Centro Cafe

808 E Center St, Milwaukee WI 53202
$$$ Italian

A cozy Italian inspired restaurant established in 2009 in the heart of Riverwest. We’re very passionate about our food; our menu changes seasonally and features a wide range of Italian inspired dishes, including pasta, seafood, salads, and unique pizzas. We’re well known for our gluten free and vegan options, nearly every pasta dish and every pizza is available gluten free. Our food is super fresh and we use local ingredients whenever possible. We also offer a fantastic dessert menu for the cherry on top of your experience. Our exclusively Italian wine list offers rich and varied selections from small producers and family vineyards. Our seasonally changing drink list includes creative Amari cocktails and a rotating selection of beers from Wisconsin micro-breweries. Our bustling open kitchen, centered in the dining room provides an enticing glow. Our intimate and well-lit atmosphere is inviting and offers a comforting experience for all. Additionally, the bar, lounge, patio, and sidewalk each offer distinct dining experiences. Come stop on by!

Reservations

Business Info

  • Address: 808 E Center St, Milwaukee WI 53202
  • Cross Street: Bremen St.
  • Cuisine: Italian |
  • Cost: | Moderate
  • Category: Fine Dining
  • Star Rating:
  • Reservations: Recommended
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Meals Served: Lunch | Dinner |
  • Parking: Street |
  • Payment Options: VISA | Amex | MasterCard | Cash |
  • Corkage Fee: N/A
  • Phone: (414) 455-3751
  • Features: Full Bar, Live Entertainment, Outdoor Seating, Takeout Available, Lounge / Bar,
  • Occasion: Romantic Dining, Dining Alone, Business Dining, Special Occasion, Date Night,

Photos

Centro Cafe - Centro Awning

Business Hours

Reservations Available
Monday
Dinner - Back Patio - OUTDOOR 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Dinner - Centro Cafe - INDOOR 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Dinner - Front Patio - OUTDOOR 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Tuesday
Dinner - Back Patio - OUTDOOR 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Dinner - Centro Cafe - INDOOR 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Dinner - Front Patio - OUTDOOR 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Wednesday
Dinner - Back Patio - OUTDOOR 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Dinner - Centro Cafe - INDOOR 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Dinner - Front Patio - OUTDOOR 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Thursday
Dinner - Back Patio - OUTDOOR 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Dinner - Centro Cafe - INDOOR 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Dinner - Front Patio - OUTDOOR 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Friday
Dinner - Back Patio - OUTDOOR 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Dinner - Centro Cafe - INDOOR 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Dinner - Front Patio - OUTDOOR 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Saturday
Dinner - Back Patio - OUTDOOR 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Dinner - Centro Cafe - INDOOR 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Dinner - Front Patio - OUTDOOR 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Sunday
Closed - Back Patio - OUTDOOR
Closed - Front Patio - OUTDOOR

Customer Reviews & Ratings

4.77 out of 5 stars based on 649 votes

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Sep 10, 2021
Cathe G.
Loved the outside dining area.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Sep 09, 2021
Tim G.
Always great at Centro Cafe!

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Sep 05, 2021
Laura Z.
What a gem! Service was outstanding. Food was delicious, every bite was amazing. The Server was asked to pair the wine with the entrees we selected. She was spot on. Great all around experience. Thank you

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Sep 04, 2021
Stacey E.
Can’t believe this was my first time. Our group enjoyed the prosciutto wrapped asparagus (definitely recommend), and an array of pasta dishes. We all enjoyed everything. Service and ambience were fabulous as well!

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 8/10
Aug 20, 2021
Jennifer M.
It was a joy to find this gem of a restaurant in the heart of Riverwest. Our server was warm, friendly, and very informative. The food was fresh, tasty, and rich and the suggested wine was perfect. We will definitely be back!

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Aug 13, 2021
Abby Y.
Loved our girls night here. The food and ambiance are always on point.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Aug 06, 2021
Richard m.
With the current Covid-19 crises, we have not been to Centro Cafe for almost 2 years. It was GREAT to get back. Food was as exceptional, as I remember it always was. We ate outside in back patio. Good separation of tables, beautiful night. Service was very good. As I told the Manager on the way out: "We'll be back!!!"

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Aug 05, 2021
Emma B.
Lovely patio. Excellent meal.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Aug 04, 2021
Denise W.
Love the outdoor patio. Our server, Savanah, was great. She let us enjoy our apps, drinks, and dinner without feeling rushed.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Jul 29, 2021
Mike C.
Wonderful spot with delicious food and a vast gluten free selection

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Jul 24, 2021
Melinda V.
Delicious food; good service; great ambiance. We’ll be back soon!

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Jul 18, 2021
Scott H.
Loved it. Haven’t been to Centro in two years. Keep up the good work! Scott Hanaway [email protected]

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Jul 10, 2021
Brenton E.
A wonderful dining experience.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Jul 10, 2021
Eleanor H.
The chairs at the tables on the inside porch area are very uncomfortable.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Jul 09, 2021
Anne M.
I had an excellent meal in a great location with delightful service at Centro. I hope to go again soon!

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Jul 01, 2021
Win T.
Sometimes it was difficult to have a conversation because of noise mostly from the chefs.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Jun 30, 2021
Nate H.
Delicious food in a cozy, warm atmosphere. Flourless chocolate cake is a star. Everything was delicious, but the cake was outstanding.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Jun 28, 2021
Kristin S.
Amazing Italian food with a knowledgeable and friendly staff!

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Jun 22, 2021
KELLY S.
Really great experience! The patio is charming and they were able to accommodate our last minute bigger group. Great food and super service.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 8/10
Service: 9/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Jun 18, 2021
Sue S.
After all these months, it was wonderful to be back. The terrace is a lovely and comfortable addition (though it could use a descending right handrail). My seafood risotto was not as spectacular as I remembered, but it was OK. One disappointment: Time was, affogatto was served (beautifully and correctly) as a small dish of vanilla gelato with a glass of fresh-brewed espresso on the side. Not a nearly melted teaspoon of ice cream/gelato swimming in a half-full, normal sized coffee cup. It’s an easy thing to fix and I look forward to enjoying it the way it should be very soon. Many thanks. Centro is one of our favorite places and we’re thrilled to be back. Great terrace!

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Jun 17, 2021
Michele H.
Great Food and great service.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Jun 11, 2021
Joan L.
Lovely food, lovely setting, great service!

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Jun 10, 2021
Christopher C.
Fantastic experience! We went here a lot pre-pandemic and have been really impressed with the changes.. the outdoor patio is stunning and creates an amazing atmosphere. The tables were well distanced and the music created a nice ambiance. The food was amazing as always --we recommend the Vodka Gnocchi dish! What really stood out to us was the service! We have had a couple bad experiences with service here pre-covid but our waiter was kind, knowledgeable, and personable! We cannot recommend this place enough!

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 8/10
Value: 9/10
Jun 05, 2021
Patricia N.
Not as elegant and sophisticated as before Covid but their doing a great job with what they have in a limited space! We liked our window seat because we didn't feel enclosed and do enjoy looking out. We checked out their outdoor patio and next time we'll request that, it was beautiful and welcoming! Our waiter was helpful, knew the dishes, gave us suggestions and was a colorful guy with a great personality! There is a nice selection on the menu. Quality and freshness is evident, presentation was noted, and tasting - delectable! Reasonable pricing for a la carte dining.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 8/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 8/10
May 22, 2021
Tracy D.
Excellent experience

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
May 11, 2021
Eva R.
Best food and great ambiance!

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Apr 19, 2021
Toty R.
On our first restaurant dinner since 2020, this was an exceptional experience. Our waiter was wonderful, as was the food and conscientious atmosphere. THANK YOU for making this such a great experience! Can’t wait to return and check out the new outdoor courtyard dining space.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Apr 17, 2021
Maureen G.
You will not be disappointed! It was a safe, delicious meal. Thank you.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Mar 31, 2021
Katie S.
One of the best spots in MKE! Service always in point and food is out of this world!

Overall: 10/10
Food: 9/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Mar 25, 2021
Susan B.
I tried the Carbonara because I've never had it. My friends said, get it, you'll love it. I just thought it was kind of bland. Maybe because of the duck bacon? I guess it is usually made with prosciutto? Sort of like the difference between turkey bacon and pork bacon. It was good, but I would never order it again.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 9/10
Value: 9/10
Mar 03, 2021
Cate M.
One of my favorite spots. Great food and staff. So glad they are back with full service

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Nov 08, 2020
Sarah B.
Wonderful birthday celebration. The food was amazing. Perfect night out during Covid.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Nov 07, 2020
Melissa G.
Cozy and delicious.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Oct 25, 2020
Sheryl N.
Excellent food, wine selection and service!

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 9/10
Oct 11, 2020
Mary S.
The food and service were excellent. We sat in the patio outside, which is nice.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Oct 08, 2020
George M.
Always excellent

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Sep 20, 2020
Katherine F.
Best restaurant EVER!!!

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Sep 12, 2020
Shana B.
Great dinner & dessert! Can’t wait to come back!

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Sep 05, 2020
Shawna Y.
The new back patio is lovely. The staff is doing an excellent job with safety and service. Food was delicious. Nice to be back.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Aug 25, 2020
Chrisa L.
We dined in the garden patio and enjoyed the lovely setting. The food was excellent and the service was attentive. Overall, a very nice experience. We look forward to our next visit.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Aug 19, 2020
David P.
The rear outdoor patio is a great addition! We are so glad we could return to your great food in this beautiful outdoor setting. Our service was top-notch as always. Thank you as well for the gluten free variations to your entrees. See you again very soon!

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Aug 18, 2020
Susan H.
The new terraced backyard is a lovely setting. The food was excellent-loved the unique flavors and textures of the gnudi.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 9/10
Value: 10/10
Aug 16, 2020
Dave and Keri H.
Great to be back after the shut down. They did a fantastic job of making us feel safe the entire evening. Hoping to be back again soon

Overall: 10/10
Food: 7/10
Service: 9/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Aug 12, 2020
Linda D.
The food was delicious but not hot enough. All four of our dinners were warm but not hot. The service was good, but he left my finished food bowl on the table in front of me after he had cleared everything else and asked if I wanted a box. I said no, but the bowl sat there. Not good. Overall, we all enjoyed our experience at Centro, and the back patio is lovely.

Overall: 10/10
Food: 9/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Aug 09, 2020
Theresa R.
We truly loved our meal on the back patio. Our salads were huge, fresh and tasty. The carbonara was delicious. The prima verde was quite good although very mild in flavor. Great service and wine too.

Overall: 9/10
Food: 9/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 9/10
Aug 16, 2021
Cathy D.
Love the garden for outside dining. The food was very fresh and good and love the entire experience.

Overall: 9/10
Food: 10/10
Service: 9/10
Ambience: 8/10
Value: 9/10
Aug 05, 2021
John G.
Excellent specials

Overall: 9/10
Food: 9/10
Service: 9/10
Ambience: 9/10
Value: 8/10
Jul 20, 2021
BT P.
Since I live directly across the street from Centro it's hard for me to not be biased. Centro has been excellent addition to our neighborhood. Staff is always helpful and friendly, the food is great and it's a bit more spacious now that they've the patio seating in the back.

Overall: 9/10
Food: 8/10
Service: 10/10
Ambience: 10/10
Value: 10/10
Jun 07, 2021
Amy H.
We had a delicious dinner. COVID enhancements have been made that make the restaurant feel cozier! Wish the spinach under the gnudi had wilted down more so as to not be so salad like but otherwise everything was very delicious. It was a very enjoyable night out - we will return.

Overall: 9/10
Food: 9/10
Service: 9/10
Ambience: 8/10
Value: 9/10
Oct 03, 2020
Anna S.
Thanks for a great birthday meal!