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.
Washington, DC 20018
American, Latin / Spanish, Tapas / Small Plates
Hours of Operation:
Happy Hour 4-7 Monday thru Friday in the bar.
Dinner begins at 5 daily.
Last reservation at 10:30 during the weekend and 11:30 Friday and Saturday.
Saturday and Sunday Brunch 10am-3pm.
$30 and under
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
We are one block from the 13th street exit of the Green/Yellow line"s U-Street/Cardoza stop.
Michael Schlow/George Rodrigues
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Dancing, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
Tico has a fun, sexy atmosphere, delicious and unpretentious food, amazing cocktails, cold beer, lots of tequila, cool music & people watching. Always a good time! Conceived by Chef/Owner Michael Schlow, Tico is American at its core, influenced by travels to Spain, Mexico, and South America
Tico Ratings and Reviews
While the food was phenomenal with plenty of options that are reasonably priced, Tico lacks in adequate customer service. When I called to change my reservation the host was rude, abrupt, was not listening to everything I was saying, and hung up the phone without saying good-bye (basic conversation skills). Upon arriving, the waiter was polite and took our orders but it would take forever to flag him, or any of the waiters down. The decor is very nice, it is always a plus to be able to see the kitchen from your seat, the food was very tasty, but management should take greater concern in improving customer service.
Second trip here and again, the service was incredibly slow. We waited for over 15 minutes before we were greeted by anyone. Even after that, no refills on coffee and no one checked in. The food was good and the brunch deal on mimosas is a great value. I love the vibe here but not sure if I’ll come back.
The food was excellent and the service was simply wonderful. Our waiter was so attentive and caring. We had the tasting menu and he put together a balanced scrumptious supper and always aware of my friend’s lactose intolerance. My passion fruit dessert was the perfect ending. Awesome. The manager was also wonderful. You feel like everybody is part of a team. The gentleman who cleared the dishes was also very fine . Dishes were timed well, we had to be somewhere by 7.15pm but we were not rushed. Definitely coming back with more folks.
It was a random pick, close to where we needed to be and we were most happy with the meal and the evening.
Tico was very hit or miss. Starting with the good: our server was friendly, attentive, and quick. The drinks were creative and refreshing. Some of the dishes were excellent and kept us going back for more, such as the pork belly sliders. However, other dishes fell flat or were just so lackluster given their potential--the olive guacamole, while good, lacked any hint of olive and may as well have been normal guacamole without the upcharge; the fried fish tacos had no real crunch; and the duck tacos were just a dull mouthful with soggy cracklings. Would go again but try other menu items to hone in on the gems.
I was not impressed with Tico. The food was mediocre and came out very quickly. We were completed with our entire meal within 25 minutes. The staff was very nice but I didn't really enjoy the meal. We had the salmon ceviche which was very watery, the shrimp croquettes which were good, the fried manchego cheese which did not have a great sauce, the chorizo risotto that had an odd gravy with it, and a golden beets salad which was our favorite. I will probably not be returning to Tico.
Love, love, love Tico!! The food is always amazing and the service spot on. We’ve been eating there for several years now and it is consistently perfect. I’m a Vegan but my friends aren’t, and the chef never ceases to amaze me with the tasty dishes he sends out.
We had a very disappointing meal from a restaurant we have liked in the past. Appetizers were fine, but the beef in the lomo saltado entree was very tough--apparently an inexpensive cut. It was cooked medium rare so toughness cannot be blamed on overcooking. After the meals were brought to the table we did not see the server again until he brought the check, so sending the meal back to the kitchen was not a reasonable option. We will be reluctant to return to the restaurant, at least in the short term.
We are regulars to Tico. The food always is good (that's why we keep coming), but on this occasion the service was really bad. We had to constantly flagged our server so she can pay attention to us and we could order more drinks, food, dessert, etc. We were only three people and for the price we paid the service was very poor.
I was invite a friend that I don’t see for long time so I want take her for brunch in a special place, affordable and good food so we decided go to TICO and we don’t regret!!
It was excellent and so tasty the food!! So fresh!! Plus we have a great time and service was very helpful! Definitely I will recommend this place!
We chose Tico based on the outstanding reviews - so maybe we hit it on an off night. The food was interesting but extremely spicy and we usually like it hot! It is not a restaurant for children as there is really nothing on the menu for them except mac and cheese and a $15 burger. We ordered tacos for my son but they were too spicy for even my husband to eat. The service was very good and the restaurant is very nice but as far as our meal - I don't think we will return.
Super tasty! All of the dishes we got were great.
The portions were bigger than I expected - we ordered 3 plates and a taco order for 2 people and we were completely stuffed.
~$100 for 3 small plates, a Taco order (two tacos), 2 beers, one delicious hibiscus margarita, and tip
Wow I loved it here! I was so happy with the atmosphere it was not noisy at all. The wall art is truly amazing as well! I came here for brunch with my friends and loved every minute of it. We were all happy and satisfied with what we got. The food was fresh and tasty! This was so so good! I would come back in an heartbeat!
We chose the $35 per person combination. Super choice. We were served a couple of things we would not have thought about ordering and every dish was absolutely great. Our server was perfect and dishes were well paced. The house margarita was excellent and not your standard. This is definitely worth a return visit. Yum.
Located a few blocks from U street metro, Tico has amazingly fresh food made in a fully visible kitchen. I enjoyed the tacos which very flavorful and had a nice variety of textures. Had a business dinner with two startups while eating there for the first time. Highly recommend if you want something tasty and different than any chain restaurant. Great service. Not a huge menu, but plenty to pick from depending on your tastes. Make a reservation to be sure you get a table if you have a group.
Our waitress was fantastic, really great service, but I must say the food was not that good for the price. There are better tapa restaurants in the D.C. area around the same price, but are significantly better. I would come here for drinks rather than food.
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