Espita

4.5
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442 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

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Looking for a good time without a ticketed dinner? Go ahead and skip the tasting menu. Bring in your New Year with our famous selection of mezcal cocktails, bubbles, and DC's best tacos.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

What 442 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
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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DD
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cool place, delicious food, awesome waiter. Definitely recommend!

RR
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Dined at Espita in early November and left a review. The owner contacted me to ask for feedback and I gave a fairly detailed and honest critique. Returned a week later and found that my feedback had made a difference. I've never had that kind of experience before. Espita is definitely on my go-to list for my next business trip to DC.

R
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was my fifth time earing at Espita, and my boyfriend were easily able to remember each of the four times before: where we sat, who we were with, and what we ate. We love this place. ALWAYS order the ceviche. Every time we've been, they've had a different take on mole on the menu, and it's always delish. And the tacos are always great. I'm writing this review after drinking two flights of mezcal (Mezcal Mondays are the new Taco Tuesdays), but I promise the sentiments are true.

SP
London
12 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had dinner on the magical patio last night and had the pork shank. Do not miss this dish, not that everything on the menu isn't wonderful. Tom Sietsema recently wrote something to the effect that Espita is not new but still good. I plan on holding my next event on the patio.

NB
Tampa
4 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of our favorite brunches in DC! Food and drinks amazing as always

Espita
Responded on November 7, 2019

Hi Nicole! Thank you for such a kind review! We love brunch as well. If you haven't had the opportunity, stop by after brunch is over. We have one of the best afternoon happy hours in the area from 2:30-6! Hope to see you soon! Cheers, Kelly

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love Espita! They ask you about allergies ahead of seating you. Delicious food and incredible tacos.

S
Washington DC
31 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Cool place with a good menu. Would be nice to have customised guacamole as it wasn’t spicy at all. The tacos were good! Ceviche was delicious with a slight kick!

FF
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Best restaurant guac I've had! The tacos were delicious, but small. Very good ceviche (with watermelon if I remember correctly).The kale salad had a nice Caesar dressing and spicy granola which made for a really nice texture/flavor burst. The mole negro with the strip steak was perfectly cooked and very flavorful. All that and one or two other things I'm forgetting, plus two rounds of cocktails/tequila fed and lubricated three people at a very reasonable cost.

L
Frankfurt Area
5 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

A favorite in the past but this visit had a server who oversold and lukewarm food.

NZ
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience4

I appreciate the waitress replacing my meal after I found a hair in the food, I understand that that happens sometime. However, my guest and I were celebrating his birthday which I indicated in the reservation - that was not acted on which was extremely disappointing. We will not be going again unfortunately.

SL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Great food and friendly service. Glad we chose to have dinner at Espita during our stay in DC.

SW
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The shrimp tacos were delicious! Wish that more sides were offered other than the frijoles.

TA
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience5

This was an amazing restaurant. I had to avoid a few options, because of the nuts that may have been present in the meal. I honestly wanted chicken, but they could not make something alternative for me. I wish they were able to omit the nuts in some of the dishes, but I will stay clear next time.

Overall great spot, and amazing prices. Our server was amazing.

Espita
Responded on October 7, 2019

Hi TaiwoA Thank you for leaving a review! If you would like to try our chicken tamal, with a day's notice, we can absolutely prepare one without the mole manchamanteles (which includes nuts) for you. Unfortunately the tamales take about 2 hours to make from scratch so it isn't possible to make a nut free one on the fly. If there are any other allergies or dietary restrictions you have, but a dish you have your heart set on, just give us a heads up and we will make it happen for you! Cheers

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JW
Denver
39 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Very loud. We were seated next to a group of 8 that were having a great time. Unfortunately they were so loud that it was difficult to hear. The restaurant is designed to be loud but a large loud group on top of the design made it difficult to carry on a conversation. Food was excellent as was the service.

D
Washington DC
32 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall2food2service5ambience5

The good - had the cashew salsa and the civeche...both excellent. Then we had the shrimp Diablo...it was terrible, it left a horrible taste in our mouths and was overcooked. I was quite disappointed, I really thought it was going to be great. We will prob try again, hoping the main dish was just a bad night.

OT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Enjoyed my time here. The service is great and the food is fresh. Definitely going back.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall1food2service4ambience2

Better off somewhere else. Food was meh and drinks were small.

r
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience4

Really good food. Waitress wasn’t very attentive

SA
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience4

The margaritas are amazing!! The food is really good and perfect to share. We did the taco Tuesday deal which was perfect for a quick dinner since we all had work the next day and didnt want to go nuts. Would definitely be fun to go all out and do the prix fix menu. I'll be back for that

CC
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service and food were fantastic.

OT
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were on a double date with friends, it was a bit hard to hear each other and have a conversation but either than that everything was great: the hostess, server, drinks, food, ambiance, etc.

J
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Recommend the guacamole and chips. Vegan options - eggplant tacos and mole - were good. Enjoyed the outdoor patio.

r
Raleigh
241 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall4food4service4ambience4

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

b
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
16 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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.

SG
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience4

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
Overall4food4service4ambience4

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
Overall3food2service5ambience4

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
Overall2food4service1ambience2

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
Overall2food4service4ambience1

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
Overall5food5service4ambience4

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
2 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food, unique drinks, and nice atmosphere

PT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Delicious food and take on Mexican cuisine

LM
New England
11 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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!

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