Casa Julián de Tolosa

45 minutes away (and 2 bus journeys) from San Sebastián, I found myself in the small but quaint town of Tolosa.

The town is small, old, with your local supermarket, butcher, pastry shop, etc…But that is about it, so why did I come here? I came for the Chuletón de buey, a T-bone cooked perfectly the way it should be. And where might I get this juicy piece of red meat? From Casa Julián, the famed Asador-steakhouse owned by the same family and headed by Matías Gorrotxategi for about 40 years. 

We arrived at the restaurant promptly at 1.30pm, that is when they open, to find the restaurant closed. CLOSED?! I did not come all the way here to be sent back. Luckily, we had a phone and called the restaurant, the owner Matías appeared from down the road and greeted us. We were lead into what seemed to be the store-room of the restaurant and into a magnificent wine cellar/our tables was surrounded with bottles over 100 years old.

This is where Michelin-starred Chefs come for grilled meat, and lots of it. The walls of the restaurant are also adorned with both new and old photos of the owner with famed chefs, sports-stars and the like. 

It is cozy, old, made me feel like I was sent back in time.

The menu never changes, there is no menu and as you sit down, you are asked whether you want wine, water and to choose from Iberico ham, Asparagus, Fish, Chuleta with Piquillos. That’s all.

White Asparagus with vinaigrette. Soft, tender and not bitter at all (which was my experience with white asparagus)

Chuleta de Buey. It’s authentic, it’s handled with care and both sides are slabbed with a handful of salt for tastiness.

My chuleta cooking in a chimney made of fire-brick. As the owner laid it down with care on the grill, you can smell the beef in the room, you could smell the beef fat melting and marinating the red meat. Absolute madness. 

Tender, juicy, Soft and crispy from the coal. Sorry Asador Bedua, this is my new favorite Chuleta; more flavorful, more everything!

Me + steak = Happy Jade

Slow baked piquillos peppers

This was a little plate of heaven. The peppers were flavorful and melted in your mouth (but were not falling apart) while retaining a smokey taste.

To accompany the meal, a cheap but not-to-be-fooled good wine from the region.

One of the top spots in the country for grilled red meats. If you have a car, it’s easily accessible but if you don’t, it’s worth the adventure and the beautiful tour of Basque country through the mountains.

Casa Julián

Calle Santa Clara, 6; Tolosa

Telephone: +34 943671417


One Response to “Casa Julián de Tolosa”
  1. grant says:

    Hi, i have been an avid reader of your blog ever since i heard about you in the Ferrandi facebook page. I am planing to go to ferrandi and knowing that you studied there, your blog has been very helpful for me to learn about the school’s program. After seeing how successful you have become, you have been an inspiration. I would just like to ask whether you can recommend this school? and did you have any restaurant/kitchen experience prior to going there? if i’m not mistaken, your from the Asian region as i am too, is ferrandi as well known here in Asia as it is in europe?, i hope you can offer your thoughts, thank you…

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