Café Central

4.6
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1237 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Cafe Central offers an outstanding experience; delectable cuisine and our dedication to thoughtful service are evident in every staff member, making it a preferred destination for locals and visitors alike. Offering an expansive, award-winning wine selection and exquisite gourmet dishes with a Southwest twist in mind to create exceptional cuisine from appetizers to entrées. Located in the heart of downtown, just one block from the Museum of Art, Plaza Theatre, San Jacinto Plaza, Convention Center, and other hotels.

El Paso’s only winner of the Wine Spectator Best Award of Excellence for the past 11 years and honored with the Distinguished Restaurants of America (DiRoNa) Award for Excellence. After a long day of travel, indulge in the Cafe Central experience. Join us for dinner and enjoy the impeccable service and cuisine. Your table’s ready, and the bar is fully stocked.

Experience timeless tradition at Cafe Central and be part of the legacy. Bon appétit!
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Private Dining

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What 1237 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience3

It was beautiful, however there are separate rooms for dining. There is an open room where there is a live music and a back room with a more intimate space.

OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food2service3ambience5

The actual server is not at fault for the lower end service rating. In fact, he’s the reason it was not lower. Unfortunately for him, the system messed him up. The second bread took forever to get to me (did not get there until the actual meal arrived). And then when the new arrived, no one came to give us our steak knives. Thus, we were not able to eat until our server came back and we point out to him that we had not gotten our knives yet. Also, being seated next to a wall when there was an open table next to us was not appreciated. Especially when I made a reservation and was on time for the appointment (15 minutes early actually).

R
Las Vegas
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food. Was walking distance from hotel. Food is very good. Service was amazing. Can’t wait to go back.

EB
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Had a great time at Cafe Central. The only downside was that the salmon had a “fishy” taste to it. I’ve had better salmon at other less expensive restaurants.

JB
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food2service5ambience3

This is a tough one. Since we’ve arrived in El Paso all we have heard is about how amazing Cafe Central is.

With the wife and myself being avid ‘foodies’ this seemed like a perfect place to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Having been lucky enough to have experienced dining in establishments run by individuals like Janos Wilder and Joel Robuchon we were excited to have something local that was on par with that. Unfortunately it was not.

First and foremost, their staff was incredible and helpful. If you’re going for a nice night out these are the people you want serving you. Their sommelier was very knowledgeable and engaging, working tirelessly with my wife to choose a wine she would enjoy. They also pour generous glasses of wine, far more than is average I’ve found. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the liquor. First issue is, they ridiculously overcharge for their scotch. A glass of 25 year Macallan usually goes for around $65-$80. Ive found it as high as $105 in New York and $100 at Chandelier Bar in Vegas. Here they want an insane $165 a glass and it’s not even the full 2 oz. It’s half that. The pricing on this alone was a testament to how the rest of the evening would go.

The food was a very mixed bag. The brioche with caviar was very good and the octopus carpaccio was incredible. However, the wife’s Chilean sea bass was a travesty with a mushy center and my tenderloin was more medium than medium rare. We finished the evening with their signature tres leches cake and it was also very underwhelming.

At the end of the night it was a $300 tab that was maybe worth half of that (I passed on the 25 year and had 18 year scotch at a $45 price tag). Overall, I’m not sure what all the hype about this place was for because it left us with a pretty unsatisfied experience overall. Was a bummer because everyone I talked to said this was ‘the place’ here in El Paso.

AA
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food5service1ambience3

I realize that on Valentine’s Day it’s bound to be a rush but we went for a late lunch and waited 30 minutes just for wine and over an hour for our food. We were fortunate to grab the bread guy walking around but he only came once and forgot to bring butter. The food was absolutely delicious but the service was probably the worst I’ve experienced in a while.

N
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall1food4service1ambience1

We were very disappointed with our experience here. There were various issues with the service. To begin, our waiter did not tend to us for about 5 min after being sat at the table. Then, after we ordered food, they did not bring the bread we order with our soup. It then about 15 min to get the bread out to us, which the soup was cold by then. However, the green chile soup tasted very good, as did the rosemary bread. Next, they forgot to bring a side of jalapeño broth with the salmon, which I had ordered. Even after reminding the waiter, we never received it. The waiter also never brought us more water throughout the entire meal, even after being asked twice to bring it. I thought that perhaps our experience was unique since it is a little more upscale of a restaurant, but the couple sitting next to us had to complain to the manager for many of the same reasons. They ha da different waiter than we did, so it seems to be an establishment issue more than a waiter issue. I would not recommend this restaurant specifically because of the poor service. The food was good, but not worth dealing with the service issues.

OT
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food4service3ambience5

The service was incredible slow. We were at our table without drinks for about 10 to 15 minutes at first. The service crew looked scattered and all over the place.

WS
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Such a great place to enjoy a wonderful meal and great service.

KE
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was outstanding and tasted even better than we imagined.

OT
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was great, great food and service!

EC
El Paso
4 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

The only complaint that I had was the wait on the food took longer then going to Ruth’s Chris.

J
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food, with a good selection. The wine list was outstanding, the cocktail and specialty drinks also outstanding. Service was exceptional. The prices were high, but about what you would expect for such a high end restaurant.

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience4

Bar service was SLOW

a
El Paso
1 review
Dined on January 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We absolutely love Cafe Central. We travel very often around the world and haven’t found a restaurant with better service and such yummy food. The manager is so attentive!!!!

OT
Dallas
4 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Pricey, but very nice food and experience.

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely DELICIOUS, as always!

M
El Paso
2 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Last night’s dinner was exquisite, our waiter Dante, was knowledgeable and versed in pairing wines with our dinner. Thank you

RP
1 review
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was excellent, service was great, our waiter was very kind and informative, singer was great but in my opinion the pianist was the star.

JT
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall2food4service4ambience3

I called to reserve the table 5 days before the event for 2 for our anniversary . When my wife and I arrived on time at the day of our event, they sit us right next to the entrance door in front of the sign that says "wait to be seated" and people kept coming in and out, a lot of noises around. I was expecting a table somewhere quite due to that they knew it was our anniversary. I was not happy

OT
El Paso
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent customer service, great food!

VG
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

BEST restaurant by far! Food and service was outstanding

BM
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We celebrated a birthday at Cetral Cafe and everything went phenomenal. From the time you are greeted until the time you leave, you will fall in love with this place. We definitely did.

RG
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

This was one of the worst experiences for me in 2019. To begin with, When I reserved my table, I asked before if you still had tables inside and I was told you had. When I arrived, you seated outside – not sure if you noticed but it was cold. We were all wearing jackets and coats.

It was the second table to arrive, the reservation was at 9:30 am and I arrived at 8:50 pm approx. It was almost midnight and I was still waiting for my food. We waited for a long time and when we thought our food was ready, it was just to let us know that you ran out of lobster that if I want to order something else (ridicules).

I was very upset and I decide to talk to the manager, and he just said “yes, yes, yes” not even I am sorry for the inconvenient. In the end, we got a 20% discount for all the inconvenience, but I would prefer that you charged double what I paid just if you treated me with respect and with the usual service you normally give.

Remember that we are not going there just for the food, we are going for the full experience. This is not the first event you host, this is not new for you all. I can keep naming all things that happened but I am sure that I was not the only one affected for your poor service. Cold soup, cold dishes in general. Really, really bad service this night.

A
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall1food4service1ambience5

Restaurant was decorated very nice, however, service was really bad. After we were seated it took approximately 30 mins to see the waiter. After we ordered it took a long time to get the appetizer. Dinner was also served after approximately 30 mins after the soup.
Valet service was also bad. We requested our vehicle and it took approximately 45 mins to get it. I understand it was a busy night, but people were being serviced based on tips. Not first come first serve

S
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went for New Year’s Eve dinner which was quite an event with music and decorations and a champagne toast. The service was excellent with attentive staff and knowledgeable sommelier. The green chili soup as second course was absolutely delicious ( we would have licked the bowl if it was socially acceptable) but everything was well prepared and tasty. Also the cocktails were quite good. Beginning to end this this was a great way to spend New Year’s Eve ( even after our team lost in the sun bowl) and I would go again for a truly special evening out.

MT
El Paso
4 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

El ambiente muy elegante y decorado muy bien para la ocasión, los meseros y las host súper guapos vestidos muy adecuados al festejo de fin de año. La comida bien. La música en vivo le da un toque festivo.

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JE
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love this place. Awesome experience. Fantastic service and great food.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Great place! Appetizers came out with main course rhough

VG
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was lovely and delicious. Awesome service from everyone. Thank you.

AS
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

You get the best service in town and food is always on point

TD
Denver
4 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delcicious food, extremely professional service. Fantastic wine selection. Very romantic atmosphere.

R
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Always outstanding. Best restaurant in town! Nothing comes close. Sommelier is outstanding

BM
El Paso
1 review
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Was my first dining experience in El Paso for my wife’s birthday. She absolutely loved the ambience and decor of the establishment. She could not stop telling her friends how good the service and the food was. In particular I had the lamb chops and she had the lobster ravioli which were both excellent. My next dish will be the 28 day aged steak. Not only was the food excellent the wine and spirits selection was vast encompassing all the good stuff including a selection of Louis the 13th cognac if that’s what tickles you fancy.

d
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first visit and it was one of the best meals we have had. Well worth the drive from Las Cruces.

HR
El Paso
7 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The experience was superb in all aspects, just as we have come to expect!
From greetings upon arrival, immediately seated, great wine selection, delicious appetizer (crab cakes) and outstanding chilean sea bass, fresh, tender, just delicious!

OT
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Comfortable and Classic cuisine with Wonderful and Friendly service.

LM
El Paso
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Café Central remains one of El Paso's premier restaurants for fine dining, but it still lacks some of the sophisticated polish that other metropolitan areas offer. The food is delicious and the atmosphere is elegant and sophisticated. One can comfortably rely on Café Central to deliver a fine dining experience.

Where it lacks is in its service. The problem is small things such as (1) NEVER br