El Centro D.F. - Georgetown

4.2
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1178 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary Mexican

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Casual
Fun
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 1178 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
4.0
service
4.1
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
68% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MB
Chicago
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
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 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

JM
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
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 4 days ago
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.

L
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall3food5service3ambience3

Didn’t appreciate being kicked out of our table after the two hours being there. It has never happened and shouldn’t had happen. I had been there many times but For Both of my friends it was their first and they didn’t appreciate that. I understand they had more reservation but that doesn’t mean I have to get kicked out.

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall2food3service2ambience2

The back enclosed patio space is not great for just dining. Service was really slow as well and seemed to only focus on those at the bar. Plus we had the experience of seeing several large rats climbing across several of the rafters. We realize DC has rats around, but seeing them during dinner is not a great experience.
The tacos we had were good. Nothing spectacular but good. The mojitos were very good and some of the best we’ve had in dcc

OT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Excellent service!

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R
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food5service2ambience2

The waiter was extremely distracted and it was extremely hot. We were seated outside on the patio and spotted a rat several times

CF
Raleigh
8 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Fun place to gather. We had a party of 11 and we were seated and served together Most everything we ordered was correct and the guacamole is the best. Highly recommend the street tacos. Best things on the menu in my opinion. The margaritas are also very good

PH
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience2

Terrible service. Unprofessional staff front of the house. Food is mediocre. Won’t go back

OT
Tampa
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Great service! Guac a bit too lime-y for our taste, but different strokes for different folks — awesome service, thank you, Katalina(spell check?)!

L
Atlantic City
12 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent. Loved it.

B
Washington DC
106 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent tacos, at an excellent price. Every Tuesday the flavors change, there's some variety.

Even the salsa for the chips is delicious. I was told there are black beans in the salsa. Amazing.

Server very nice and accommodating.

F
Washington DC
30 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Went for happy hour. Margarita was good, as well as hot dog and tacos.

PS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Seems like this location isn’t as good as years ago.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I went to El Centro for my Birthday and the experience was wonderful. The owner greeted us multiple times at our table to ensure I was having a good time and even gave me a free birthday shot. The food was yummy and came out very fast. We will definitely be back.

IG
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a really great time at brunch! Von was a terrific server. We can't wait to go back.

AL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience1

Nothing to write home about. Drinks were weak and food luke warm. Service was bad.

OT
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience2

Had a pretty so-so, less than average experience this weekend at El Centro in Georgetown. Staff was nice, food was pretty average - only reason for the low-ish rating is that the food came out super fast - our entrees came out about 5 minutes after appetizers (and before cocktails that we had ordered when we first sat down). The whole experience felt rushed and ill-timed. If we had been in a hurry, it would have been perfect... Guacamole was pretty bland (though we had asked for spicy) and tacos were meh. Won't be going back, and would only recommend El Centro if you are in a pinch and need to get something fast - and other places are full.

E
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience2

Fraudulent pricing for brunch that almost doubles when your check arrives. Not staffed well, one server for the entire patio. Lackluster food and disappointing drinks

YL
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2019
Overall1food3service1ambience1

We were seated 45 minutes late with no compensation. We were told we would get free guacamole and instead were charged for 2. The service was horrible and the entire menu changed, leaving me and my other vegetarian friends with very few options. They wouldn’t accommodate/change any of the dishes in the kitchen for us because “it was too busy”

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