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

4.0

ambience

4.1

value

4.0

Noise

Moderate

76% would recommend it to a friend

Great for Brunch (22)
Casual (21)
Fun (20)
See All
Good for Groups (17)
Good for Birthdays (15)
Good for a Date (12)
Sunday Lunch (11)
Tapas (11)
Vibrant Bar Scene (10)
Happy Hour (9)
Neighborhood Gem (9)
Hot Spot (9)
People Watching (7)
Authentic (6)
Bar Seating (6)
Handcrafted Cocktails (6)
Great for Lunch (5)
Special Occasion (5)
Spicy (5)
Cozy (4)
Fit for Foodies (4)
Seasonal (4)
Tasting Menu (4)
Good Vegetarian Options (4)
Creative Cuisine (4)
Good for Anniversaries (3)
Comfort Food (3)
Late-night Find (3)
Great for Outdoor Dining (3)
Quick Bite (3)
Romantic (3)
Kid-friendly (2)
Gluten Free Options (2)
Live Music (2)
Worth the Drive (2)
Pre/post Theatre (1)
Scenic View (1)
Sort by
S
1113 reviews
Loading Reviews ...

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined 4 days ago

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.

Tags: Tapas, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined 4 days ago

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
·Dined 4 days ago

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 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 drinks not recommended if you want to have a good dinning experience.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Happy Hour, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience3
service4
value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined 4 days ago

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.

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

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on January 7, 2018

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

Tags: Great for Brunch, Bar Seating, Good for Groups, Fun, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·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.

Tags: Casual, Tapas
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service3
value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 7, 2018

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

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value3

 
·Dined on January 6, 2018

Had been to the Georgetown location in the past, but not 14th Street. Aside from a bit of a wait on a reserved table and music that was a bit too loud (although the playlist was killer), it was a great experience. As far as brunches go - it was a phenomenal value and the food was superb. Service was great, speedy, and very helpful, especially considering it was a pretty packed dining room. Would definitely return.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value5

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Great food and great service! The waiter didn’t let our glasses go empty and was very attentive of us! Food was so good and my personal fave was the carnitas tacos! Second time having brunch at El Centro and always a good time

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

 
 (Houston)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Had a great time in this location for brunch, the service was amazing!

Tags: Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 30, 2017

The food was dry, bland and tasteless. I've been here before and had a much better experience so something has gone downhill. I'm not planning to return.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience4
service4
value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 30, 2017

Restaurant sat party of five with a small child on top floor (heated roof deck) immediately next to bar with loud reggaeton overwhelming. Food was generally quite good, except undercooked fish tacos.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience1
service3
value2

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on December 30, 2017

Freezing upstairs!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined on December 24, 2017

Nice atmosphere and great place to hang out. Great Mexican brunch spot as you can drink and pick what you want to eat for a good price. It's best to come a tad early as the seating can fill up quickly.

Tags: Good for Groups, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date, Happy Hour, Great for Lunch, Fun, Creative Cuisine, Sunday Lunch, Spicy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on December 23, 2017

Bad quality food! Feels like cheap food but prices were average.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on December 23, 2017

Great for brunch!

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

vip
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on December 21, 2017

We waiting for half an hour after getting a table in the cold. They promised to turn in the heating, they did not. No food or drinks were served in 30 minutes. Waiters were chatting with each other.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service1
value4

 
·Dined on December 17, 2017

Great brunch special!

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

 
·Dined on December 17, 2017

The food was great and our waitress Mariana was AMAZING! It was our first time having brunch there and we will definitely be back

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 17, 2017

Too loud, we couldn’t even hear each other.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4
value4

 
·Dined on December 10, 2017

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 on December 10, 2017

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 on December 9, 2017

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

Report this review as inappropriate?

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