Food Reviews

Review: Bodega Highlands (Spanish Brunch & Tapas)

Bodega by SABOR Highlands Edmonton Brunch Sapnish Tapas

One of my favourite restaurants in the city is Bodega! It’s run by the same duo behind the wonderful SABOR seafood restaurant – Christian Mena and Lino Oliveira, so you’re guaranteed a great experience. 

They have two Bodega locations: Bodega Tapas & Wine Bar downtown (10220 103 St.) and Bodega Highlands (6509 112 Ave.) over on the east side of Edmonton.

(They also have a third spot on 124 Street coming soon!)

Bodega by SABOR Highlands Edmonton Brunch Sapnish Tapas
Bodega Highlands by SABOR located on 112 Ave and 65 Street.

Bodega specializes in Spanish tapas – real delicious Spanish tapas.

Tapas are typically savoury, shareable appetizers, small plates. 

Both Bodega locations offer the same tasty tapas, but Bodega Highlands also serves up Spanish brunch on Saturday and Sunday! (Which is an important brunch distinction- restaurants that serve brunch should serve it both days of the weekend, don’t you agree?)

I recently tried Bodega’s beautifully plated, filling and delicious brunch, then came back just a few days later for a most excellent dinner! I would highly recommend either meal.

Spanish Brunch at Bodega

Bodega by SABOR Highlands Edmonton Brunch Sapnish Tapas
Like brunching in Spain!

There are a ton of options for brunch in Edmonton these days – lots of new and old spots, lots of great ones (and many of which I still need to blog about!) A lot of these brunch spots, while great, generally serve up a lot of the same (because, brunch is brunch).

Bodega is a wonderful break from your typical brunch experience! 

Bodega by SABOR Highlands Edmonton Brunch Sapnish Tapas
Inside Bodega Highlands.

For our brunch, Mike and I were joined by our friends Vanessa and Marcel.

(Vanessa is actually well on her way to becoming the city’s brunch queen, she’s Instagramming her brunch adventures at @becausemimosas and tries a new brunch spot each weekend!) 

Bodega by SABOR Highlands Edmonton Brunch Sapnish Tapas
Migas con Huevos, sauteed bread crumble and bacon with two fried eggs and beef sausage. ($15)

I ordered the Migas con Huevos, sautéed bread crumble and bacon with two fried eggs and beef sausage. ($15) The yolk was super runny – just the way I like it. Bread crumbs, bacon and sausage are also a combination I’ve never tried but definitely would again. And the salad was a nice touch because I don’t typically, intentionally order salads (especially for brunch) so this felt like a good health balance that I didn’t even ask for, lol. 

Bodega by SABOR Highlands Edmonton Brunch Sapnish Tapas
Just as tasty as it is pretty. Huevos a la Flamenca baked eggs with chorizo, serrano ham, potatoes, vegetables and tomato sauce ($15). 

Vanessa had the Huevos a la Flamenca baked eggs with chorizo, serrano ham, potatoes, vegetables and tomato sauce ($15) and thought it was really good (and so, so pretty! Like its name!) 

Bodega by SABOR Highlands Edmonton Brunch Sapnish Tapas
Francesinha Portuguese baked sandwich with edam, sausage, ham, beef tenderloin, chorizo, fried egg and a special sauce! ($15).

And Mike and Marcel both tried the Francesinha Portuguese baked sandwich with edam, sausage, ham, beef tenderloin, chorizo, fried egg and a special sauce ($15). The review from both of the boys was that this was a very hearty sandwich, and the beef tenderloin was an especially nice and totally satisfying touch. They basically slurped up the sauce too, which Mike said was tomato-soup like, and amazing. 

Bodega by SABOR Highlands Edmonton Brunch Sapnish Tapas
These $6 Patatas Bravas are a must order.

There’s some select tapas you can order during brunch hours too, so Mike and I obviously had to get the Patatas Bravas fried potatoes with spicy garlic aioli ($6) and Roasted Pork Belly ($9)!

Bodega by SABOR Highlands Edmonton Brunch Sapnish Tapas
Get in my belly pork belly.

Very crispy pork belly, and flavour-packed, delicious potatoes (however there only two pieces of pork belly for the $9 price, which isn’t as good value as Bodega’s other tapas selections, which I discuss below!) 

Tapas Dinner 

Bodega Highlands Edmonton Tapas Restaurant
A Spanish feast!

For Bodega dinner, my friend Gina and I shared a bunch of dishes!

That’s what I love about tapas, you can order so many different things, and get a great variety of food, lots of different textures and flavours. 

Bodega Highlands Edmonton Tapas Restaurant
Excellent Braised Boar Cheeks ($9).
Bodega Highlands Edmonton Tapas Restaurant
Amazing Grilled Artichokes! ($6)

We tried Bodega’s Grilled Baby Artichokes (which are quite possibly my favourite artichokes in the city!), Patatas Bravas (again, because they were so good at brunch I couldn’t pass them up at dinner) and Eggplant Spread (we put heaps of the spread on our crostini- staff was sweet to offer us more crostini too!).

Bodega Highlands Edmonton Tapas Restaurant
Bacon-Wrapped Dates stuffed with Manchego Cheese ($8).

We also had the Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Manchego Cheese (a perfect blend of sweet and savoury), Braised Boar Cheeks (which were very tender and flavourful, though perhaps a touch too salty) and Fried Piri Piri Dusted Calamari (which was pretty good but actually probably my least favourite of the rest of the dishes, which I thought were all stand-out!)

Bodega Highlands Edmonton Tapas Restaurant
Eggplant Spread Crostini ($6).
Bodega Highlands Edmonton Tapas Restaurant
Fried Piri Piri Dusted Calamari ($8).
Bodega Highlands Edmonton Tapas Restaurant
Angus Skirt Steak with Chimichurri ($12, but this was complimentary for Happy Hour!)

We absolutely loved our meal! Everything was so good, and for the most part, I thought the portion sizes were very fair. Out of all the tapas I’ve tried there, the pork belly we had at brunch seemed like the smallest portion for the price (two pieces for $9) but some of the other tapas, like the braised boar cheek (four pieces for $9), bacon-wrapped dates with cheese (four pieces for $8), and grilled artichokes (many pieces for $6) felt like great value. 

We didn’t have the charcuterie board but I *love* charcuterie and have had it during previous Bodega visits so wanted to include that in this post as well as a great order if you were leaning more towards charcuterie and bigger plates (which they do offer – including paella and risottos). 

Bodega Charcuterie Downtown Sabor Edmonton Restaurant
Most excellent board at Bodega.

Side story (to show just how much people love Bodega): While I was waiting for Gina at dinner, this sweet old man named Bob started talking to me about how much he loves the restaurant! Bob told me he visits Bodega Highlands 2-3 times a week and doesn’t even live in the neighbourhood! He loves it that much.

Regulars are the best. 

Whereas with typical Spanish tapas you go into the meal with the expectation that you’ll be sharing small plates, with brunch, at least at Bodega, the individual portion sizes are quite hefty so no need to share those!

In terms of service, anytime I’ve been to Bodega, the service has been stellar. Both locations have great vibes, and the Highlands location in particular has a really cozy feel to it. (It’s a very cute brunch spot!) 

In terms of space, both Bodega locations aren’t massive but Bodega Highlands is certainly larger, with a lovely backyard patio too. 

I should also add that Bodega’s wine selection is stellar, but as I don’t drink wine – that plus is lost on me (but not for wine lovers! Gina loved the red wine she was recommended. I couldn’t tell you what it was called though lol). 

Majesty and Friends - Edmonton Highlands Shop Local
Before or after brunch – visit Majesty and Friends!

If you’re at the Highlands location, you should spend a bit more time in the lovely neighbourhood. Visit Majesty & Friends, a local boutique shop that carries a lot of awesome products like cute cards, Edmonton clothes, soaps and more, and Mandolin Books, a used book store that’s been in the neighbourhood for over 15 years (since i was a junior high school student in the area!)

There’s a lot of brunch and tapas spots in town but Bodega ranks up high in both of these categories, with awesome food, atmosphere, service, and solid price points.

I was pleased my half of my dinner with Gina was just $23 – for all those dishes we tried! If you go during Happy Hour you also get a complimentary dish from chef! And for brunch – all the mains are $15 (and as I mentioned, big portion sizes!) 

So have you been to Bodega?

What did you think?

Linda

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Linda Hoang is an Edmonton blogger who writes about food, travel, lifestyle/events and pets. She’s also a social media/digital specialist with a journalism background. Linda is in love with her city and loves exploring and promoting Edmonton and other places she visits with her husband Mike. Linda is also the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival (and has 2 cats herself, along with 2 dogs).

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3 Comments

  • Carrie Hamilton

    I love the Highlands Bodega (which is just across the river for us)! It’s such a sweet restaurant and the food is delicious. I have to say, my favourite tapas is the piri-piri shrimp, so good! Haven’t tried brunch there yet, but definitely will go before the year ends. Thanks for the wonderful review… now I’m hungry. :)

  • Gina

    Though I know you aren’t a wine gal, I thought the wine I had was also great!! <3

  • Lisa Nguyen

    I love Bodega!!!! I didn’t know they had a second location! Thanks for sharing!

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To enter, do two things: 
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El Cortez is a super cool Mexican kitchen + tequila bar just off Whyte Ave @oldstrathcona. The restaurant/bar specializes in traditional Latin food with a modern twist. Their tasty menu features tacos, tapas, gourmet street food, and Latin brunch. They are one of just 9 establishments in the WORLD to be certified by The Tequila Regulatory Council (so their tequila offerings are legit). They also have amazing decor and an overall wicked vibe - like when I say it's super cool I mean this place oozes cool. Check out the funky graffiti-style wall art and the crazy-lit bathrooms. El Cortez is always a good time. They just launched their new winter menu too so be sure to check it out, PLUS - on Tuesdays its half-price tacos!! 🌮 They’re also currently running a holiday gift card promotion! For every minimum $50 gift card purchased, El Cortez is donating $5 to the Humane Animal Rescue Team @hartedmonton! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
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Mondays can be hard. Ramen can help! 🍜 Today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻 is a $50 gift card to @yegnoodles!! Eat all their delicious noodz. 🍜
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 5 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
The Prairie Noodle Shop takes Japanese ramen and infuses it with flavours unique to Alberta. The team behind Prairie Noodle Shop tested the market with a series of ramen pop-ups before opening their 124 Street location. This prairie-inspired ramen is one of the best (and certainly one of the most unique) in the city! Try their NEW winter menu which includes beef and curry bowls, the return of their 🧀 bowl, and new small plates & beers! 🍺 Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
* * UPDATE * * The winner is Jerb2 from Twitter! Thanks for entering everyone!! .
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  • 🎁 DEC 3 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
On Sundays, we brunch! 🍳🥓🤤 That’s why today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻 is Brunch for Four to @xix19! (valued at $120!)
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @xix19!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 4 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
XIX Nineteen offers simply great food. Head Chef Andrew Fung is one of my favourite chefs in Edmonton. Must-orders on their brunch menu: their crispy chicken & waffle (pictured), their five spice bao benny, their Moroccan meatball tagine, and their banana bread french toast. On their regular menu - XIX Nineteen’s signature Ahi Tuna Twists is a must!! XIX Nineteen has two locations - one in Terwillegar south Edmonton and one in St. Albert. Give it a try if you haven’t yet! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
* * UPDATE * * Congrats to @gingergolovely of Instagram, winner of Brunch for Four to @xix19! Thanks to everyone who entered. Watch for more giveaways! .
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#yeg #yegfood #edmontonfood#exploreedmonton #lindorksgiveaways #yegxmas #yegchristmas #edmonton #edmontonchristmas #holidays #festive #festivities #hohoho #merrychristmas #xixnineteen #xix19 #chefandrewfung #terwillegar #stalbert #stalbertfood #brunch #sundaysareforbrunch #sundayfunday #brunchbrunchbrunch #chickenandwaffles #bubblewaffles

LINDORK