One of my all-time favorite restaurants is Santiago’s Bodega in Orlando, well known for its brunch and happy hours. This neighborhood gem excels in tapas-style dishes that are as colorful as they are flavorful. While you can definitely keep a plate to yourself, it is so fun to go and share a few dishes with friends and family.
Santiago’s Bodega has a few locations around Florida besides the Orlando restaurant, including a restaurant in Altamonte and one in Key West. I haven’t been to the Altamonte or Key West locations, but I’m sure I’d love those, too.
Girl’s Lunch at Santiago’s
I took a fellow foodie friend of mine to lunch at Santiago’s and was so excited to see what she thought of some of my favorites. I always indulge in their sparkling sangria, which is a sparkling rosé-based blend with spiced fruit. It’s amazing.
Beyond libations, though, we went with a few small plates to share, along with a salad that really is large enough to split amongst a handful of people. The avocado and pear salad has a light, creamy parmesan dressing with roasted pine nuts. The dressing and nuts really compliment the avocado and pear. Add some fresh black pepper and you’re good to go.
My go-to starter, besides the avocado and pear salad, is the mozzarella burrata. This is a super simple tapas featuring a large serving of delicious burrata with walnut pesto, cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette. We got warm pita with the dish, and it was amazing. Basically, I want to just take this dish, toss it over a bowl of fresh pasta, and have that for dinner for forever.
Another favorite tapas of mine from Santiago’s Bodega are the patatas bravas. The patatas bravas are fried potatoes tossed with olives, capers, tomatoes, parmesan, and an ever-so-slightly-spicy chipotle aioli. While I could definitely eat an entire plate on my own, especially if I only got that and, say, a half a salad, it’s really a generous sharing size. We split this plate and munched on them for quite some time, using the remaining pita from the burrata to soak up the remaining aioli sauce.
Next Time You’re In Orlando
So, the next time you’re in Orlando — or Altamonte or Key West — and looking for a great place to share a meal, why not try out Santiago’s Bodega? I love the variety of foods available, and, as a vegetarian, I never have issues finding things I love. Similarly, they are renowned for being Celiac friendly with lots of gluten free options. On the same note, however, if you have a dedicated carnivore in your party, there are plenty of great steak and meat options available, as well. Really, there’s something for everyone. It’s great for a girls’ lunch, date night, or for a just-because kind of night out! Try it out, let me know what you think!