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“OMG, this place rocks!!!”
Review of Centro

Ranked #83 of 1,446 Restaurants in Raleigh
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $20
Cuisines: Mexican, Latin, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Centro was born from the hearts of Angela Salamanca and her uncle, Carlos, who shared a love for art, and fresh, authentic Mexican cuisine. We pride ourselves on using as many fresh, organic and local ingredients as possible to provide you with healthy, flavorful food as well as to support our local farmers. Our mission is to serve you the best locally-sourced Mexican and Latin American cuisine, innovative margaritas and cocktails, and to give back to our wonderful community.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Level Contributor
221 reviews
163 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“OMG, this place rocks!!!”
Reviewed May 25, 2013

First time today, and we both are convinced that this is our new favorite restaurant, like ever! Went for lunch, and since was Saturday they were actually serving a brunch menu. While we ordered tacos, after seeing a couple of plates of their breakfast-y brunch food go by, both our jaws dropped and we said, yup, coming back later for some of that for sure! Anyway, a bullet point review:

• Steak Tacos - very best ever, and definitely do the steak! Oh so tender, not fatty at all, and ridiculously tasty, super yumster! And soft tortilla grilled to perfectly slightly crispy? Fuhgeddaboudit, how awesome!! And while we typically prefer straight up simple with just carnitas, onion, cilantro, & lime, the addition of the pico and queso was truly a delight. The fresh avacado nicely topped it off...mmm, good.

• Chips & Salsa - Some of 'the' best salsa we've had, and we've had a bunch. Nice, flaky chips that weren't too greasy or too thick, just like we like.

• Margarita - Again, one of the best we've ever had (and yup, we've had a bunch!). And that was just their lowest price, or what I'd typically call the house, called their Aniversario. Can't imagine how good the pricier margs are, but am certain to find out one day. The rest of their bar menu, like their unique food menu, looks decidedly unique, very, very attractive sounding drinks I've just got to try one day. Nearly every ingredient has an extra South American/Mexican/Cuban ring to it, most exotic and enticing sounding.

• Atmosphere - One of the coolest looking places we've ever been to by far. Front patio seating, which we normally prefer but the interior was so very cool, we just had to hang out in there, and glad we did too.

• Service - Impeccable. The young guy who took care of us was one of the best we've had; very polite and professional, knew his menu very well; good, honest, accurate recommendations too. Too bad he said he landed a job somewhere else but, something tells me all of their servers are going to be as top notch as the rest of our experience was. Met who we presume was a co-owner, a gal who said her female cousin started the restaurant. In any event, found her nothing less than a delight to talk to for a few.

We will be back - LOTS!!

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank jboynsteph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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107 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Madison Heights, Virginia
Level Contributor
161 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“A little bit of Mexico”
Reviewed May 23, 2013

It's a hole in the wall near the capitol. Really great home made sauces and bread. The decor is really cool with great murals and samples of world wide tequilas.

Visited May 2013
Thank Toshua99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, NC
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Bustling, crowded, fun and tasty!”
Reviewed March 1, 2013

I have been to Centro several times. It is always busy. Waiting for a table is an adventure because the bar is small and you are in the way of the wait people going to and from the kitchen if you don't get a seat at the bar. Other than that this place is wonderful. Margaritas are some of the best I have ever had. The food is fresh and not typical mexican fair. I have never been disappointed with a meal there. Just bring your patience if you go at 7.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank cyn10s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Simply the best in Raleigh”
Reviewed February 23, 2013

This is my favorite restaurant in Raleigh, hands down, and I eat out a lot. The atmosphere is always lively and the food has fresh, delicious ingredients. I usually order the steak tacos or the heuvos--they are delicious. I can honestly say I've never had a bad, or even mediocre, meal there. Their drinks are awesome. I crave the spicy margaritas on a regular basis. My only complaint about Centro is that it is not open on Tuesdays. I crave it every Tuesday night.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Millie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chapel Hill
Level Contributor
266 reviews
153 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 204 helpful votes
“Excellent for dinner if you like spicy, better vegetarian for lunch”
Reviewed February 4, 2013

I've been to Centro for lunch often and love it. The gorditas are an amazing vegetarian option that I've never seen anywhere else. They also aren't too spicy, but they can be if you want. There are also a number of other vegetarian options.

We went for dinner on Saturday and were seated immediately about 6:15; but by 6:30, they were on a wait. My husband loves spicy food - Frontera in Chicago is one of his favorite restaurants in the country, along with the tamales from a cart around the main square in Santa Fe - and he was not disappointed. He agrees that Centro is the best, most authentic Mexican food we have in the Triangle. However, I'm not sure we'll go back for dinner again, because despite all the great vegetarian options for lunch, there weren't many for dinner. Even if they could put a couple of the lunch items on the dinner menu, it would be much more welcoming. You don't always want a vegetarian enchilada. While I ended up with the taco appetizer, it really was an appetizer portion, without any sides, and it didn't seem like any of the possible sides were vegetarian either.

Both the La Luchadora and Prohibida margaritas were excellent. So, in the future, we might just go for drinks, let my husband have an appetizer (likely the tamales), and then go elsewhere for dinner.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank helsimon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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