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  • Mateo

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Mateo Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.mateotapas.com
  • Email: marycarr@mateotapas.com
  • Phone: (919) 530-8700
  • Hours of Operation: Tuesday - Thursday 11:30 am - 2:30 pm and 5:00 - 10:30 pm; Friday 11:30 am - 2:30 pm and 5:00 pm - 12:00 am; Saturday 5:00 pm - 12:00 am and Sunday 5:00 - 9:30.
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Spanish, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Executive Chef: Matthew Kelly
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: There is a small lot beside our restaurant as well as street parking. There is also a large parking lot located behind Mateo on Ramseur St.
A word from Mateo
Spanish Heart / Southern Soul from the crew at Vin Rouge.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Diner Reviews
  • "We have been big fans of Mateo for the last 6 months- wonderful, unusual food that is worth tasting. This last visit, we ran into some issues with the drinks. My husband order an old fashion and because the waiter asked if he would like the special " old fashion", the drink cost 12.50. It tasted exactly like the usual old fashion. I also orderwd a martini and had to pay extra because I wanted it " straight". We love this restaurant, but were a bit put out with the additional charges for drinks."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "This is not the first time we dine at this place. It always serves good food. People are very friendly there. I like the small dishes so we can try many different things."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Every single one of the twelve dishes we ordered was excellent -- love this place!"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Great food, atmosphere and service. Very comfortable setting. Will definitely go again. Cons - menus are difficult to read with available lighting..could stand to be a tad lighter or redo menu to be easier to read in those conditions. Prices are a wee bit high for the portions, but the portions are DELICIOUS and our server offered fantastic advice on which sherries and wines to pair with the selected dishes."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "The food was good but even for tapas, the portions were smaller than I've seen them. The server was very good and gave us all necessary info. The chairs were not comfortable enough to sit for long---maybe that is the plan."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "This is a magnificently decadent menu. Just eat the Bone Marrow. Your night will be complete. The end."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "I invited a party of five to this vibrant Durham restaurant. We each ordered two items from the menu. Each one was just as delicious as the last. An outstanding feature of this meal was the pace at which the dishes were served. Two were served very quickly and when they were almost gone another two were served. And so it continued. We remembered two more menu items that we wanted to try, cold seafood salad and cod, and added those to our order. For dessert we enjoyed outstanding almond cake and churros. Friendly, attentive service. I highly recommend this dining experience."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "This was our (wife and I) first experience at a tapas restaurant, and we loved it! Friendly, attentive staff. Great food. Unusual (to us) but fun experience."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "My wife and I really enjoyed Mateo. The chicken croquettes and short ribs were my favorite, and she really liked the pan con tomate. Portions are a bit light for the price, but the flavor is extraordinary."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "I have been to many tappas restaurants before. I have never spent $70 and received barely enough food to feed a starving African. This wouldn't be an issue if the food knocked my socks off. Food was good, not great."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Mateo took me back to my recent vacation in Spain. The decor, menu, flavors, and ambiance echoes all the things that I loved about Barcelona. There are the typical Spanish dishes and a few seasonal surprises to keep the menu changing. The food was cooked superbly and the only complaint is that for the price of some of the dishes the serving size was a bit small... even for tapas. As far as the space the restaurant can get a bit cramped during busy times and your table can become crowded with those around the bar waiting for tables. I would recommend making a reservation about 2 weeks in advance for weekend nights. Mateo has its quirks, but it is worth the trip if you are in the triangle assuming you are not heading to Spain anytime soon."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Mateo is definitely a great new spot to try if your a foodie because of it's good range of Spanish tapas and drinks! Great tasting food that's worth the time to enjoy"
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "This was my second time at Mateo (visiting from CT). The overall experience was just as good as my first! Great authentic tapas served expertly. Great beer selection. Attentive staff. Probably my favorite restaurant in Durham along with Watts Grocery."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Everything was very good. Our server was friendly, low-key, and helpful. She offered to bring extra bread for a dish we were finishing (farmer's cheese - yum!), and brought additional extra bread that she thought we would want for one of the dishes that we had just ordered (the gambas - and the shrimp were truly cooked perfectly). Cocktails, wine, and plates were all very tasty, and prices were fair. I love the decor. But as for the hype, I admit that nothing blew my mind. Everything was of great quality, but it seemed to lack the "wow" factor. Totally great, just not amazing."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "We have eaten at Mateo 3 times and we invited friends to join us for a birthday celebration. We have never been upstairs and trust me, you don't want to be. You completely lose the ambience and electric feel of the place. We were not going to complain about the situation because we were with friends but I will not be going back anytime soon. The food was good, but not great. I think it's over rated at this point. The menu needs to be adjusted for the season and they need to change how they handle customers. It's obvious they don't feel like customer service is important. Don't sit upstairs if you want a good experience."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "This was one of the most amazing meals I have ever eaten. The menu is mind-blowing. I ate salted cod, duck/mushroom risotto and roasted bone marrow; the cod and marrow were both completely new to me and delicious. All of the meals and foods were paired together perfectly with each other and almost all came with delicious bread or new sauces. The prices were a little high relative to the portions, but not ridiculously so. All in all, this is a wonderful place!"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "This was my first experience at Mateo's and it was delightful. The food was presented great and enjoyed the different tapas."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Delightful dining experience at Mateo this week. We arrived a little prior to our reservation time, but Mateo welcomed us and seated us immediately. Menu was fresh and fun to explore. Ferdinand drinks were delicious. Good beer options as well. Ordered 2 appetizers - Spanish eggs and white anchovies. Ordered 3 other tapas plates between the two of us - 2 hangar steaks and a delightful special with cauliflower, apples, pine nuts which was a fun mix. Great service from a wonderful waiter (total opposite to our last dining experience in Durham this year). Overall an enjoyable evening and great service, even though it was the night of the Durham Bulls opener and the start of Full Frame Documentary on the same evening."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "The food was wonderful. Our waiter was very attentive was very knowledgeable about the menu. We will visit again when in town."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "the food was fantastic, the wait person was very helpful and charming, the wine list was delightful, it's a great looking place, but the noise level should be monitored by OSHA ... happening scene, ok, fine, but added on top of the crowd noise is thumping music that's sounds as if it's being continually ramped up to be heard over the crowd!"
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "The ambiance is easy-going, the service friendly and efficient, the food we dined on ranged from pretty good to excellent. I loved the extensive sherry list (no, sherry is NOT just for maiden aunts) though the Spanish white wines we tried were undistinguished or innocuous at best. Though these are "small plates" they are not skimpy and the quality of many of the bare ingredients -- i.e. the jambons and cheeses--was outstanding. Our biggest negative is the noise level. We dined early on a Sunday and even when the restaurant was far from full, it was difficult to hold a conversation at a normal voice levels. Once the restaurant filled up, the intrusiveness of the noise became a positive irritant."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "My second time at Mateo. Much better this time. The food was amazing. (Dates, Kale Salad, Roasted Beet Salad, Gambas & Bistec) Last time, I wasnt as impressed... just didnt order the "right" items. I'll be back for sure!"
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "Love Mateo! We've been four times in the last few months and each time the food and service are fantastic. It's loud and can be difficult to hear, but the food is worth it!"
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "The downstairs/bar area is raucous, and can be overwhelming. Upstairs is substantially quieter. The service is is attentive and laid back. The food is a disappointment. The food has been hyped, however the selections we had were generally good, but did not stand out. The Morcilla was over cooked, and over spiced -- it seemed almost like chorizo, not the unctuous decadence of blood sausage. The mussels were fairly bland and unremarkable. The meatballs were nice, with a gravy that carefully toed the line of being overwhelming. The only real star of the night was the Catalan Cauliflower special, with it's balanced, vinegary flavor. Overall, I might go back and enjoy their wine list with a bite of food, but I'd go elsewhere for dinner."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "The food was excellent and was served very quickly. We were seated and finished in under and hour. The waitress felt a bit pushy about us ordering more; we ordered 3 tapas and called it a night to split between two people, and I'm guessing she thought that wasn't enough. But everything was timely and delicious. I went on a Tuesday night and it was packed. Very fun, lively environment, although a bit loud. Definitely a place to make a reservation, and it's a little on the pricey side, but completely worth it for the occasional date/special occasion."
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "My husband and I visited Mateo after seeing very good reviews on the place. It definitely lived up to the hype. We ordered several of the plates, but the best one was the Marrow. The oxtail and marrow was wonderful. The cheese plate with pepper jelly was very good. The service was wonderful as well. We will definitely be going back to Mateo."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "This was my third time at Mateo but the first time seated upstairs. This totally changes the experience. If you want a more intimate and quiet experience or have a large group you want to be alone with go upstairs. I prefer downstairs where everything is happening and alive. Great food and service: beef steak, bone marrow, crispy chicken skin, anchovies are my favorites. Had a sour cherry beer that was like a cherry cider ans quiet good but not the dark porter beer I was seeking."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "My husband and I love going to Mateo. We are always greeted with a smile when we arrive. The service and food are always excellent with an ever changing menu. Looking forward to our next visit."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Mateos offered a very interesting and delicious selection of Tapas. Everything we tried was divine and the service was Fantastic. We will definitely be back!!"
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "Not good for groups. Tables are very close together. Food is absolutely amazing though! Esp love the tomato bread. Highly recommend a reservation in advance."
    Dined on 2/11/2014
  • "I have been telling lots of friends about Mateo since I first went in December. I love it. The datil are amazing. Everything I have tried is delicious especially the pato y arroz. The seating can be a bit crowded so we could over hear our neighbors a lot so we couldn't hear each other very well but we really enjoyed the wine our waitress suggested. The food comes quickly so you can order a couple things, eat them and order more and keep discovering new courses. This is my new place ! A reservation is definitely required. It is always busy in the best possible way!"
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "enjoyed the first dining experience and will go again."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "Excellent , lively venue with a reaosnbale selection of good Tapas and wine !"
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "The food and service was awesome!!!!! Def recommend to clients and friends!!!! And I will be back!!!!!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "This is a great restaurant for a night out with your special someone or friends! Not to mention great tapas and wine selection, atmosphere is just right for both occasions. My favorite is pair of sangria with variety of shrimp based tapas. If tapas on the menu doesn't interest you, they have great specials that frequently change."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Energetic and lively. Our meal was incredible. Authentic Spanish food"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "If you're a seafood person, this place is definitely off you! Order the octopus/pulpo...you won't regret it!"
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "Food was good but it took a waitress a long time to come to take our orders. Parking was great, right next door."
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "Fantastic food, interesting menu. Don't miss out on the dates. Not for a group though, because of the noise level. I was with 3 others at a table and we had to scream to be heard. The noise so loud that I don't think I fully appreciated the food."
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "Mateo was on their A game usual. The service was great and the food was even better. Keep up the great work."
    Dined on 3/1/2014