El Centro D.F. - Georgetown

4.2
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1195 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary Mexican

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Fun
Casual
Chef Richard Sandoval invites you to gather, dine and raise a glass at El Centro, D.F. Authentic Mexican comfort food and fine Tequilas are served in three vibrant spaces.

Reaching back to his roots, internationally acclaimed Chef Richard Sandoval created El Centro DF to introduce Washington DC to signature authentic Mexican flavors and traditional dishes that he grew up enjoying. The dynamic two-story restaurant in Georgetown, with a back patio, is also home to over 300 tequilas, mezcals alongside craft Mexican-inspired drinks.
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What 1195 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.2
food
3.9
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
67% of people would recommend it to a friend
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j
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience3

Service slow . Guacamole was really really good as were chips . Food was good . But it wasn’t crowed and they were somewhat difficult about accommodating needs that were not hard

A
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food5service2ambience3

Food was amazing as always. Perhaps a few more servers for brunch days. It took awhile for us to initially get waited on. The waiter was very kind but seemed over swamped for the patio. Seemed there was only one waiter.

MB
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Great brunch spot. Food was good, service was great and the price was right.

OT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

AMAZING. I love it

OT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service2ambience5

Service was pretty slow for our table. We waited a long time before our waitress got to our table.

LF
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Good food and ambiance, but poor service and overpriced.

N
Las Vegas
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall1food4service1ambience1

We made a reservation but were seated outside in the winter with no explanation and without heaters turned on. Then, our entire section was forgotten until I asked to see a waiter. They compensated us with complimentary drinks, but it was quite frankly not worth it. Then, the person who took our orders, who I don't blame because I don't think he was supposed to be an assigned waiter, confused which tables had ordered what so we had to fix our food. My date also spotted two mice in the restaurant. The food was certainly good, but I will not be back after this experience.

OT
Tallahassee
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall1food2service1ambience2

We made a reservation to celebrate National Margarita day which was advertised as an all day event, we arrived, waited 20 min past our reservation time to be seated to an abbreviated menu and the margarita special that didn’t start till an hour after we arrived. Our server only came to our table twice and got our order wrong both times leaving the busy boy who relieved our items to relay the information to the bar/kitchen. The whole event left us confused and frustrated and extremely unsatisfied.

OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall1food3service1ambience2

Food was decent when it eventually arrived. Service was pretty bad overall, they seemed woefully understaffed for the amount of diners they were trying to serve.

TG
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food2service1ambience5

We got seated at 2 and didn’t receive any food or drinks until 3.

OT
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My birthday !!!

BH
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food2service4ambience4

The food was okay, but I have had much better at the 14th Street location.

D
New England
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Great place, great food, little bright and noisee thoug but friendly and fast Service

OT
Miami
5 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience2

Took us an hour to get tacos on a Tuesday. Cockroaches in the women’s bathroom!! Mani taco smelled so fishy. So disappointed. Won’t return.

A
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 18, 2020
Overall3food4service1ambience3

Food was great (as always at El Centro). Service was pretty lousy - had to ask multiple times just to get chips and salsa, server was not friendly, some things that were ordered never came out, checks were mixed up at the end, etc. I love El Centro and have been going there for years and this was probably my worst experience there.

M
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing for bottomless brunch! I highly recommend the quesadillas and the spiked agua frescas. Also excellent for groups if you book ahead of time

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Due to traffic we were late for our 1pm reso but made it within the 15 min grace period (exactly at 1:15). However, the table was already marked as missed. We waited about 45 mins until the next available table for 4.

The server was nice but service was slow probably due to the high volume of people. Many items that were ordered did not come out. Still left feeling full. Not sure if I’d be back anytime soon.

MB
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall1food4service1ambience1

It was Valentine’s Day and the place was pretty busy. We were seated very quickly which was the only plus that evening. We sat for about 25 minutes before being served because there seemed to be some confusion about which server was ours. The evening manager had to show up and asked if we had been served for us to even get service. It took another 30-35 minutes to get our food — fitting for the busy holiday. However, we barely saw our server (the bartender) who was already swamped with a full bar and two extra tables. I’m sure they typically give better service, but I hope on these high volume days they are staffed appropriately and communicate better.

AL
Atlantic City
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fun, hip restaurant with great food! Lots of gluten free items that were simply delicious. Yummy margaritas, too.

JM
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I proposed to my girlfriend here l, my waitress Julia and her managers were amazing. They supported my proposal to great lengths including offering to put the ring in champagne or dessert ( I passed), but Julia took some amazing photos that I will always cherish. Thanks to the entire El Centro team and trust me I will be back soon.

PS also the food was amazing lol

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

I was so looking forward to this evening as I celebrate Valentines on the 13th to avoid the crazy. All was well until a confusion with the bill. It eventually got taken care of but not without my having to pretty much say I won’t sign the CC bill until the adjustment is made. The waiter took it away and still rang it at the high total. Please train your hostess better, she unfortunately misguided us about having a couple of drinks while Happy Hour was in effect. I am a business owner and could tell both the server and hostess felt powerless to fix it on their own, while they admitted their error it had to become a bigger deal than necessary.
The food was good, margaritas the best in the area, and overall a good evening.

S
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall1food3service1ambience5

You can’t offer a two hour bottomless brunch, accept a 2PM reservation, not seat the group until 2:30, and then kick them out at 4 because “brunch is over.”

KL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Our server was great! That's all it takes to really take an experience from good to great. Food was good.

IP
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Service was good, food was good. It wasn’t a very friendly reception at the hostess station but other than that, a good value dinner

BA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and vibe

B
Washington DC
106 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent tacos. I had the fish tacos and the chicken mumbo sauce, both of which were very tasty. The fish had some jalapeños, which was a nice added spice to the fish.

A
1 review
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience1

I usually enjoy El Centro and have been many times. This time was the exception. We waited over 30 minutes to sit at our table, that's fine, we were patient. Our server greeted us by rudely asking "Okay, who wants mimosas?" and then when only one person raised their hand she walked away. She didn't ask what anyone else wanted. She didn't bring waters. She NEVER asked what food we wanted. She ordered food for us and it came out INCREDIBLY slow. The food we DID manage to order took even longer. She never brought complimentary chips and salsa. After we finally got waters from the busboy, she rarely refilled our waters, and only did so when we asked multiple times. It was the worst service I have ever had in any restaurant, ever. I worked in the service industry for 10 years and I have never seen anything like it. We were also out in the back patio area with two other tables that we heard complain to the manager. She was bartending and serving 5+ tables. It was horrendous. I will never, ever go back to El Centro at this location ever again. There was no excuse. She was terrible.

KE
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall2food5service1ambience1

Got there at 6:30 for happy hour to celebrate a coworker transferring (party of 7). Told them we wanted to have a couple of rounds of drinks and then transition to dinner. They mad a big fuss about us doing both (but we were paying). When they finally sat us down they took 15 mins to take our orders and conveniently returned at 7:01 to the say happy hour was over. Spoke to a manager and allowed us one more round.
Food was good. So good the 5 pound rat that was scaling the wall in the patio area must’ve thought so too. Needless to say won’t be a next time.

LT
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience4

It's been a while since I visited El Centro-Georgetown but it wasn't like I remembered it. The salsa was barbeque-like; the flavors of my enchilada were "fine" but I needed to add other items like hot sauce, sour cream etc, to improve it. The service was good. I was surprised how different it was and perhaps they just had an off-night.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience3

We had to keep on telling them we were not getting any food while tables that came after us had table full of food. Kept complaining and still not receiving food. Asked for many things and only got 2 out of who knows how many times we complained and requested. Asked if mimosas was part of all you can eat they said yes but still charged us separately. Overall frustrating when trying something new, and we are only table not getting the service and or food.

AB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience1

Our server gave us such a hard time with refilling our "bottomless" mimosas. My friends and I mentioned it to the floor manager and not much was done after that. I probably won't revisit this location; again!

GA
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love the meal I got the guacamole, tortilla soup and crab and shrimp enchiladas with the churros for dessert.
The chips and salsa are great. The soup is a meal in itself, thick and full of flavor. I know I’ll be going back

JT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall3food2service4ambience3

Drinks were good- we went there during brunch so it was “bottomless,” service was good- food isn’t that great. Churros were soggy, shrimp for ceviche was rubbery- the best things were the quesadilla and chips. Aside from that- it’s a so-so restaurant with good drinks if that’ll make up for it. Also, it smelled very musty in the downstairs area and stairway which is the LAST thing you wanna smell when you’re about to eat.

L
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The food was great! Wait time was also minimal between courses.

JG
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Exceptional Mexican cuisine. One of the best margaritas I've ever had. Sadly, no draft beers. Reservations recommended.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Went with my parents

SM
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall4food2service3ambience4

A festive spot good for a large party on a Sat night. The food and drinks were mediocre - kind of tasteless, nondescript Mexican food and pitchers of margaritas made with a sweet mix. But it fit the bill for taking a group of college students out.

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good food. Great service. Drinks were good also. Recommend if you are in Georgetown area amd want mexican food or just a cool place to have drinks.

AP
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall1food1service2ambience2

GF got sick. Won’t be back.

T
Richmond
10 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service2ambience4

I did El Centro brunch for the first time and loved it. $40 for all you can eat and drink is great - especially to get other drinks that aren't just mimosas. The reason I subtracted a star is the service - the waiter was rude, not friendly, and not attentive. We had to flag her down for drinks and failed to receive numerous things we ordered. The place wasn't super busy either, so I'm not sure what was wrong.

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