El Centro D.F. on 14th Street

4.3
1345 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
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.


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What 1345 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
4.0
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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E
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Great margaritas and guacamole. Cool location with great outdoor bars. Not the best food but neat place!

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

Was not happy with the food and services. It took about a good 20minutes for everyone at the table to be served. One plate at a time.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

Food and serve were good, but they did not have a table reserved for us. We had to sit in the front area at high top with bar stools. We were told it would take up to an hour to be seated at a table inside in the restaurant.

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YG
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Considering it was mother’s day it was busy, but not super busy. We all enjoyed our meal and the company we were with. It wasn’t super loud but with the people that were around we were still able to hear everyone at our table! And the food and drink were super yummy!!

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L
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was great and the food was delicious

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A
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

The queso fundido had so little cheese that it was mostly burnt by the time it got to the table. It was a mess of black cheese and grease. The food lacked seasoning and overall was bland... but the churros were amazing!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

It took 20 minutes for us to be seated with a reservation. Our food arrived at least 15 minutes before our drinks arrived. The server was extremely slow and kept forgetting things. He brought one of us the wrong drink twice. This isn’t a reflection on the restaurant itself, more on the wait staff. For it being Cinco de Mayo, I would think everyone would’ve been more prepared.

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KL
Houston
3 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this location and the customer service there. I really think you get your money’s worth!

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A
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

This was our first time at the El Centro on 14th street (been to the one in Georgetown) . We had an awesome time and we always love bottomless brunch; however, it kept taking FOREVER to get our next round of drinks which sucks especially since the bottomless aspect has a time limit. At one point it took our waitress 30 minutes to get me my drink even though everyone around me kept getting theirs. other than that it was great!

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L
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great drinks, great brunch, great service!

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SM
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 2

We were unprepared by how loud and boisterous this restaurant was. The food was very tasty and the service person was lovely and informative. The noise was nearly intolerable.

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RS
Richmond
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

Crowded and loud at 7 on a Friday, but service and food was still good.

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Service was fantastic! Our waitress Alexey checked on us often and kept the food and drinks coming. The food was great and the atmosphere was fun. Please come and give them your money

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RG
1 review
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a great brunch experience. We loved the flavors... both food and drinks were unique.

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D
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Took an hour for the mains to arrive. Manager apologized and comped drinks.

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AK
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great waitress and as always a fun vibe

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J
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing place! The Saturday brunch deal was perfect for my boyfriend and I! We got to try different things from the menu and have bottomless mimosas. Will definitely go back once we are in DC again.

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WJ
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The food is always amazing. The service is good. It gets crowded sometimes, so you definitely want to be sure to make a reservation in advance of your visit.

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ND
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Big mexican food fan and this place did not disappoint. The only thing I reccomend they change is their margaritas, they were a little warm.

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DC
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

As a "VIP" Opentable customer, with a reservation, tonight was unacceptable. Least of the errors was being seated 20 minutes late, worse yet, we were seated at a table in the middle of the blacklighted2nd floor bar area. Food and waitress were good, this treatment however was terrible.

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g
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

I would recommend El Centro based on past experiences, but it was not great on Sunday. We came in at 10 am, so I was expecting our server to pay a bit more attention to us since we were the only ones in his section for at least 30 minutes. But he was kind of aloof. The bartender was paying more attention to us and was really wonderful. But our actual server was not good at refilling drinks, he took an abnormally long time to tell us that the coffee machine was broken, and he took a while to take our food orders. But El Centro is usually one of my favorite places for brunch in DC, so I will be coming back. I was just surprised about how unimpressive this experience was.

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LS
Raleigh
7 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really good Mexican food in the U Street area. Enjoyed everything.

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TJ
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 5ambience 3

I will not be returning to this venue. The only thing good about this place was the service and drinks. The food was bland aka not good and they ran out of the things that seemed like it would have flavor. How do you run out potatoes and burgers? They also stuck us in a basement with no cell service or wifi. If you are going to sit people in a basement at least have wifi. If you want this type of brunch I suggest going to their sister restaurant Masa 14.

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CR
Miami
5 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service and food were excellent as usual. The margaritas are the best! I accidentally spilled half of mine and they brought me a fresh one immediately. All of the waiters are attentive, the music is fun and the guacamole is a most!

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MD
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

El Centro seems vastly improved since last time we visited a few years back, happy to know it will be back on our Mex rotation. Only complaint would be the blue-white low energy bulbs casting a parlor throughout the basement level- a warmer golden environment would make for a more pleasant atmosphere.

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NS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Yes! I recommended El Centro to my friends that I brought with me and they thanked me afterward for taking them there. They want to come back there the next time they are in town. Our server was amazing! She was attentive, charismatic and considerate.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

I actually made up my mind that i would never go back ! The service was completely terrible took forever the waiter tried to make it up to us by giving us stuff that we didn’t even order that was left over from the other tables that they could no longer service . From the very beginning our service was terrible our water never brought water to the table placed chips on the table never brought salsa , it’s supposed to be bottomless food and bottomless drinks we got 1 round of drinks we didn’t even ask for and 1 round of food that was on the same plate for everyone at the table. I don’t eat pork or beef so i didn’t partake ! She finally brought me 2 tacos on a small plate after an hour of ordering them at this point i was ready to leave which is what we did

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service

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t
St. Louis
6 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

When we sat down the table was dirty. There was some guacamole or something stuck to the bottom of the plate that ended up spreading across the table. It was pretty gross. We were running a little late, and they did call to confirm that we would be there which I thought was pretty good service. Our waitress was nice but a little unprofessional. My family had lots of questions, and she was visibly annoyed, but did answer every single one. The food was good, but no one from our group thought their food was outstanding. I did like the ambiance, and we had a great table with a view of the street. Overall, maybe a B-?? It’s hard to say after a weekend of incredible food.

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AM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

We found the food to be very bland, ordered the Chipotle BBQ Chicken Salad and the Diabla Shrimp chef's special. Both were very disappointing, as was the Mojito Mexicano. Perhaps we should have just ordered tacos.

Also, the two-person tables placed in a long row next to the wall in the back room are too close together. Very hard to get comfortable without bumping into the person sitting behind one at the adjacent table.

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KE
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great ambiance, food, and service. Get the guac and the salmon mole!

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ZW
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere. Friendly service from staff. Amazing food especially the brunch.

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OT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Good choice, good brunch. Food and service was good. It was a little noisy, and we were upstairs where it was a little cool (it was winter and I think the upstairs is normally an outdoor bar)

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JD
Charleston
5 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Three of us dined at El Centro. We each had tacos but different kinds. We were all very happy with our meals. They were delicious, and we liked how they were served. I also had an El Centro margarita, which was very good. Overall we had a really good dining experience. The noise level was a little high, and it took a while for our server to get back to our table, but neither diminished our experience. I would go again for sure.

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TM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Food was pretty good! Our mojitos were lacking on the mint and sugar; which was disappointing. Ambience was nice, but it was so dark that it was kinda hard to see.

The biggest problem was the service. We barely saw our server and she forgot one of our drink orders. When we went to pay our bill the server was nowhere to be found. We had to eventually ask another server for the check.

Overall: food was good and ambience was ok. However the service and quality of drinks was lacking

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D
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

The brunch menu is much less appealing than the standard lunch/dinner menu. I shall not go again when the brunch menu is the only one available.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

Food is always great. Service needs to improve.

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AM
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food & margaritas. Good service! Great place to go for Mexican. Delicious 😋

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PC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Other than the fact that it was cold- everything else was excellent

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KL
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great service and good! The waitress has another table of over 20 people and she managed to continue giving us great service as well!

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