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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
  • "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
  • "Our waitress Khristyta was incredible. She was super attentive and asked if any of us had dietary restrictions, and gave great recommendations for the vegetarian in our group. She also knew exactly how much to order for our group, and was great about making sure we were all getting what we wanted, and when. A great place for unlimited brunch with a group of friends."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Had lots of fun here, good interesting drinks and food for brunch"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "I've been to El Centro D.F. more than 5 times now and I never get tired of going there. Excellent food, drinks, environment, and music. Perfect combination of Latin and American style. TOP 5 in my list of restaurants that I would recommend to everyone who's visiting D.C."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "We had brunch on the enclosed rooftop, it was very nice and not cold, since it was a little windy when we went. I would def reccommend to anyone that wants to try new things, everything on the brunch menu was bottomless, food & drinks!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "We had brunch on Sunday. There is lots of two person seating but not much for larger groups so we had an much earlier reservation than preferred but it is DC Sunday brunch. The food was tasty and limitless as so were the drinks which has some surprisingly fresh options of house made frescas. There may have been a 2 hour sear limit we were not told about bc our check was promptly dropped off two hours in although we had not indicated we were done."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "I came here for brunch and immensely enjoyed the delicious tapas and cocktails. Also, the service was very fast, which is really important since you're ordering a few small plates at a time. I can't wait to return!"
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "It was raining and cold. Nonetheless, we were ushered upstairs which is supposed to an opened terrace, but was badly covered for inclement weather. We were initially taken to a table where two of four seats had water puddles on them. When we asked for another table, the hostess actually looked perturbed and had to call downstairs for approval. About 5 minutes later, we were offered another table -- this one by windows with significant gaps letting in cold air. Thereafter, the service was horrible due, I think, to significant under-staffing. It was so bad that one of the patrons (a man sitting in the table behind us) went downstairs to complain. Overall, it was a horrible experience. We were colds, wet, and under served."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "I planned a party for 12 at El Centro on a Saturday night. They easily accommodated our party in the basement dinning room. The lighting and music were festive and fun. The drinks, guacamole and tacos were wonderful. Great overall experience!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Unlimited orders from brunch food and drink menu for $35/person? Yes, please! Food was good, service was good. No complaints!"
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "The guacamole is sensational. The chicken tinga tacos are excellent as well. The ceviche was disappointing, however. They were tiny little shrimp, and was overpriced for the quantity of the dish."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "I spent a number of years in the Southwest eating authentic Mexican food from various regions, and I have to say El Centro is the best I've come across, here in DC, or elsewhere. Come when you have the appetite and time to enjoy the full experience: appetizers, main course, and drinks. You won't be disappointed!"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "The tacos were delicious. I came on taco Tuesday, so they were also a bargain. The servers were really accommodating for a large group. They did an excellent job!"
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "Great time! The server was fast & very accommodating. Not only was it $35 all you can eat & drink but the server made sure our plates or glasses were never empty. The ceviche was amazing & so was the steak!"
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "We had an AWESOME time… helped that we kept ordering the aqua fresca mixed drinks that are included with brunch! Food was order whatever you want off the menu - they let you order tacos 1 at a time so there's no pressure to waste a whole order of 3 tacos when you really just want to try 1 of a few different kinds. We were seated in the basement (this place is SOOOO much bigger than it looks from outside), and the decor was cool and after a few drinks we couldn't tell if the lights were changing colors or it was just us! Churros with chocolate sauce were AWESOME, get the plantains at the same time and you can use the chocolate on them too…yum! It was hard to get the servers attention, but the all-you-can-drink made up for it."
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "Had a great birthday brunch here this weekend. Great deal- bottomless drinks, endless sharable menu. Go hungry and leave deliriously full and buzzed."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "We went for "Taco Tuesday" and the specials were great. Our college freshman enjoyed it and so did my wife and I. Nice tequila selection, friendly staff, nice comfortable feel. Not "outstanding" cuisine but quite good and just what the doctor ordered for the occasion."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "Came here with a group of girlfriends for a bday brunch. Got seated on the rooftop. Our server was outstanding and always asking us what else we wanted to eat and drink. The ambience was great! $35 all you can eat and drink?! I'm obviously there. Make sure to book 2-3 weeks in advance if it's for a large group. We arrived at 11:30 and it wasn't too full yet. Point is, if you want bang for your buck, come here :)"
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "We waited almost an hour for our food, and the dishes arrived over the course of 15 minutes."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "So good! I have been twice now and will keep going back! The food and drinks are tasty and it keeps coming!"
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "The food was great. Unfortunately the service was lacking. I felt I was choking on my food because the waitress was rushing me the entire time. She seamed annoyed that I didn't want anything to drink even after I explained to her I wasn't drinking during lent. Her response was "I've never heard that" and made this annoyed look. She kept asking how everything was but it felt more like she was rushing us along verses sincerely wanting to know. I was looking for a romatic date, made reservation but we were out of there in 45 minutes they barely gave us an opportunity to have a conversation. After dinner talk was look down upon becuase we were being circled like vultures so we could give up our table until we just left. I"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "all the time was seated in the basement seating section, that i did mot even know they had, and found a hip little Happy Hour scene. much better than the upstairs bar great food as usual. Service... meh."
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "This was my second time at DF's bottomless brunch and I will certainly be back. Everything was delicious - one of those "I shouldn't have eaten yesterday so I could eat more today" situations. Mole fries, chiliquiles, tacos, and the churros were all amazing."
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "I love El Centro, but their bottomless brunch didn't live up to my expectations. The food wasn't all that great, and the service was a little slow. For $35, I expected more."
    Dined on 2/17/2014
  • "There has always been a lack of good Mexican food in my opinion around DC. Granted, I am from California where you can get great Mexican just about anywhere. When I stumbled across El Centro, I was hopeful. Turns out the food was fantastic. Service was great as well. The place was empty for lunch (mid-week) which surprised me. For those that are looking for great authentic Mexican with a flair, this is definitely your place."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "I would definitely recommend this restaurant to friends. The Mexican food is authentic and the ambience is great for a hang out spot! I would not recommend for a special occasion for a small group or couple. While the food is amazing it was not the most romantic for my boyfriend's birthday. I had to ask if they did anything for birthdays though I specifically included it in the reservation comments. But overall it was a great experience."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "My cousin was dying to come here after the waitress at Masa 14 said the food was better here (both places are owned by the same company). She was so wrong. While El Centro did have a larger drink selection for the endless brunch, the food was subpar compared to Masa 14. The drinks were made really strong (which we liked) and the male servers were SUPER attentive and friendly. I just wish the food had been tastier. Not sure if I'll come back here."
    Dined on 2/17/2014
  • "We ended up at El Centro on Presidents' Day, they were one of the few restaurants offering brunch on that Monday. What a great find. Our waitress was awesome! Since the entire brunch menu is included she just kept sending food our way, nothing was disappointing."
    Dined on 2/17/2014
  • "Fabulous food-- have had the enchiladas and Baka tacos at El Centro, and both were delicious! Their sangria and margaritas are also both fantastic!! A great spot for a special occasion or a fun night out!!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "I didn't know checking in for my reservation would be considered an imposition by the host/manager, who I guess had other better things to do. Part of why I wanted to come to El Centro was because of their margarita/tequila drink menu. Unfortunately El Centro falls into the category of bar/restaurant where the margarita tastes more like candy than it's primary/featured ingredient -- tequila. On the positive side, if you want to hang out, eat some chips and some decent Mexican food, you should be OK here. I just wish that despite the lower price point it would aspire to the quality/execution of other Richard Sandoval restaurants."
    Dined on 2/4/2014
  • "I was in charge of planning a birthday dinner; in total we were a group of 10. I had heard good things about this place and I had been here once before. Now, El. Centro was not my first choice, but I settled on it because I figured everyone would like it. Not so much. Honestly, everything was just...bad. The margaritas were terrible (which I recommended) and only 1 person out of the table actually liked their food. The birthday boy flat out hated it. I will say that when they saw that the birthday boy didn't even eat his food, they brought him out another dish which was nice. Service was REALLY slow and it was not busy. Bottom line, I was embarrassed I picked this place and neither myself nor anyone in the party will go back."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "My friend and I went to El Centro D.F. on 14th St. for a Sunday brunch and absolutely loved it. The service was very attentive and never let our mimosa glasses empty- I also highly recommend the watermelon agua fresca. The food came out in intervals and did not disappoint; my favorite was probably the fried eggs divorciados. The fresh guacamole was amazing. The music was that of an early night out, which my friend and I thoroughly enjoyed. The unlimited option for $35 is well worth it."
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "First time and I will go back! Delicious food and great service!"
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "A friend and I went there for brunch, which was not as good as the dinner we had there some months ago. We did not go for the bottomless brunch -- we were hungry but not THAT hungry. My friend thought her steak tacos were so-so. My huevos rancheros was kind of pricey for a tiny plate. I enjoyed the fresh, warm churros with chocolate sauce, but it made me miss the really good ones I had in Spain. I think we will go back. My friend has celiac disease, and El Centro DF is one of the few DC restaurants that are knowledgeable about gluten-free dining. The staff was attentive without being intrusive. The dining room was loud, but we were lucky to get a corner table and could manage to talk without shouting."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "I moved to DC after 12 years in the southwest and finding even decent Mexican food has been a challenge. El Centro makes me happy. The restaurant is well designed - fun atmosphere yet you can hear what your dining partner is saying. The fish tacos are delicious and the guacamole is fabulous. Everyone I take to this restaurant loves it. My dining companion downed his cheese enchiladas and loved every bite. Come here. Come often."
    Dined on 2/11/2014
  • "This place was great! It was all you can eat and drink brunch. The food was amazing and the service was awesome! I would recommend this place to anyone!"
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "There brunch was amazing! The all you can eat all you can drink combo ($35) was fantastic and all the dishes were well seasoned/sauced. I had some reservations about a Mexican themed brunch but those were quickly put to ease as the first dishes were brought out. The only negative here is that the mimosas were a little light on the champs, but our server did a great job of making sure we did not go thirsty."
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "We had Lanora waiting on us and she was awesome. We had a bunch of friends from out of town and never felt rushed and had a great time. Brunch is amazing- cannot beat it...well maybe Masa 14 does ;)"
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "The all you can eat and drink brunch special is a great deal! I wasn't a fan of the bar stools and high top table that my party of 6 was seated. I just prefer chairs or stools with backs especially for a couple hour brunch. All of the service staff was very nice and friendly but orders were often forgotten or wrong. Since you are free to order whatever you want during brunch the mistakes don't end up being a big deal but people in my party were frequently having to correct orders or remind the employees of orders they had made. Next time I would prefer to sit at a real table or even possibly upstairs. Overall pretty good brunch though. Would recommend the chile relleno!"
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Great experience, great food and great ambiance. This was my first time dining at the restaurant and I have already told friends that we will be dining there again. The staff was very pleasant and accommodating, from the hostess that greeted us, to Nancy our excellent waitress."
    Dined on 2/1/2014