Espita Mezcaleria

4.5
226 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 Megan Barnes 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.

Food is the story of people. Espita is our story about the people we've had the honor to meet on our journeys and how they've impacted us.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Mexican, Regional Mexican, Tapas / Small Plates
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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–5:00 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, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Specials

Day of the Dead!

Come celebrate your family and community with mezcal, mole negro tacos, drink specials, and face painting (face painting on 11/1)!

Terms and Conditions:

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: November 1, 2018

Ends: November 3, 2018

Availability: Thu-Fri 5:00PM-10:00PM

Afternoon Happy Hour!

Enjoy our $3 happy hour tacos and drink specials every weekend afternoon. Fish tacos on the patio with a mezcal makes for a perfect day!

Terms and Conditions:

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: October 13, 2018

Ends: October 14, 2117

Availability: Sun 2:45PM-4:45PM
Sat 2:45PM-4:45PM

What 226 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
4.2
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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BB
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Great experience overall. Will go back for the drinks and tacos! The entrees for two are small and over priced.

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JW
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 1

Very noisy. Confusing layout of menu. Very small portions.

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CM
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 4

Service was terrible. Had to wait 15 mns for our reservation. We sat down at 8, and by 10 pm had only had 2 plates come when we had ordered 6-7 small plates. Ended up having to cancel and find dinner elsewhere. The food we had tasted great.

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GD
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to Espita Mezcaleria as a group of 6 for an early Sunday dinner. The food and drinks were all outstanding, from the salsas all the way to the entrees. Our table was definitely the rowdiest, but I think only because we dined on the earlier side. I would highly recommend and definitely plan to return.

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M
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

I was glad there was a vegan menu, but the overall food/experience wasn't worth the large price tag. The vegan menu items felt like the chef doesn't understand vegan food/taste combinations (there was literally such a large cut of broccoli, we didn't even know how to eat it). We kept having to ask for napkins and plates, which seemed odd to not have them in the first place. The drinks (I ordered several) all had an "off" taste. My friends felt the same way- my one friend came for the 2nd time and told me she hated it the first time, but was open to trying again. I do not feel that the price tags were worth what we got, I could have gotten the same items somewhere else. I travel every week, and have tasted far better in food and cocktails for much cheaper.

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AS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I ordered a dish from their "nut free" menu and when it arrived I took a small bit and knew immediately that there were tree nuts in the dish. I have a severe allergy that can result in anaphylaxis, when I consume any tree nuts. Thankfully, I had my epipen and was able to stop the reaction from getting out of control. The server and manager were very apologetic, they comped the meal. However, my night and weekend was ruined and it could have resulted in something much worse.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Food was good but took over an hour to arrive. We were given dessert on the house and staff was apologetic

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 3

Great food, great drinks, very rude hostess.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Wait staff was very attentive. Made me slightly uncomfortable at points.

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OT
Baltimore
12 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A quick dinner after an event at the convention center. An interesting menu with great choices.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

The drinks are memorable. You can have delishes mixed drinks, or if you’re feeling adventurous, do a mezqual tasting. Food is clean, fresh and innovative.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 4

Excellent food, good service, but a staff member made an unsolicited, unwarranted political statement for no apparent reason... It was weird. Don't need politics with my dinner...

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C
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

A great experience, minus the incredibly long wait time to get our food (45 minutes for appetizers and 1.5 hours for entrees). Good for a special occasion, but make a reservation and plan for it to take a long time. Pre-fixed brunch menu is delicious.

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JM
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a really enjoyable place. Lots of fun, terrific food, friendly and knowledgeable service people.

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J
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Espita has really stepped up its game. The mole is AMAZING!!

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c
New England
22 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Everything was just great from the our waiter, drinks to the food. We had appetizers to desserts and each was excellent.
Our waiter was so helpful and fun.
This is a must try restaurant.

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JH
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had a phenomenal evening. Food was fantastic. The service was quite possibly the best I've ever had (thanks again, Mac).

Cocktails are off the wall. I honestly do not know how they come up with some of these ideas... and they're all good.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Love the food and atmosphere. The service wasn’t the best. Long wait times.

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DC
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 2ambience 5

The food itself was great, however the service was a bit off. It took awhile to get the main course so we filled up on chips. We could not hear our server, which made it difficult to understand what she was saying. She kept getting confused as to who had sparking water and who had still water that we just asked to keep both bottles at the table to pour ourselves. One of us is a vegetarian and also allergic to eggplant so there was only one option for her (the fish tacos- which serves two people and is more expensive), knowing this was her only option our server still charged the full amount for two and didn't give her a half portion.

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W
Seattle
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent Food, Excellent Service, Excellent all around.

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MB
Washington DC
28 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Absolutely fantastic. Best mexican/latin food I have had in a long time!!!

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Y
Phoenix
12 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and the best service. Went for Sunday brunch and everything was delicious. Had the all you can drink special and loved all of the drinks and our server kept them coming. Food was very unique and delicious.

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P
Washington DC
51 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I had brunch at the Espita Mezcaleria. The food is fresh, light and deprived of the usual fat you find in Mexican restaurants in the United States. My only disappointment was about the drinks. The Modelo beer, in particular, is one of the most banal Mexican beers on the market. The drinks list, in other words, could be improved.

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AA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

go to place for consistently tasty, fun food. Love the art, decor, layout, theme. Definitely recommend.

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A
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 1ambience 4

I had dinner hear twice this month, since my last time (summer of 2017). The food was excellent both times but the service was mediocre for my first dinner and absolutely horrible second time. Th server never introduced herself, she left for the night before we were done, never transitioned is to another server. The new guy jay took over ( he was ok) but far from satisfactory. Although we were there about 1 hour total, the busser was rushing us.

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OT
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious good, great Mezcal choices and helpful waiter. Outdoor dining was great

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AW
Washington DC
41 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’m completely addicted to quality service, great food, and dedication to delivering memorable dining experiences. You knocked it out of the park and Luis is super fantastic at his job: every recommendation devoured; drinks were rediculously good; great pace for a relatively busy Friday evening. Highly recommend and we’ll definitely return to eat the entire menu this time!

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TM
Houston
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Tasty selection of food. Service was good. Area and building were very good.

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RV
London
2 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

My friend and I hit up Espita Mezcaleria for brunch on Saturday. We each got the prix fixe and were very happy with the food (fruit salad and the churro French toast for my friend and the avocado tostada and romanesco tacos for me; dessert is only one option - a light and tasty apricot mousse). Everything was outstanding, particularly the romanesco tacos which are a great vegetarian option! Wonderful Mexican food in a gorgeous setting!

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RB
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

We waited about 10 minutes befor we were acknowledged. Drinks were good, but arrived after appetizers. When the mediocre entrees were delivered one was not what we ordered. It was fixed, but the waiter was clearly not thrilled that he had to fix the issue. Pick another spot.

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NY
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Food was delicious. The service was amazing. Our waiter was a lovely guy who went out of his way to make our dinner perfect!

Only complaint. We sat outside and unfortunately became the victim of mosquitoes later in evening. Otherwise, everything was wonderful.

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f
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great Mexican food. Outstanding service. Noise level is high. Conversation difficult.

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SS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Have dined at Espita Mezcaleria several times and have never been disappointed. Food is just excellent as is the service. Only negative is that it can be a bit noisy but that shouldn't deter you from patronizing Espita Mezcaleria. The food is the star: imaginative, full of flavor right down to the green salad. Don't miss this one.

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OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Good mexican food

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SS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

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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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great for brunch!

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SS
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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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CS
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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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GK
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

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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