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  • El Centro D.F.

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El Centro D.F.

El Centro D.F. Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.richardsandoval.com/elcentrodf/
  • Phone: (202) 328-3131
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Daily: 11:00am - 2:00pm; Dinner: Nightly: 5:00pm - 11:00pm; Late Night: Sunday - Thursday: 11:00pm - 2:00am, Friday - Saturday: 11:00pm - 3:00am Brunch: Saturday - Sunday 10:30am - 3pm.
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Comfort Food
  • Executive Chef: Richard Sandoval
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Entertainment: Latin Thursdays
    10 PM-2 AM | Every Thursday in the Tequileria Lounge
    Salsa / Merengue / Bachata / Top 40 / Samba / and more
    No cover | Dress to impress!
    Rooftop HH Drinks 10pm-11pm
  • Special Events & Promotions: Please contact Nora Bankert at nbankert@richardsandoval.com to book your table. We'll help you select times and menus just right for your gathering. We look forward to hearing from you!

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Swann St, NW
  • Public Transit: U Street Metro Stop and all 14th Street bus lines.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Only Street Parking
A word from El Centro D.F.
Internationally acclaimed Chef Richard Sandoval combines traditional culinary techniques with fresh, high quality ingredients to create authentic Mexican comfort food at El Centro D.F. Designed to reflect the bustling street shops and colorful rituals of everyday life in Mexico, the restaurant is comprised of three distinct dining spaces all under one roof. The Taqueria features a casual atmosphere where a lively open kitchen serves authentic favorites. The Tequileria allows guests to dine or lounge as mixologists craft Latin cocktails from 200 Tequilas & Mezcals. Along the rooftop guests raise a glass at two open-air bars. Warm, Latin-inspired service and welcoming hospitality will round out your experience.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMexican
Diner Reviews
  • "The food was excellent, but the restaurant was way too loud. Our waitress had to raise our voice to be heard, and we had to do so, as well. I hate not being able to hear my dinner companions. Turning down the music might help."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Discovered El Centro's brunch a few weeks ago and I've been there 3 weekends in a row. The food is good, drinks are tasty (and bottomless) and service is great. Can't lose with El Centro's brunch!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "The food and drinks are mediocre at best. The service is fair. Don't waste your food dollars."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "This place can't be beat for the bottomless brunch. The food is varied and fresh….and there is so much of it! The brunch with the alcohol included is fine, but the food is so good you don't want to fill up on drinks, so get the bottomless brunch without the alcohol. The food came out quickly and it is all small plates. The wait staff works hard for the $ and all in all I highly recommend. Please tip your waiter accordingly!"
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "I had been to El Centro before and had an ok experience, but this one was much better, largely because of the company, but our waitress was absolutely fantastic and that weighed a lot on our great time, too. She was quick and friendly and any time we asked for anything she was a step ahead of us. We practically had to be rolled out the food was so good and we kept wanting to try more. The top two dishes were the churros and the hot dog- wrapped in bacon. But everything was very tasty!"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Great food--better than I expected. Service was excellent--helpful, friendly, attentive. Ambience--interesting--I liked it; was concerned when we were taken to basement, but it was great--far better than being seated on the ground level."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "If you are hitting up a concert at The Black Cat, be sure to give yourself an extra hour to pop right next door into El Centro for a drink and a bite to eat. The place is awesome, something for everyone on the menu. I chose the Baja Tacos. The arrived on a cool tray with little taco holders, the best black beans I have ever ate and some Spanish style rice. Great beer and cocktail selections also. I will definitely be back again!"
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "fresh ingredients, not greasy or fatty tasting, dinner plates had great combinations of food items."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "Took advantage of El Centro's unlimited brunch on their lovely little rooftop. It felt like cheating to have so much good food and so many amazing drinks to choose from! I highly recommend the mole fries and the watermelon agua fresca."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "The food was good and our server was very knowledgeable on tequilla choices"
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "As a hospitality professional myself I always appreciate good service and genuinely good hospitality. This place certainly has that. The infused tequilas are amazing! Must try. And they don't use cheap stuff either. Give it a shot! You won't regret it."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Six diners. Each ordered different entrees. My flank steak was very very salty. Tacos were bland. It was not bad, but with so many restaurant choices, I would not return to El Centro. Service was pleasant and efficient."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "I like El Centro first for the food... it's good Mexican in a city where it's a bit difficult to find good Mexican. The drinks are also a bit better than you would find at a standard Mexican restaurant. Beyond that, this place can get a bit rowdy and service is standard. I recommend it, I have never been disappointed here."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "I've always enjoyed the food at El Centro and I think it's pretty fair pricing for the neighborhood. However, every time I have gone, I seem to encounter a stuffy staff member. The hosts seem to always act like it's a super exclusive restaurant. This time I arrived prior to my wife for an early dinner and they refused to let me sit down at a table (even with a reservation). When she arrived, we were able to go downstairs to the main dining room and we were literally the only ones down there. I understand not letting you sit and hold seats that other people could be using, but what on earth is the point of refusing to let someone sit down when your restaurant is empty? I would have ordered a drink, guac, etc. Just silly."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Really great food and very cool covered rooftop bar. Great drink menu, guacamole was terrific and I loved my seared tuna salad. A lot!"
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "I've been to El Centro before but never for brunch and I was pleasantly surprised! They offer a number of bottomless breakfast cocktails and endless tapas style entres for only $35.00! The food was delicious (my favorite will always be the crab and shrimp enchilada), the service was great and the drinks were decent (not super strong). I'm assuming not too many people know about the El Centro brunch because it wasn't crowded, but I'm sure once the word gets out....it'll be packed! "
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "The food was great and this was my first bottomless brunch. However the waiter brought out some dishes that were made extra and I would have preferred he didn't, it ended up being a little too much food."
    Dined on 6/1/2014
  • "The guacamole here is phenomenal. Our server (who was great) brought out a heavy bowl and made it fresh for us at the table. It was so great. My only complaint is that my duck enchiladas were kind of cold, and for the price I paid, I expected something a little more. The mole overpowered the duck a bit, too. I would opt for something else next time."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "The food was really good and the service was great. There were 8 of us and everyone had a nice time; they already want to go back! For $35, you get bottomless food and drinks, so it's a great value. My only complaint was that I didn't like the wicker stools that we had to sit on instead of normal chairs because they didn't have room on the main level to seat 8 people, but we didn't want to go into the basement. The atmosphere is really fun though and it's a great way to wake up on a Saturday or Sunday morning. The music is fun, but not overwhelming. Everyone seemed to like the Jalisco enchiladas, the empanadas, and the churros. The drink selection is a bit limited, but the food was so good that I will definitely be coming back. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "I have had dinner and brunch here and both were pretty good. The service was excellent both times! The $35 bottomless brunch is a great value and the variety of drinks available set this brunch apart from the usual Mimosa/Bloody Mary brunches you find in the city."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Great spot for dinner and drinks! It is also very clean. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "This was our first visit and we brought out-of-town guests (4 total). We enjoyed a pitcher of the signature Margaritas-- fresh and not too sweet and polished off an order of guacamole. The duck mole enchiladas were tasty. The pork cazuela was delicious and great combination of flavors. I liked both versions of the black beans, which were well seasoned. The only thing I thought could be better were the corn tortillas -- nothing special, not as supple as freshly made, but didn't detract too much from the other flavors. The wait staff were terrific -- checking on us regularly, but not rushing us. It was already busy by 7 p.m. We were seated at a high top in the tequileria. Next time I go for dinner I'll ask for a regular table."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Mixed experience. Great Margaritas and cocktails. No draft beer. Very good fish tacos but poor pork tacos (no flavor, strong onions), Atmosphere at our back table was lacking, better it seems at the street side (roof top was cocktails only). Basically good service: food was prompt, but water glasses not refilled and check came very quickly."
    Dined on 5/19/2014
  • "El Centro accommodated our group of 12 on a weekday evening downstairs. It was pretty quiet and the food was amazing asuusual. We had 3 little kids is booster chairs and the waiter brought them churros at the end of the meal, very cool."
    Dined on 5/19/2014
  • "Centro is good for dancing, but brunch is not ideal at this location. We were put in the basement (on a beautiful, sunny spring day and there were plenty of seats upstairs) next to an extremely loud group and had to move ourselves because we couldn't hear each other. There was dubstep/electronic type music, which to me seems completely inappropriate for a brunch setting on a Sunday afternoon. Lastly, the food portions are ridiculously small and if you opt out of their bottomless offer, there is a very sparse selection of beer (five beers, none of which are draft). This location is not recommended for brunch and there are MANY better options in the area. Both my friend and I left feeling very unsatisfied with the experience."
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "Great place for brunch on Saturday or Sunday. Can't beat ordering from the entire brunch menu and bottom-less drinks for $35. Great for groups of 4. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Toilets were a disaster!! Need to change up that situation - maybe self flushing toilets would be a good start!"
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "My server dropped my entire pork shoulder on me. The rest of the contents landed in my open purse at my feet. Their solution - comped my entree not even the full meal. Ruined clothes and $300 purse - how disappointing."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Drinks were excellent and lots of choices made for a great brunch"
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "I took my boyfriend here for his birthday. I went up to the hostess to say that I had 7:30 reservations and I gave her my name. They made us wait for twenty minutes. I then went back to the hostess to ask her when we would be seated since we had reservations. She said she didn't realize we had reservations (even though I clearly indicated that we did). It took awhile for a waiter to come and take our order. The food was great, but I don't think that I will be going back anytime soon or recommending it to anyone. "
    Dined on 5/13/2014
  • "The food was pretty decent. However, we were seated in the basement, which was very dark and noisy."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "I go to El Centro every time I'm in the area now but this was my first time trying brunch. It was absolutely fantastic! The food and drinks were excellent - love the portion sizes and being able to try lots of options. Our server was also great and the outdoor area is awesome to sit in. Can't recommend this place enough!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "The food at Centro DF is, I can safely say, truly Mexican. And I know what I'm talking about since I'm from Mexico myself! The "huarache" and the melted cheese were to die for. Truly remarkable. Will definetely come back when I feel like eating something that reminds me of home!"
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "Great for bottomless brunch except for the very weak drinks."
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "Overall service is really bad. The waiters usually have an attitude. You don't feel welcomed at all."
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "This spot came highly recommended to us from some of our friends. If you're looking for great Mexican food with a brunch twist, this is where it's at. For $35 a person, you get as much mimosa, bloody marys, and any item on the menu you want. COME HUNGRY. Don't eat much before you get there. The brunch is definitely worth it and after doing it once, it's hard to go back."
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "We had guacamole, tacos and a few margaritas. The food is pretty good, guac was made tableside and fresh. Great tequila selection. Fun rooftop bar. A busy 14th st hot spot. "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Great food with a variety of really good margs. Very laid back plus a great roof top bar. Not too crowded. "
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "8 of us came here on Ester Sunday for unlimited brunch! The service was great and the food was tasty! The $35 unlimited brunch is such a great deal and I highly recommend it! The restaurant was very accommodating to our large group. Overall it was a great lunch experience and I'll definitely be back!"
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "I love everything about this place. The bottomless brunch is amazing. Tacos, chile rellenos, and churros are personal favorites. Great Mexican food in a city that is lacking in this area. "
    Dined on 4/20/2014