Tico

4.5
930 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top Tags:
  • Fun
  • Tapas
  • Good for a Date
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 930 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
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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3.0Dined 2 days ago

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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5.0Dined 3 days ago

Nice local. Outstanding service! Excellent food and drinks.

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4.0Dined 6 days ago

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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4.0Dined on August 10, 2018

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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4.0Dined on August 7, 2018

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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5.0Dined on August 5, 2018

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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5.0Dined on August 5, 2018

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

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4.0Dined on August 4, 2018

The noise was the problem.

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3.0Dined on July 29, 2018

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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3.0Dined on July 29, 2018

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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3.0Dined on July 28, 2018

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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4.0Dined on July 27, 2018

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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4.0Dined on July 26, 2018

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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5.0Dined on July 24, 2018

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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5.0Dined on July 21, 2018

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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5.0Dined on July 21, 2018

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

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5.0Dined on July 21, 2018

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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5.0Dined on July 20, 2018

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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3.0Dined on July 20, 2018

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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5.0Dined on July 16, 2018

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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5.0Dined on July 15, 2018

Everything was great.

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5.0Dined on July 15, 2018

Went here for brunch and it was delicious. We got the duck confit with chipotle hollandaise and the roasted salmon tostada both were presented beautifully and tasted amazing. Would definitely come back.

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5.0Dined on July 15, 2018

We were two couples getting together to celebrate a birthday. Met for early brunch ... 10:15 a.m. ... on a Sunday. The restaurant has a very interesting and colorful decor with an open and airy design. As we sat ... for almost two and a half hours (and no one hurried us) ... the place filled up and still felt comfortable as well as lively. Very nice vibe. We sampled only the brunch menu. All of us were very pleased with dishes that included frittata, pancakes and duck comfit. The coffee was excellent and churros with a caramel cream sauce, chocolate bits and strawberries made for a nice finishing touch. The service was friendly, informative and attentive. Our friends were staying in the neighborhood around the restaurant, we drove in from Rockville, MD. It was well worth the drive and we are already planing another visit so we can sample the dinner menu.

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5.0Dined on July 14, 2018

Hostess was really rude upon arrival but the rest of the experience was great!

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4.0Dined on July 12, 2018

Dennis was our waiter and he was amazing! Cauliflower tacos were amazing and i don’t like cauliflower!

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5.0Dined on July 8, 2018

Really good time and good food

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4.0Dined on July 8, 2018

Our brunch at Tico was very good. I had the breakfast burrito, and the eggs and sausage were on point. There was a slight delay in the delivery of our food, but the manager comped us a bottle of champagne. That made our wait very bearable indeed.

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5.0Dined on July 7, 2018

Fun atmosphere! Good food. Our server Erica made sure we had s great experience!

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5.0Dined on July 6, 2018

Tico never disappoints. I bring out-of-town friends here all the time and have never had a bad dish. Their flavors are both familiar and a little bit different. The service is great. Their Rose Sangria is SO delicious. Highly recommend!

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3.0Dined on July 4, 2018

I didn’t feel that the food was particularly good, given how expensive it was. The tacos were small and I didn’t really like the mixture of flavors.

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3.0Dined on July 3, 2018

The A/C was broken the whole time we were there and it was extremely hot. Very few fans around the location and the server didn’t even offer complementary non-alcoholic drinks. The manager was very friendly though and offered cold wet towels, but they could have done more to make people comfortable

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1.0Dined on June 30, 2018

We had to walk out, as we have been tempted to do on many occasions, as we are seated and not offered water or even get menus. We were seated for 10 minutes with no waiter even addressing us. It was extremely hot outside and I had to flag a staff member to get water for me & my husband. I asked for a waiter and that staff member said our waiter would come soon.

The many times we go for brunch, the food always takes a very long time.

We have kept going back as the food is good, but not the service. We will take our business to the many competitors in the area who have both great food + service

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4.0Dined on June 28, 2018

A bit noisy, so we asked to be seated in the rear, which was quieter. All tapas, drinks (esp pancho negroni), and wine were excellent. Erica, our server, was terrific and treated us to two desserts for the three of us.

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3.0Dined on June 27, 2018

They messed up our order and then tried to make up for it by bringing a dish with pork in it which neither my companion nor I eat. Nice service staff but mediocre food

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5.0Dined on June 22, 2018

My wife and I have been to Tico several times. It has always been great The food and service are very consistent. This is why i chose it to have our anniversary dinner which was also our first night out without our baby. They did not disappoint!

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5.0Dined on June 17, 2018

Exceptional service. Quick food delivery. All dishes are great. A neighborhood favorite for us.

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5.0Dined on June 14, 2018

The chef sent out great dishes that made the tasting menu an excellent choice.

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5.0Dined on June 12, 2018

Love Tico. Not our first time there, but always enjoy dinner here. Got the lightest of the three tasting menus and it is still PLENTY of food. Everything that came out was chef's choice and was delicious. Will definitely be returning.

Location is super convenient for the metro too, right by the U street stop on the Green line

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4.0Dined on June 12, 2018

Good drinks - fun people watching on 14th street, and with great weather, the open windows made it feel like we were outside.

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5.0Dined on June 10, 2018

Enjoyed a Pride weekend brunch at Tico and it was great, as always. Wish they had bottomless mimosas but the food and service was great.

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