El Centro D.F. on 14th Street

4.3
1362 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 1362 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
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 2food 4service 3ambience 1

Eating in 85+ degree heat on the roof, especially when it’s cooler outside, is quite unpleasant.

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H
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

Poor service bad food

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s
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, really nice staff

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TE
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The food was great and drinks were awesome, our waiter was great as well - only inconvenience was the wait. Reservation was at 145, we got there 10 mins early. We were told wait would be 15 min - which was fine, nbd and the hostess served us mimosas while we waited. We didn’t get seated til almost 230 and didn’t eat until around 3 so we didn’t get to fully enjoy 2 hours of service because the kitchen then had to prepare for dinner around 4 which was unfair to us considering we got there when we supposed to. Otherwise, it wasn’t terrible.

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A
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

El Centro was great! I would definitely come back again and try more things! We made reservations during Pride and they were about 30 minutes late honoring the reservation which made me nervous at first but, after we were seated we did the bottomless brunch and it was well worth the money. The vibes of the basement seating were very edgy and energetic. The chicken quesadillas were melt in your mouth good and the empanadas were delicious too. Other people at our table were fans of the tacos as well. We ordered the Bloody Maria, Bloody Mary, and Margaritas as well and they were all incredibly good! The mimosa was a typical mimosa and nothing too exciting. After awhile it got busier and people at the table felt a little forgotten as time passed and our drinks weren't coming as quickly but it was an overall good experience.

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JM
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

It was a busy weekend but we were seated 45 minutes late. Hostess offered us free mimosas but another waitress took the pitcher for a table before she could pour them for us. The food was ok but service was slow and it was crowded. I’ve been before and had better experiences but maybe avoid on a busy weekend day.

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D
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Overall, a great experience. My friend ordered the tamarind margarita but the flavor was a little too subtle. The strawberry basil was terrific. The background music was a bit loud and the noise levels grew as more people arrived. But the food and service were very good. Would definitely return!

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MO
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had an excellent time here. It was my friend’s bachelorette and they treated us so well! We were moved up to the patio and given a complimentary champagne with our food and drinks. We ordered the fiesta menu which was definitely worth the price. We had more food than we could eat and everything was delicious especially the carnitas and guacamole. I would definitely recommend anyone celebrating something to dine here. The ambiance was great too and our servers were so thoughtful & considerate.

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ES
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 4

Haven't been in DC very long and was searching for a great new Mexican joint to try. I had heard great things about this place so I brought my family here! This is an upper scale taco place, would not recommend going if you are looking for authentic entrees. The salsas however are worth a trip of their own. Every salsa provided with our meals were to die for. I went on a limb and tried the lamb steak tacos, and did not enjoy them but our waitress was so nice and took them right off the bill. My mom however LOVED the lamb. my aunt LOVED the steak tacos, and my friend LOVED the chicken enchiladas. Would love to go back for some quick chips, salsa, and the super cool drink menu!

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HM
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Excellent food as usual. However, my party of three was sat at a table for two, while we watched a table of two sat a table for two after that table had sat empty for a while before we entered and while we ate. It was just an uncomfortable dining experience and made it hard to enjoy eating when we were trying to make sure our there was enough room for all our plates/elbows.

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

Poor service which may be in result to poor staffing. The food was ok considering you can order unlimited tapas but the margaritas were a bit unbearable as it tasted like I was drinking sour mix out of a cup. With a two hour table limit with unlimited food and drinks something must have gone wrong if the check was requested 45 mins in.

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DL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

WE love your Brunch!!! That is why we came, just bummed out that we were told we couldn't sit at the window (At that time only 1 person was sitting there and it was just my husband and I) But after we were seated in the rear of the restaurant we saw about 6 ppl get seated at the front and were confused. That was the whole point since it was a great day; eat good, drink good, and people watch.
BUT nonetheless, food was great, our server Raven was awesome and on point!

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I stopped here on the first night of our long weekend in DC. The restaurant has a really cool vibe. It’s dark and industrial. The food and drinks were great. My husband sampled some of their house infused tequilas and really enjoyed them. He also had the hanger steak tacos which were phenomenal. My Paloma was perfectly refreshing for the hot day. The crab and shrimp enchiladas were killer. Overall it was a great meal! A little pricey, but it’s DC, so what’re ya gonna do?

Oh and we went at 5:30 on a Saturday and totally didn’t need a reservation.

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BC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

I would definitely recommend el centro - if you want to be able to have a conversation and still have a little music in the background, I recommend you book your table on the lower level. Also, note that the guacamole is not included in the bottomless menu! So youlll have to pay extra for it. Aside from that, their churros is the best in town, hands down!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Love El Centro but they were out of iced tea and the service was very slow. Their Georgetown restaurant is a better experience.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 2

I was served raw pork and told by the chef that pink is the normal color of the al pastor meat. The waitress provided a good service and apologized for the inconvenience.

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BL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 3

This used to be my favorite brunch spot, but now I'm not so sure. There all you could eat/drink brunch used to be amazing, but they took off two of the best items guacamole and nachos. WHAT!!! I was so sadden by this. So if that wasn't enough the front desk staff and the service was not great as well. When we first walked we were greeted by a man and a women at the front desk. The man welcomed us and asked for our name, we gave it to him and I asked if we could please sit on the roof (which I had already requested when I made the reservation), instantaneously the women jumped into our conversation and said NO very abruptly. We were kind of in shock, and then the man and women started arguing about it and he just told her to bring us upstairs, so she did. They seated us in the only seats that were in the sun and it was way to hot. After about ten minutes we asked to change and our waiter was very kind and allowed us to do so. That was basically the last time we saw him. We had to track him down multiple times to order more food and drinks, he was busy but not so busy as to ignore a whole section of people for 30+ min. So with all of that being said, we thought that brunch itself was a let down, but we still enjoyed.

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E
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
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
2 reviews
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
4 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
7 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
9 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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