La Viña

La Viña
31 de Agosto Kalea 3
20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa

La Vina is famous for 1 thing.  Cheesecake.  They have many legs of jamon hanging from the ceiling, various plates of pintxos laid out, lots of wine and other drinks being poured, but most people, tourists anyways, come for their “burnt Basque cheesecake.”  There’s a whole wall of shelves by the kitchen containing dozens of cheesecakes, in different stages of cooling or ready to be served.  Fishing Zebraman gave it a glowing recommendation.  It’s often a stop on many of the walking food tours and featured on many blogs and travel reviews for San Sebastian.

Burnt Basque Cheesecake
The cheesecake is distinct from your typical American cheesecake.  It’s lighter, fluffier, less sweet, and 100% cheese with no crust of any sort.  The burnt aspect brings a sort of bruleed flavor.


No doubt it is tasty, but it’s not something I’m still dreaming about or wishing I could have again.  While a local Basque cheese is used here, I was told by the former executive chef of Next in Chicago, Dave Beran, that it is the technique and not the ingredients that make this cheesecake particularly unique.  The cheesecake is initially baked in a high heat oven, and then cooked lower and slower after that.  Even after figuring out how to recreate this cheesecake himself, 1 out of every 5 still don’t come out right.  On those days, the staff wins and gets to have cheesecake for breakfast.  Overall, it’s a nice sweet treat to have to finish out a night of pintxo touring.


10 – You NEED to eat here
9 – Awesome
8 – Very good
7 – Good
6 – OK
5 – Average
4 – Not bad
3 – Not good
2 – Terrible
1 – Do NOT eat here



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