El Techo Transforms Rooftop into Greenhouse Oasis

Just when you thought Rooftop season was over, El Techo by Rito Loco is bringing you just what you didn’t know you needed. El Techo has turned their “Adult Treehouse” rooftop patio into a tented, heated, stunning, Casa Verde or “Greenhouse” oasis — and it’s open yearlong.

Co-Owners Louie Hankins and Daniel Diaz have grown their business starting as a food truck, into Shaw’s well-known burrito shop into an upstairs classy restaurant/bar rooftop (and still maintain all three!). Hankins and Diaz transformed the rooftop (which will now remain open all year) into a warm oasis – Casa Verde.

Casa Verde brings the heat with delicious food and tasty cocktails and will literally warm you up with their cozy heaters for an indoor/outdoor vibe this winter.

The Space

El Techo caught everyones eye’s when it first opened in September, 2017. The garden, treehouse vibe gave DC a new approach to upscale fast-casual restaurants. Grass on the walls, awesome art and decor and lots of cool textures and colors made most DC locals head up to Rito Loco’s rooftop patio. But now that it’s winter, and very cold, the idea of a treehouse might not get you out the door. So treehouse turned greenhouse. El Techo spiced up their space with a greenhouse full of flower studded vines hanging from above.

The space is tented with heaters so you might even forget you are on a rooftop as you cozy next to the space heaters.

The space is fun, original and a great place to enjoy a great meal.

The Menu

What is making people walk past the downstairs casual burrito joint and head upstairs to El Techo is the change in ambiance. Everything on the menu at Rito Loco is served upstairs at El Techo as well. However the more classy feel of upstairs offers a few few additional items to the greenhouse that you can’t get downstairs. First, the bar allows them to serve alcohol.

Bryan Tate (formerly of Tiger Fork and Founding Farmers) has crafted a cocktail menu to complement the food. Serving some of the best Margaritas, both regular and the Mezcal spicy margarita. (Warning: the spicy margarita is no joke spicy!)

They also have created a Hot Buttered Rum Cocktail which tastes like spiked hot chocolate, and it’s made with ice cream – so I recommend it.

The few additional items served in the greenhou

se are worth the hype. The seafood paella is filling, tasteful and delectable and will warm you up and fill you with goodness.

The Food

You can’t go wrong with the the array of taco and burrito options from the downstairs Rito Loco. But you MUST get the fried avocado tacos. They have mastered the fried avocado – leaving the avocado inside a perfect smooth wedge with a light crisp fried outside. It’s unique and awesome, go give it a try.

Fried mac and cheese balls, YES PLEASE! If you have never had fried mac and cheese, stop what you are doing and go now. If you have, another won’t hurt, go now.

Of course the best way to start a meal full of tacos and burriots will be to get the guac, or queso fundido for the table.

And last but definitely not least, the amazing churros. The picture speaks for itself – deliciousness.


I recommend it – El Techo, 606 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001. 

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