Movida

4.5
310 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.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Tapas / Small Plates, Spanish, Traditional Spanish
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Monday - Sunday: 4:00pm - close
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Phone number
(414) 224-5300
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Hugo Hilario
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Catering
Contact Meli at contact@movidamke.com for menu selections
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Bruce Street
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Parking details
Street parking available
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Public transit
None
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Entertainment
Live Flamenco - Tuesdays | 7 PM - 9 PM
Wine Wednesday - First glass free for ladies | All Night
Take Two Thursday - Feature Tapa & Cocktail Pairing | All Night
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Special events & promotions
https://www.movidamke.com/private-events
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 310 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
4.3
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a reservation to sit in the dining room but we were having so much fun at the bar we decided to eat at the bar instead. Our bartender made the best Negroni cocktail And we snuck in under the clock to get the best deal on happy hour tapas

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R
Milwaukee
14 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Awesome food and cocktails along with top-notch service. Loved the decor and ambiance. One could sit and chat there for hours. The only downside was paper napkins...now that did not go well at all with everything else.

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DP
Denver
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 4

We were really hoping to find some good Spanish food, but this is more of a fusion type place. We definitely would not care about Spanish authenticity if the food had been excellent, but I'd say it was just OK.

What really pulled the rating down was the service. We had an 8 pm reservation and were promptly seated, however it took quite a while for our server to get over to us. The place was packed so I wouldn't expect great service, but this was exceptionally slow. Even as the place began to thin out the service didn't improve. Our meal lasted nearly 2 hours and in the end we only ordered 3 tapas because we didn't want to wait longer. We didn't find out one of our tapas had run out until at least 30 minutes after we had ordered when our waitress came to ask if we wanted something else and we pointed out we were still waiting on another tapa.

Maybe it was just an off night for the restaurant?

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H
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

This wasn't as good as I was expecting. The paella was pretty...okay. For a place that is known for it's paella, the Movida was pretty bland. The cheese board was standard, but not what I'd expect for 20+ dollars for 2 people. The red sangria had a lottt of brandy in it. But the churros were incredible. The service was excellent, but we were literally 2 inches from another table. I felt terrible, because it was a first date, and being married for 4 years and having to talk loud, I felt we were interrupting most of their time.

I'd recommend this place, but maybe during a restaurant week or something- and maybe trying another dish outside of their paella. Might be better for bigger groups too instead of a date.

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Y
Milwaukee
15 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

Nice flavors but it seems every dish contains bread. Too much bread.

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MS
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

This place had its positives and negatives. The service was adequate, but could of been better. The food was just okay. The Sangria drinks tasted different from one to the next. The atmosphere and ambiance was fantastic.

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S
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Movida was a bit less exciting than its reputation led me to believe. As a couple on a date night, in a restaurant with rather open seating, we were sat next to a group of 4 women which made for difficult conversation. The food was good, the flank steak was excellent, the shrimp was very good but the paella had not great cuts of meat in it and crab was not fresh. Overall, I would try it again; however, I would order something different.

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KC
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Not as good as in the past

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JA
Chicago
52 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

We felt the food and service were a bit spotty. The paella was very tasty, but didn't have the bottom "crust" which paella is known for. The octopus was very tender, but overly salty. The duck tosta was by far the best of the dishes we had. The crab coquette had a crisp exterior, but the crab flavor was more muted than I would have liked. Our server was nice, but not spot on. I would give the restaurant another try, but hope it is a bit more on its game next time.

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d
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Service was great. The staff was cery friendly and knowledgeable, the ambiance was calm yet energetic. I felt veey comfortable. The food was delicious. It was our first time there, we had the white sangria (phenomenal) , paella and several tapas . We were not disappointed

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B
Milwaukee
6 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We had a wonderful dinner and the timing before we needed to be at a Marcus Center show was oerfect

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AM
Milwaukee
12 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Gem of a restaurant. Awesome service explained everything. Good ambience. Good parking as well.

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l
Chicago
19 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Very good. Very nice reception/service. I don't like when you reserve and your table isn't ready and your sent to the bar...and our food experience was going extremely well until our last dish arrived. The Paella wasn't so good. Overlooked? ...and it just stayed w all of us the rest of the evening. Without that - we would have walked away very impressed!

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ML
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sofia was incredible! She was very pleasant, knowledge, and provided great service.

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OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic evening/experience. Quality food, drinks & atmosphere. I’ve lived & traveled in Europe and this gem emanates the atmosphere and conviviality of that of a restaurant in Europe. Authentic experience. Cool, eclectic crowd. Great service. Will definitely be back!

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EG
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

Our initial order arrived quickly, but we added more food and after waiting 30 minutes for noodles, we canceled the order and left. Our waiter never checked in with us and paid much more attention to another table. I was very disappointed with the meal and we all ended up getting McDonald’s when we left.

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MB
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great tapas, cool ambiance, hip and trendy date spot!

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r
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Movida was great as always; we'll definitely be back.

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M
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server Khris was amazing! It was our first time at Movida and we will definitely be back. All the servers & bartenders were excellent as well!

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MG
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I spent my 26th birthday dinner here! They accommodated 8 of us! It was so much fun! Our server rocked! We’ll definitely drive up again for another Sunday funday with Movida!

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MA
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I had a marvelous Tapas dinner.
Lucy was an excellent server.

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P
New Orleans
5 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and perfect service. Highly recommend and would return.

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CA
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The plates were smaller but perfect if you want to try everything (highly encourage to try everything). Each plate had a different twist on it that made it one of a kind. Highly recommend making a visit. Make sure to try their crafted cocktails, they really put effort into these.

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OT
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ordered the seafood paella and it was amazing! We also had a pitcher of white sangria, which was also amazing. The food, drinks and service were top notch. I love the ambiance there, with the dimmed lights and candles. Love this place and will come back :)

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DM
Milwaukee
3 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 2

Tonight we celebrated our wedding anniversary at Movida. We got good food in a relaxed atmosphere on a work night. Our service was uncharacteristically poor, however. Our gregarious server left us sit for 30 minutes while we watched him flirt with a table of women who clearly enjoyed his attention. Our dirty dishes weren't cleared until I paid the bill. It seemed less of an event to be there. We love the idea of the restaurant and hope this was just a rough night.

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent from the first sip of sangria to the last bite of aged Wisconsin cheddar. We started our meal with a small tapa of Beets & Brussels while our Valenciana paella was being prepared. The food was excellent, the presentation beautiful...and the paella was worth the wait. The service was outstanding starting with the greeting at the door. Highly recommend dining at Movida.

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MW
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

New menu just launched. Awesome food, as always, but it gets busy so schedule accordingly. Highly recommend this place to foodies.

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CM
Naples
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Our server was excellent; she offered suggestions regarding appetizers, entrees, and drinks, including descriptions about portion size, ingredients, etc, which were very helpful. We sat upstairs, which enabled us to have good conversation and coziness. The Sangria (both red & white) was AMAZING!!!

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PR
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Modiva was underwhelming. It was close-quartered, noisy and the food service was slow. We went there on a Saturday evening before a show. We got there at 5:45 and were served one tapa each before we left at 7:30. The server told us the duck breast was served quite rare so we asked for it to be done medium. It was served to us rare regardless. Our server told us they needed to start from scratch to remake it. Consequently, we asked the server to box it; we’d cook it more at home so we were actually served three tapas in that time. The street noodle dish was blah and uninspiring. How difficult would it be to serve a tasty little bowl of noodles with veggies? So, yeah. Not very impressed.

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AJ
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a great time here! Great food, great drinks, great service. Felt like I was outside of Milwaukee.

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SA
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Loved the sangrias, $5 on Monday and happy hour last all night! Perfect spot to unwind after work. We enjoyed the intimate setting! Service was great!

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G
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great shareable food along with friendly knowledgeable service!

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JE
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great cocktails, pleasant service, and delicious food. Highly recommend the olive board. Good octopus. Duck breast was cooked well but needed something (sauce...)

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BG
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We celebrated a birthday on our 1st visit. The service was excellent. Our waiter was very helpful in answering our questions and provided great recommendations. The atmosphere is casual and comfortable. The sangria is outstanding! All in all a very memorable experience. Would highly recommend visiting. (I wish that I had taken pictures as the presentation was beautiful!)

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M
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our table was diligently yet discreetly served by Calvin,who handled us with flair and humor,while
knowledgeably guiding us into tasty food choices.
Our food was complimented by reasonably priced wine, sangria, or craft cocktails . Everyone was pleased with their pick. Trust me, it's not common for this crew to have no complaints at all.
The GM, Chris stopped by to tell us the menu will soon get tweaked for winter and to let us know they're hosting a build your own sangria lab on the 22nd of September. Sounds like a plan!

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R
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was delightful, from the decor to the food to the service. Will DEFINITELY be back again.

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KN
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was our first time dining at Movida, and we really enjoyed it. Great food, great value, great environment. The sangria was delicious too. I would definitely go back.

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V
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food was average. Not a ton of tapas choices. We had a large group and did the unlimited tapas. Servers appeared annoyed at times. Overall just ok. Didn’t meet my expectations.

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TK
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved everything about this place. Food was the best I’ve had in Milwaukee in a long time. Service was impeccable.

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J
Milwaukee
7 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

We have been to Movida many times and had a positive experience. So, we selected it for a birthday dinner. Our waiter was poor at best. Having waitressed for many years, I have an appreciation for good service as well as poor service when it is the waiter's 'fault'. He did not check back with us regularly. He put in an incorrect paella order which takes 40 minutes to make. He did not bring us anything to eat while we had to wait. In fact, we could see him talking to a fellow staff member about our table as the other staff member kept looking at us and kind of smiling. I finally caught his eye and he stopped. The food was very good however one of our guests order a steak medium and it came out rare. When she asked for it to be cooked longer, they recooked it instead and still brought it out rare!!!! Really overall a bummer of a night.

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