Inside Look

Joselito – The Go-To Spot for Spanish Tapas on the Hill

Authentic Spanish tapas, sangrias and classic cocktails reign supreme at the charming Capitol Hill restaurant’s Happy Hour. Read on to see why we’re crushing on the classics at Joselito.

Neighborhood Appeal with Old-school Vibes

The Eastern Market/Capitol Hill area is dotted with charming restaurants and cozy bars – a welcoming sight to those (read: me) who may be tired of the more fast-paced, loud and overcrowded destinations just a few neighborhoods to the north. Named after owner Javier Candon’s father, Joselito blends seamlessly into this neighborhood aesthetic with a welcoming but subdued exterior – walk through the doors and you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to a stylish European cafe: black and white floor tiling, portraits and old family photos adorning the walls, and a marble countertop bar round out the restaurant’s atmosphere. The interior is warm and inviting and the sounds of old-time crooners and classics like Frank Sinatra fill the restaurant.


The Happy Hour

As wonderful as the atmosphere is, we know you’re interested in one thing and one thing only, the happy hour deals. Aptly dubbed Hemingway Hour (the restaurant takes inspiration from Spanish haunts where past luminaries, like Hemingway, used to frequent), the Happy Hour menu is offered at the bar Monday – Friday from 4-7 PM and features deals like $6 on select tapas and libations. On this list you’ll find six tapas to choose from: Tortilla de Patatas (potato and egg omelet), Coles de Bruselas (Brussels sprouts, capers, goat cheese – a personal favorite of mine from the Hemingway options), Jamon Serrano con Picos (Serrano ham, breadsticks), Mejillones a la Sopa de Ajo (steamed mussels, ham, garlic), Pinchito de cerdo moruno (pork tenderloin, Andalusian spices), and Papas Arrugas con Mojo Picon (mini potatoes, spicy Canary sauce). Pair those with a house red or white wine, Mahou beer, or any of the sangrias (opt for the red, which comes with an ice cube of fruit).

If none of the food or drink options listed float your fancy, fear not, choose from the main menu and receive 20% off. Recommendations from the regular menu include the Queso Manchego Viejo with Manchego cheese – spicy tomato marmalade and the crispiest rosemary picatostes; the tuna crudo with avocado mousse, pineapple-ginger sorbet, almonds and cilantro; and the dreamiest Iberian pork shoulder – Presa Iberica a la Plancha con Papas Arruguas, with Canarian potatoes and mojo picon. We like a Happy Hour with a great selection but we love a Happy Hour that allows guests to experience discounted items from the regular menu – bonus points in our book.  

Pictured: Tuna Crudo

Versatility At its Best

The ambiance, the authentic tapas, the delicious cocktails – these are all reasons we highly recommend Joselito for Happy Hour – but the restaurant’s versatility should also be noted as being another factor for why we’ll be returning to this slice of Spain in the District. Whether you’re meeting some friends after work, looking for a new date night spot or have family in town, Joselito rises to all occasions.

Looking ahead, expect some new seasonal menu items from Chef David Sierra as the weather (finally) makes a turn for spring as well as fun wine seminars lead by the restaurant’s sommelier, Gustavo Iniesta. Guests are invited to take part in the weekly fun, laid back sessions that are geared towards guests of all wine-levels.


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One Comment

  • Phaidon Shreve April 12, 2018 at 2:22 am

    A “Menu del Dia” is an economic mid day meal (comida) that is intended to be accessible to everyone, a Spanish Blue-Plate Special if you will. In Madrid, it usually consists of a first course (soup, stew or vegetable) followed by a second (meat, fish, fowl) and a small desert. It generally comes with water, bread and wine (coffee is extra). The price is between 9 euros in more modest neighborhoods to 12 or 15 euros. Joselito does not honor that tradition, nor does it provide the hospitality or ambiance of a true Spanish establishment. For those who do not know Spain, I am sure it is quite nice. For those of us who do, it is yet another disappointment in a city that deserves at least one, authentic Spanish eatery.


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