El Centro D.F. on 14th Street

4.4
1217 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$30 and under
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Mexican
Top Tags:
  • Great for Brunch
  • Fun
  • Good for Groups
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.


icon/ic_review copyCreated with Sketch.
Delivery or takeout
icon/ic_private_diningCreated with Sketch.
Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
Cuisines
Mexican, Comfort Food, Contemporary Mexican
icon/ic_clockCreated with Sketch.
Hours of operation
DINNER:
Monday through Sunday
3:00 pm to 11:00 pm

LATE NIGHT:
Wednesday and Thursday: 11:00pm - 2:00am
Friday - Saturday: 11:00pm - 3:00am

ROOFTOP MENU:
Monday - Friday: 3:00pm - 9:00pm Siesta and Full Menu available
Saturday & Sunday: 3:00pm - 9:00pm Full Menu available

BRUNCH:
Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am - 4:00pm
Two Hour Time limit per table

HAPPY HOUR:
3:00pm - 7:00pm Monday through Friday (only available at the bar or the front section)
icon/ic_phoneCreated with Sketch.
Phone number
(202) 328-3131
icon/ic_new_windowCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_paymentCreated with Sketch.
Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
icon/ic_dress_codeCreated with Sketch.
Dress code
Smart Casual
icon/ic_chefCreated with Sketch.
Executive chef
Richard Sandoval
icon/ic_locationCreated with Sketch.
icon/ic_neighborhoodCreated with Sketch.
Neighborhood
icon/ic_cross_streetCreated with Sketch.
Cross street
Swann St, NW
icon/ic_parking_detailsCreated with Sketch.
Parking details
Only Street Parking
icon/ic_public_transitCreated with Sketch.
Public transit
U Street Metro Stop and all 14th Street bus lines.
icon/ic_entertainmentCreated with Sketch.
Entertainment
All Night Happy Hour
Every Monday, 3pm-close

Taco Takedown Tuesday
$2 Taco specials all day, every Tuesday

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
icon/ic_special_eventsCreated with Sketch.
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!
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Dancing, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Private Dining

Chef Sandoval, acclaimed as the Father of Modern Mexican Cuisine, invites you to gather, dine & raise a glass at El Centro DF. Authentic Mexican comfort food, signature Latin cocktails and a collection of 200 Tequilas are served in the vibrant spaces – the Taquerria, Tequilaria and open air Rooftop.

View Private Dining Details
Reviews from verified diners
1,217 reviews
4.4 out of 5 Stars
Outstanding
63%
Very Good
21%
Good
9%
Fair
3%
Poor
4%
4.4
food
4.1
service
4.1
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
67% of people would recommend it to a friend
Sort by
Newest
Filters
A
5.0Dined on July 14, 2018

Second time here for brunch and it was once a great experience. Highly recommend.

Report
Helpful
CV
5.0Dined on July 14, 2018

Yoko Ono broke up the Beatles, and the churros were good

Report
Helpful
MM
5.0Dined on July 8, 2018

Our server(forgot her name) was very attentive and nice. Food was great and so were the drinks. The music could be turned down just a little bit, though. Overall 5/5 everything we will definitely be going here for brunch a lot

Report
Helpful
KW
3.0Dined on July 7, 2018

Service was all over the place. Food was okay. This is definitely better if you want to do the bottomless brunch, as servers did not understand how their own a la carte worked. Hostess also tried to move us once we had already been seated for 15 minutes. Will only be back for happy hour.

Report
Helpful
OT
5.0Dined on July 7, 2018

Fantastic service and the music was incredible. Would have preferred more supportive chairs for the high top tables.

Report
Helpful
f
5.0Dined on July 7, 2018

Delicious plates and yummy tacos! I recommend the Spiked Hibiscus Agua Fresca as your beverage for the entire brunch! You cannot go wrong!

Report
Helpful
CC
4.0Dined on July 7, 2018

I look forward to trying some other entrees on the menu, before recommending....

Report
Helpful
OT
4.0Dined on July 6, 2018

AC condensation dripping on my date asked three times before they moved us started to leave.

Report
Helpful
OT
3.0Dined on July 2, 2018

They wouldn’t sit us on time inside.

Report
Helpful
w
3.0Dined on June 30, 2018

The service was terrific but downstairs feels a little dark and dingy and the food is very mediocre. Nothing really came out warm enough and the cheese was already kind of congealing. The food wasn't bad but it wasn't great. The tacos were also far too greasy to enjoy. The drinks were fine (recommend the mimosa at lunch). I'd come back for a drink but not for the food and not for the brunch.

Report
Helpful
OT
2.0Dined on June 25, 2018

The food was delicious, especially the unique quesadilla app. But there were multiple problems with the ambiance (table too close to the bathroom with bare light from the bathroom shining out like a spotlight on my companion in the dark dining room every time someone opened the bathroom door, worn out decor overall, and place not very clean despite not being crowded, etc.) and the service (very nice guy but didn't bring water for a very long time after greeting us, forgot our cocktails, spoke so softly he couldn't be heard, and didn't know the menu well enough to answer a couple of basic questions).

Report
Helpful
RD
3.0Dined on June 24, 2018

The Hanger Steak Tacos are great and the El Pastor Tacos are very good. Not so keen on the Chicken Tacos. The good food, however, is ruined by horrible ambience. The chairs were falling apart, wobbled, and had small hardware store metal brackets added to hold them together. The air conditioner dripped on one end of the table. The noise level was through the roof (but consider that I'm of the over-55 generation). Very good service!

Report
Helpful
n
1.0Dined on June 23, 2018

It was bizarrely loud - so loud you couldn't even think... at 10:30 AM, while they blasted pop and hip hop from 15 years ago ALL MORNING, while being unable to put the sound on from the TV - it was the morning of the mexico-south korea game, and there were about 40 people on the top floor who were there to watch soccer. The food at the establishment has gone decidedly downhill in the last several years. The service is still good, and the brunch is still a tremendous value, but this was a horrible experience, primarily because of the ear-drum destroying volume which was appropriate for 11 PM, not 11 AM.

Report
Helpful
LE
4.0Dined on June 22, 2018

Good food, good prices, lively atmosphere. A solid choice for mexican.

Report
Helpful
T
5.0Dined on June 16, 2018

Our server was super and we had a great time!

Report
Helpful
OT
5.0Dined on June 10, 2018

The good was amazing. All you can eat and drink for Sunday brunch.

Report
Helpful
OT
5.0Dined on June 10, 2018

Manny was a great server.he was really on top of making sure we had a great experience

Report
Helpful
OT
3.0Dined on June 9, 2018

The food was good and came out promptly, but I didn’t like the wait times for our drinks (we chose the bottomless option.) Apparently there wasn’t a steady dish washer available so glasses stayed dirty, which meant we had to wait for them to be washed in order to receive a new drink (this often took a very long time.) Also, our server had too many tables so we had to flag her down many times to even order another round of food/drinks.

Report
Helpful
BH
1.0Dined on June 2, 2018

Our waiter was completely inattentive. I had to track him down several times just to get a drink order taken. 20 minutes later he finally brought out a pitcher of mimosas for our table. He took our orders as well but our food too about 30 minutes just to come out. When it did come out it was I complete. We were missing several items of food that we ordered. We tried to order more food and the waiter told us that the chef was no longer taking orders. So essentially I paid $35 for 1 taco and a chicken flautus. Ridiculous !

Report
Helpful
M
5.0Dined on May 28, 2018

Experience was great I’m a repeat customer. I love my window seat and I got that with my friends! Manny our server was more than amazing I hope they give him an extra bonus for being just amazing! My friends had a great time. Service was great and food as well! One of the many great times I have had at El Centro! I recommend this place to anyone!

Report
Helpful
MH
1.0Dined on May 28, 2018

The service was terrible. The margaritas we ordered had no tequila. I watched them make it and it wasn't until I pointed it out that didn't pour any tequila in it, they offered to remake it. The server was argumentative about it and only offered to charge me more. We felt rushed by the staff to hurry our meal, even though the restaurant was pretty slow.

Report
Helpful
D
2.0Dined on May 28, 2018

The quality of food has gone down since it opened. We used to love coming here, but now I think they focus more on drinks than they do the food. Probably won’t be back for a while.

Report
Helpful
BS
3.0Dined on May 27, 2018

Solid experience, nothing too special. Service was slow, despite lack of crowds. Their guac was tremendous, but the tacos were nothing to write home about. House Margarita was bland and tasted like lemonade. Definitely a 3/5 type of place

Report
Helpful
z
5.0Dined on May 27, 2018

Got together with a couple of friends for brunch. We had the food-only all you can eat, which was a great option. We tasted almost every thing on the menu, and it was a good way to explore foods I had not heard about before. The service was great: our glasses were filled.

Report
Helpful
OT
5.0Dined on May 26, 2018

Great atmosphere good tacos good beer

Report
Helpful
E
1.0Dined on May 26, 2018

Myself and two friends came here this past Saturday for a birthday brunch. Service was the worst experience I've had in a while. Very unfortunate because our server had about 9 tables, three of which sat at the same time which is a lot on her own, but when you throw in that she didn't understand simple drinking terms "1800 Reposado, chilled", and some of our food never came out at all, I felt bad for her but perhaps she should transition to hostess since management obviously put way too much on her too soon.

The food itself was pretty mediocre, frozen shrimp in the seafood dishes we ordered (ceviche, jalisco enchilada) which I was not fond of in the slightest. I had a reservation and was seated way in the dark back of the ground level - VERY dusty walls, ceiling and vent right above out table. When I asked if there were tables upstairs, the hostess said no, but didn't bother to physically check (eyeroll). Everything that came to the table was kind of cool/warm, not quite hot - the table itself was pretty small too for three people, and wobbly as hell!

The take away? - ok spot for happy hour weekdays, STAY AWAY from brunch Saturday!

Report
Helpful
OT
5.0Dined on May 20, 2018

Service was warm and friendly, although a bit slow and apparently disorganized. All of the food, including chunky guacamole appetizer, chile relleno, shrimp tamal and several kinds of tacos, was wonderful. Great chips and salsa. The upstairs room where we sat had a delightful breeze.

Report
Helpful
OT
2.0Dined on May 18, 2018

Took them 20 mins to sit us after we go there and after our reservation time. Say us upstairs and it was raining and the rain was coming in through the windows and it was wet everywhere. Then they sat us in the basement and the table was covered in dirt. Food was cold. Not good.

Report
Helpful
OT
5.0Dined on May 18, 2018

I enjoyed my dinner. We sat in the upstairs area, which is fun because it’s sort of open - there’s a roof but it’s sort of open on the sides. The server seemed a little disinterested but e was efficient!

Report
Helpful
S
3.0Dined on May 17, 2018

We were seated in the basement which was hot and smelled badly despite our reservation.

Report
Helpful
OT
5.0Dined on May 16, 2018

Great food! This was my second visit and they didn't disappoint!

Report
Helpful
j
5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

great place for brunch food was delicious and flavorful service was attentive and cheerful

Report
Helpful
OT
5.0Dined on May 12, 2018

So many options for food and the drinks! Excellent food and service

Report
Helpful
OT
3.0Dined on May 12, 2018

Service was slow because they were serving and working behind the bar.

Report
Helpful
CR
2.0Dined on May 6, 2018

We usually love El Centro for brunch. We made our reservation more than a week ahead, and were very disappointed with our meal and experience. We waited 15 minutes to be greeted by a waiter, and never got some of the plates we ordered. Service continued to be slow as several different servers would sporadically check on us (even though we saw those same servers attending other larger tables more often, getting them rounds of shots, and even walking through the restaurant past on our table on their phones). Many times our food was cold by the time it got to our table and the Bloody Marias were terrible (usually one of my favorites). We are no longer going to recommend El Centro to our friends for Sunday Brunch.

Report
Helpful
OT
5.0Dined on May 5, 2018

This restaurant has a great atmosphere, great food, great service. Had an amazing time, will definitely recommend.

Report
Helpful
SS
1.0Dined on May 4, 2018

It was my first time coming to this place. The food was beyond disgusting, I would take Taco Bell 10/10 times compared to the over expensive tacos this place has.

Report
Helpful
S
5.0Dined on April 29, 2018

The Sunday unlimited brunch served until 5pm is fantastic! Best margaritas ever. Bloody Mary was great as well and the watermelon aqua Fresca, a tequila based drink was also wonderful. Loved sitting upstairs with the roof open and the sun streaming in. A return visit is already in the works.

Report
Helpful
JL
2.0Dined on April 22, 2018

I was a little disappointed by my experience this past Sunday. I had some friends in town and was excited to share this brunch experience with them. However, service was very very slow. Half the table received their first drink and it took a full 20 minutes before the rest of the table was served. Additionally, I would say about 75% of the food that we received was down right cold when it should have been hot. I understand brunch service can be a struggle, however, I was quite embarrassed that this was the type of service that my friends received after I'd talked so highly of your establishment.

Report
Helpful
NZ
1.0Dined on April 21, 2018

Our server was " HORRIBLE." Hyped up the restaurant to my brother ( birthday dinner) and my friends all week. We were very disappointed and embarrassed. I will never recommend this place again.

Report
Helpful
1
2
3
31