreciate the lively response, everyone. If there is one thing I would agree to, the ladies have it easier.
I’m ok with bringing an extra shirt and pants just for these venues, its mainly the extra pair of smart shoes that I might end up lugging along that I would consider a bit of a hassle. But I guess its a great suggestion from @Purple Backpack ,I can send the shoes fast-forward to Santiago along with the extra pre-Camino loot I might end up getting in the Basque region. Who knows There would be a need for them again after the Camino.
@TravellingMan22 it’s either of the 3 listed (Arzak,Akelarre or Martin Berasategui … i think the exact one will be known when we get there, more of a surprise I guess).
 
Appreciate the lively response, everyone. If there is one thing I would agree to, the ladies have it easier.
I’m ok with bringing an extra shirt and pants just for these venues, its mainly the extra pair of smart shoes that I might end up lugging along that I would consider a bit of a hassle. But I guess its a great suggestion from @Purple Backpack ,I can send the shoes fast-forward to Santiago along with the extra pre-Camino loot I might end up getting in the Basque region. Who knows There would be a need for them again after the Camino.
@TravellingMan22 it’s either of the 3 listed (Arzak,Akelarre or Martin Berasategui … i think the exact one will be known when we get there, more of a surprise I guess).
Enjoy! I didn’t realise SS had three until I googled! Quite a feat! Agree with the shoes suggestion!
 
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I am assuming that you are visiting SS before doing the Camino Frances as you say you are travelling to Saint Jean after. Maybe you could bring the “right”clothing to SS. When you are leaving for St Jean forward them to Ivar and you can pick them up when you get to Santiago.
 
If that Michelin place is fine, do not go in sandals.
If it is really fine place, sandals are accepted.
 
I plan to only wear my Salomon trail shoes (gonna make sure its clean and not muddied).

I think the suggestion about sending to Ivar is a great one, but I also think you will be fine in the trail shoes. I was at a funeral service yesterday and noticed that a huge number of the people attending, though they were dressed in suits or “business casual,” were wearing something other than standard leather dress shoes. Most had some kind of “mall walker” or gym shoe. I think that for the over-60 crowd, it’s understood the toll of many years of use means that fashion takes a back seat to comfort. Not sure if you’re in that demographic, @taga_cebu, but I think there will be other diners in similar footwear.

If you make sure you’re not tracking in dried mud, I don’t think there will be an issue. ;)
 
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Hi Folks,

Planning on my 7th Camino but this time , would stay for 2 days in San Sebastian before going to St Jean. My travel buddy has scored a reservation to a 3-star Michelin resto. Would be my first time in SS. I plan to only wear my Salomon trail shoes (gonna make sure it’s clean and not muddied). Along with a clean pair of pants and pressed collared-shirt. For those that have been to these places in SS, is it ok? I dont mind being thrown glances as being under-formal, my main worry is, will I be allowed in? Would appreciate guidance. Gracias!
I ate at Michelin restaurants along my last Camino … Arzak? I had the same concern. For shoes, I packed a pair of AllBirds instead of flip flops / crocs as my evening shoe. You can dress them up they are super light weight and you just wash them as you would your clothes. They are now my go to shoe for such purposes. Hope this helps.
 
I haven't been to a Michelin restaurant in SS but have been to 2 in/near Bilbao. Both times I was surprised by how casual the other diners were dressed. I went for smart casual the first time then looked over and noticed the folks in the table next to us were in blue jeans, t-shirts and trainers!

Not sure if this comment is at all helpful but maybe gives some indication of what they're like in Northern Spain 🤔
 
I haven't been to a Michelin restaurant in SS but have been to 2 in/near Bilbao. Both times I was surprised by how casual the other diners were dressed. I went for smart casual the first time then looked over and noticed the folks in the table next to us were in blue jeans, t-shirts and trainers!

Not sure if this comment is at all helpful but maybe gives some indication of what they're like in Northern Spain 🤔
I agree that northern Spain is quite laid back. Also Michelin star doesn’t always mean pretentious. Stars are awarded solely on the food.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
in 2016 we scored a table at Claridge's for High Tea (London UK if nobody guessed the location by now ;))
dress code was (more or less) smart-casual but sort of bordering formal.
I bought 3 pairs of SMUK sneakers and basically used them to do my daily walks all 2 weeks we were there.
SMUKS are awesome because they are relatively stylish but at the same time extremely light-weight (explains how i took 3 pairs with - really, no weight at all), can be flattened out and\or twisted\folded for packing purposes and are fully washable even in washing machine!
Right before going to Claridge's I did an extra wipe of the black pair, relaced it with dark (navy) blue laces and then done a nice pair of pants, shirt and a tie (maybe THATS the key - they just canNOT turn you away if you wear a tie!!!! :p 👔)
No problem walking in sneakers....

If you do decide to look into SMUKS perhaps it may work to use them as the in-Albergue footwear as well

Good Luck
 
I think the suggestion about sending to Ivar is a great one, but I also think you will be fine in the trail shoes. I was at a funeral service yesterday and noticed that a huge number of the people attending, though they were dressed in suits or “business casual,” were wearing something other than standard leather dress shoes. Most had some kind of “mall walker” or gym shoe. I think that for the over-60 crowd, it’s understood the toll of many years of use means that fashion takes a back seat to comfort. Not sure if you’re in that demographic, @taga_cebu, but I think there will be other diners in similar footwear.

If you make sure you’re not tracking in dried mud, I don’t think there will be an issue. ;)
Sneakers with suits for men is now an acceptable fashion norm :)
 
My buddy and I went to a Michelin restaurant (Mugaritz) in San Sebastian after completing our Camino in 2018. We bought nice clothes in Burgos (H&M) - dress shirt, slacks, shoes. In my opinion only the dress shirt was needed - and that was more for us to feel comfortable. I don't think anyone would care so long as it wasn't a t-shirt, shorts & sandals. The restaurant was extremely accommodating to everyone.
 
Down bag (90/10 duvet) of 700 fills with 180 g (6.34 ounces) of filling. Mummy-shaped structure, ideal when you are looking for lightness with great heating performance.

€149,-
Perhaps I should have mentioned that I've been to two Michelin restaurants on lesser Caminos, and my Royal Robbins shirt (with neckscarf as a cravat, but I usually do that in restaurants anyway), Tilley technical pants, and Keens or similar on my feet. All passed muster and in one my identification as a pilgrim got me a digestif.

Spain has dressed down considerably since my first Camino twenty years ago, and I think the only problem would be if it were men wearing shorts-- a baseball cap would also not be a comfortable garment in these circumstances. It's not as if we were at a country club in North America-- we're in serious eating territory.

PS @peregrina2000 the last funeral I attended (at our local Italian RC church in Ottawa), I had white shirt and black tie, grey jacket (summer), and black trousers with black shoes, and (of course!!) my black jet cufflinks from the Plaza de Platerias in Santiago, and I found that I was one of the very few outside the family who was so formally dressed. Business casual for many, but not all, and even (albeit designer) blue jeans.
 
We ate dinner in the Amelia (only a two star I'm afraid) last June. The dress code seemed to break down by ages:

Elderly (us included): pressed trousers, sweater/cardigan and collared shirt for men, dresses for women
Middle aged: chinos and sports shirts for men, dresses or trousers/blouses for women
Young people (late teens and twenties): the minimum amount of clothes to stop them being arrested on the street

Donostia/San Sebastian is very liberal minded about dress codes nowadays (you should have seen it in 1964, shorts, in town? NEVER!)

Clean and tidy should do the trick. It's a service industry, they want your custom . . . and money!
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Hi Folks,

Planning on my 7th Camino but this time , would stay for 2 days in San Sebastian before going to St Jean. My travel buddy has scored a reservation to a 3-star Michelin resto. Would be my first time in SS. I plan to only wear my Salomon trail shoes (gonna make sure its clean and not muddied). Along with a clean pair of pants and pressed collared-shirt. For those that have been to these places in SS, is it ok? I dont mind being thrown glances as being under-formal, my main worry is, will I be allowed in? Would appreciate guidance. Gracias!
My wife and I have been in many of San Sebastian restaurants, Michelin star included, just dressed in our Camino clothes, usually with the boots, but I also have a super light pair of shoes to give feet a break from the boots. We have eaten in Michelin star restaurants in Paris, and again just in Camino clothes, it has never been an issue. If you can pay the bill your in. Once we went to Chez Panisse restaurant, Berkeley, CA, and we were just coming from working on our sailboat, we asked about their dress code, and were told, "we sell food, not fashion. We had a table next to Dianna Ross.
 
Smart casual like you describe is absolutely fine. The vibe in Spain is much less formal in these places than in France or here in Belgium ( though this is also changing rapidly in a good way ).
When we went in Santiago to Casa Marcelo I had a black Uniqlo trousers ( that I wore for all evenings on Camino ) and went into Zara for a classic white T shirt. Wore my clean Ecco sandals. Combined with my scarf.
From what I experienced throughout regular holidays when I went to higher end restos is that it is also not frowned upon when you decline the accompanied wines and stick to one glass or choose a beer.
But why wouldn't you want to drink their carefully chosen wine?
 
Perhaps it is simply not to your taste. I am not a big fan of Cab Sauvignon so if that's the suggested\paired wine I may politely decline
 
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We ate dinner in the Amelia (only a two star I'm afraid) last June. The dress code seemed to break down by ages:

Elderly (us included): pressed trousers, sweater/cardigan and collared shirt for men, dresses for women
Middle aged: chinos and sports shirts for men, dresses or trousers/blouses for women
Young people (late teens and twenties): the minimum amount of clothes to stop them being arrested on the street

Donostia/San Sebastian is very liberal minded about dress codes nowadays (you should have seen it in 1964, shorts, in town? NEVER!)

Clean and tidy should do the trick. It's a service industry, they want your custom . . . and money!
It was a sad day when brown shoes in town became acceptable IMHO.

My nearest village with fewer than 500 residents has two Michelin starred restaurants a 2 and a 3. If you’re solvent and clean, you’re welcome.
 
But why wouldn't you want to drink their carefully chosen wine?

Because it is a free choice to stick to one glass and savour the taste fully. Plus I like to focus on the taste of the ingredients of the dish.
Plus if I do not stay on the premises for the night I have to drive home by car.
 
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I have not read the majority of these responses, but your "pressed-collared shirt" already speaks volumes to me.🙂 I usually don't worry much on the Camino, but I do bring an attractive scarf to jazz up my pilgrim attire. Once I'm seated, it's only the top half of me I worry about looking good.
 
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What about a pair of dark espadrilles? Super comfy, of the region, barely noticeable in weight. Can be dressed way up or way down: Michelin star and/or slip-ons for the bathroom.
 
What about a pair of dark espadrilles?
All right, thank you for mentioning these shoes. I had heard the term, never knew what they were. My mother wore them in the 70's. It's taken this long to find out what to call them. I did see them in the countryside in Spain in that decade, too. I'm have a few gotas of Spanish blood in me from my mother's side.
 
I don't know about San Sebastian itself, nor that particular restaurant -- but I live next to Monte-Carlo, and nowadays it's really only in the more formal circumstances that more formal dress is necessary.

Most men nowadays (and women) (sadly, in my view) wear "trainers" instead of "proper" shoes, so that in Spain if you turn up as on pilgrimage (make sure to get your credencial stamped at the restaurant BTW) with a carefully cleaned pair of hiking shoes/boots you should be fine. And as that's pre-Camino, if they're new-ish enough, sounds fine.

Someone suggested espadrilles -- I'd say definitely not ; but if you are planning on packing some footwear for the afternoons or evenings after your day's walk, a clean pair of docksides would almost certainly be suitable in a seaside restaurant like that one (likely to have customers in from their yachts), and should be not too heavy in your backpack.

Most men sitting down for lunch in the smarter restaurants here along the coast will wear casual (long) trousers suitable for the weather, a shirt (or maybe a smart t-shirt in warmer weather and for lunch only, though it's a bit frowned upon unless that's for eating outside on the terrace, though long shirt sleeves are still preferable), and a jacket in cooler weather or in the evening (smart t-shirt plus jacket can be OK). I'd suggest bringing a tie just in case, if that's to be a supper engagement rather than lunch, though if the weather's hot that might be quite unnecessary.

If it's raining, a taxi is preferable to an umbrella :p, unless it's really coming down, then both (a throwaway one would be fine) ...

Travel with a haircut fresher than you might normally think necessary in your pre-Camino prep.

You might need a smarter hiking jacket than you might usually use ? Dunno of course, as I don't know your personal taste in jackets, but something in a single colour that looks good with the trousers and shirt you plan on bringing ?
 
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We took a food tour in San Sebastian before walking and went to Beti-Jai Berria- no dress code. Pretty casual- food amazing!

 
Thanks for all the suggestions and experiences. I think I already have in mind a simple ensemble to bring and wear (will actually need them for Bordeaux then SS) and will just send them to Santiago when we’re leaving for SJPdP. Might as well make this trip a cultural, gastronomic and spiritual pilgrimage. From Bon Appetit to Buen Camino.
 
Hi Folks,

Planning on my 7th Camino but this time , would stay for 2 days in San Sebastian before going to St Jean. My travel buddy has scored a reservation to a 3-star Michelin resto. Would be my first time in SS. I plan to only wear my Salomon trail shoes (gonna make sure its clean and not muddied). Along with a clean pair of pants and pressed collared-shirt. For those that have been to these places in SS, is it ok? I dont mind being thrown glances as being under-formal, my main worry is, will I be allowed in? Would appreciate guidance. Gracias!
Clean tidy order day you will be because you have not done any trekking yet.personally prefer eating when I feel smart casual
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Hi Folks,

Planning on my 7th Camino but this time , would stay for 2 days in San Sebastian before going to St Jean. My travel buddy has scored a reservation to a 3-star Michelin resto. Would be my first time in SS. I plan to only wear my Salomon trail shoes (gonna make sure its clean and not muddied). Along with a clean pair of pants and pressed collared-shirt. For those that have been to these places in SS, is it ok? I dont mind being thrown glances as being under-formal, my main worry is, will I be allowed in? Would appreciate guidance. Gracias!
You should prepare to have a sport jacket and dress shoes for such a restaurant. You can leave them behind, or sell at a thrift shop. Do not wear sneakers.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I think Guadalupe remains the only place with a “clothing optional” Michelin starred restaurant but times are changing. Meanwhile clean clothes and shoes and a little enthusiasm is all that is required by anywhere I’ve squandered the children’s inheritance in Spain 😉
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
It was a sad day when brown shoes in town became acceptable IMHO.

My nearest village with fewer than 500 residents has two Michelin starred restaurants a 2 and a 3. If you’re solvent and clean, you’re welcome.
Well, that’s lovely news for my fall C2C! I’ll be the one in the black dress and Tevas.
 
Planning on my 7th Camino but this time , would stay for 2 days in San Sebastian before going to St Jean. My travel buddy has scored a reservation to a 3-star Michelin resto. Would be my first time in SS. I plan to only wear my Salomon trail shoes (gonna make sure its clean and not muddied). Along with a clean pair of pants and pressed collared-shirt. For those that have been to these places in SS, is it ok? I dont mind being thrown glances as being under-formal, my main worry is, will I be allowed in? Would appreciate guidance. Gracias!
Any chance of a piccie illustrating your eventual choice(s) after you get there ?
 

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