Centro Restaurant

4.7
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2352 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Conveniently located in downtown Des Moines lives one of the city’s most popular restaurants, Centro. The urban eatery specializes in delicious Italian-inspired food featuring fresh ingredients and masterful preparation by Chef George Formaro and Executive Chef Jon Baker. Whether you’re ordering a multi-course meal or grabbing a drink and pizza at the bar, Centro’s lively, casual yet upscale atmosphere makes it perfect for dining with friends, family, clients and business associates.
What 2352 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Mobile
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food! Wonderful waitress. Beautiful restaurant.

d
Milwaukee
10 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and service. Easy to locate and ample parking nearby.

OT
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything about our anniversary dinner was wonderful!

DW
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always the best food , service and best restaurant in town . No worries ever with Gluten. My wife has celiac disease and has never had a problem with gluten. thanks

JS
Des Moines
8 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had another great dining experience at Centro for brunch. I ordered the steak and eggs (scrambled with cheese and green onion) which came with Centro potatoes(yummy), and my guest had the chicken panini sandwich. Both were excellent. My guest also had the total basil soup which is always good. Service was typically professional, friendly, attentive without being overbearing. I always look forward to a meal at Centro, and afterwards, to the next time.

D
Des Moines
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the true gems of the Des Moines food scene. Inspiration menu is always unique, interesting, and great tasting. A go to for both work clients and a dinner out with the people most special to me.

AB
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great birthday celebration with wife and kids. Food and service were great as always.

CM
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came to visit Des Moines from WI and were very happy with our meal and service at Centro. We went for breakfast on Sunday and had Timothy as a server. He made the experience especially delightful with his perky and charismatic personality. The food was also so delicious and decent sized portions. We would absolutely come again when we go back!

JC
Des Moines
2 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service, outstanding food. Highly recommend Centro for an enjoyable evening out!

SH
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We sat on the patio - seemed to be a lot of noisy vehicles zooming by. Nothing that the restaurant could have prevented. :)

NB
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were well taken care of by Timothy and did not have a long wait. Since we were celebrating we enjoyed a special dessert. The food was delicious and we are anxious to return!

DS
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Excellent restaurant, believe it or not wish the pasta portions were smaller. I was traveling on business and couldn't take the leftovers with me to my hotel. Been there for lunch and dinner very good food. A little noisy but not terrible. Also have a nice bar.

J
Des Moines
8 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Birthday celebration

CW
Des Moines
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Timothy is the world’s greatest waiter! Ask for him every time you go!! So helpful and genuinely kind!!

DH
Minneapolis
6 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We had dinner on the patio which was lovely. Walking through the dining room, we were happy with the choice to eat outside as the noise level was high. Good service, attentive. Shared a salad- the greens were not quite as fresh as we would have liked. Pasta dishes were very good.

GS
Atlanta
16 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

In town on business and decided to try this place out on a Sunday night.

Ambiance: overall it is nice. A little loud with the noise level coming from the bar
Service: Server was good. Two things I found lacking - he kept giving me an update on when my food would be out, such as mussels are about 4 minutes away, etc. While I am traveling on my own for business I don't need a countdown. Also, I finished my starter and my plate wasn't cleared before the entree came out. It wasn't that busy - this should have been handled.
Food: Ordered mussels as an appetizer and had scallops for my entree. Mussels were good, but very small. The sauce was different (not the standard white wine sauce, which I love) but I enjoyed them. A little pricey. My main course was scallops, which were large and tasted good but the dish was not the right temp. While the potatoes were hot the sprouts were warm and the scallops were luke warm. I want my scallops sizzling. I (reluctantly) sent it back and the plate was microwaved for a few seconds and came back out. Scallops were a little warmer but I did not want to risk sending them back a second time. While I know it is uncommon these days I would have preferred to have had the whole dish redone. Plus the scallops were highly recommended by the waiter, which had me anticipating something extraordinary. When they came out luke warm it really was a major disappointment. Plus the sauce with the scallops was a little off putting.

I know this is an Italian restaurant but if you are going to sell seafood know how to prepare and serve it right!

Again, this was a Sunday night...they had a couple of larger tables occupied and a decent crowd in the bar but the place was pretty empty. I would have expected better.

When back in town on business I will not come back

E
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Second or third time in we’ll be back. Consistent quality nice place

JM
St. Louis
2 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

It was a great evening so we were able to dine on the patio. Great atmosphere out there but it could use just a little background music. Food as always was fantastic. Mama’s meatball never disappoints and the portabello fries were fantastic. I had the margherita pizza and it was great (I ate the whole thing myself) and my girlfriend has the Gnocchi, well cooked and great flavor! The martini’s were a perfect compliment to our meal, we will definitely be back.

AL
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious as usual! We loved the DSM restaurant week specials!

DC
Des Moines
12 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great meal, great service.
Always lovely on the patio on a cool, breezy late summer evening

GK
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Can't wait to go back. Spectacular food! Loved the atmosphere and service was very good.

OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We enjoy centro. The food is very good and service typically very good as well. This time as special shout out to the host as he remembered our group of six would prefer an out side table. He came back to us after we were seated at a poor table to make it happen. Nice job. Note ..you have a large group, try to seat them at a table that is not in the middle of traffic.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We went for my girlfriends birthday and it was a perfect evening. Parked close, sat right away, food was excellent and the wait staff was on point. Couldn’t of had a better evening at Centro!

AB
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great food and service
Bruschetta was fresh and tasty
Steak Centro was cooked perfectly
Will return

JL
Kansas City
4 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service were amazing! We will defiantly go back the next time we are in town. Never had Italian good that good!!

c
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Pizzas were great !

NH
Las Vegas
17 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely the best service I received in DSM after dining this week at 801, Malo, Django, Iowa Tap Room, Americana and Splash. Our server was the best, hands down second to none.

JD
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great meal, as usual! Our server was very friendly and helpful. Always a treat to dine at Centro!

e
Los Angeles
23 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

We love Centro but were very disappointed in the restaurant week menu. We were surprised to see there was only one choice for a meal for the evening. We decided to order it and the pulled chicken pasta was just okay.

HK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place was seriously amazing. My husband and I came here for the first time for a random date night. It happened to be during Des Moines restaurant week, so we got to try some amazing off menu items. We spent so much time at Centro just talking to each other about how amazing the food was and we left bellies stuffed. I already want to go back, it was such a fun night and our waitress took such great care of us.

S
Omaha
2 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and excellent service! Wonderful place for a birthday lunch with friends!

T
Des Moines
6 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food is delicious! Really delicious! The portions are larger than necessary, but there’s always the take-home bag. Oh, and good bar drinks, too.

A
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

I have eaten at this restaurant several times before and have found it to be good. Unfortunately, this time, I tried the restaurant week special and found it to be not to my liking. I did not care for the first or third (main) course.

EM
Columbus
42 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Pasta was wonderful. Service was fine, nothing special. Our waiter didn't have the best tableside manner - aloof and snarly. On the other hand, he was prompt with meal delivery/refills, etc., and we didn't have to wait for anything.

Two of us had the handmade cavatelli with Italian sausage, marinara and mozzarella. My mouth is watering as I remember how good it was - probably the best pasta I've ever eaten in a restaurant, including in Italy.

Four of us shared the mussels and a few lighter appetizers. Nothing to write home about!

I would go back to Centro in a heartbeat. Next time, I would save my appetite for salad and pasta and skip the appetizers altogether.

CR
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience. Will be going back. Food was delicious and prompt even during the lunch rush. It was noisy due to being full so I chose to sit outside to be able to have a conversation.

OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful!! If this restaurant was local we would visit every week!! An absolute gem!!

OT
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of our favorite places in Des Moines. Food is always amazing!

MB
Des Moines
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit at Centro for brunch. The food was excellent - recommend the tomato soup, portobello fries, Centro breakfast, spinach frittata, & stuffed French toast. Our server was the BEST - very polite & accurate & she stayed on top of coffee refills! This was not our 1st visit, nor will it be our last!

JE
London
15 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great time sitting at the bar. Quality food and friendly, engaging staff.

D
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We asked to be seated on the patio when we arrived because it was a nice evening out. They had space and gladly let us update our reservation to move outside. We had put on our reservation that it was my husband’s birthday and they wished him a happy birthday on arrival. The food was excellent we left with full bellies. I highly recommend the scallops and the soup and you can’t beat the Centro salad! Can’t wait to go back!

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