About El Centro D.F. on 14th Street

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.


1819 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Mexican, Comfort Food, Contemporary Mexican

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 - 3:00pm
Two Hour Time limit per table

HAPPY HOUR:
3:00pm - 7:00pm Monday through Friday (only available at the bar or the front section)

Cross Street:
Swann St, NW

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(202) 328-3131

Website:
http://www.richardsandoval.com/elcentrodf/

Entertainment:
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

Parking Details:
Only Street Parking

Public Transit:
U Street Metro Stop and all 14th Street bus lines.

Executive Chef:
Richard Sandoval

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

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!

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.

El Centro D.F. on 14th Street Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.2

service

3.8

ambience

4.0

value

4.0

Noise

Moderate

79% would recommend it to a friend

Great for Brunch (22)
Casual (22)
Fun (21)
See All
Good for Groups (20)
Vibrant Bar Scene (13)
Good for Birthdays (12)
Happy Hour (12)
Hot Spot (11)
Sunday Lunch (11)
Tapas (11)
Bar Seating (10)
Neighborhood Gem (10)
Good for a Date (10)
Fit for Foodies (8)
People Watching (8)
Authentic (7)
Handcrafted Cocktails (7)
Great for Lunch (6)
Great for Outdoor Dining (5)
Special Occasion (5)
Worth the Drive (5)
Comfort Food (4)
Seasonal (4)
Spicy (4)
Tasting Menu (4)
Creative Cuisine (4)
Good for Anniversaries (3)
Kid-friendly (3)
Cozy (3)
Quick Bite (3)
Good Vegetarian Options (3)
Late-night Find (2)
Romantic (2)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Live Music (1)
Pre/post Theatre (1)
Scenic View (1)
Sort by
S
1092 reviews
Loading Reviews ...

 
·Dined 3 days ago

I love this place for brunch!!! The food and drinks are sooo good and the price is so affordable. Mariah is such a great server, she's very friendly and attentive. I hope to see you guys soon!

Tags: Spicy, Kid-friendly, Vibrant Bar Scene, Creative Cuisine, Tapas, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fun, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Great for Brunch, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined 3 days ago

Make sure to plan a ahead and book a table
Food come out fast and hot
Cold refreshing drink
Party of 4 or more makes it more fun and enjoyable

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined 4 days ago

Our group of 4 was excited to try out brunch here for the first time but it was a huge let down. After we were seated and got our initial round of mimosas and food it was nearly impossible for us to get service. It felt like the whole brunch we were constantly waiting to order something else but no one ever stopped by our table. The waiter even apologized for the terrible service because he knew it was terrible. It would take 10 minutes for us to get the drinks we ordered and oftentimes would have to remind them what we had ordered (mimosas or margaritas... Nothing difficult). At one point we ordered nachos with just beans and cheese and they brought us tortilla chips sprinkled with powdered cheese. I'd never seen anything like it. We had fun because we enjoyed each other's company but it was hardly worth the $40 we paid for the lackluster service and minimal food and drinks. Would not recommend.

Tags: People Watching
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service1
value1

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 3, 2017

I feel very sad to write this review about El Centro on 14th. I've been going to El Centro for the past 4 years- between the food and unbelievably amazing family vibe I gotten from the staff & GM, it was my go-to. Now after this visit, not anymore. I notice the change in customer service and food last month on my birthday. As soon as I came in, I didn't see any familiar faces which was odd because I knew that most of my favorites worked Saturdays. I later learned that the GM Justin & staff are gone now. I've gone 3 times since and the quality of food has suffer, some dishes aren't available due to running out (which happened today), customer service & friendliness has disappeared. I fear its gonna be plain and boring like the Georgetown location.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service2
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 3, 2017

The restaurant needed more servers! The quality of the food was poor!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience1
service2
value1

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 3, 2017

The food is amazing! Our service was OK, a little slow. We sat upstairs so the atmosphere was more casual, I would have prefered to be seated in the downstairs dining room.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service3
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Food was just okay. It was so loud. Even our waiter joked about the high noise level. Turn the music down. When dinning with friends, I actually liked to talk and hear them. The steam and smoke from kitchen was aggressive too. Their own tequila infused/home-made, watermelon margarita was excellent. 3/5.

Tags: Good for Groups, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 25, 2017

Always a good time! And of course my favorite bottomless maragaritas! Great food and service was excellent!

Tags: Tasting Menu, Fun, Good for Groups, Bar Seating, Great for Brunch, Tapas
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 25, 2017

This was the perfect brunch for my family and friends after the Thanksgiving season. They were accommodating, attentive and just plain awesome. I've been plenty of times, but each time ago, I'm more and more satisfied each time I leave.

Tags: Casual, Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Sunday Lunch, Happy Hour, Neighborhood Gem, Worth the Drive, People Watching
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 18, 2017

Getting a table was awful even with a reservation! Had to wait 40 minutes while seeing a lot of other groups that came after us, get seated first. It was upsetting!

Tags: Tasting Menu
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service1
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 18, 2017

El Centro has the best brunch scene in all of DC! Their $35 all you can eat and drink is a steal. Their food is great and the drinks are strong.

Tags: Authentic, Tapas, Good for Birthdays, Vibrant Bar Scene, Hot Spot, Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on November 18, 2017

Delicious for bottomless brunch. The drinks are great as was the food, really fun to get to try all of the different things on the menu. Service declined greatly as we got towards the end, food and drinks consistently took 15+ minutes and we only rarely saw our server.

Tags: Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Fun, Good for Groups, Great for Brunch, Sunday Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service2
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 18, 2017

The music is WAY too loud - I get if they turn up the volume late at night (i.e. after 10pm) for dancing, but we ate dinner at 8pm - my dinner companions and I had to yell at each other in order to hold a conversation.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience2
service3
value3

 
 (London)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Good brunch option.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on November 11, 2017

My favorite place for brunch! The service was great, and the food and drinks were delicious.

Tags: Hot Spot, Creative Cuisine, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Great for Brunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 11, 2017

Great time!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service3
value5

 
·Dined on November 5, 2017

One of my favorite places for brunch! This past Sunday the service was great, even it was a lil busy, our waitress make sure that we were ok. She’s was outstanding!

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Great for Brunch, Tapas, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 4, 2017

Great food. Amazing service. We were traveling and found this place, so glad we did. They were so nice to our kids. Thank you!

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Kid-friendly
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Richmond)·Dined on November 4, 2017

Too loud music downstairs for brunch time, I felt like I was shouting in order to be able to talk to my friend

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
·Dined on November 4, 2017

Service was a bit slow and food was good enough. Good bang for your buck.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service3
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 28, 2017

I use to love going to this place, but not so much anymore. I want to love it, but the quality is just not there anymore.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service2
value2

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on October 22, 2017

Fun atmosphere and great food. Shrimp and crab enchiladas were delicious as was the rice that came with it, and the plantains. Great margaritas too! Guacamole to start was a generous potion and really tasty.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Baltimore)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Bacon guacamole is a must. We also tried the Al Pastor, hanger steak, and crispy shrimp tacos. Hanger steak was by far the winner and the only "must try" of the 3.

Tags: Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on October 20, 2017

The place was hopping with people five-deep at the bar when we arrived. With a concrete floor and metal everywhere the volume of the crowd was really too loud for dinner conversation. We wanted to get rooftop seating but a private party had that closed off.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service5
value3

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 15, 2017

What's happened to El Centro? Tacos mediocre. Definitely less flavor. AND they gave us a dark table in the dungeon when they knew that this was a celebratory brunch. NOT returning to this place when there are so much better, more authentic places now in DC. Pity. Appears that they are appealing to the crowd that only drinks. How pedestrian.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience2
service2
value3

 
·Dined on October 15, 2017

Not sure why this place had good ratings. We were sat at a two top right next to the bar and kept getting knocked by bar patrons. We had guacamole that literally tasted like nothing, salsa that tasted like tomato paste, and an order of seriously bland and fatty Barbacoa beef tacos. The meat was completely flavorless. We were given water when we arrived and each of us orders one drink. We were never offered refills of either. I would love to blame it on a busy night, but it wasn’t. Will not recommend or go back.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience2
service1
value1

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 14, 2017

El centro has a great deal for brunch. Would definitely recommend for those looking to enjoy bottomless brunch in a solid environment with good food.

Tags: Casual, Great for Brunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 14, 2017

The tacos were amazing. The drinks delicious. The service perfect, there when we needed and not hovering when we were chatting. The churros were a fabulous finish to the spectacular boozy brunch. The perfect 21st birthday present.
Almost forgot, the bacon wrapped hot dog.....heaven!! Amazing flavors.

Tags: Sunday Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 8, 2017

Went for an early dinner on sunday evening. Guacamole was good as was the free chips and salsa (especially the smoky salsa). Then things went a little south. Took a while to get margarita but it was large and not too bad. Got the mahi mahi tacos - lacked some flavor. Both myself and dining companion had issues with the taco tortillas - they broke when we bit into our tacos so had to use utensils to eat them. Would come back for happy hour appetizers and drinks, not sure about other food though.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 8, 2017

Service was so so bad. We waiting about 15 minutes before the server came over to give us menus. Easily another 20 mins before our half pitcher of overly sweet margaritas were served. We almost got up and left (should have looking back) and finally our food came. The fajitas weren't even hot. Super disappointed. Won't be returning.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience2
service1
value2

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on October 6, 2017

Great and interesting menu, not just the usual fare. Chunky guacamole was exceptional. Very pleasant atmosphere.

Tags: Good for a Date, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 1, 2017

Great service & food !

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 30, 2017

One of my favorite Robert Sandoval restaurants, the best brunch in Washington DC, great atmosphere and great staff! oh my God! The brunch hot dogs are the best!!! During the week the Table guacamole is awesome!!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Seasonal, Sunday Lunch, Great for Lunch, Casual, Fun, Hot Spot, People Watching
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on September 29, 2017

The whole place was very loud and the server was very inattentive, I had to go to the bar and ask for silverware because none was provided and he did not check on us for over 10 minutes.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience2
service1
value2

 
·Dined on September 24, 2017

We went for our anniversary, but this is very much an everyday dining establishment. The food was fantastic, the joint a bit funky and the service great.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on September 24, 2017

I had such a good time here! The drinks were amazeballs and the churros were to die for.

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Romantic, Tapas, Quick Bite, Special Occasion, Casual, Scenic View, Hot Spot, Great for Brunch, Fun, Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating, Comfort Food, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Baltimore)·Dined on September 23, 2017

Good food but didn't realize a bottomless brunch party was going on when we were there. Though we all enjoyed the music, probably not the ideal place for our 5 year old!

Tags: Casual, Good for Birthdays, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience2
service3
value2

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on September 23, 2017

The best part of the meal was the salsas, which were creative and delicious. The tacos were good, but overpriced. The queso was good, but would have been better if served with sturdy chips instead of tortillas. My first margarita was good, but the second was overly sweet. The music was very loud and we found ourselves shouting across the table at each other.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service3
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on September 22, 2017

Possibly the best salmon I've ever had, I highly recommend it!

Tags: Good for a Date, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 16, 2017

The food was amazing! We got the chili relleno and al pastor tacos and both were incredibly delicious. The margarita was way over sweetened, however, and I would like to see more margarita options that are less volume (less sugar water), more flavor.

Tags: Tapas, Great for Lunch, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Birthdays, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.