Casual, lively and playfully Latino, Bodega is one of the most hard-to-book restaurants in Birmingham. The secret of its success lies in its combination of novel food, buzzing atmosphere and a killer drinks menu.
When Bodega opened its doors back in 2011, there wasn’t really anywhere else to go for a quality South American street food experience. Bodega’s moreish menu of burritos (£6.50+), nachos and must-have sweet potato fries (£3.75) were the hook that pulled in the Brummie crowds. Before we knew it, we were tucking into delicious Brazilian fish stews and more.
The atmosphere is also key – step into Bodega on a Friday night and you get a buzz of excitable young professionals letting off steam, and the jaunty beats of salsa and samba on the sound system. It's trendy but not pretentious.
The drinks menu is the closest you’ll come to backpacking around Latin America without a passport. Start off in Mexico with a Pacifico beer, or one of many tequila-based cocktails. Then make your way down to Brazil for a festival of cachaca – the sugar-cane-based spirit that forms the basis of cocktails like the Raspberry Caipirinha (£6).
Imported beers like Cusqueña take you into Peru, Chile and Argentina, and Cuba is well-represented with a series of rum-based cocktails.