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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 89 times today

El Centro D.F. on 14th Street

4.4
1141 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican
Top Tags:
  • Casual
  • Great for Brunch
  • Fun
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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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Mexican, Comfort Food, Contemporary Mexican
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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)
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Phone number
(202) 328-3131
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Richard Sandoval
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Swann St, NW
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Parking details
Only Street Parking
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Public transit
U Street Metro Stop and all 14th Street bus lines.
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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
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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.

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What 1141 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4  based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.0
service
4.0
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
76% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
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  • 2
  • 1
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OpenTable Diner (Baltimore)
3.0  Dined a day ago

Overall very unhappy with this past experience at el centro. The food is always good, however the service was terrible. We were seated at a table upstairs basically at the bar and the music was so loud no one could even talk. We also didn’t have a designated waiter. Took forever to get a chip refill or even drinks. We didn’t get any water refilled. Then we were told it was going to be turned into a dance floor which was fine but no one would bring the check. So many diff people helped us i don’t even know who ended up with the tip. Overall it was not what i would have hoped for my 30th bday. I don’t know if I’ll be back.

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Molovesfood (Baltimore)
4.0  Dined 2 days ago

Even through the loud crazy night we didn’t regret going. The al pastor tacos and margaritas were amazing.

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garyj 
3.0  Dined 6 days ago

After going to EC for the past 3 years, it was quite a disappointment to be treated like cattle and thrown up into the bar where I had to engage the bartender for food after 10 min of waiting to find out that were servers for dinner and that I had to go back downstairs to see the girl who sent us upstairs to the no service bar area despite having a dinner reservation. I have never seen the restaurant so disorganized. Long story short, I contacted one of the managers who appeared the only responsible adult who did all he could do to make things right for my girlfriend and I.

He was a very good man.

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Mylaunya 
3.0  Dined 7 days ago

The food was great! The spot was awesome. The downside was my girlfriend and I went there for her birthday, so of course I wanted everything to go well. Unfortunately, it didn’t. Every time we ordered food it would take 30-45 minutes for it to come out. The server was constantly getting our drink orders incorrect. The server checked up on us maybe 6 times the entire theee hours we were there. Whenever we had to remind our server about the fact that our food hasn’t come, she just kinda laughed about it then assured us it was coming out soon. The food was great, but I don’t plan on ever coming back here and recommending it to anyone.

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vipOpenTable Diner (Raleigh)
3.0  Dined 7 days ago

We were seated nearly an hour after our reservation time and then the kitchen kept losing our food orders and the bartender was very slow. Our waitress and the host were nice about it, but still pretty frustrating experience.

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OpenTable Diner (Charleston)
5.0  Dined 7 days ago

It was great! Music was fun! Food was delicious! Will definitely go back!

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ajdl (Washington DC)
4.0  Dined on February 17, 2018

Amazing brunch deal and wonderful food, but packed and very noisy.

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Foodie (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on February 16, 2018

The grilled pineapple margaritas are phenomenal!

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vipOpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on February 15, 2018

Great service, seated quickly, good food

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vinoLove (Washington DC)
4.0  Dined on February 10, 2018

We had a big party for a birthday and we had a great time!

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HaliK (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on February 9, 2018

Went with my out-of-town best friend and sadly, somehow, I had also never been! It was amazing- the food was great, the happy hour prices on drinks were amazing, the drinks were on point, and the ambiance was lovely. The music was loud, so maybe don't take friend who want to have a serious conversation. But overall, it was wonderful.

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OpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
3.0  Dined on February 3, 2018

Very friendly server. Food good overall. However, several dishes like the Tortilla soup and Charro beans were way too salty.

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OpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on February 3, 2018

It was great! The restaurant was overbooked and understaffed, but our servers were amazing and tried their hardest given the circumstances. Loved the food and the drinks were great!

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DonClarendon (Houston)
1.0  Dined on February 2, 2018

Terrible bar tending. Passable food. Was better a few years ago, but not worth a visit these days.

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OpenTable Diner (St. Louis)
5.0  Dined on January 29, 2018

We ate upstairs, super great service from the bartender up there! Food came very fast and the bartender came to check on us often.

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Padrino (Washington DC)
4.0  Dined on January 27, 2018

Went on a double date with friends. Plan was to have dinner and then stay to dance. Worked out well, but felt a bit rushed at the end of dinner as they needed to clear the tables to make room for the dance floor. All in all a good experience. Once dancing got started it was quite obvious there were quite a few younger patrons who were inebriated and bottles started breaking and alcohol being spilt on us and other dancers. Not fun, but not surprising either. Just a bit bummed it occurred at all. Need better screening at the door. Order the churros, so Delish!!

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OpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
5.0  Dined on January 27, 2018

I love going to El Centro. The food is always delicious, as are the drinks. Our server was extremely polite and checked on us as frequently as he could, even though the place was packed. This restaurant is great for big group get-togethers and for going out with friends.

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KateC (Washington DC)
2.0  Dined on January 27, 2018

Our server was off. We always had to ask if we could order, she never offered drinks, etc. We asked if we could mix and match the tacos, and after my friend ordered, the server said she thought it was possible but would check to make sure. She quickly walked away before I could place my order, but we thought maybe she was just checking. However, she never came back to take my order. We didn't see her again until our food arrived. Thankfully we filled up on guac and decided 1 order of tacos was enough to share. 1 of the 3 tacos was the wrong order as well.

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vipOpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
4.0  Dined on January 27, 2018

Our food was great but our server was definitely in over his head. We got our entres before he ever brought over the appetizer.

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OpenTable Diner (Tampa)
5.0  Dined on January 27, 2018

Brunch with our friends was a hit. They enjoyed it so much they plan on going back again. This is also the traditional brunch spot for when my parents come and visit. We always have a good time and it’s a wonderful way to start your Sunday!

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vipDissapointed (Washington DC)
3.0  Dined on January 26, 2018

I really want to like El Centro again. This is the second time I’ve been since I moved back in the summer and I keep on being disappointed compared to the quality it used to be. We had the chunky guacamole, it was way too salty, we wanted to send it back but it took so long to get we figured we would just eat it. I had the chicken dish...meh. It was oily and nothing to write home about. The food here used to be on par with what you could find in the Mexico City...now, not so much.

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HungryManMo (Washington DC)
4.0  Dined on January 24, 2018

I took a first date there. We ended up being seated in the basement, which we didn't know existed. Very laid back, club vibe. The lighting was funky and enjoyable. I will definitely go back!

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OpenTable Diner (Baltimore)
5.0  Dined on January 20, 2018

The food was good, and the dancing was great!! Excellent spot!!

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Josie (Baltimore)
3.0  Dined on January 14, 2018

This was not my first time at El Centro , or this particular location. I often used to frequent this establishment because I liked their brunch deal. Over the years the service has gotten worse. The menu hasn’t been updated, which isn’t a bad thing bc the food is really good when it’s warm and you aren’t constantly waiting on it. Not sure if this is due to the fact that the restaurant was short staffed or just because our waiter wasn’t attentive but we had to ask for things multiple times before they were brought you, had to remind him constantly and would have anywhere from 20-35 mins before we saw our waiter again. While the food and the drinks are great the experience is ruined by lack of attentive staff.

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MichaelS (Washington DC)
3.0  Dined on January 14, 2018

I’ve been going to EL Centro DF for brunch every January for a number of years now and this will be my last year. The service was very slow. It took forever to get a drink order in and to get the check. Also, the food menu changed and a number of very good items are no longer on the menu. I sat upstairs for the first time and the noise level was too high for a pleasant brunch. I used to look forward to dining here and now I’ll have to find somewhere else for brunch.

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Ricardo (New York Area)
3.0  Dined on January 13, 2018

My partner and I went there for dinner after reading soome review and lookikng at some pictures of the place and food.
We were exited to try the food a d drinks but honestly we were disappointed. We firts ordered some drinks. My husband had their version of mojito which is serve in a big glass to probably make it look like there is a lot of alchol in it but the sad truth is reveal on the first sip.
Then We order the Tinga Tamal as an appetizer; it was dry had very little flavor. The rest of the food was an average of flavors nothing memorable.
The service on the other hand was great. Our server was very friendly and was constantly checking on us to make sure we were doing well. When I asked her for some corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas, she immediately got then for me.
I think this place is good to be with friends and have some guacamole and bears not recommended if you want to have a good dinning experience.

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OpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
4.0  Dined on January 13, 2018

I love El Centro. This is def Miami kind of Mexican food. Good drinks and food. After hours it turns into a party with great music.

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MCat (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on January 7, 2018

Best brunch deal in DC! Great food, great drinks, and great music. I can’t wait to go back!

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KNY1 (Washington DC)
4.0  Dined on January 7, 2018

The brunch menu looked really appetizing and offered a variety of dishes, however I thought the quality of the food could have been better. For example, the churros tasted oily and the beef sliders were nearly raw when served. The chicken quesadillas were delicious and the staff were very attentive.

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OpenTable Diner (Washington DC)
4.0  Dined on January 6, 2018

Food was sophisticated even if portions were middling
House margaritas were excellent

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