Party Earth Review Three distinct levels – from a classy, intimate basement to a rowdy open-air rooftop – make El Centro D.F. (Distrito Federal) a multi-faceted haunt for anyone in need of inventive Mexican cuisine or just a mess of tequila... ... read full review
1819 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
Green, Yellow Lines: U Street/African-Amer Civil War Memorial/Cardozo
M–F 5pm–2am, Sa 10am–2am, Su 10am–11pm
Kitchen: closes at 11pm but smaller late night menu remains available till close
U Street Corridor, Washington, DC –
Three distinct levels – from a classy, intimate basement to a rowdy open-air rooftop – make El Centro D.F. (Distrito Federal) a multi-faceted haunt for anyone in need of inventive Mexican cuisine or just a mess of tequila.
Textured walls and rough-hewn tables make up the industrial ground floor, which swells with a trendy after-work crowd passing bowls of guacamole and bottles of wine. The concrete bar provides a front row view of the cacophonous open kitchen, where signature beef tongue tacos are churned out as thirsty drinkers sip sweet agave cocktails or just stick with bare-bones margaritas in a can.
Above their heads, the rooftop swells with a more casual Happy Hour crowd clustering over Tecates and mojitos beneath twinkling white lights, though lines can get long for the roof once the action picks up.
For a more intimate experience, young couples can head to the subterranean tequileria, a dim space decked out in clay masks and offering over a hundred different types of tequila.
On Fridays and Saturdays, the sleek tables in this basement den are pushed aside by 11:30pm when DJs start spinning Top 40 and Latin hits, while the upper levels see hordes of partiers flooding in for tacos and tequila tastings.
Chic eats and agave treats make El Centro D.F. the place to go, whether for a late-night fiesta or an afternoon hangover treatment.
Varying mix of dapper young couples, trendy professionals, casual post-grads, and tequila lovers, late 20s to early 40s.
DJs spin salsa, house, Latin beats, and Top 40 hits in the tequileria Fridays and Saturdays after 11pm, as well as during special events earlier in the week. Music is piped throughout venue.
Authentic Mexican menu including ceviche, carne asada, tacos, tostadas, and pork carnitas. Happy Hour daily 5–7pm.
All-you-can-eat-brunch $35, brunch small plates $5–$13, rooftop menu $6–$8, sides $4, appetizers $10–$11, entrées $11–$20, late-night menu $4–$10.
Beer $6, wine $7–$10/glass or $26–$34/bottle, cocktails $7–$12, margarita in a can $6, tequila $8–$150, tequila tastings $18–$75.
Casual to trendy: jeans, t-shirts, cotton dresses, sneakers, sleek tops, button-downs, cocktail attire.
Earlier in the week for a relaxed rooftop scene, Friday and Saturday nights for a lively late-night crowd, and weekends for a Mexican brunch.
Standard (1801 14th Street NW) offers tender barbecue and made-to-order donuts in their outdoor beer garden.