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“Tapas Treat” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Santiago's Bodega

Santiago's Bodega
802 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803
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Ranked #260 of 3,055 Restaurants in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $38
Cuisines: International, Mediterranean, European, Tapas
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Private Dining, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: Santiago's Bodega presents a unique tasting experience featuring small plates that hopscotch between decadent (a warm Camembert wedge topped with sauteed garlic, onions, almonds, apricots, chopped dates, bell peppers), refreshing (yellow fin tuna, avocado, mango ceviche), exotic (lamb patties with fresh thyme, sherry, lemon zest) and just plain comfort-food-delicious (Roman meatballs on angel hair, or fried potatoes in a spicy sauce). As nothing costs over $15, there’s no major commitment, and if the relationship doesn't work, move along to the next selection. The menu’s ideal for sharing and for mixing up in endless combinations. Alternate between chevre tartlet, spanakopita, or smoked salmon carpaccio. Invent your own meal. Dining in such a way permits the rules of wine pairings to step aside like snooty impostors, and what goes best with dinner is exactly what tempts you. Santiago’s Bodega is a good-natured, low-key, food-lovers hangout, a neighborhood restaurant. - Margit Bisztray
Pensacola, Florida
Level Contributor
31 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Tapas Treat”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

We were a hungry party of five on a Friday night. We ordered at many tapas dishes. Big favorites were the tuna ceviche-big chunks of fresh fish with lime and mango, and the charcuterie -wild boar pate and duck prosciutto. The place is warm and welcoming. Very busy and active but not over crowded, although I would recommend reservations on Friday and Saturday evenings. Attentive and knowledgeable service and we continued to add to our order throughout the meal. This is one of the best meals have had in Orlando in years and my friends agreed.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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167 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
92 reviews
74 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Very good tapas”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

Dined here for lunch recently on advice of friends and was very impressed. All choices were very good, and some interesting drinks too. Funky decor and artwork but it appeals to the restaurant nicely. Service was good. Parking can be an issue when busy. Save room for bread pudding made with croissants.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
42 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Worth a visit and a bite”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2013 via mobile

I watched the renovations take place on this new restaurant on Virginia Dr. as it's located on one of my back road cut-throughs. It looked like they made a nice investment as they built a beautiful patio area out front. So I was excited to give it a try.

I took my mom there for an early dinner before a show downtown last week and we were both pleased with our visit and meal.

As you walk in you find the bar/lounge is separated from the dining room which provides for different atmospheres and levels of energy. The lounge was already hopping with a lively crowd and music. The restaurant side, more subdued and geared towards a quiter dining experience.

The hostess led us past a small, front space with a few tables towards the back of the restaurant. We were seated at one of the two-top tables along the wall. Normally I dont like that type of seating arrangement as you're basically sitting with the people on either side of you. However, as it was still early, few tables were seated.

Calming colors covered the walls which allowed the various paintings and pieces of art leap off the walls. Low lighting and candles made for a cozy, comfortable space. It was easy to get settled in and started perusing the menu and wine list, both of which offered many selections. With my mother on oxygen, we had to forego the candle...which had actually helped greatly in reading the menu. Without the candle I struggled to find enough light to read it comfortably. People were quickly seated on either side of us which prevented me from angling for better light. I don't like being one of those people who uses the flashlight on my phone, so I struggled to clearly see the menu.

As the restaurant started to fill the noise level raised accordingly. We decided as much as we enjoyed our visit, it wasn't well suited to a 'quiet' dinner experience. With no soft finishes, sounds abound throughout the room.

Our server was excellent, checking on us often. I believe a different person delivered each of our dishes which was entertaining...each person made small talk with us which delighted my mother.

While a friend stated they weren't thrilled with their choices in their recent visit there, we enjoyed our selections which included the chilled asparagus, mushroom stuffed puff pastry, dates, and pork skewers. We both stated it was a place we would enjoy returning to.

All-in-all, I would recommend Santiago's Bodega. While a little louder and darker than we would have perferred, we decided we would ask to be seated in the front area or on the patio for our next visit. That would make it an ideal setting for us.

Give it a try. It's well worth it!

Visited November 2013
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Orlando, Florida
1 review
“Great Place for Happy Hour”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

I stopped by with a friend after work for drinks and a quick bite. We sat outside on the well-appointed patio while we reviewed the extensive drinks menu. We both selected a draft beer and decided upon a tapas plate that was both reasonable and delicious. I'll definitely be going back soon for a full meal instead of just a happy hour snack.

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winter Park, Florida
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Two visits in one month!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

A friend at church suggested Santiago's when we were planning to go out for brunch so we went there unexpectedly at the last minute. Some in the group had brunch items, others had tapas. Everything was delicious. This week we returned in the evening for a quick meal before the theater. The service was excellent, the wine and food again delicious. I cook a lot at home so it is a real treat to go out and eat a variety of things that I don't cook at home. The tapas are creative and a fun alternative to larger portions served at traditional restaurants. We look forward to our next visit. Also, the restaurant is very attractively decorated and the bar is stunning.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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