Tico

4.4
985 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
TICO by James Beard Award-winning Chef Michael Schlow offers modern American cuisine with Latin American and Spanish flair. The cool, hip 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

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What 985 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
78% of people would recommend it to a friend
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KM
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

A friend and I went to Tico on a random Tuesday night. It was quiet, with many open tables. There were two main problems: service and food. Service: After we ordered a bottle of wine for the table, it took 25 minutes until it arrived at our table. Our server also couldn't be found when we wanted to order food. Food: We ordered 6 small sharing plates for the table. Most were good, but the shishito peppers tasted like a sour patch kid. There was too much citrus/lime and we puckered out faces every bite.

I've been to Tico many times and have enjoyed those times. But this instance isn't one of those. Not sure when, if, I'll be back.

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M
New York Area
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 3

I normally really like Tico, as I have been here a handful of times now, however, I found the service on 1/12/19 evening (my bday dinner) to be subpar. At first I thought it was perhaps an isolated case of just our waitress being in a bad mood or something, but throughout the meal, we both found the whole wait staff to be inattentive and overall just unsatisfied to be there. They completely forgot my friends drink, and when we pointed it out to the waitress, she never checked back if everything was OK. I am not sure I want to return here again, because it definitely was not worth the money.

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OT
London
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely fresh food with excellent service - our Australian dollar made it a bit expensive but a wonderful meal none the less. Amazing sweet corn and cabbage salad. The churros recommended for dessert were delicious

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Consider revisiting the menu offerings and pricing to ensure that both are more appealing to your customer base.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Waitress was awesome and they have a great staff there.

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TJ
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Loved it! The drinks aren’t amazing but food and service are top notch. Definitely coming back..

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RA
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Decent food and fun atmosphere but somewhat pricy and feels rushed.

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RM
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I wasn't sure that I would appreciate the prefix menu but it was an excellent experience! The wait staff were very kind and fun and the food was pretty spectacular. I highly recommend.

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AB
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I booked this restaurant as a place to celebrate my best friend's birthday and it did not disappoint. We ordered a bunch of small plates and shared pitchers of the hibiscus margaritas. The food was good, but the drinks were great! The margarita pitchers were STRONG. You definitely get your money's worth. Beyond the food and drinks, the service was superb. Our server was very attentive and gave my friend free wine for her birthday. I would definitely visit this place again.

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OT
St. Louis
7 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Delightful! We enjoyed the all-you Can eat brunch with two friends, their child and our baby. The staff was kind enough to bring a plain scrambled egg for the baby, upon request. Service I gave only 4stars because or table had to ask for and wait for coffee refills several times.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful night, and attentive service.

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HW
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 1

the waiters kept reaching over us in the middle of our conversation to clear dishes and then stacking dishes on the table. This was not just one person but multiple. We were interrupted repeatedly and I found it incredibly annoying. Read the room people. Read the room. ugh.

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

The food was pretty good here. The guacamole and drinks were tasty. The pork taco was really good. And a number of the small plates were good. Favorite dish was the churros. So good.

Our waiter was not very good at describing how small plates work to the folks in the group that aren’t familiar. She also left us and a new waiter who was really good came but just for dessert. Also the staff that cleared plates didn’t speak or ask us to pass our plates their way - they just stood at the end of the table with their hand out until we realized they wanted us to give our plates to them. Super weird way of clearing plates.

Overall i would go back for a snack and a cocktail but probably not for a full meal. The service was really something to be improved.

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w
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 2

Tico used to be one of my favorite brunch spots but upon arrival we learned that they had changed the menu to unlimited tapas for $29 - and not a single tapas we ordered was near the quality of their old menu.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waiter was phenomenal! Would definitely recommend Tico brunch to a friend!!!

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M
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Good margs! Small portion sizes for the price but nice ambiance ✨

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing expedience! Food was delicious and fast, service was superb and it wasn’t too loud. 10/10 recommend and will be back!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Waiter was very nice and efficient. Extremely small portions. Left hungry and was annoyed about how expensive it was all considering. Won’t be back.

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s
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tico is my favorite restaurant in the U Street area. The food is fresh, the plates are generous, and the offerings are unusual and always tasty. I have visited several times and will continue to do so.

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r
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Helpful staff! Always a pleasure to celebrate special occasions there.

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OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Food was good. Drinks were even better. Seemed quite a bit overpriced for what you get.

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OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a six person Sunday brunch. Best brunch ever! It was non-buffet all you can eat/drink with amazing dishes and bellini’s margs, bloody’s. So delish. The people that work there are the best, too. It’s got a hip atmosphere. I will return there the next time I’m in DC for sure!

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G
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

This place had so many good reviews but everything I tried was disappointing. I had the spicy pork tacos, the fried chicken tacos, the wings, and the mac and cheese. I'm not sure how you mess up wings but they found a way. The mac and cheese was okay though.

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BA
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Tico is a lot of fun, has great food and good cocktails and wine list. The service here was great. The waiter was fun and made a lot of suggestions without being pushy. The hibiscus margaritas are really good-though obviously sweeter than regular margaritas. The food is mostly tapas/ small plates, though there are individual items as well (hard to have a hamburger as tapas!).
The menu changes, so there is some seasonality. Right now they have fired shisito peppers which are wonderful-only slightly spicy.

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OT
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Great food ruined by noise. Could barely hear my friend sitting right across from me.

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KK
Washington DC
41 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

Disappointed in our latest visit to Tico. The first tapas to arrive we hadn't ordered, they allowed us to keep it but it wasn't very good, a squash dish. My husband ordered the roasted cauliflower but got the cauliflower tacos, he didn't finish them. The squash soup was good. My shrimp taco's were drowned in basically siracha sauce. And the cheese fondue was just gooey stringy cheese with some good flavors but hard to eat. We had three different servers which indicated confusion as to who was our person. Overall, the wait staff was very nice but too much confusion, and the food just wasn't that good.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Amazing ! We had the bottomless $39 brunch. Got every option over the course of 2 hours. Make sure to order about 3 items at once. The freaking bloody mary was the best i’ve had in dc yet!! 😍😍😍😍😍

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T
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

One of my favorite places. However tonight the service was absolutely the worst I’ve experienced in my life. Extremely slow, unprofessional, and the restaurant was empty, not busy. Bar service and food service terrible. Staff was getting high in the restaurant and patrons could smell it!

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NC
Washington DC
72 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I have eaten at Tico many times and was very disappointed in my last visit. The new menu selections have been substantially reduced from the previous menu. The portions are very very small. The small dish of calamari was dry, overcooked, and rubbery. When we mentioned this to the waiter, he was oddly defensive. At the end of the meal he stated that he talked to the chef who said that when we come back next time, it will be better. That was an odd way to handle the situation, but thanks to the chef for agreeing it was bad! When the waiter asked if we wanted to order more food, he rudely raised his voice at us when we were trying to decide and respond to him. I have never experienced such a rude action by a water. This turned us off and we decided to leave and get more drinks elsewhere. Then there was such a debacle over the bill. We were billed for a drink we did not order. It was his mistake that he brought a wine nobody ordered. He took our 2 credit cards and said he would remove the charge. However, when the credit cards came back, it was evident he charged us for the wine. He went back and voided the charges and brought new credit slips to sign that were $4 higher than the bill. I will never find out if the calamari will be better since I won't be returning.

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N
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went to Tico on Halloween, early-ish, before going to a performance at the Lincoln Theatre. It was empty because it was early, but you could tell they were ramping up to have big crowds later. (There were lots of staff waiting around without anything to do. That happens sometimes.) The service was excellent and the food was yummy.

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JS
Washington DC
35 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Tico serves amazing margaritas, and pretty good everything else. It's a bit pricey, though (the usual "small plates" approach: plate is 50% the size of a normal plate, and 125% of the price). Our server was friendly and knowledgeable, although service in general wasn't great: had to ask three times for refills of water glasses, empty plates piled up on the table, etc.

In general, I'd go for happy hour and a small plate or two.

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FC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 3food 1service 5ambience 5

The service and ambiance were both great - the food was nothing to write home about. We ordered fish tacos and calamari which were both pretty decent. We also ordered a mezcal flaming cheese dip-dish which, once the fire dissipated, just tasted like microwaved shredded cheese. The Sangria and my cocktail were both good.

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c
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I've never felt dining at Tico was a mistake. Good food, good service. I've had fun every time I've been there!

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P
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We trusted the chefs choice and were handsomely rewarded. Each serving was outstanding. The preparation and results reflect great thought and understanding of flavors and taste. This restaurant should be strongly recommended by anyone that experiences it.

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B
Savannah
10 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Celebrated a birthday with some great tapas style food.

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m
Washington DC
76 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
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
3 reviews
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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