Tico
Tico

Tico

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.ticorestaurant.com/
  • Phone: 2023191400x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Opening daily at 5pm.
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: American, Latin / Spanish, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Executive Chef: Michael Schlow/George Rodrigues
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Dancing, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: U Street
  • Public Transit: We are one block from the 13th street exit of the Green/Yellow line"s U-Street/Cardoza stop.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: There is a lot across the street next to Black and Orange and we hope to add Valet Parking in the near future.
A word from Tico
TICO, an affectionate name for a local in Costa Rica, is gently influenced by chef/owner Michael Schlow’s travels to Spain, Mexico and Latin America, and was named one of the “Best New Restaurants in America” by Esquire magazine. The rustic space evokes a sense of communal dining with smaller, tapas-style options to share, offering whimsical dishes that creatively blend flavors from all over the world. TICO has a playful, inviting vibe as it boasts an open kitchen with six stools at the ceviche bar to observe the behind-the-scenes action. TICO offers an extensive beverage program including draft and craft cocktails, local breweries and wines from Central and South American, Spain and the US.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
  • Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
Tico reviews from OpenTable diners
199 reviews since April 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.2
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelEnergetic
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (111)hot spot (103)good for groups (83)neighborhood gem (79)vibrant bar scene (76)special occasion (54)late-night find (28)romantic (26)great for brunch (19)notable wine list (17)great for lunch (13)scenic view (12)great for outdoor dining (12)kid-friendly (5)Show More
  • consistent, good food/ambience
    lsal
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    menu was pretty predictable but everything was consistently good, service was good (not particularly excellent e.g. not fun/engaging, no good recos)
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice brunch place
    LenHVIP
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Went for the food, stayed for the food. Duck confit with eggs were excellent, open omlettes were well constructed. Coffee was good, drinks were interesting, but not repeaters. Could have used some bread basket of modest sort. Definitely a returner.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Jury's still out
    HungryLobbyist
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    They've created a buzzy, vibrant atmosphere with a creative menu. The dishes are well done (of note is the lobster ceviche) but we have been twice and both servers messed up orders and were seriously in attentive. Front-of-house is poorly managed, too, as we waited 35 mins at the bar despite having a reservation. Check your bill carefully! They added about $30 worth of food we never ordered the first time we went. It wouldn't take much training to turn around these personnel problems, and I'm hopeful these are still growing pains. Will likely give it one more shot for the cuisine alone though.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Food was tasty but not memorable. Reminds me of a lot of popular tapas restaurants. Ambiance and decor were edgy and hip.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tico's - Our New Favorite!
    EnjoylifeVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    The hibiscus margaritas were a hit with our party of 6. We ordered a pitcher and then by the glass (the later seem to have more flavor). The crunchy edamame tacos, crispy manchego cheese and roasted cauliflower were our favorite dishes. The sweet corn is quite spicy, and we found it best to mix with the risotto. Currently one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best fried chicken
    BaconRulesVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Very good food. Tico Nicoise was perfect!!!! The crunchy & spicy fried chicken is awesome!!! And I know fried chicken. I strongly recommend the Hibiscus Margarita. Yummy and not sweet!!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bueno
    happyc
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    The overall experience was really good, the service was great, the food was delicious, but a little overpriced for the quantity you get per plate.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yummy
    Ashley
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    Dinner was delish and so were the drinks! I will be back for happy hour
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Extremely LOUD
    CelticDiner
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    We enjoyed our meal. Avoid when crowded if you want to have conversation. The volume of ambient noise was high. That was our only issue with the place.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Dude, what the heck!
    WhyNot619
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    The food was good. It was a little on the pricy side, but dude - why not. Its worth it. The different ingredients went well together. The open sliding window was pretty cool.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • It's Good
    landia
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    The food was good, the watermelon prosciutto is soooo good. The service really good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Doc3VIP
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Excellent tapas, fresh, tasting unique. Wine list very good but dinner quite expensive for a more casual place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Hit or miss
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Roasted cauliflower, fried manchego cheese, and fried chicken tacos were great. Shrimp a la Plancha was pretty good. Chorizo risotto was meh, and 'peas peas peas' was basically peas with lemon juice (very boring, especially for a $10 dish! I don't know why our waiter recommended it...?!). Hibiscus margaritas were a little too sweet. The cookie plate was very good...the cookies are huge. I also thought this place was a bit on the pricier side -- there were two of us, and 4 small plates, 1 order of tacos, 1 order 'a la plancha', 1 dessert, 2 hibiscus margaritas, and 1 beer came to $130 including ~20% tip. Ouch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It was OK
    14thdiner
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    We thought that the food was pretty average compared to the restaurants in the surrounding area. It was quite pricey for what you got, and the flavors in some of the dishes were not the best. The food from "la plancha" was very oily like it had been doused in oil prior to grilling.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tico
    smithan6
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Tico is great for brunch. The menu is simple but delicious.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Favorite New Restaurant on 14th
    lekili
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    I have been to Tico a few time since it opened for dinner and have always had great food! Some of my favorite dishes are the shredded cabbage salad, kingfish ceviche, the crunchy edamame tacos and homemade chorizo. I also love the hibiscus margarita! This weekend I tried brunch and really enjoyed it! We had the duck confit hash, pork belly omelet and a side of corn with bacon and jalapeno. I would recommend them all! The brunch cocktails are very fun and inventive, especially the ghost of mary! Can't wait to try more dishes on the brunch menu!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fit for the foodie in all of us
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Great hotspot located near the U St corridor. Diverse menu sure to satisfy anyone in your group. We were particularly fond of the scallop ceviche, duck tacos and two beef tacos. The salmon ceviche was a bit "overcooked" for our liking and the fish tacos, in comparison to the others, were dry and lacked punch. The much lauded hibiscus margarita is just okay ($10 drink/$40 pitcher). We found the beer selection to be better and a better value. If you go much past 6 p.m. make sure you have a reservation. While this restaurant is still rather new (6/14), it already has a following.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another small plates winner
    otberburVIP
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    The cuisine at Tico is "Latin-inspired," rather than genuine Latin; little of the menu tends to resemble what is at other Mexican, Latin American, or South American restaurants. Nevertheless, the food was well prepared and generally quite satisfying. The most successful dishes I tried were a golden beets preparation (clearly more American than Latin) and one with grilled tongue. The latter dish, which was topped with a salad, had a distinctive flavor but avoided the chewiness and toughness I've found in other Latin tongue preparations. Tacos had high-quality ingredients but fell short of local taqueria standards. We sat near the bar, which is fairly noisy; seats near the windows on the far side of the room are likely quieter.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Family Rustic Style Fun
    JntDxn
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    We had an amazing waitress. She was fun and energetic and knew the menu as if she created it herself. I myself enjoy the small plate / share plate dining experience - but not everyone in my party did so make sure people know the central experience here is small plates. Also if you are a tequila freak - this is your place. The tequila menu was longer then the food menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Interesting but not memorable
    warriorwoman
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    Interesting menu but over priced. Some of the small plates were good but not memorable, some very average. Beer selection was subpar. Mixed drinks were good. Our server attempted to be pleasant but it seemed to be painful for her to wait on our table. She told our table that one of the menu items that we wanted to order was not available. When we saw the menu item being served to surrounding tables as we were finishing dinner the manager realized our frustration and tried to make amends. It may be a restaurant worth trying but read a few more reviews before making the effort to dine there. The final bill was high and did not reflect the quality of the food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Loved Tico
    ERD28
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    There's a lot to love at Tico. Interesting food, nice portions- not too big or too small; open kitchen; noise reduction panels over the dining room near the bar; enthusiastic smiling servers and bus boys who are obviously happy to be working there. The graffiti theme makes the rooms almost sparkle, big windows open out onto 14th Street bringing in the breeze but not the heat, close to Metro. It was fun watching the food for tables around me pass by- Can't wait to try the burger, the french toast or the "let the chef feed you" dinner based on how hungry you are! I went with friends for brunch but, I'll be back. Oh, did I mention the creative and delicious drinks??
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice Addition to 14th Street
    BGS1
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Great food - great service. We had a reservations at 9 for a party of 8 and we were seated right on time. This is a good restaurant.. I will go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tico - Best New Restaurant on 14th
    RobertVIP
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Tico is doing some of the most inventive and delicious Latin influenced cooking in DC. The service is great, the ambiance is terrific, the drinks are wonderful and it is reasonable to boot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great new addition to 14th street
    Mary
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    The food was amazing. Everything we tried was incredible - lb meatballs, duck tacos, octopus, grilled cauliflower, Serrano ham. Service was also very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good fun, great food
    Mookas
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    Excellent food in a vibrant setting that still allows for conversation. Sharing small plates gives a sense of the chef's range, but does add up to a pricey evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Exceptional
    NomNomNom
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    I live on 14 Street & have been to all the new restaurants. Tico is one of my new favorites! I cannot say enough positive things about it. Go, you will love it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Worth trying...excellent service...
    FabulousVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Good food, lots of energy but noise level too high at times for serious conversation. Would return without hesitation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tasty Delight
    EnjoylifeVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We chose Tico for a small birthday party celebration for 5. Great Hibiscus Margarita's. Glad we took the waiter's advice and got the pitcher. The food was served quickly and tasted great. Our favorites: the edamame tacos and roasted cauliflower dishes. The corn dish is deliciously spicy so some mixed it with the risotto. One of the cheese morsels was empty of cheese, but the waiter quickly replaced the dish with no questions. Our only suggestion for improvement: change the cleaning solution or towels used to clean the tables. We noticed a funky sour smell as soon as we sat down and was happy when the food showed up to mask the odor.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pleasant surprise
    smallplatecynic
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    I wasn't expecting much, as a lot of small plate kind of places seem to be a let down. But I was pleasantly surprised! The food was great - I tried several items with a friend. The staff was also very attentive!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tico - overpriced tapas
    Phillip
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Went here on a date night. Was really excited about a new restaurant. But frankly, tapas are starting to get a bit tiresome. Two of us spent $150 and we left a bit hungry. Some of the side dishes were a bit boring. We had a fancy sounding corn dish and it was corn with some bacon in it. I might consider going back for a drink, but they are going to have to work on their menu a bit. I should have known it was strange to walk in at dinner time and get a seat without a wait on 14th St.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • go to Barcelona instead
    KarlM
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    The food is fine; however, the service was very rushed. I got the sense that they wanted us to move along so they could turn over the table. Lacks the wonderful, friendly, lively atmosphere that Barcelona excels at. Go there instead. I know that's where I'll be next time.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not impressed
    DCEaterVIP
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    more "small plates" in a sea of small plate restaurants up and down 14th street. Doesn't anyone offer a decent serving size for a decent price anymore? I'm tired to being charged the price of an entree for a few small bites on a "small plate". The $13 ceviche consisted of 4 tiny bites and $12 was charged for two miniscule tacos. Four small plates and one beer cost $80. Ridiculous and outrageous. I will not be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very enjoyable but a little pricey
    KathleneVIP
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    Maybe it's because we so fondly remember El Paraiso, the hole in the wall that used to be in this space, but despite really enjoying the food (esp. the corn, peas, and softshells) we ended up feeling like the check was a bit steep for the overall experience. But now that we know how to order, we'll be back. And it's hard to resist that hibiscus margarita...
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Incredible Service
    Panda
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    We went here with a large group of girls as a last night out before two of our best friends left DC. The food was amazing and our waiter brought us complimentary cookies and milk at the end. He knew when we needed something, but also left us alone to enjoy each other's company. I will definitely be coming back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Welcome to the Neighborhood Tico!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    A friend told me that I just "had" to go to Tico. Enough said - 1 week later my husband and I made reservations and boy were we pleased. The atmosphere was energetic, the cocktails (especially the Hibiscus Margarita ON DRAFT), the fresh fare - were all simply amazing. My husband had the Prime Skirt Steak with veggies and I had the spicy fish tacos and cabbage salad. Both were tasty, fresh and we'd definitely order them again. With regard to ambiance: What's not to love about being able to people watch while sitting in a window seat on busy 14th St eating delicious food. Next time we're going to be a little more adverturous and try something on the "Can't Decide" section of the menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A winner!
    SuzieVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    We shared significant parts of the menu and EVERYTHING was excellent! The watermelon salad was fantastic as was the soft shell crab preparation specifically. Lots of great buzz in this restaurant coupled with seriously well prepared food makes it worthy of many more visits. Great addition to 14th St and an excellent alternative to Estadio (that we also love).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2001VIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Great addition to the neighborhood. Food was terrific and service was great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loved the food, loved Stevie more
    TsizVIP
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    The food was delish. Must get the sweet corn and the fried chicken taco. Don't forget about the cauliflower! But our server Stevie was my favorite part of the meal. She made us very happy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tico-my new favorite place
    Saabmom
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    We chose the 55.per person option for two. This was 5 small plates (chef's choice), 2 tacos (chef"s choice) entree to share and dessert. Food was fantastic!! This is not a Spanish tapa place but more an America place with a great twist. Great service! I drove in to meet a friend at 5 on a weekday. You cannot park in Reeves until 6. Website should state this.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    The lamb entrée is fabulous. Servers are very friendly and helpful. Very happy it's in my neighborhood.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.