El Centro D.F. - Georgetown

4.3
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1109 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary Mexican

Top tags:

Casual
Chef Richard Sandoval invites you to gather, dine and raise a glass at El Centro, D.F. Authentic Mexican comfort food and fine Tequilas are served in three vibrant spaces.

Reaching back to his roots, internationally acclaimed Chef Richard Sandoval created El Centro DF to introduce Washington DC to signature authentic Mexican flavors and traditional dishes that he grew up enjoying. The dynamic two-story restaurant in Georgetown, with a back patio, is also home to over 300 tequilas, mezcals alongside craft Mexican-inspired drinks.
What 1109 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.0
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
73% of people would recommend it to a friend
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YB
Mississippi
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

This restaurant was recommended by a couple of my friends. Upon arrival, one of the hostesses was rude and the other two were very nice. The waitstaff was nice but missed some of our orders. The drinks weren’t very good with the brunch and there were only a few items on brunch menu that were delicious.

b
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

I LOVE this place. We have been coming for years when we are back in town. That said, this time around the service was a little slow, but the food was still excellent. Additionally, I was really disappointed when we asked for more tortillas (we only got I think two each) that it would be like $4 more! For TORTILLAS at a Mexican place....really? Seemed kinda "nickle and dimey" for a place like that in Georgetown where the bill was easily going to be $75 or more for a couple. We'll still be back, but hopefully they will see this and take note.

OT
Nashville
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Amazing service and the best tacos I’ve ever had! Margaritas were also fantastic

SB
Miami
8 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun place for a fun time with friends

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 1service 1ambience 1

Subpar food and service

OT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 5service 2ambience 5

Amazing food and drinks but the waitstaff is consistently mediocre. They don't

KH
Birmingham
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service was very good. I would recommend the quest fundingo

TP
1 review
Dined on 29 September 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

DO NOT COME HERE FOR GROUP CELEBRATIONS. I came here for a birthday celebration and nothing was how I expected it to be. I made a reservation with text requesting that I reserve a table on the patio, but when I came in, they tell me the patio is closed. So why would they not tell me this beforehand? I would have moved my celebration to a different location if they were responsive to my request. To make things worst we were sat right next to the window where we CLEARLY saw people outside on the patio. The staff seemed a bit out of touch with what was on their menu and we had to chase down our server multiple times to get any service to a restaurant that wasn't busy that particular afternoon. It was my actual birthday but I had to remind the server multiple times if I can get a free churro or SOMETHING. All in all I wish I chose a different restaurant or at least the DC El Centro location where they actually have specials like half off Sangria on Sunday. This El Centro doesnt have specials like that. Birthday ruined. Thanks Georgetown El-Centro.

El Centro D.F. - Georgetown
Responded on 4 October 2019

Dear Toni, I hope you will accept my sincere apologies. I am not sure what happened with the patio, but I have contacted management b/c your experience is unacceptable. I am also disappointed with the way our service team handled your group. We try to make the occasion feel special and our staff clearly let you down. We would like invite you back to show you a true El Centro experience. Please email me at guestrelations@richardsandoval.cm so I can find a way to make things right. Best, Molly M

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BR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 29 September 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

I came in for brunch yesterday and it was ehh compared to other brunch spots that i've been to in the DC area, we waited a long time for a waiter to come up to us and ask if we wanted a drink or to get started with our orders. We had to call a waiter after 15min just to get a drink. I'll start with the drinks, we ordered mimosas to start and they were good nice and strong. We then ordered margaritas and they tasted like they came from a premixed bottle , extremely watered down and just sour, terrible really.
Now the food , we got our food orders wrong a couple times and we noticed that everywhere, customers were being brought out wrong dishes. We got a handle of things from the menu the steak quesadilla was average, the steak tacos were okay, the bacon egg and cheese torta was good ! Never got our pork mexican benedict after we asked twice for it. The desserts we got churros and they were good. Bathrooms are also dirty and smell like someone peed all over the walls. Disappointed honestly

El Centro D.F. - Georgetown
Responded on 4 October 2019

I am sorry to hear we were not able to provide you with desirable level of service and food expectations while dining at El Centro. We pride ourselves on excellent food and service, and your visit was clearly not up to our usual standards. I apologize for the condition of the bathroom. This is not something that is acceptable and not something that is usual. If you would like to further discuss your visit and ways we can earn a second chance, please email us at guestrelations@richardsandoval.cm

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C
Raleigh
16 reviews
Dined on 29 September 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

Checking in was too complicated. We had a reservation for 3, place was almost empty and took almost 15 min to be taken to our table.?.
Authentic yes, but average. Nothing too special.

El Centro D.F. - Georgetown
Responded on 4 October 2019

Dear Cuissineamateur60, I am sorry to hear we were not able to provide you with desirable level of service and food expectations while dining at El Centro. We pride ourselves on excellent food and service, and your visit was clearly not up to our usual standards. If you would like to further discuss your visit, please email me at guestrealations@richardsandoval.cm. Warm Regards, Molly Guest Experience Team

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M
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on 28 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

the acoustics leave a lot to be desired - the tables are close together so I could hear their conversation, and had difficulty hearing my boyfriend, who sat across from me. That being said, the food is amazing! I had the carne asada and my boyfriend had the carnitas - they were both amazing! Worth it to go when it's quieter.

El Centro D.F. - Georgetown
Responded on 4 October 2019

Dear Morgan, Thank you so much for the positive review! We appreciate your feedback and are glad to see you enjoyed your food at El Centro. I will bring the issue of acoustics to management’s attention to assess the overall ambiance of the restaurant and adjust music levels where applicable to cancel out adjacent table conversations and background noise. We hope you will come back to El Centro again soon and find a more accommodating level of sound. Thanks again, Molly Guest Experience Team

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y
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 28 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 2ambience 5

The food was great! Enjoy every bite of it!

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 27 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and service. However, they do not split checks here which is not the best for a young crowd and a lot of groups coming.

FF
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on 22 September 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

They did not have our table despite making a reservation. The food was bland and not memorable. Additionally if you wanted beverages (agua frescas) that were non alcoholic you would be charged. Not worth the money; look elsewhere!

El Centro D.F. - Georgetown
Responded on 24 September 2019

Dear Foodie. I am sorry to hear we were not able to provide you with desirable level of service and food expectations while dining at El Centro. We pride ourselves on excellent food and service, and our team clearly let you down. I will be meeting with our chef to ensure that we deliver the best quality ingredients and value served to our guests. If you would like to further discuss your visit and ways we can earn a second chance, please email us at guestrelations@richardsandoval.co m

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OT
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on 21 September 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Great night. It was very hot in there!

AL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 13 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My go-to place for excellent Mexican food. The carnitas are fabulous and the made at your table guacamole is some of the best I've ever had. Worth a trip!

j
Washington DC
81 reviews
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Food was very good at El Centro and our host and server were fantastic!

NL
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 6 September 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

I prefer the 14th St location over this one. Just a more cool vibe all around.

Too many college kids at this location and the seating isn't that great. We were put in a corner by the bar

OT
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on 6 September 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

our server was great. food was pretty good. drinks watered down.

V
Richmond
1 review
Dined on 2 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food for Brunch. My wife and I went there with an 11 and 9 year old. The kids ate free since we got the bottomless bunch. Waitress was super attentive and even noticed that our food had been delivered to the wrong table before we said anything.

El Centro D.F. - Georgetown
Responded on 5 September 2019

Thank you for the rating Vic! We are glad we were able to give you a memorable family-dining experience. We appreciate the feedback and hope to welcome you back to El Centro - Georgetown soon.

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OT
Portland
1 review
Dined on 1 September 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Not quick with bottomless brunch refills - we had to adopt a new waiter and even then it was slow. Not ideal

El Centro D.F. - Georgetown
Responded on 5 September 2019

I am sorry to hear we were not able to provide you with desirable level of service and food expectations while dining at El Centro - Georgetown. We are working on better training our staff to handle the volume during peak times. If you would like to further discuss your experience, please email me at guestrelations@richardsandoval.co m to see if we can change your impression and give you the experience you should have had in the first place.

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AL
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved our meal! We got the Fiesta Dinner and feasted! Our waitress was amazing and very attentive. We had a wonderful experience.

El Centro D.F. - Georgetown
Responded on 5 September 2019

Dear AshleighL, I am so glad to hear your experience lived up to our standards and you enjoyed yourself! We appreciate you taking the time to write a reveiw and hope to welcome you back to El Centro -Georgetown soon.

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T
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on 30 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wife and I went out with the baby for lunch. Food was top notch. Bartender I think was our server and he provided excellent customer service. Honestly incredibly impressed with this experience.

El Centro D.F. - Georgetown
Responded on 5 September 2019

Thank you for the review Todd! I am so happy to hear that we were able to create such a memorable experience for you and your family. We strive for excellent food and service, and I am so happy to hear our bartender went above and beyond. We appreciate your feedback and hope to welcome you back to El Centro- Georgetown soon.

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OT
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

One of the best bottomless brunches that I have had in DC. The options are very diverse and the food was very good! The breakfast tacos were amazing and the drinks were pretty good too. You definitely get your moneys worth! The reason for not 5 stars is that we had multiple issues with our orders not being brought out and the staff messed up our checks twice. We had to wait around for an extra 25 minutes after we gave our cards while they figured it out... would have been nice to be offered a drink or something while we waited.. there was little apology or explanation for the wait given.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 21 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food as always and great ambiance on the second floor!

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall 1food 5service 5ambience 1

Power went out

El Centro D.F. - Georgetown
Responded on 26 August 2019

We are sorry that you had this experience at El Centro Georgetown. We would like to invite you back to El Centro for a better lit visit. Please email me at guestrelations@richardsandoval.co m to further discuss your visit and the possibility of earning a second chance to win your business. Thank you, Molly Guest Experience Team

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 1food 4service 1ambience 3

Service was awful. We had a reservation yet they insisted on having us seat at the table at the back in front of the kitchen door and next to the toilets; worst place to seat. 3 different waiters refused to change our table even though they had plenty of unoccupied tables. We had to escalate to the manager and the whole situation was very unsettling.

T
Richmond
8 reviews
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

I really like El Centro- they have a great atmosphere, and lots of space. I was pleasantly surprised we didn't have to wait long to be seated, as Georgetown can be hectic during the week. The guacamole was amazing, probably the best guac I've had in my life.

OT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on 9 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fast service, food was great, seating was ideal

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 9 August 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 5

We went for the happy hour deals and were seated at a table but told that happy hour is only available at the bar.

EM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 9 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I'd recommend for sure. They have plenty of different seating options depending on what you want. The food was brilliant and they have an impressive selection of Tequila! The service was excellent and the manager was even nice enough to give us some shots on the house!

a
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 8 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

The new menu and changes to the cutlery/table were very nice!

MI
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on 3 August 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Excellent service, superb management, fun atmosphere, very good drinks.

WD
New England
4 reviews
Dined on 27 July 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

Expensive, slow service, really below average margaritas, and mediocre food. Many better options in Georgetown.

c
1 review
Dined on 27 July 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

What a disappointment! We went to El Centro to celebrate my daughter's 15th birthday. We had reservations for 5 at 6:30. From the moment we walked into the half empty restaurant it was bizarre. Both hostesses were unsmiling and unfriendly, one asked our name three times in a row, the other told us to wait while she sat another party that walked in after us while we were waiting to be seated! We stood there for ten minutes. Once we got upstairs, again after at least another ten minutes, I had to finally get up and get the attention of a random employee to ask who out server was. People seated after us were ordering drinks and appetizers and we hadn't seen a soul. After much huddling around, including the apparent manager on duty, a server finally walked up to us with his pad and said "Are you ready to order?". No hello, no welcome, nothing. We had to waive down an employee to bring us chips for the guacamole that was put on our table so that we had something to eat it with other than our forks. Whether the assumption was made that we were a family, and therefore not going to tip well (which would be an incorrect assumption, we tip extremely well for good service), or the employees are just indifferent is hard to tell. Overall a very cold and pretentious feeling, the food was good but not remarkable in any way, and we won't be back.

OT
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on 27 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Saturday brunch was great

MO
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on 27 July 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

Food menu was confusing. Service was not great. A bit slow. Underwhelmed.

LJ
8 reviews
Dined on 20 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Just a bit too noisy. Food and service good

KC
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on 20 July 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

I came here with some friends for dinner. Overall, we had a good experience, but with a couple hiccups. One of our dishes came out with ingredients we had not asked for, but our waiter was very kind in apologizing and having a new dish be brought out without the ingredient in question. Aside from that, our server was a bit slow in tending to our table and we often couldn’t flag him down to place orders or ask for the check. The food and drinks are fantastic, especially the margarita pitchers, but the serving sizes are a bit on the smaller side for the price, so ordering multiple dishes and sharing them family style might be the best way to go! Would come back again!

c
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on 19 July 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 1

Broken table, VERY loud, drunk people making a scene, and very poor service from our waiter and the kitchen was clearly not communicating with front of house because our appetizer was brought out AFTER our entrees. I usually go to the location on 14th and it’s been great. Gonna avoid the Georgetown location from now on.

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