El Centro D.F. - Georgetown

4.3
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1140 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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Specials

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Join El Centro for a delicious NYE dinner of traditional Mexican dishes with a twist, served family style. Our 3-course family menu is $35/guest and must be ordered by the entire table. We will also have limited a la carte items available. Cheers to the new year!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

What 1140 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.0
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
73% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food2service1ambience1

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

OT
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
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 5 days ago
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 6 days ago
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”

CD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food5service4ambience3

The food was delicious! I especially liked the seafood enchiladas. Even though I was close enough at my table to touch the bartop, they don't honor happy hour prices at tables so I decided not to get a drink, though the selection looked good. The downside of our visit was that even though we had made a reservation, we were seated late. The hostess said that they were working with "half the restaurant" because of two large holiday parties; while we only had to wait a few minutes, other parties with reservations arrived on time only to be told they had an hour wait. Disappointing that the restaurant wasn't managed better, but at least the food is wonderful.

R
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

I have been to El Centro's brunch many times and it is very good food! The only complaint I have is that brunch menu has been limited to fewer items and the price has increased. I would probably pick a new brunch spot because of this change but it was nice to celebrate a friends birthday. Our waiter was also very nice and helpful with explaining the menu changes to my party. Overall, I do like El Centro but I probably wont go there for brunch anymore it pretty much went from 30-32 dollars (food +drinks) to 39 dollars (food +drink) and for just for food it is 25 dollars (I don't remember the previous price). I understand the price increased but they shouldn't have decreased the menu items for brunch. Most of the options you just end up ordering over and over again cause some of the egg based food items aren't that good.

Z
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Food was great! Margs were better! Noise was a bit much at times, but its a bar atmosphere, what would you expect! I would go back again!

n
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience5

Pleasant, service was good. No lasting impression either way.

ER
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My friends and I enjoyed our brunch. The staff was polite and not overattentive,the food and drinks were well portioned and tasty, and the restaurant was not crazy full or loud.

CN
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall3food3service1ambience4

The ambiance and vibe were great but the food was slow to come out as well as the drinks. Though we were a large party and there were other large parties in the space, the time from ordering to getting our orders whether they be drinks or food was so slow. Our waiter did not explain anything he just said we had to do such and such, and we were actively dismissed by the food runners as well as other staff. Overall I dont need to ever come back again. We love the location on 14th but after this experience I have no desire to return.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience4

Overall the service was good but the food was okay

T
Pittsburgh
98 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Late night visit with family . Good vibes and relaxed atmosphere! Food was good

OD
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall3food4service1ambience3

Food was good but service was terrible. Server forgot our appetizer, included chili peppers on a dish when we specifically asked for them to be left off, and never came to refill water or salsa.

CC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

The food at this restaurant was decent. No one from my party enjoyed the food but did not think it was terrible. Definitely not worth the money. The service was also poor but not bad enough to leave a sour taste. Overall, I don't recommend for brunch.

BB
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall2food1service1ambience3

We had four different waiters, food was cold, drinks took 20 minutes, would probably never go back.

B
New England
12 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience3

Very Blah. We made a reservation as we were visiting from Boston and heard good things. They sat us in a tent and wouldn't turn on the 2 heaters that were right above us. It was freezing. Service was slow and the food was not great. Margaritas were awesome but that's about it. Wouldn't go here again.

m
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They took care of my big group very well, for my birthday!

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place, everytime i come its a great experience

a
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience3

Very poor experience. I made a reservation for 15 for 8:30pm on a Friday night and had to WAIT 25 MINUTES to be seated because they were "overbooked". The servers were still putting together our tables as we sat down. Our server was overworked and kept forgetting things for us. She was well-meaning and friendly, but I was very disappointed with the experience. I wanted to impress my friends from out-of-town and I will not make the mistake again of taking them to El Centro on a weekend night

UW
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience3

Absolutely horrible. Our party couldn’t agree on whether the worst part was the food, the drinks or the service. Twenty-five minutes late seating a reservation. No flavor to anything. Guac was like it came from a gas station fridge. Margarita were like they came from a can. No idea why this place is busy.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall5food3service3ambience4

Food was good. Margarita was sour.

T
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience4

So good we went there twice in three days during our visit. Fresh ingredients, creative flavor profiles. The salsa was smokey and irresistibly delicious.

GG
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We were seated quickly with a short wait for a large party, and although the locale was fairly loud it was high energy and great for a birthday brunch. The chicken tacos were incredible! And the flautas. It could be a bit slow but understandably so as the restaurant seemed very busy.

OT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Good place to get drinks but the service was just ok.

LE
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience2

We do regularly come back for the cojito rice and the frozen mango margaritas. They stopped doing the t-shirts which is a shame.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food5service1ambience4

We did brunch, waiter forgot our orders multiple time even our drink we couldn’t enjoy brunch by the time we got our food we couldn’t order again from the brunch menu

M
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall1food4service1ambience1

Es la primera vez que iba, e hice una reserva para 15 personas para festejar el cumpleaños de mi esposo.
Lamentablemente desde que llegamos tuvieron problemas.
En principio, me dijeron que no podíamos pedir solo Appetizers y platos share, ya que la mesa era para cena. Luego de discutirlo entre ellos decidieron que sí, podíamos hacerlo.
En segunda instancia, me dijeron que las bebidas, como eran cuentas separadas que pidamos a la barra y cuando lo hicimos nos dijeron que no, que pidamos a nuestra moza.
Al momento de sentarnos, ibamos a sentarnos comenzansdo desde la punta izquierda, y no les pareció bien, nos hicieron sentar desde la derecha.
En fin, muy mala atencion y mal organizado, pero sobre todo, si reservo una mesa 22.15 y solo queremos comer Appetizers, no encuentro la negatividad y el problema que me plantearon, siendo ademas que estaba vacio, no le sacabamos lugar a nadie. Lamentable.

El Centro D.F. - Georgetown
Responded on October 22, 2019

Hola Maria, Gracias por informarnos sobre su experiencia en El Centro Georgetown. Lamento escuchar que no pudimos brindarle un nivel deseable de servicio y expectativas de alimentos durante su visita. Nos enorgullecemos de la excelente comida y servicio, y su visita claramente no estuvo a la altura de nuestros estándares habituales. Si desea hablar más sobre su experiencia, envíe un correo electrónico a guestrelations@richardsandoval.co así puedo ver cómo hacer las cosas bien.

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JJ
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience2

It was fine. Nothing spectacular. Don’t fee a need to go again but don’t regret going

El Centro D.F. - Georgetown
Responded on October 22, 2019

Dear Jared, I am sorry to see from your review that your experience with us at El Centro Georgetown was less than ideal. We value our guest feedback and if you would like to discuss your experience and how we could improve our food and service to something more than just fine, please email me at guestrelations@richardsandoval.co. Thank you for the feedback. Warm Regards, Molly Guest Experience Team

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MR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

The food was excellent, as was the service. My only complaint is that the noise level was very loud, especially for a Tuesday evening, but it would t deter me from going again! I would highly recommend!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food, drinks at a reasonable price. Service was very good as well

El Centro D.F. - Georgetown
Responded on October 17, 2019

Thank you for the positive review! We appreciate your feedback and your support. We are happy that you enjoyed your visit to El Centro Georgetown and hope we see you again soon.

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YB
Mississippi
3 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

This restaurant was recommended by a couple of my friends. Upon arrival, one of the hostesses was rude and the other two were very nice. The waitstaff was nice but missed some of our orders. The drinks weren’t very good with the brunch and there were only a few items on brunch menu that were delicious.

El Centro D.F. - Georgetown
Responded on October 17, 2019

Dear YvetteB, I am sorry to hear we were not able to provide you with desirable level of service and food expectations during your visit. We pride ourselves on excellent food and service, and your visit was clearly not up to our usual standards. We will meet with our hosts about how they come off to our guest and waitstaff about accuracy. If there is anything else I can do to improve your impression of El Centro, please email me at guestrealtaions@richardsandoval.cm. Molly Guest Experience Team

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b
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

I LOVE this place. We have been coming for years when we are back in town. That said, this time around the service was a little slow, but the food was still excellent. Additionally, I was really disappointed when we asked for more tortillas (we only got I think two each) that it would be like $4 more! For TORTILLAS at a Mexican place....really? Seemed kinda "nickle and dimey" for a place like that in Georgetown where the bill was easily going to be $75 or more for a couple. We'll still be back, but hopefully they will see this and take note.

OT
Nashville
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Amazing service and the best tacos I’ve ever had! Margaritas were also fantastic

El Centro D.F. - Georgetown
Responded on October 17, 2019

Thank you so much for the amazing review! We hope we can welcome you back to El Centro Georgetown again soon.

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SB
Miami
10 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fun place for a fun time with friends

El Centro D.F. - Georgetown
Responded on October 17, 2019

Thank you for the five star review! We appreciate the feedback and support and hope to welcome you back soon.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food1service1ambience1

Subpar food and service

OT
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall2food5service2ambience5

Amazing food and drinks but the waitstaff is consistently mediocre. They don't

El Centro D.F. - Georgetown
Responded on October 17, 2019

I am sorry to see from your review that your experience with us at El Centro Georgetown was less than ideal. We pride ourselves on excellent food and service, and our team clearly let you down. We value our guest feedback and if you would like to discuss your experience and how we could improve our service to earn more than 2 stars, please email me at guestrelations@richardsandoval.cm. Thank you for the feedback. Warm Regards, Molly Guest Experience Team

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KH
Birmingham
4 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service was very good. I would recommend the quest fundingo

TP
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience1

DO NOT COME HERE FOR GROUP CELEBRATIONS. I came here for a birthday celebration and nothing was how I expected it to be. I made a reservation with text requesting that I reserve a table on the patio, but when I came in, they tell me the patio is closed. So why would they not tell me this beforehand? I would have moved my celebration to a different location if they were responsive to my request. To make things worst we were sat right next to the window where we CLEARLY saw people outside on the patio. The staff seemed a bit out of touch with what was on their menu and we had to chase down our server multiple times to get any service to a restaurant that wasn't busy that particular afternoon. It was my actual birthday but I had to remind the server multiple times if I can get a free churro or SOMETHING. All in all I wish I chose a different restaurant or at least the DC El Centro location where they actually have specials like half off Sangria on Sunday. This El Centro doesnt have specials like that. Birthday ruined. Thanks Georgetown El-Centro.

El Centro D.F. - Georgetown
Responded on October 4, 2019

Dear Toni, I hope you will accept my sincere apologies. I am not sure what happened with the patio, but I have contacted management b/c your experience is unacceptable. I am also disappointed with the way our service team handled your group. We try to make the occasion feel special and our staff clearly let you down. We would like invite you back to show you a true El Centro experience. Please email me at guestrelations@richardsandoval.cm so I can find a way to make things right. Best, Molly M

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BR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

I came in for brunch yesterday and it was ehh compared to other brunch spots that i've been to in the DC area, we waited a long time for a waiter to come up to us and ask if we wanted a drink or to get started with our orders. We had to call a waiter after 15min just to get a drink. I'll start with the drinks, we ordered mimosas to start and they were good nice and strong. We then ordered margaritas and they tasted like they came from a premixed bottle , extremely watered down and just sour, terrible really.
Now the food , we got our food orders wrong a couple times and we noticed that everywhere, customers were being brought out wrong dishes. We got a handle of things from the menu the steak quesadilla was average, the steak tacos were okay, the bacon egg and cheese torta was good ! Never got our pork mexican benedict after we asked twice for it. The desserts we got churros and they were good. Bathrooms are also dirty and smell like someone peed all over the walls. Disappointed honestly

El Centro D.F. - Georgetown
Responded on October 4, 2019

I am sorry to hear we were not able to provide you with desirable level of service and food expectations while dining at El Centro. We pride ourselves on excellent food and service, and your visit was clearly not up to our usual standards. I apologize for the condition of the bathroom. This is not something that is acceptable and not something that is usual. If you would like to further discuss your visit and ways we can earn a second chance, please email us at guestrelations@richardsandoval.cm

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OT
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing as ALWAYS! The bottomless brunch is amazing and such a great value. The food was delicious.

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