Movida

4.5
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562 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Tapas / Small Plates
Movida, translated meaning "the movement", is a Spanish tapas restaurant located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Specialties include Galician style octopus, paella and seasonal croquetas. All cheese and charcuterie is D.O. (meaning imported from Spain).

Beyond the food, Movida features a recognized beverage program that consists of more than 30 Spanish wines, seasonal gin selections, craft cocktails and house-made Sangria.
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What 562 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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PK
Milwaukee
10 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The food was delicious. I also enjoy the atmosphere. All in all it was a great experience.

OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Unlimited Tapas option is the way to go! Great food

OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The drinks were great and the tapas wonderful. We had a large group so were able to try most of the tapas. The desserts were super yummy as well.

MB
Milwaukee
7 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

3rd visit and as good as ever. Literally have had every thing on the menu over 3 visits and nothing is bad. Favorites are the Octopus with Sweet Potatos and Brussels Sprouts, shishito peppers, Flank Steak and Lomo, but the others are really good also. Paella we have had the Seafood 2x and Movida 1x and really good. For the $ woudl like a little more rice with it to fill it out, but glad the protein is so prominent. Stay for the Churros... they are really amazing

S
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Movida is always a "happening" place, which is a big part of its popularity. Food was solid, but nothing earth-shattering. My biggest complaint of this visit is that NONE of the small plate dishes included a serving spoon or other serving utensil. And, the flank steak was not served with a knife! We were a group of four fairly close individuals, so we might normally have just used our forks to dish out the small plates. But, a couple of us had been sick, so we did not want to do that this time. I think many people wouldn't want to use their soiled forks (only forks provided in rolled-up napkins) during cold and flu season to dish out the small plates. I understand the desire to cut down on dirty cutlery, but I think a serving utensils is required with almost any dish. Even though the flank steak was cut into pieces, they were not bite-sized and needed to be cut further into smaller pieces. We had a nice evening at Movida, but I thought I'd point this one oversight out because I think management should consider addressing it.

JS
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience3

A little pit overpriced for the portion sizes. Also tables are very close together.

L
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience3

My partner and I went to Movida before seeing a band. We had the olive board (yum!) and shared the Spanish paella for the first time. The chefs accommodated our request for chicken on one side and shrimp on another. I’m glad we tried something new and it was tasty. However, the dinner said it would serve approximately 2-4 people. I’m not sure how it could serve 4 people. My partner and I both had one moderate serving. A lot of the rice was stuck to the pan, which might be normal for this dish. I also had a whiskey cocktail that was delicious. We definitely will be back in the future; however, we will wait for awhile since the menu does not seem to change that often.

D
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We went on Valentines day, service was a bit slow as to be expected. The full menu was offered, we had the paella and charcuterie, everything was excellent.

MB
New England
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Can’t say enough great things about this place! My fiancé and I got 6 different tapas and each one was delicious. We also tried the Perron and had so much fun! Reservations were behind (not surprising on Valentine’s Day), but the bar was doing great keeping everyone happy and once seated they didn’t rush us to get through our meal and leave. The beets and the broccoli stand out as ABSOLUTELY need to order. Baked goat cheese is a tapas staple and done very well.

James - my new favorite bartender - knew the wine menu extensively and described the differences to me. I ordered a Tempranillo and it was exactly what I expected based on James’s description. We ran into James the next day at Don’s Diner for breakfast and he remembered what we had been drinking the night before. I was impressed.

Definitely eat here!

SJ
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Looking for dinner not remembering it was VDay...used Open Table to find somewhere to eat in Milwaukee. What a wonderful surprise dinner was. We will definitely be back.

OT
Milwaukee
4 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Romantic and delicious!

OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall3food2service5ambience3

Our first time there and overall it was a nice atmosphere with great attentive staff. We were sat at a table with no light and had to use our phones to see the menu, it was so dark in there. Food was not amazing like we were reading about. A few of the dishes were good - I will say that the olive and cheese boards we had tasted great, we also really liked the broccoli, but the rest was bland and at the least needed salt, but at the worst was almost inedible - particularly the suckling pig empanadillas were so gamey tasting and not appetizing at all, but of the two on the plate we had 6 pieces of gristle and something crunchy in there that was inedible. We were also underwhelmed by the 3 fairly water downed drinks we tried from the bar specials menu. Not an eating experience we are planning to repeat. Staff was great and friendly.

OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Server was great and very attentive. However, two of our dishes were cold. The meatballs were very cold in the middle so she brought us out another dish which were lukewarm in the middle. Nothing was taken off of our bill and no manager came over to remedy the situation. There was live music which was nice but was a little too loud to try to have a conversation.

SH
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved it! Girls night out - it was perfect!! Each tapa was better than the last!

OT
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience1

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy time with your companion then this isn’t the place. Tables are so close together that it’s almost communal. Maybe that’s their thing. However I couldn’t even converse with my friend across from me because the people next to us were practically on top of us and very loud. That said, the food was good, gin cocktails were excellent.

P
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience5

The food was better than Panera, but it certainly not by much. Our favorite dish was the octopus and brussel sprout dish which was tender, rich, and flavorful... it was really executed very well. That was the one redeeming part of our meal. The albondigas (Spanish brisket meatballs) were moist and tasty but lacked creativity. The blistered shishito peppers felt original but lacked pizazz. The other two tapas we tried were the chicken empanadillas, which were one-note and bland, and the lomo tosta (pork loin on crostinis with jam and arugula) which was pork reminiscent of an uninspired home cook served on chewy and most likely day-old bread. We finished our meal with churros which followed the same disappointing theme of poor execution...they started with a nice crispy outer texture but left you wondering why someone would serve such undercooked dough.

The atmosphere was comfortable with a dimly lit ambiance and a comfortable noise level. My cocktail (the "What are those?") was a well-balanced bourbon drink with butternut squash brown sugar and blackstrap bitters. It was enjoyable and probably the most creative thing I tasted.

The service... I haven't experienced service this poor in longer than I can remember. The hostess scolded us for being 15 minutes late at a 5:30 reservation time with only 4 tables filled and the bar lined with staff standing around waiting for customers. I understand if the restaurant is busy but really... a lecture on their ability to seat us when they cannot even fill 1/3rd of the restaurant? As our server brought us dish after dish, we had to keep stacking all our plates and bowls 2 and 3 high as they brought us 5 dished and did not clear one dish from our tiny corner punctuality punishment table. At one point, while trying to order a drink, I sat and watched our server pour water glassed for two entire empty tables right next to ours and then take a leisurely paced lap around the restaurant before checking in with us.

X
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, ambience and value. Recommend slightly better lighting at table to read all the great options available :-)

OT
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service!

M
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious!!!

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RE
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We have eaten at Movida's many times and the food has always been exceptional. Service was great and the value was appropriate. The only feedback i had for this last visit: it was a bit too loud for conversations to take place and it the lighting was too dim to even see the menus.

OT
Milwaukee
25 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

We enjoyed Movida as we could. However, the room is very dark, and thus hard to view the menu. Many people had their phone lights on just to see what was on the menu.
Other than that, we enjoyed the experience.

MK
Milwaukee
24 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Menu standards are reliable. The rotating street noodles can be hit or miss.

HH
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

cool place. delish bites. Attentive staff. We had a lovely night out!

PT
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always good and great staff! 👍

j
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Overall experience was great. We did however have to wait an extra 30 minutes past our reservation time since they were busy. The food and service did make up for it.

l
Milwaukee
20 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Arrived right at 7:45 which was our reservation time...waited like 5 minutes & got a great table. Food was as good as I remember. It was our friends first time & they loved it. Service was very good as well. We will definitely all be back !

Y
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Arrived for a birthday- friendly hostess. Waitstaff also very welcoming. It was the first time for some at our table, would have been helpful for staff to better explain process. Food was amazing as always.

DS
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall1food2service5ambience1

Concept is good - poor execution. Too dark to see the menus, most people had their phones out with flash lights on. Tables are way to small and extremely crowded. Bartender used a measuring cup and didn’t pour a drop too much! Tampa menus is short and has a small selection of options. Will not return.

MK
Milwaukee
12 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent happy hour! We had a great time and the food was delicious!

OT
Des Moines
8 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

This place is very cute! Smaller tapas portions than I’ve seen but the food is excellent. The tables are very close together so be ready to know your neighbors!

ML
Milwaukee
10 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Went with 2 friends that have never been to Movida and they truly enjoyed the dinner of paella and of course Sangria. I have been there in the past and feel the paella serving is getting a little scimpy.

JB
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Movida is a very fun place for family and friends to gather in a energetic atmosphere. I love to try a new dish at each visit because each shareable plate has its own combination of very distinctive flavors .

EQ
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The atmosphere was great. The tables are little small for a party of 2, but overall food was great! I would definitely say make a reservation to avoid waiting!

OT
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

New Year’s Eve dinner. We’ll be back!

OT
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Wonderful experience as per usual at Movida! Great idea to have all you can eat tapas for NYE! Server could have been a little more prompt but overall great night out

OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

JP our server was amazing. And trying a bunch of different tapas was delicious and great for our group. First time there, will definitely have to come back

MR
Chicago
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

We were sat in the back. The tables were way too close together to the point that our waitress couldn't get to our table to serve our dessert or give us the bill. Don't know if this was a New Year's Eve thing to be able to get more people in, but we had to ask another table to move so we could leave. Great food and drink, but disheartened by the squeeze of tables.

EH
Milwaukee
22 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Went with large group on NYE and do this might have affected experience. Tapas is really meant to be done with 4-6 to enjoy the conversation. Felt rushed. Service provided by a newbie. I’ll go again under different circumstances but this experience was not overly impressive.

OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place!! Love ordering small tapas and sharing everything. All of the plates are so delicious! They have everything from meat to vegetarian. We went during NYE and they had a bunch of different sangrias that were great. I highly recommend this restaurant.

C
Milwaukee
6 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Food is always great here and this time was no exception. Also can't beat the prices on the all night happy hour on Mondays where most items including drinks are half off.