Tico

4.5
950 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
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.
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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
American, Latin / Spanish, Latin American
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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.
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Phone number
(202) 319-1400
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Michael Schlow/George Rodrigues
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
U Street
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Public transit
We are one block from the 13th street exit of the Green/Yellow line"s U-Street/Cardoza stop.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Dancing, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Private Dining

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

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What 950 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
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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m
Washington DC
73 reviews
Dined 8 hours ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

New chef is amazing. We’ll definitely be back!

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RL
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I made reservation for 7 and needed to change it to 9 plus 2 kids. I called and left a message, but no one called me back. Fast forward to the day of and they were more than accommodating and polite to us when we needed to move to a larger table. The service was phenomenal and the duck confit green chile hash was amazing. Even the coffee was good and the bottle of champagne that came with the $25 bottle for mimosas was a decent bottle of champagne.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Worst service I've ever had and the place was not even at full capacity. Tapas are supposed to be fast. We had to wait 30 minutes for the first dish and another 10 for the second. The tacos were cold; it's like our server forgot to bring them when they were ready. It's a shame they tasted good. We were starving while waiting for our food and drinks so finally got our server's attention and asked for chips; who serves stale chips without salsa? Also, how much time does it take to get us a Corona? I wanted to complain to the hostess on our way out but no one was at the door.

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E
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to this place twice and they were exceptional! The service was amazing. I would definitely reccomend this place to anyone who likes mexican and american food! They have both.

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EB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 4

Service and food were great, but it's much overpriced.

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JN
Washington DC
41 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

We used to love the food at Tico. Something's changed. It's just not what it used to be.

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great churros for brunch! Also try the passion fruit mimosa-

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

Tico offers a varied menu for brunch that features both Latin American-influenced dishes as well as more traditional brunch items. Among the three of us dining, we had the soft scrambled eggs, the caramalized banana French toast and the 14th Street frittata. All was very satisfying. To top it off we did the $25 mimosa which includes a bottle of sparkling wine and a choice of two juices. We went with mango and orange juice. It was worth the visit on a rainy Sunday morning.

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MA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Our whole party got the Spicy Fried Chicken -it was good! I thought it was a good portion size, but some of the men thought it was on the smaller side. I will definitely go back!

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K
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing. I recommend the ahi tuna and the churros. Our waitress was fabulous, she answered all our questions.

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d
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Our waitress was fantastic and accommodated our dietary needs ( no diary). However we did wait for our first drink for a while. Otherwise a great dinner.

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place was so much fun! The drinks are definitely pricy, but very strong. The food is reasonably priced and delicious! The patatas bravas and nachos were amazing. The crab tostadas were small, but very tasty. The service was wonderful. I would definitely recommend Tico for a night out.

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JM
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

The menu here has changed pretty significantly in the last few months, and not for the better.

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J
Washington DC
33 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Although we live only 3 blocks away, we hadn't managed to try Tico until this past weekend. We loved it. All of the food was delicious. And the drinks were tasty, too.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Service was quite slow, and they recently hired a new chef, who removed several favorites from the menu including the pork belly appetizer and replaced it with pork belly quesadillas. Not the same. Restaurant was quite cold tonight, even though it was muggy and rainy outside. Not the experience I’m used to from Tico.

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J
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious meal with excellent service. Thanks so much to General Manager Justin for an excellent night!

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j
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My daughter and I always enjoy Tico. The food is tasty and the staff is so nice!

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a
New England
77 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Came in for dinner after moving my daughter into school. The food was terrific and all the staff ...fantastic! They were all so friendly and accommodating.

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HS
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Food was so-so. Wings were promised to be very spicy, but they had no kick at all. The calamari and cauliflower were pretty good.

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AH
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice local. Outstanding service! Excellent food and drinks.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Food was mediocre and it was pretty empty

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NF
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Food was great, but service was borderline harassing. It's one thing to check in on a table every 20 minutes or so, but our server made his intention to rush us through and out the door to flip the table all too apparent.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Staff was great and made my 13 year old birthday girl feel welcome and special. Guacamole was fine, but nothing really special, and once you’ve had chips right out of the deep fryer, it’s hard to go back. So, I’d skip that appetizer. The calamari On the other hand, was delicious! Two highlights were the fish tacos and the shrimp tacos—Nicely balanced hot heat on both and fish and seafood was fresh and delicious.

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GG
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

This was my 4th time to Tico and I have enjoyed it every time. The cabbage salad is a MUST. I could eat it daily. I would strongly recommend doing the tasting menu for a special occasion.

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HE
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Great fun! The queso was weird - melted cheese in a cast iron with peas...but the nachos, drinks, and tacos were delicious!

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C
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great value. Awesome service and great food. I like the atmosphere and location.

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R
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 2

The noise was the problem.

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RB
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 3

All very good except too loud, but not so much to keep us from returning. Also, the waiter was very slow in bringing the check and returning to pick it up (it was very late when we finished).

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AM
Nashville
12 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

Service was extremely slow. Food is way overpriced for quality - it's good but not great and especially not at their prices. Same with drinks. Although it's beautifully decorated I will not go back.

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RJ
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Tico is a solid place to eat, however, it lacks diverse Latin menu options. Only a few taco choices, which forced me to choose what they had and not a variety.

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IQ
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

My friend and I enjoyed the experience. The staff was amazing, and the food delicious. My only complaint is the noise level. I asked for a quieter table. We could talk, but the noise level was still too high. I think older people would have a hard time.

Still, the food, atmosphere, and friendly staff made the experience at Tico worthwhile. I’d go again.

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AF
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Ordered the pork belly quesadilla, which was pretty good. And had one beer. Overall, it was a good experience. However, it sucks that the happy hour deal only applies to the bar and not if you’re seated. Doesn’t make sense but oh well.

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OT
Orlando
64 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I decided on this restaurant based on the reviews and the fact that I was taking my family here. For my daughters who are 9 and 11 years old it would be their first tapas restaurant. I’m not sure they will ever be able to go to another tapas restaurant again and not compare it to this place. Every single item was exceptional. Over the top food quality and over the top service with an exceptional wine menu and drink menu. I think the tuna tartare was the greatest appetizer I have ever tasted and not even the most exceptional restaurants compare. I will be coming back this restaurant again and again

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T
Savannah
4 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Couldn’t find another reservation same-day on 14th so decided to try Tico and was not disappointed. The food was fabulous and the atmosphere was perfect for a double date night - fun yet romantic. Service was impeccable. The Tres Leches topped off the night.

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JS
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was great. Drinks were delicious. Our server was excellent.

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great time! Our server, Dennis, was amazing! We come to TiCos a lot, but he made it extra special for our birthday person :)

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G
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our favorite places to visit when friends are in town! We love to do the “kind of hungry” and are surprised with new flavors each time.

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EM
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Really expensive for what it is... If the food was INSANE and the atmosphere and service matched then ok. This seemed like a happy hour or late night drinking spot and food was not the priority but priced like it was. We asked for recommendations and got the original of oysters (not even the type). Example: 2 fish (tilapia- gross) street tacos (small and alacart) were $14

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MD
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had an excellent time and delicious meal. All day happy hour on Monday was a plus. We have been going to Tico for a few years and notice the service slipping and the menu boring but there seems to be some delightful changes. New chef and excellent servers. Bravo!

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AO
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great.

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