Espita Mezcaleria

4.5
192 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Mexican
Top Tags:
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
Welcome to Espita. We’re about to take you on a journey through our experiences in southern Mexico. We are inspired by how innovative the culinary scene in Oaxaca is, attracting world class chefs to explore regional flavors and techniques while pushing the concept of what Mexican food is beyond tradition.

One of the first things you notice eating in Oaxaca and the surrounding states is the difference in the tortillas. At Espita, our masa program is at the heart of our kitchen. We use a traditional style molino to grind our nixtamal fresh every day to make the best tortillas available outside of Oaxaca. Beyond our masa, our menu explores several lesser known dishes that are native to the region like our Wagyu Apache or Tlayuda. We are excited to share with you how wonderful authentic southern Mexican food can be.

Additionally, we have additional walk in availability on our beautiful enclosed and heated patio if you are unable to secure a reservation.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Mexican, Regional Mexican, Latin American
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Hours of operation
Brunch
Sat, Sun 10:30 am–2:30 pm
Bar
Mon–Thu 4:00 pm–12:00 am
Fri 4:00 pm–2:00 am
Sat 10:30 am–2:00 am
Sun 10:30 am–10:00 pm
Happy Hour
Mon–Fri 4:00 pm–6:00 pm
Sat, Sun 2:30 pm–6:00 pm
Dinner
Mon–Thu, Sun 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm
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Phone number
(202) 621-9695
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Robert Aikens
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Private party facilities
Does your office party need more mezcal? Book your next event at Espita! With three distinct areas of the restaurant, we have just the right capacity and venue to make your event special. We can offer semi private events inside by renting out our front or back dining room based on party size, or if you want something more intimate and private, we have a beautiful enclosed and heated patio that is perfect for an evening cocktail party, year round! Please contact us at kelly@espitadc.com to get a quote and design the menus for your perfect event.
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Private party contact
Kelly Phillips: (877) 206-7111
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
N st. NW
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Parking details
There is street parking in the neighborhood or a paid parking lot at City Market at O, on 9th Street between O & P.
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Public transit
Espita is located conveniently in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC, across from the Convention Center. We are a short walk from the Mount Vernon Metro stop, and a quick walk from either Penn Quarter or Logan Circle, or a quick Uber/Lyft from anywhere in the city. Looking forward to seeing you!
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 192 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
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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2.0Dined 5 days ago

My main issue with this place is that it is wildly overpriced. The menu is very limited and expensive, they even charge you for chips/salsa. We ended up just ordering appetizers because the entrees were so pricey and nothing sounded worth the price. The appetizer tacos were tasty but nothing special and the ceviche was absurd. I've lived in Peru and I know good ceviche...this was a fruit salad with literally three SLIVERS of fish completely lost in a pool of pomegranate and orange juice. We didn't order alcohol because, again, the price, and we aren't big drinkers. But the menu for that was extensive so this is probably a bar more than anything. The atmosphere was nice enough, but I'll probably never go back.

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5.0Dined on August 6, 2018

Our server was extremely knowledgeable about the food and mescal. The food was excellent. The Monday specialty cocktail was tasty and refreshing. I would recommend this restaurant for a great culinary experience.

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5.0Dined on August 5, 2018

Great for brunch!

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5.0Dined on August 3, 2018

Excellent food. Was here maybe 2 years ago and thought it was good, but this time it was excellent. Apparently they have a new chef. Lamb chops were unbelievable. Our waiter, Luis, was very knowledgeable and provided us with great recommendations for both the food and cocktails. Will definitely return.

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5.0Dined on July 29, 2018

The food here is amazing - original, spicy, delicious. The service is terrific. We were lucky enough to sit outside, so it was quiet enough for a good conversation - it didn't seem noisy inside, either, as we walked through.

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5.0Dined on July 29, 2018

We sat inside and had the preico fijo menu, which includes an appetizer, main, and dessert. All of the dishes were very good, and the standouts in the group were the avocado tostada (beautiful), the french toast, and the huevos rancheros.

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5.0Dined on July 29, 2018

Great food and mezcal. This restaurant serves great mexican fusion dishes. Explore the mezcal cocktails they are great. Guacamole was excellent. We consulted our server to check about dishes. He was very helpful. We order various plates and shared. Our favorite was the chicken tamale. We tried the ceviche and tacos al pastor all very good. We sat in the terrace and it was great. Later the bar picked up and the ambiance was fun.

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5.0Dined on July 28, 2018

Great food, friendly staff willing to assist with ordering and discuss flavors / heat levels.

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5.0Dined on July 28, 2018

Their brunch food was amazing and creative and the drinks were delish!

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4.0Dined on July 28, 2018

Great experience if you want to try Mezcal - otherwise try another restaurant.

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4.0Dined on July 24, 2018

Great food, service, ambience and reasonably priced. Great margarita 😃

Took my 10 & 12 year old kids there early evening for food, they were very welcoming and good with the kids. At that time it was fairly quiet and fine for youngsters. They had never had Mexican food and loved what they ordered. This is more authentic and better quality food than a chain restaurant.

Would definitely recommend and will go back.

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5.0Dined on July 22, 2018

Killer mezcal cocktails were a great prelude to unpretentious but expertly crafted dishes inspired by regional Mexican classics. The Tlayuda was great, we loved the range of way-better-than-standard salsas you could order with chips, and the “Sunday dinner”chicken...a plate with roasted and fried chicken and an awesome house-made mole was a big hit. Super charming, knowledgeable, and professional server.

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5.0Dined on July 22, 2018

It's a great place. Good food selections, great drink selections and a cool atmosphere.

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5.0Dined on July 21, 2018

Great staff. Great food. Great mezcal. The mezcal team/management team was right on each choice. Best restaurant experience in DC in along time. Thank you!!

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5.0Dined on July 18, 2018

Good food! Definitely a good place to share dishes!

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5.0Dined on July 17, 2018

Everything was delicious! The only thing that surpassed the food and beverages was the service! I cannot wait to return to try the items I missed this time around.

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2.0Dined on July 16, 2018

We waited very long for the barbecue menu. It was slow and the food was terrible.

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5.0Dined on July 15, 2018

The food and drink were amazing! I typically am judgemental of places that have avocado toast. But, I'd order it again here. And the drinks! Oh dear. I loved how I wasn't committed to only bloody mary's or mimosas. I like trying things that I otherwise would not have tried. Because they let me switch between drinks, I know i"ll be back to order them on times other than brunch. The Coffee drink was great.

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5.0Dined on July 14, 2018

I had heard Espita was well-reviewed and went there for the $24 precio Fiji brunch menu (they don’t have a lunch menu) - and the three courses all exceeded my expectations. You can tell the menu was built mapping out the diners experience - went from crunchy and light to hearty to cool and sweet. Great ambiance. Overall recommend but regular dinner menu is quite pricey.

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5.0Dined on July 13, 2018

Delicious, fresh and several vegan options!

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5.0Dined on July 12, 2018

Espita was fabulous. An out-of-town friend and I met up there for dinner and set outside on the patio. The flight of mezcal was a great choice. Each of the three was very unique and tasty. The cocktail I ordered was a bit sweeter than I prefer, but still good. The food is where I was blown away. We ordered several of the starters, one side dish, and an entree. Everything was fantastic. Charred avocado, blistered shishito peppers, housemade heirloom corn tortillas, braised lamb and mole, habenero granita, smoked mussels -- the list of incredible individual ingredients goes on, and when they were combined with one another it was magical. I will definitely be back.

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5.0Dined on July 12, 2018

If you're a fan of the wonders we obtain from the agave plant, this is the place for you. Way beyond tequila, we're talking mezcal here in all its wonderful varieties, as well as some new on the scene offerings such as raicilla, which I think is only now coming on to the scene. The food was delicious and authentic, and if I lived in DC I'd be here once a week for sure.

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3.0Dined on July 11, 2018

I enjoyed Espita and have been here a few times. But I do feel the wait staff duped us into ordering way more food than we needed. We were advised to order an appetizer and entree for each person and to share them all. It was, however, WAY too much food (for a group of four). While I enjoyed the cuisine, it was a pricier meal than it needed to be, which leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

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4.0Dined on July 8, 2018

This was the first time I'd come to Espita Mezcaleria for brunch. The food was great, especially the guacamole and avocado tostada. The service wasn't great as we had to ask multiple times anytime we needed something.

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5.0Dined on July 8, 2018

This restaurant is one of my favorites! They have a really great deal for brunch. Food/service/atmosphere all excellent. Their mezcal list is epic, but I love the tortillas! Turns out they make their tortillas from scratch, so impressive!

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2.0Dined on July 8, 2018

The food was unimpressive and the waitress was not attentive. I will not return.

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5.0Dined on July 1, 2018

I visited the restaurant with my husband and friend for Sunday Brunch. Prices were a bit high- we each got the prix fixe and the boozie brunch. Food was great! Drinks were great! Taco portions were a tad small.

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3.0Dined on June 30, 2018

It is so loud in the restaurant it’s Nearly impossible to hear your table mates. The food was good not great - all of our dishes were worthy of a B not a B+. Good cocktails and wine though

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3.0Dined on June 30, 2018

The cocktails and mezcal selection were outstanding, but the food was just so-so for the price, and not worth the hype.

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5.0Dined on June 28, 2018

I had a horrid date, but thankfully the server was realized what was going and helped me get rid of the guy.

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5.0Dined on June 28, 2018

One of our favorite places in DC. Great care taken with everything--food, drinks, service. A great experience.

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3.0Dined on June 26, 2018

Good food. Great atmosphere. The food is just a bit overpriced for the portions and quality. The drink menu is spectacular.

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5.0Dined on June 24, 2018

Second visit, and Espita continues to provide outstanding food, drinks and service! Still the best huevos rancheros anywhere! And the list of mezcals is endless...ask the server for suggestions

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2.0Dined on June 23, 2018

Underwhelmed by brunch. Flavors were good but felt food was overpriced and underwhelming. Not impressed by brunch drink options either. Overall pretty disappointing and likely won't be making a return visit.

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4.0Dined on June 22, 2018

As a lover of mezcal, I was disappointed with the drinks. The food was better than average but not great. Service and ambiance, however, was great. I’ll go back and give it one more try.

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5.0Dined on June 17, 2018

We have been here for dinner a few times, but this was our first brunch. The Avocado Tostada and Churro French Toast were amazing. The fixed price menu was a good value. The waitress was very thoughtful. We will definitely return.

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4.0Dined on June 16, 2018

Food was flavorful; service and staff were courteous and attentive.

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4.0Dined on June 16, 2018

After a successful birthday dinner with friends, I had two main impressions of Espita Mezcaleria.

The first is that the establishment puts great care in the sourcing and preparation of food and drink. The mezcal list, if one is into that spirit, is quite impressive. (I found that while my mezcal margarita was quite well made, I really prefer my margaritas be made with tequila.) All the food -- down to tortillas and chips, as well as my seafood items and veggie accompaniments -- is first rate. And our server did an excellent job of explaining the menu -- and the restaurant's sourcing practices.

All of which brings up my my second overriding impression -- the pretension level of the establishment, if not through the roof, is quite formidable. Mexican cooking can involve elaborate presentations. But that's not what is served here. Much of the menu is essentially devoted to artisanal tacos. And while the tacos are excellent -- and worth the premium prices -- a good deal of what is served here is essentially street food with a healthy dose of attitude.

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4.0Dined on June 5, 2018

Innovative contemporary Mexican with tantalizing textural and flavor profiles🌺Roasted cauliflower with hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds was Amazing ‼️

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5.0Dined on June 1, 2018

We were happy with the food and the drinks. Service was accommodating. Probably don’t need music on top of the Din already in the place

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