Tico
Tico

Tico

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.ticorestaurant.com/
  • Phone: (202) 319-1400
  • 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
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
Tico reviews from OpenTable diners
331 reviews since July 28, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.2
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelEnergetic
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (192)hot spot (178)good for groups (161)neighborhood gem (124)vibrant bar scene (106)special occasion (65)great for brunch (64)romantic (38)late-night find (30)great for lunch (22)great for outdoor dining (21)scenic view (16)notable wine list (16)kid-friendly (8)Show More
  • Great experience
    goingouthealthydc
    Dined on 11/23/2014
    Went there for brunch with 3 other friends. The portion sizes were great, prices were reasonable, and we were all very happy with our food. It was a wonderful experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service was spectacular!
    RachelK
    Dined on 11/23/2014
    The food was really tasty (eggs were poached perfectly, thank you chef!) and very reasonably priced. We had a great brunch at Tico. What really stood out for me was that we had a misunderstanding about the bottle of cava that we ordered (we thought it was less $$ than it was). The server made absolutely no fuss about it, explained the misunderstanding in a very classy way and gave us the price we thought it had been. I was very impressed. I hope the tip we left was enough to say thank you.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • upscaled fun!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    My wife and I met up with two of our friends who rarely coming into town. We wanted to choose a place that gives them the experience of the continuing evolution of the 14th street area….Tico did not disappoint at all. Seating was perfect…spaced well so you are not on top of each other and distracted by other conversations. Service was excellent…attentive and team approach…did not miss a beat. Food was very good..small plates to share…thoughtful spicing and fresh ingredients that at first bite just tells you this is going to be a great experience, e.g., fried chicken tacos, two texture beef taco, spinach salad, crab tostada, etc. Before and during dinner were the cocktails…Hibiscus margarita, three the hard way (rum, ginger and apple), etc. Enjoy!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • solid food, somewhat pushy service
    DCdiner
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    The food was very solid. We enjoyed the small plates format and liked the sharing aspect. Cauliflower www definitely a standout. Our service was efficient, but definitely a bit forced. We were, pretty obviously, trying to catch up and chat and were met with several quick check backs seeing if we were ready to order. My guest and I felt forced to fire off 3 or 4 items to get the server to relax a bit. Which worked temporarily. It continued that way throughout the meal. Similar approach was shown when the check was dropped and at that time it became obvious she had been cut and we were the only thing standing between her and leaving. I get it, you want to leave, but please just play it a bit cooler next time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not worth a second visit..
    LizzieVIP
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    Had a great first experience at Tico but went back for a second time and food was mediocre and service was slow and rude. Took a while to be seated (even though we had a reservation), had to practically beg the waiter to take our drink order, our food order was messed up, and felt like we were rushed out of there - didn't even ask us if we wanted dessert (and it was my birthday!!). Very disappointed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Nothing special
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    It feels like a generic "fusion" hipster restaurant. The drinks were fine but a bit overpriced. Not a lot of food options and they were spectacular. I appreciate that the plates are designed to share with another person. The entire experience wasn't worth going out of you way for, but if you're in the area, it's worth checking out the bar.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • LocalDiner
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    Great food and great service. Interestign and unique brunch menu. Not your typical pigs in a blanket
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • An exquisite experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    The food is exquisite. Everything was fantastic. I've added this to my list of restaurants to bring visiting family members.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good American Food
    Yardape
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    I met someone there for their brunch. This is a busy bustling noisy place with lots of energy. The food was very good. Our waitress was very bubbly and friendly. The only issue I had was the management staff who continually came to our table interrupting our conversation over rediculous things like removing sugar packets from the table and asking how everything was a bazillion times. Geez people. Way over attentive. Because we lingered for quite awhile our new waiter started to get impatient with me about picking up the check. When I realized he was trying to close out the shift it was no problem. If he had explained that to me earlier he wouldn't have felt the need to be surly with me.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Taste buds are still dancing...
    twoeat
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Tico was on our must do DC list and we were not disappointed. My husband and I like to pace our dinner and wanted to try as many food items as we could. Our server Stevie was patient, informative and fun. Her suggestions were spot on and our only complaint is that our stomachs are not larger. We savored the Local Crab Tostada, the Crispy Manchego Cheese, the Shredded Cabbage Salad, the Sweet Corn and the Classic Shrimp and can happily recommend all of these small plates with the crab and the salad as standouts.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Vibrant and Fun
    AllAboutTown
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Great place for lunch and dinner! We have tried it get in numerous times but the scene is so packed that you must reserve at least a couple of days in advance. The staff are fun and friendly, and the food and drinks are wonderful. I highly suggest trying this place.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good spot to meet friends
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    With a warm atmosphere and cool decor, there's a good vibe here suited to getting together with friends. Food-wise the ceviche was delicious, but with other choices like Mac n Cheese, the menu felt a little muddled.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Chef's choice is the best option
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    I'm always looking for restaurants that offer chef's choice for a set price. We did the 'Kind of Hungry' option, and it was more than enough food. I love to be surprised about what will come out next, and all the dishes were amazing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice
    hungry14th
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    The portion size is very generous. I had the lamb and my friend had the salmon and both were very good. The whitefish ceviche was outstanding. The waiter was very friendly and attentive. Next time we will concentrate on the tapas. The ambiance is very warm and inviting.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pricey
    LoganCircler
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    The food was fair, and the drinks were above average, but overall, the food was far overpriced.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great!
    chewyVIP
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    Food was great! Service was great! Interesting, attractive decor! In spite of relatively large rooms and flat walls, the noise level was fine. We could hear each other talk without shouting. Customers of varying ages. The far brick painted wall is worth looking at closely as there are some faces that are not immediately apparent. One curiosity was that when we ordered 2 scoops of sorbet and one gelato from "Sorbets and Gelatos" the waiter said sorbets and gelatos don't really go together; they are really 2 separate orders. We assured him we would like it and inquired if that was an issue for the kitchen. He said not and cheerfully went to get them. They too were excellent. Guess he had never had a creamsicle
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Neighborhood Favorite
    EnjoylifeVIP
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    Tico has become a neighborhood regular for us. Our favorites: crunchy edamame tacos, roasted cauliflower & chorizo risotto. The hibiscus margaritas alone are something to look forward to. Food arrives quickly and the staff is efficient, polite, attentive and fun. We are always greeted with a smile and engaged in conversation as we are shown to our table. The setting is lively, but not so noisy you have to yell to be heard. Love the open kitchen concept. P.S. Thanks to the management for changing the cleaning solution used on the tables...there no longer seems to be that lingering odor we noticed on our last visits.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great new place
    DSDC
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    First time to this new place and food was excellent as was the service. One person is extremely allergic to nuts and they easily handled making some of the dishes without the nuts. On thing I noticed was that it was extremely dark in the front corner where we sat. We were right up front near the window. Yes it was 8 pm and I'm find with low light but we could not read our menus and needed to use the light from our phones. Small thing for an overall good experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • go to spot
    acmepaperVIP
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    our first time there and we will definitely return. went with a group of friends and probably ate the entire menu. don't miss the porron on the cocktail list. GOOD TIMES!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fun!
    CarenVIP
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Our first dining experience at TICO started out at the bar with Al where we started with hibiscus margaritas and proceeded to tasting mezcals and raicillas....too much fun. He was very knowlegable and steered us right. Food was excellent...green cabbage salad and the cauliflower were our faves! The two style beef taco, chorizo risotto, scallop ceviche, corn and la plancha shrimp were excellent too. Probably the only dish that I was a little underwhelmed with was the breaded and fried manchego with the pomegranate honey dip. Love manchego and love the dip...this just wasn't overly flavorful...may have been that particular cheese. Overall...fab experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Quite Pricey for Small Plates
    NotCsitsmaVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    The food was good, but the portions are small (even for small plates) -- and the prices are high.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    Tico is a rare find that combines absolutely amazing food with great service, a fun urban decor and a energetic crowd. We stuck to small plates that we shared. As it turns out, that decision freed us to try multiple items from the menu. We were thrilled with the flavors developed in each dish. We can't wait to make a return trip!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tapas are for suckers...
    lefthungry
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    The atmosphere of the restaurant is great and the service was wonderful. Perfect spot for a date. My issue is that the restaurant gets on the tapas bandwagon and doesn't really offer added value from a place like Barcelona or Jaleo. The food was actually quite good. I would recommend this place more for drinks than dinner. I also liked the brunch menu better than the dinner menu. Tapas just always feel like a Spanish word for "ripoff." You get charged regular price for appetizers. And the solution for the restaurant is "just order more." At the end of the night, you're either going to leave the restaurant hungry or refinancing your mortgage.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    The food we tried at Tico was excellent. We had the beef tacos, the cauliflower and the chorizo risotto. We would have stayed for more food but it was incredibly loud in the restaurant with a very distinctive music soundtrack that you could not ignore. However, the thing that stood out at Tico was the amazing service. The hostesses were very warm, our server was very laid back and helpful, a manager walked by and offered a genuine smile and even other servers greeted us. None of this was invasive, but made us feel comfortable. I would definitely try Tico again at a quieter time than Saturday night during the dinner rush.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice brunch
    ERD28
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Interesting decor and very good servers make Tico a favorite place for brunch
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great for groups
    Drew
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    had dinner here with group of 6 old friends and my 6-week old. Staff was very accomodating in placing us in a location where could put our baby and stroller next to us without being in anyone's way. Ambiance is vibrant but quiet enough that i could hear the conversation without difficulty. We must have ordered 12 or so dishes and very much enjoyed them all. There were a few standouts - the corn dish and the cauliflower dish were big hits. None of the 12 were even mediocre, which is hard to pull off with so many dishes. Great experience overall, will definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • SherrieVIP
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    The mac and cheese was outstanding! We didn't love the salmon ceviche, but we were happy with the fried calamari. Next time we will try a different ceviche.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great new spot
    JCJones
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Came here twice in one week for brunch and dinner. Service was excellent each time. Food was good and the drinks were yummy.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Trendy but expensive
    CJ304
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    They sat under the A.C unit i think, water kept falling from the ceiling
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A delicious combination
    Dlish
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    The food at Ticos is delicious! The food is a delicious, creative combination of Latin flavors and fresh ingredients. It's a bustling restaurant with very good service and nice ambiance. A must try!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Ambiance, Gluten Free Options
    gfdiner
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    An excellent date spot, or special birthday dinner with friends. Trendy place and food, yet also very approachable and delicious. The drinks were especially delicious. If you go on a nice night, they open all the windows for an open air experience. With 14th foot and street traffic right outside, it creates an exciting atmosphere. The server could have been more attentive, but when he was around, he was willing to help us and make recommendations (including gluten free advice). Overall, a great experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not worth the money
    SJHH
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Food was just OK, but I feel like there are a lot of high end mexican places in the area, and some cheaper, that have significantly better food. I just didn't see the value.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Tapas
    foodierooster
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    A friend and I did the "Little Bit Hungry" option where the kitchen picks several plates for you--totally worth it! We were stuffed (unusual for tapas) and every single dish was delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Everything Great But Service
    CPP322
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Saturday night first date. My date and I arrived and were sat immediately even though we were 15 minutes late for our reservation. However after that everything was down hill but the quality of food. We ordered a bottle of champagne which after 20 minutes never came and we had to ask. At which point our server apologized and said he had completely forgotten. That's okay its busy 1 mistake not a big deal. We ordered a bunch of food. About 45 minutes later tables which had been sat down next to us after we had ordered were almost done with their meals. So again we ask the waiter where is our food. The waiter walks away and comes back and says our ticket was lost, and proceeds to write down our order. Finally we get out food which was tasty.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Food & Service
    eat2livelive2eat
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Tico was recommended by a friend. It did not disappoint. The food was really good and the hibiscus margaritas were even better. It can get a little pricey, since everything except their entrees are small plates, but everything is very tasty.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Firts time
    JAMS
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    me and my friends decided to try tico for brunch, the food was amazing, the lovely lady bring me 2 type of hot sauces (really good) the margarita was tasty well balance but nothing exited bout it, I order the duck confit and green chile hash, was outstanding, I really enjoy it, abut the server a young lady, very friendly, but I was filling a little to much about her approach to the table, but she was ok I understand she is young, we will back.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing flavors
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    I had the chefs choice dinner. It was fantastic, amazing, the food was wonderfully spiced, perfectly prepared and I was totally amazed at the combinations of flavors. The golden beets were incredible, the most unexpected find of the night. The salmon cervice with mango was stellar. The chorizo was devine, the scallop cooked and spiced to perfection. Not to mention the bacon jalapeno corn and the mac and cheese which lived up to expectations. The tequilas paired with the food flavors so well I was amazed. This was the best surprise.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Kevin
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    The food was outstanding and the service was excellent. They offered an option that allows the kitchen to choose the tapa dishes for the table. I believe they had three options. We chose the one, "sort of hungry". Each dish was so delicious. I was celebrating a wedding anniversary so they gave us complimentary champange. I would highly recommend Tico.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • RrrrVIP
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    For the most part, the food was not prepared fresh. Very disappointing. Our server was very nice, but she tried to sell us on dishes that, frankly, tasted quite ordinary.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun night!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    The food and service were both outstanding. We were there to celebrate our anniversary and had a wonderful night - including a champagne toast from our waiter.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.