Espita

4.5
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420 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
Driven by a quest to surface authentic flavors and techniques, Chef Rob Aikens and Beverage Director James Simpson are constantly pushing their teams to research and create. They fuel their creativity with inspiration from their many travels to Mexico, bringing home memories and people they want to honor with their food and drink.

We specialize in Oaxacan cuisine seen through the lens of the Mid-Atlantic. You will not find traditional Oaxacan dishes here. Instead you will find authentic Oaxacan flavors and techniques applied to the beautiful seasonal bounty of our region, creating a unique experience only available here.

Join us in our dining room, bar, or terrace!

Our lunch concept, Espita Loncheria, is open Monday through Friday with no reservations required.
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Private Dining

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Specials

Happy Hour!

Half price Mayahuels & Margaritas, made the right way, $6.50 Highballs, and discounted Tacos. Come join us in the bar, our dining room, or relax on our heated patio and have an afternoon snack. See our website for our full happy hour offerings.

Terms and Conditions:

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: April 11, 2019

Ends: April 12, 2118

Availability: Sun 2:30PM-6:00PM
Mon-Fri 4:00PM-6:00PM
Sat 2:30PM-6:00PM

$3 Taco Tuesday!

DC's best tacos for only $3 each all night long! Come taste the difference that authentic corn tortillas make.

Terms and Conditions:

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: November 4, 2018

Ends: November 5, 2117

Availability: Tue 4:00PM-11:00PM

Mezcal Mondays!

Enjoy DC's best Mezcal list at half price. Rare pours, flights, or even just our house Espadin, the whole list is available for you to explore and enjoy!

Terms and Conditions:

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: November 4, 2018

Ends: November 5, 2117

Availability: Mon 4:00PM-11:00PM

What 420 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
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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r
Raleigh
236 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve been to Espita before, a few times. I thought it was okay. Tonight was different. Tonight it was superb. They’ve added a 3 course prix fixe menu, and it works well. The ceviche is excellent - *very* highly recommended. Both the Camarones and the Tamale were delicious entrees. My wife and I had one or the other. The next time we come, we’re flipping. And the churros are different (black?) but very tasty. Love the cocktails based on mescal. Eat outdoors if at all possible. And enjoy. Espita is a delight. Excellent service, too, I might add.

a
New England
3 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great service and affordable option on menu to choose a three course meal. Great to pick and share.

b
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

5-star service. Great for catching up with friends or dinner after work. The staff was excellent and knowledgeable and the food was amazing. Great DC spot.

JG
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love this place, and the knowledgeable service staff! Always a nice experience. Also excited to see they've added a prix fixe menu option that I'll definitely be taking advantage of at some point so I can eat that incredible churros dessert again, like on my birthday. Highly recommend.

B
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Went for Sunday brunch. We arrived as they opened and were fortunate to be able to sit on the patio. The music inside the restaurant was way too loud. Our server was great and provided the right mix of attention without being intrusive. We split the guacamole which was excellent. My friend had huevos rancheros which he enjoyed. I had the chicken and waffles which was overpowered by chipotles. The syrup was chipotle, the butter had chipolte and the breading on the chicken had chipolte. It was just too much. Thank goodness our water glasses were never empty.

SM
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a super great meal during restaurant week, so it was also a good deal. The options for vegetarian/vegan are somewhat limited but what I had was delicious. Only complaint is there wasn’t any sort of protein - they would benefit from adding another veg option with beans or soy chorizo. Otherwise super tasty and the house margarita had a smoky spice on the rim! I would go back.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

It has always been one of my favorite paces. But, no longer. The quality has decreased and the menu is tired. The passion seems to have decreased. I hope it finds itself again.

DL
Houston
63 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

It was pretty good. Our server could have been more attentive. The lamb roast was good but utterly flavorless, whereas the chicken tamale was quite well seasoned. The churros were odd. Not at all what we expected.

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

Very nice interior and great service. The food however was a real disappointment. The price point for what you actually get was way off. The Carnitas tacos were very good. The lamb and the eggplant tacos were bland and a bit of a let down. Great cocktails were what made the meal and the subsequent bill palatable.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 2

The server, if we even had one, was totally absent. A different person greeted us initially, many minutes later a whole different person took our order, then never came back again.

MA
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 4ambience 1

I have excellent hearing but the noise level at brunch on Sunday was completely off the rails. It totally ruined my dining experience. The pounding music only exacerbated the situation. I will not be back.

JG
Tallahassee
11 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We love this place - the food and drinks are excellent. It is loud though - we were happy that the hostess managed to re-seat us in the back, where we could hear each other talk without vocal distress!

KM
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Espita not only has great food but also has amazing staff. I had a very special request for them and they came through in the best way! Definitely recommend the boozy brunch!

JZ
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, unique drinks, and nice atmosphere

PT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely evening to sit outside and had great service & conversation with waiter, Michael! A great girls’ night out!!!

LK
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had a blast I will come back always want more chips!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Delicious food and take on Mexican cuisine

LM
New England
9 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food that manages to be comforting and sophisticated AND beautiful. Astonishing complexity and inventiveness in every bite. Excellent cocktail program, designed by someone who clearly knows agave spirits well. Barbacoa was the star of this meal, though the Tamal was nothing to sneeze at. Beautiful food and drink!

S
San Antonio
3 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Not a huge selection of entrees but excellent flavor combinations in appetizers and entrees. I live in San Antonio, so I eat at a lot of Mexican restaurants. I would call this one upscale Mexican.

BN
Washington DC
40 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

Place is trendy and has a buzz. Service was good though you have to constantly ask for water refill. Overall food quality was interesting not the standard Mexican fare. But portions are small and most are overpriced. FYI example small plate ceviche at $16 was spicy with only a few morsels of seafood. Fish tacos was ok. Chicken tamal (big plate at $19) was more like a taster menu. Disappointing!

OT
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Authentic, very yummy! Service was amazing!

RR
Tahoe
3 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Food and drink were good but not outstanding. Nothing special about the space and the Friday night crowd was a bit noisy. Staff was excellent from hostesses to servers, bartenders, and bus.

L
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

I think the noise level was the main problem for me. Quite a bar scene and had to yell to have a conversation over dinner. That distracted me from my food, which was good - just would have been a lot better if we had been able to converse easily.

CA
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Date night

D
Minneapolis
19 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A friend and I sat at the bar for dinner. The bar tenders are knowledgeable about the drinks, of course, but also about the food. We asked them what to order, and they steered us well. I’m a big fan of this place. Fun atmosphere too.

s
Chicago
31 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The tacos we had for Taco Tuesday were delicious and great value at $3 a piece. Get the carnitas taco! Happy hour margaritas at half price were in smaller cups, about half the volume so you get what you pay for. Though they were still good margaritas. Decor is cool, and there are misters outside for those hot and humid days. Definitely recommend!

D
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 2ambience 2

I requested a table for an anniversary, despite it being a Sunday, and put in a note on the reservation. No reference was made to the anniversary by staff and we were sat in the middle of a busy section when other areas were empty and much quieter. Our table wasnt level, and even after asking the waitress she couldn't get it perfect. Within 10 minutes of arriving we saw another couple get seated in the quiet area and were a bit disappointed. The food itself was delicious, but expensive. An entree with one tamale is hardly an entree, and I think portion sizes could be bigger (thats coming from a 155lb male). All in all, I'd go back for drinks and appetizers, but never for a serious meal.

DC
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food and outstanding service. I would highly recommend this restaurant, especially for brunch.

SP
London
10 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love dining at Espita! There is always something new on the menu. Look for their carnitas this week and follow up with their chocolate tostada on the patio.

MF
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every time we come to Espita the entire experience manages to be better than the time before - everything from the service to the food is fantastic.

SS
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My wife and I had brunch on the patio. even though it was a VERY hot day the misting system kept the space very comfortable. Our server Michael was very attentive. We don't drink due to dietary constraints, so we could not enjoy the cocktails. The Agua Frescas are wonderful and refreshing. The tacos are the best in the city. Highly recommend. Vegetable and Quinoa bowl as well as the fruit salad are real treats. We will return

RO
Nashville
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came for brunch. Excellent food, prepared beautifully. Good drinks - tasty and not watered down. Great wait staff. Will definitely be coming back!

RC
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

This place has just some of the most delicious fresh tortillas and guacamole. It's a bit unfortunate that in 98 degree weather, the hostess decided to seat a very frequent customer and my baby in the very far end of the outdoor seating hallway where we were in direct sunlight and no overhead fans to be seen. I was also joined by my friend with her 6-week old baby, and it suffices to say our waiter was so aware of our seating he kept filling our water glasses. I had made the reservation way ahead in time, and requested a high chair in the special requests line. As I walked in I'm asked if I need a high chair and it was dragged all the way through the restaurant while I was walking behind them, I wish they had read so they could plan in advance seating and my daughter's seat. Great food and server, Mike went above and beyond.

TH
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

This place is hoppin'! We went for Happy Hour on a Friday around 5pm the mai tre de & the server asked prior to seating & ordering. I saw vegeterian & vegan options of the menu. This is not just a "chips, salsa & guac" joint!

SP
London
11 reviews
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a magical night on the patio at Espita. The food is creative and delicious. Don't forget to order one if their cocktails.

MK
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Birthday trip for my 11y/o daughter and our first time to DC. Food was amazing. The fact that she ate and enjoyed a wagyu crudo tostada brings a tear to my eye. Thanks for a memorable meal.

Espita
Responded on July 10, 2019

Hi Matt, Thank you for choosing us to celebrate your daughter! The wagyu crudo is one of our favorite dishes, so we also get really excited when children enjoy it. Thank you for such a nice review! Hope to see you on your next visit. Cheers, Josh Phillips

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

Espita is a place I’ve been multiple times. The past two times have been disappointing mainly due to the service. When a server greets you after you’ve been seated for a few minutes with, “Are you ready to order?” Something is wrong. How about, “Hello, my name is _______. I’ll be your server. Can I help you with your order?” When the most courteous words come as the.check arrives, it makes it seem politeness is only about a forthcoming tip.” The food was once very high quality but has diminished some. I’ll go back but not if the trend continues downward.

N
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

It's hard to rate noise level, because we went on a Sunday, post-brunch and pre-dinner, so the place was very empty. We got the happy hour specials - delicious mandarin highball! - and it was pretty good value. The drinks were good, the fish tacos were good, as was the veggie taco. We sat at the bar and the bartender gave us very good service - for some reason it took forever for the tacos to come out, so he gave us an extra fish taco to make up for the wait.

OT
Birmingham
3 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

It was good

SM
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great brunch! They are serious about sustainability and staff can speak knowledgeably about the different ways they restaurant is walking the walk. They are committed.

Beyond that, the food is amazing and the two times my friend and I have been here, the staff was very friendly and engaging. The chicken and waffles are ridiculous.

We have eaten at the bar and outside, we enjoyed both locations, they have a great patio.

Highly recommend and will be going back, for sure.

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