Espita Mezcaleria

4.5
298 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
Driven by a quest to surface authentic flavors and techniques, Chef Rob Aikens and Beverage Director Megan Barnes 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.

Food is the story of people. Espita is our story about the people we've had the honor to meet on our journeys and how they've impacted us.
What 298 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
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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f
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

Well, if you want to spend over $100 dolars, wait forever for your so-called Octopus Entree, and than still leave hungry even as a skinny girl, this is a place to go! Everything so small, such a rip-off. I am sorry but you are not a Michelin-rated restaurant so you don’t get to charge $26 dollars for a 6 inches skinny octopus leg with only a minimal sauce and super tiny avacado piece, no garnish or nothing! And this is advertised as an entree, and we waited 45 mins for it to come to the table! I am upset, this place caters to stupid Millenials who believe in overpriced hype for the sake of the ambiance and ok to get ripped off! (also, a Millenial but for me this is ridiculous, it wasnt even that flavorful).

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OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Had a great time

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OT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Well priced food and outstanding mezcals that were worth every penny if you're into authentic Mexican spirits.

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FL
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Very inventive Mexican cuisine. My only two complaints would be: 1) Expensive wine ... surely you could find a decent red under $10 a glass ... that being said, the Malbec was excellent! 2) It took longer than I would have expected to get the food out. It was Taco Tuesday, but we had to wait about 20 minutes for our tacos. But once again, once they arrived, they were delicious.

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M
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great place to have a good creative Mexican meal and drink mezcal or a cocktail

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S
Austin
3 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of my favorite Mexican restaurants. Excellent unique options, knowledgeable servers and the food was soooo good! Will definitely be back next time we are in dc!

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SE
Houston
5 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

Second time here with a brunch experience that was not great primarily due to poor service. The server seemed either overloaded with tables, or just ditzy/inattentive. It was busy, so not sure if it was a management failure in scheduling sufficient servers, or her own failure to manage her table load. Either way it was a problem. Had to ask multiple times for coffee/refills. Large delays between being seated and placing any order, including drinks/appetizers. Never got part of my order (thankfully was not charged for it). Wanted to be in and out within 90 minutes ideally but were ultimately there for more than 2 hours largely due to poor service/delays. Food was certainly tasty but never arrived at the right temperatures again leading me to believe issue was primarily service. Friends have said dinner service is better but I am not going to try anytime soon.

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m
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Love the food and the ambiance at Espita. It’s got great drinks and a creative menu, fitting for a first stop before going out on a weekend. The tacos are great and so are the appetizers, including the ceviche. Not such a big fan of the charred churros. I was there last Saturday and the service was quite bad. We were forgotten for long stretches of time and our server seemed annoyed with our table since he first approached us. He did not seem open to us asking for his recommendations on the menu and the entirety of the interactions with him put a damper on the evening, unfortunately.

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J
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Had a reservation, checked in early, forgot to seat us for over 45 min.

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t
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great happy hour, best deals. Fish tacos were the best. Mayahuel were very balanced and delicious.

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great, except they ran out of chicken but our server Anthony was great!

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CJ
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I came here with a small group for brunch LOVED the food here -- very authentic and not overdone at all. The wait staff was extremely friendly and my table was very pleased by the food. Also I think this place may have the best chips & salsa in D.C. The best drink was the cafe on the brunch drinks menu. 10/10 recommend!

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AC
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 4

Food was great! We had a few snacks and drinks at the bar before our reservation and that was lovely. Once we got to the table though, the service kind of went downhill. Our main server came to our table maybe 3 times throughout the meal and the only thing he ever said was “Is everything okay?” (Including when he greeted the table and we hadn’t even ordered yet). Overall we had a nice time, but the table service was just a little distant/awkward.

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GS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Overall great restaurant—portions were slightly too small for the price and the drinks were expensive, but overall a great restaurant for a treat out.

Ambiance was exceptional and in a great location!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Excellent service and delicious food!

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h
Washington DC
48 reviews
Dined on January 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Went on a monday night - half price mezcal. This was the highlight and definitely made it worth it. Got to try lots of mezcals for a very reasonable price. They have a huge variety and our waiter knew a lot about them. For full price, never would have done this. For half price, fantastic. All food was very good. A few things were special, other things were perfectly enjoyable but not "wow" (we were actually disappointed only because it's a terrific, unique, interesting menu and we were looking forward to a lot of wow - only got a little!) Can see how it would be noisy, but we asked for and got a seat that wasn't bad at all re noise. Service was very good. Enjoyed the night. If you're near the convention center, or want to go on a monday night to taste a lot of mezcals as the primary purpose, definitely a good place to go.

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a
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food was great, liked the location and our server was very nice and helpful understanding the menu.

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F
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place, outstanding service, excellent food. Best Oaxaca food in the district. Would definitely be back.

Highly recommended!!!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great experience.

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

all good but for the crazy noise level. cannot hear yourself speak.
Sets a new bar for creative Mexican cuisine

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JF
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

This place was very nice. The food portion was a bit on the small side, and pricey for the amount served.

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B
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

My husband and I thought the food was good. But we asked the waiter to not rush our order and the entrees came out about a minute after the appetizers. This totally upset the meal ambiance. Food was good although the short rib I got was not as good as others I've had at Mexican restaurants.

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S
Kansas City
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Espita was great! I had the pork tacos which were fantastic and my partner had the octopus which was good but not great. Stick with their main dishes and you are good to go! Great ambiance but the service was just alright. We are a young couple and we were not given the same level of service as an older couple sitting next to us. Just treat everyone the same, young people can tip well too!

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f
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food in this restaurant is authentic. No Tex Mex here. The Mescal drinks are great as well. The ambiance is interesting and fun to see. We ate rather early due to having a toddler with us. The wait staff were great with him and interacted a lot. This photo was taken for the Day of the Dead altars at the Mexican Cultural Institute and reminds me of Espita Mescaleria.

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SS
New York Area
16 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We have been to Espita many times. The food is consistently very good and the bar program is VERY special. Oaxacan cuisine is not traditional TexMex . It is a very refined and has subtle flavors and textures. If you have not tried it, I would highly recommend.

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JH
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Mezcal and guacamole amazing, pulpo fundido and churro also good

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OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

My friend and I went to dinner and didn't realize the mezcal flight she chose was $38 for 3 thimble size portions. The font listing the prices are much to small and we had total sticker shock when the check came.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The mezcal flight was amazing, and our waitress was very knowledgeable about the different varieties and how they were made. The tacos are also delicious, and the happy hour was really good value.

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P
Washington DC
357 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Wonderful mezcal bar and restaurant—We particularly appreciated our excellent server ANNA.

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MM
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another wonderful meal. Service was exceptional.

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TS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderfully complex flavors in everything we ordered; I recommending ordering several plates and sharing. The tacos and tlayuda con chorizo were fantastic, and the churros negros were heavenly. I appreciate very high quality food done in creative ways, and this was the best I've had in quite a long time. Excellent value for money as well. I'll absolutely return on my next visit to DC.

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B
New Mexico
4 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The menu is different and food delicious. The mezcal drinks are very good! The ceviche was quite different than most but delicious. I would definitely return the next time I'm in DC

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OT
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

The food was delicious and the choices were creative. The brunch special was a good option and worth the price if you chose the couple of the most expensive items. Unfortunately, the bottomless drinks option can only be purchased in conjunction with the pre-fixe brunch (not with a la carte selections), and the server didn't come by very often to refill drinks.

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R
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A little expensive but it was great! We had a business meeting and I our client was very happy. We enjoy our mezcales too. We had tacos al pastor, ceviche, guacamole and pumpkin ice cream dessert. We were able to share everything.

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CH
Washington DC
122 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love Espita. The pescador, pork, brussels tacos are amazing delicious with layers of flavor. the ceviche is in this sauce that has a zingy flavor and a wonderful tender fish. Great mezcal varieties to try. Magnificent margaritas.

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RB
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food. Fun environment. Enjoyed everything.

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

Portions were small and trap music at a Mexican restaurant doesn't work for me.

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d
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service!

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JC
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

amazing food! came during happy hour and it was FANTASTIC!

THANKS!

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k
Washington DC
120 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious guacamole and salsa and tacos.

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