El Centro D.F.
1819 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009Neighborhood:
MexicanPrice: $30 and under
El Centro D.F.
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.richardsandoval.com/elcentrodf/
- Phone: 2023283131x
- 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: Comfort Food, Mexican
- 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: Please contact Nora Bankert at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your table. We'll help you select times and menus just right for your gathering. We look forward to hearing from you!
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 photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerMexican
El Centro D.F. - Best Restaurants in Downtown ›
El Centro D.F. reviews from OpenTable diners
166 reviews since July 4, 2014
- Ambiance3.8Noise LevelEnergetic
great for brunch (61)fit for foodies (59)good for groups (56)hot spot (53)vibrant bar scene (51)neighborhood gem (50)late-night find (19)great for lunch (17)great for outdoor dining (17)special occasion (15)romantic (8)kid-friendly (5)scenic view (2)Show More
- Fantastic BrunchOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/26/2014Great service, awesome food, and overall fun time!! The waitress was extremely attentive, pre-ordered awesome food for our group, and was very friendly.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best Area MexicanRRogVIPDined on 10/18/2014Best Mexican food in the area. Quality ingredients, variety of choices and not greasy at all. Most items are gluten free and noted so on the menu.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food, fun halloween decor!sonejah21Dined on 10/18/2014Had a party of 6 and all of us enjoyed our meal at El Centro D.F. Our server was a bit scripted, but nice enough. Food was surprisingly exceptional!Special Features:
- Delicious Food, indifferent servicebadgringaDined on 10/18/2014The food is delicious--one of a few legitimate Mexican kitchens in DC, but the service was terrible. Waiter could not have cared less--barely spoke, did not clear plates, left us without drinks or food for long stretches. The food was also clearly plated by someone disillusioned with their job--an exception to otherwise good Mexican food were the chilaquiles, which were so lazily thrown together as to be inedible (basically a plate of tortilla chips with great salsa, cheese, onions tossed around the edge). Want to love this place, but they really need to get it together. Also, we were surprised to see dollar store Halloween decorations all over the lovely Day of the Dead themed space--why not use traditional Day of the Dead decoration?Special Features:
- Awesome BrunchOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 10/13/2014This dining experience was perhaps one of my best ever!!! Waitress Jessica perfect when she saw we were having indecision on what to order she offered to choose the best dishes for us, and she did, spectacular recommendations. Drink refills, food service, speedy and fabulous. Food was delicious. Make sure to save room for dessert as the plantains and churros are out of this world,Special Features:
- Great drink specialBrunchbunchDined on 10/12/2014The drink special for brunch was great at el centro df 35$ includes bottomless mimosas, margaritas and more. I had a little trouble with the hostess and a slanted table but I was able to resolve the problem quickly with a manager.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Dinner Dancing SpotprfctstrmVIPDined on 10/10/2014Great spot to go for dinner and dancing. Definitely going back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fantastic serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2004VIPDined on 10/9/2014I'm not the most critical diner, but rarely is the service so amazing and memorable. From the moment we walked in to El Centro I felt like a VIP just because of how attentive and friendly the staff was. The meal was great, drinks fantastic - they accommodated our request for a semi-private space. Couldn't ask for me, but really if I owned a restaurant I would try to hire away the current crew.Special Features:
- WonderfulKellyDined on 10/4/2014Our waitress was very kind, prompt and attune to what dishes we favored. Everything was even more delicious than it looked, which says a lot because the food was beautifully presented. I'd recommend el centro 100 times over.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Enjoyable, but not fine, diningotberburVIPDined on 9/26/2014The 14th Street area has upscale Latin restaurants and tacquerias. El Centro DF falls somewhere in between. Our food was prepared capably but had no real flare. The tortilla chips were pedestrian, and guacamole of "medium" spiciness packed no discernible heat. My main dish -- a casserole of pork and what could be described as Mexican polenta -- was satisfying and extremely filling, but not especially memorable. The margaritas, by contrast, are excellent -- and quite strong. Service was pleasant. We were seated downstairs, which is less boisterous than the front room but not especially quiet. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the evening.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Terrible serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 9/22/2014Waitress was more concerned with chatting it up with the bartender than servicing our table. Gtown is much better. I will say the food was good.Special Features:
- Superlative Sipping and Supping!PortiaDined on 9/21/2014My new next-door neighbor tells me it's his favorite Mexican. A relative says "It's just tacos!" But I found the food superior in nutritional value and flavor. I am a diabetic; son and wife are vegetarian; we all found good choices, while our Phoenix daughter had lots to compare with El Centro's tacos, which she pronounced excellent. I found the salad with seared tuna just right for me: high protein, low calorie. Our server was a young woman who was very gracious, helpful and prompt. (I have only one criticism which cannot be helped due to the choices made by the decorator: the hard surfaces are very hard on someone like me who wears hearing aids.)Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great for Gluten Freeminimuffin28Dined on 9/20/2014I brought my gluten free sister here while she was visiting DC. Almost everything on the menu is GF. We split the mahi tacos and guacamole. The tacos were delicious, however the guac was just so-so.Special Features:
- Stay away. Horrible service.2FoodieDined on 9/20/2014Host scrambled to find us a table. she finally found one and asked us to follow her and took us down to their basement seating area. No problem, we sit down and then she returns to tell us that we can't sit there and takes us back up to the front entrance. We waited a few more minutes, then we finally get seated. When the server comes to get our order she was rude and hurried us through our meal and at first served us someone else's order, then brought ours out. While going to the bathroom the security guard told my friend to wait while he let an employee who was off work go ahead of her. We talked to the manager and he was just as rude and was unwilling to help and told us that employees have priority over customers. Never going back!!!
- it was just okayheartmyminpinsDined on 9/18/2014We loved the place... it was really cool inside, but the service needed help. We were there on our honeymoon and they told us they would give us a wonderful spot in the restaurant..which meant in a corner. After they sat us our waiter disappeared and didn't show back up for a long time. Really killed our vibe, however the food was good. Since we were on our honeymoon and our days were limited..in all i think i would have picked another place to eat however for locals i can see it being a great place.Special Features:
- Great Food and Service EVERY time!Jlowe88VIPDined on 9/18/2014El Centro has some of the freshest and most consistent Mexican food in DC. From the carnitas tacos to the BBQ chicken salad, which is full of texture and topped with a huge portion of grilled-to-perfection chicken breast, they can do no wrong in my book. Weekday lunch was super quiet and relaxing. Food was served up fast and fresh. Service was excellent and don't forget to try the fresh limeade. I have been for brunch and another time for lunch and I will be back many more times...Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great place as alwayssatxspVIPDined on 9/15/2014Great place, as always. First time sitting upstairs...I will used to sitting downstairs. Much more engeretic, which was not a problem on a Monday night. Great and friendly staff.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Let staff pick your foodOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 9/7/2014Our waitress was excellent! It was unlimited food selections for the bottomless, one-price brunch, so we just let her pick for us, and her choices were spot-on. Couldn't have been more satisfied for the money. She was also very generous with mimosa refills. Best brunch we have had in the neighborhood.Special Features:
- Awesome Brunch DealDCfoodieDined on 9/7/2014El Centro has an awesome $35 all you can eat and drink brunch deal - I just kept ordering things off the menu and they just kept bringing them. Honestly, I would have been fairly disappointed in the flavor and portions if I was paying the "official" menu prices, but it was fantastic when you could just order a few more plates of what ever I liked.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- excellent brunchLoriDined on 9/7/2014El Centro did not disappoint for brunch. Our server never allowed our mimosas to get completely empty. The food was well-paced. The barbacoa, carnitas, and lengua tacos are amazing, be sure to try them.Special Features:
- El Centro an Uneven ExperienceNickVIPDined on 9/6/2014Generally speaking, the food is ok... sometimes a bit better than ok. I personally like the lower level. The main level is too chaotic and much too noisy -- painful. The biggest issue I have with El Centro is the wait staff. The last 5-6 times I have been there, the wait staff is clearly the weak link. Inexperienced, inattentive or hyper-attentive. Mangement here needs to work on retaining good people. One gets the sense that waiters only work at El Centro for a week or two before moving on.
- Great Brunch!KKCincyDined on 9/1/2014It's pretty hard not to be happy about unlimited food and drinks. Our server was great and helped us pick good items from the menu. The aqua fresco drinks were delicious.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fantastic bottomless brunch!mimosasalldayDined on 8/31/2014I went to brunch with a large group (9 people) and it was amazing. The food (small plates) is fantastic, and there is no lack of food at all. Everything from the chips and guac to various tacos and even the fruit salad was so good. The drinks are a great deal, with a variety of available drinks (margaritas, punch, mimosas, and bloody Marias) and you aren't limited to one kind. Our waiter Doug was one of the best waiters I've ever had, anywhere. He was great about making sure we had enough food - and more importantly, enough drinks. He wasn't fazed by our large group and was very helpful.Special Features:
- Great Mexican in DCiowabearVIPDined on 8/30/2014Excellent food - the basement can get a little warm if it is crowded.Special Features:
- Excellent BrunchOpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 8/30/2014Excellent Service, fun atmosphere and plenty of food and alcohol selections for everyone. Best $35 bottomless brunch. Great time to hang-out with friends and enjoy a Saturday afternoon.Special Features:
- Not good and not funItalianfoodieDined on 8/26/2014The noise level was unbearable. We went on a Tuesday night.We had a high table with VERY uncomfortable stools. This might be their way to increase table turnover! The food was OK, nothing special, not genuine Mexican food. The waiter kept interrupting us all the time. He kept coming to our table to say "This looks beautiful" (our food). We did not need a cheerleader. We wanted food that tasted good. Nothing special about this restaurant if one has experienced good dining in a place where you can actually talk to the people you are dining with. The restaurant is full because it's in a hot neighborhood where a lot of young people in their 20s and 30s go out. By the way, I am not 90 years old, I am very fit and I dine out a lot in Washington.
- Terrific serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2010VIPDined on 8/25/2014Amazing service last night at El Centro. Highly recommend to everyone. Get the spicy mango margarita or the red and stormy cocktail.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 8/17/2014Food and margaritas were great but the service was terrible. This was our second time at this restaurant and if it was our first impression, we would never go back. The waiter was incompetent and actually argued with us about the bill (which he ran incorrectly 4 times). When we asked for a manager he kept arguing and tried to resolve the bill on his own. When he returned to the table and the the bill was still incorrect we had to ask for the manager again. The manager didn't seem interested and gave us a standard speech. This review would have been very different if we had a different server.Special Features:
- Great First Visit!PescaFoodieDined on 8/17/2014Dinner during last night of Summer Restaurant Week and were not disappointed! Everything on the menu appears to be made in house, down to the condiments (salsa, guac, even the sour cream!). Impressive tequila list. House-infused tequila margaritas are also available--try the pinapple serrano marg if you're a fellow spice lover! Shrimp "ceviche" was delicious and refreshing, with just the right amount of spice/heat, although not truly ceviche (shrimp were cooked, and dish was very brothy--but broth was wonderful addition to chips and salsa!). The cactus tacos were a great foodie find, and beef fajitas were also on point. Both entrees were served with bowls of homemade refried black beans and Spanish rice w/peas. Will def return!Special Features:
- Great!BeccaDined on 8/16/2014I love El Centro and I have been there a couple times now. I also really appreciated how I made a mistake when ordering and didn't notice how I had ordered something that I couldn't eat due to a food allergy. The waitress was very gracious and I really felt like customers matter at El Centro.Special Features:
- Great food!PigletDined on 8/15/2014The food was outstanding. We were seated in the basement, which was not as noisy and smoky as the first floor. The decor was very interesting--the walls are decorated with Aztec masks bathed in red light. The service was friendly and prompt. The noise level was too high for our taste--we are all over 50. I will definitely be back.Special Features:
- Love It!NewfoodieDined on 8/13/2014My sister and I enjoyed our dinner here. The waiters and waitresses were very kind and the service was fast. The food was amazing! I will definitely return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/11/2014The restaurant was hosting a special menu for "restaurant week" and it was fantastic. The meal included a drink, appetizer, main course, and a dessert for a great price. Not only was it delicious, but was plenty of food as well. Definitely recommend to anyone...Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Food!DCVisitorDined on 8/8/2014Cocktails were great, food was spectacular. The beef enchiladas, chicken enchiladas, and the accompanying rice and beans were just a bit better than you get at your normal Mexican restaurant.Special Features:
- Not the best visitBrettDCDined on 8/3/2014If this was my first time at El Centro I'd be disappointed. Luckily my date and I enjoyed each other's conversation. I've been to the Georgetown location several times before and always been amazing! My first time here at the 14 St. location was much different. We did the $35 brunch and placed our drink orders. This came out fine, but after that nothing went right. We ordered our food after these and nothing came out for almost 20 minutes. When we asked again about or orders and ten minutes later only one thing arrived it was annoying. We asked again about our orders and the server apologized. Soon we multiples of the same items arriving or things we didn't order. My date was vegetarian and all but one of her items came with meat.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- good foodChelleNikkiDined on 8/3/2014There is nothing monotonous about their menu. Very good food!Special Features:
- El centro is amazingOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/27/2014This was my first time going to el centro for brunch and the food was amazing. We ended up cokin back for happy hour afte leaving brunch. I will go back and continue to go there for happy hourSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food, accommodating serversErinDined on 7/26/2014I've dined here before and really enjoyed it, but the staff went above and beyond on my last visit to accommodate a friend who had a food allergy. The chef himself brought out her specially made entree. Consistently great and fun vibe!Special Features:
- STP72VIPDined on 7/26/2014Despite plenty of tables open when I arrived, we were asked to wait until the remainder of our party arrived. I understand during a rush or if I didn't have a reservation but the hostess seemed to be pretty strict about this despite there being several open tables in the dinning room. All the food was pretty good for tex mex but if you have ever had tamales in the south west then don't bother ordering them here. They were kind of dry and too much chicken, but decent if you have only had east coast tamales. The enchiladas were fine, as were the nopal tacos. I didn't try the flatbread that was ordered by one in our party but it was reported as "pretty good."Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A great timeJeffHDined on 7/26/2014Our group, encompassing a range from a 9 month old to a senior citizen, received great service and excellent food.Special Features: