Espita

4.5
410 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Mexican
Top tags:
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fun
Driven by a quest to surface authentic flavors and techniques, Chef Rob Aikens and Beverage Director James Simpson 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.

Join us in our dining room, bar, or terrace!

Our lunch concept, Espita Loncheria, is open Monday through Friday with no reservations required.

Special Offers

Happy Hour!

Half price Mayahuels & Margaritas, made the right way, $6.50 Highballs, and discounted Tacos. Come join us in the bar, our dining room, or relax on our heated patio and have an afternoon snack. See our website for our full happy hour offerings.

Terms and Conditions:

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: 11 April 2019

Ends: 12 April 2118

Availability: Sun 14:30-18:00
Mon-Fri 16:00-18:00
Sat 14:30-18:00

$3 Taco Tuesday!

DC's best tacos for only $3 each all night long! Come taste the difference that authentic corn tortillas make.

Terms and Conditions:

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: 4 November 2018

Ends: 5 November 2117

Availability: Tue 16:00-23:00

Mezcal Mondays!

Enjoy DC's best Mezcal list at half price. Rare pours, flights, or even just our house Espadin, the whole list is available for you to explore and enjoy!

Terms and Conditions:

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: 4 November 2018

Ends: 5 November 2117

Availability: Mon 16:00-23:00

What 410 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
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 2

The server, if we even had one, was totally absent. A different person greeted us initially, many minutes later a whole different person took our order, then never came back again.

MA
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 4service 4ambience 1

I have excellent hearing but the noise level at brunch on Sunday was completely off the rails. It totally ruined my dining experience. The pounding music only exacerbated the situation. I will not be back.

JG
Tallahassee
9 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We love this place - the food and drinks are excellent. It is loud though - we were happy that the hostess managed to re-seat us in the back, where we could hear each other talk without vocal distress!

KM
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Espita not only has great food but also has amazing staff. I had a very special request for them and they came through in the best way! Definitely recommend the boozy brunch!

JZ
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, unique drinks, and nice atmosphere

PT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely evening to sit outside and had great service & conversation with waiter, Michael! A great girls’ night out!!!

LK
1 review
Dined on 13 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had a blast I will come back always want more chips!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Delicious food and take on Mexican cuisine

LM
New England
9 reviews
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic food that manages to be comforting and sophisticated AND beautiful. Astonishing complexity and inventiveness in every bite. Excellent cocktail program, designed by someone who clearly knows agave spirits well. Barbacoa was the star of this meal, though the Tamal was nothing to sneeze at. Beautiful food and drink!

S
San Antonio
3 reviews
Dined on 5 August 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Not a huge selection of entrees but excellent flavor combinations in appetizers and entrees. I live in San Antonio, so I eat at a lot of Mexican restaurants. I would call this one upscale Mexican.

BN
Washington DC
40 reviews
Dined on 2 August 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

Place is trendy and has a buzz. Service was good though you have to constantly ask for water refill. Overall food quality was interesting not the standard Mexican fare. But portions are small and most are overpriced. FYI example small plate ceviche at $16 was spicy with only a few morsels of seafood. Fish tacos was ok. Chicken tamal (big plate at $19) was more like a taster menu. Disappointing!

OT
Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined on 2 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Authentic, very yummy! Service was amazing!

RR
Tahoe
3 reviews
Dined on 2 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Food and drink were good but not outstanding. Nothing special about the space and the Friday night crowd was a bit noisy. Staff was excellent from hostesses to servers, bartenders, and bus.

L
1 review
Dined on 1 August 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

I think the noise level was the main problem for me. Quite a bar scene and had to yell to have a conversation over dinner. That distracted me from my food, which was good - just would have been a lot better if we had been able to converse easily.

CA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 1 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Date night

D
Minneapolis
19 reviews
Dined on 30 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A friend and I sat at the bar for dinner. The bar tenders are knowledgeable about the drinks, of course, but also about the food. We asked them what to order, and they steered us well. I’m a big fan of this place. Fun atmosphere too.

s
Chicago
31 reviews
Dined on 30 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

The tacos we had for Taco Tuesday were delicious and great value at $3 a piece. Get the carnitas taco! Happy hour margaritas at half price were in smaller cups, about half the volume so you get what you pay for. Though they were still good margaritas. Decor is cool, and there are misters outside for those hot and humid days. Definitely recommend!

D
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on 28 July 2019
Overall 2food 5service 2ambience 2

I requested a table for an anniversary, despite it being a Sunday, and put in a note on the reservation. No reference was made to the anniversary by staff and we were sat in the middle of a busy section when other areas were empty and much quieter. Our table wasnt level, and even after asking the waitress she couldn't get it perfect. Within 10 minutes of arriving we saw another couple get seated in the quiet area and were a bit disappointed. The food itself was delicious, but expensive. An entree with one tamale is hardly an entree, and I think portion sizes could be bigger (thats coming from a 155lb male). All in all, I'd go back for drinks and appetizers, but never for a serious meal.

DC
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 28 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food and outstanding service. I would highly recommend this restaurant, especially for brunch.

SP
London
10 reviews
Dined on 27 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love dining at Espita! There is always something new on the menu. Look for their carnitas this week and follow up with their chocolate tostada on the patio.

MF
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 25 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every time we come to Espita the entire experience manages to be better than the time before - everything from the service to the food is fantastic.

SS
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on 20 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My wife and I had brunch on the patio. even though it was a VERY hot day the misting system kept the space very comfortable. Our server Michael was very attentive. We don't drink due to dietary constraints, so we could not enjoy the cocktails. The Agua Frescas are wonderful and refreshing. The tacos are the best in the city. Highly recommend. Vegetable and Quinoa bowl as well as the fruit salad are real treats. We will return

RO
Nashville
1 review
Dined on 14 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came for brunch. Excellent food, prepared beautifully. Good drinks - tasty and not watered down. Great wait staff. Will definitely be coming back!

RC
1 review
Dined on 13 July 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

This place has just some of the most delicious fresh tortillas and guacamole. It's a bit unfortunate that in 98 degree weather, the hostess decided to seat a very frequent customer and my baby in the very far end of the outdoor seating hallway where we were in direct sunlight and no overhead fans to be seen. I was also joined by my friend with her 6-week old baby, and it suffices to say our waiter was so aware of our seating he kept filling our water glasses. I had made the reservation way ahead in time, and requested a high chair in the special requests line. As I walked in I'm asked if I need a high chair and it was dragged all the way through the restaurant while I was walking behind them, I wish they had read so they could plan in advance seating and my daughter's seat. Great food and server, Mike went above and beyond.

TH
1 review
Dined on 12 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

This place is hoppin'! We went for Happy Hour on a Friday around 5pm the mai tre de & the server asked prior to seating & ordering. I saw vegeterian & vegan options of the menu. This is not just a "chips, salsa & guac" joint!

SP
London
11 reviews
Dined on 11 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a magical night on the patio at Espita. The food is creative and delicious. Don't forget to order one if their cocktails.

MK
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 9 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Birthday trip for my 11y/o daughter and our first time to DC. Food was amazing. The fact that she ate and enjoyed a wagyu crudo tostada brings a tear to my eye. Thanks for a memorable meal.

Espita
Responded on 10 July 2019

Hi Matt, Thank you for choosing us to celebrate your daughter! The wagyu crudo is one of our favorite dishes, so we also get really excited when children enjoy it. Thank you for such a nice review! Hope to see you on your next visit. Cheers, Josh Phillips

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OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 8 July 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

Espita is a place I’ve been multiple times. The past two times have been disappointing mainly due to the service. When a server greets you after you’ve been seated for a few minutes with, “Are you ready to order?” Something is wrong. How about, “Hello, my name is _______. I’ll be your server. Can I help you with your order?” When the most courteous words come as the.check arrives, it makes it seem politeness is only about a forthcoming tip.” The food was once very high quality but has diminished some. I’ll go back but not if the trend continues downward.

N
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on 7 July 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

It's hard to rate noise level, because we went on a Sunday, post-brunch and pre-dinner, so the place was very empty. We got the happy hour specials - delicious mandarin highball! - and it was pretty good value. The drinks were good, the fish tacos were good, as was the veggie taco. We sat at the bar and the bartender gave us very good service - for some reason it took forever for the tacos to come out, so he gave us an extra fish taco to make up for the wait.

OT
Birmingham
4 reviews
Dined on 7 July 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

It was good

SM
1 review
Dined on 7 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great brunch! They are serious about sustainability and staff can speak knowledgeably about the different ways they restaurant is walking the walk. They are committed.

Beyond that, the food is amazing and the two times my friend and I have been here, the staff was very friendly and engaging. The chicken and waffles are ridiculous.

We have eaten at the bar and outside, we enjoyed both locations, they have a great patio.

Highly recommend and will be going back, for sure.

HW
New England
7 reviews
Dined on 6 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 1ambience 4

Food and drinks were good. Unfortunately the service was terrible. Our waitress not really paid attention to us. Kind of gave us the attitude if she doesn’t cares about us. The restaurant was quite empty. I asked for some limes and got one little piece of lime, which honestly was a ‘joke’.

MT
Tallahassee
1 review
Dined on 6 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Atmosphere, food and service were all perfect! Flavor Galore!

WK
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on 6 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is not in any way a typical Mexican restaurant. They serve interesting dishes that are very well executed. The Mole Verde is an outstanding vegetarian dish. Mine had a head of cauliflower that had a perfect texture and an interesting sauce. Some dishes are somewhat spicy but no five alarm fires.

KI
Chicago
7 reviews
Dined on 6 July 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

Brunch menu was great, very creative cocktails. Service at the bar was not great--had to ask for refills and there was little to no interaction with the bar staff during the hour I was there. Bar manager was great--very engaging and polite.

MB
1 review
Dined on 5 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Love that there is a separate vegan menu with delicious and thoughtful food choices.

s
London
18 reviews
Dined on 5 July 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

It was an interesting experience with some highlights and some lowlights. Lack of entree choice a bit of a challenge.

k
1 review
Dined on 3 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

good food, convenient location, nice patio, pleasant and attentive staff.

JM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 29 June 2019
Overall 1food 2service 3ambience 2

Poor selection on the menu and no choice for beef tacos

CB
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on 28 June 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

We were so excited to come, and the guacamole and ceviche was good, but the fish tacos lacked flavor and for the price we paid none of the food was worth it. The drinks were good, but we wouldn’t pay the price for this food again. We heard happy hour is worth it, so if we went again we’d probably go for that.

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