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  • Mateo

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Mateo Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.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 Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "We have been to Mateo several times, and each time the food and service have been truly outstanding. Wonderful, inventive food. I enjoyed the grilled Octopus, sauteed sweetbreads, and "chicken fried chicken," all of which were terrific. So many good choice, it's difficult to decide what to order. Just be advised that the restaurant (due to hard floor, walls, high ceilings) is ultra loud, so it's certainly not right for a quiet evening. But we absolutely love the place and look forward to returning many times. Too bad we live 800 miles away..."
    Dined on 8/30/2014
  • "Went to Mateo this past weekend for the first time and was pleasantly surprised. My wife and I sat in the upstairs room which was very unique. The waitress gave us great advice on dishes and how to order. Food was delicious and we'll definitely be going back."
    Dined on 8/30/2014
  • "My wife and I ordered drinks, 4 tapas and 1 dessert between the two of us for $80. All of the food was pretty much excellent, although the roasted smoked vegetables (a special), the ham sampler, and the bread pudding really stood out. The ambience is hip and loud, which is pretty typical of trendy restaurants in Durham. I'd recommend this place for a fun night out or for business, but not so much for an intimate date."
    Dined on 8/30/2014
  • "Second time at Mateo and another good experience. Really good food."
    Dined on 8/30/2014
  • "Creative quality tapas served in generous portions. A bit young and loud, but otherwise heaven for any foodie. Enormous selection ranging from the traditional to creative modern dishes. We will absolutely return."
    Dined on 8/30/2014
  • "We arrived to a busy place on Saturday evening. Then they told us we would be seated upstairs. I always worry when you are eating outside the main dining area. Great surprise--it was quite lovely and much more quiet. The wait staff was very attentive and there were no delays in service. Excellent meal as always--stars to the flavors in the panna cotta--and now I know that sitting upstairs was just fine."
    Dined on 8/30/2014
  • "Food was terrific and service was too. Seats were not comfortable and ambiance left something to be desired."
    Dined on 8/30/2014
  • "Have been to Mateo at least a half a dozen times in the past, and have enjoyed it, even recommended it. However, I now think that the quality of the service, the mixed quality of the food prep, and the price point, added up to a less than positive experience. Had one or two nice tapas in the mix, but it couldn't save the overall experience."
    Dined on 8/29/2014
  • "OK - liked the decor. Extremely loud and as we looked around - there's no soundproofing anywhere (leather seating, brick walls, tin ceiling). Food -- definitely order the grilled octopus. WOW!!! Loved it and the sauce is to die for. Server tried to pick up the plate and I almost stuck him with my fork. Asked for bread to use the rest as a dipping sauce. Gazpacho -- yummy. We also had the chicken croquettes (a special) and they were really good. Also ordered the duck -- don't waste your money. Way too salty....... Service was fair. After we had ordered, he really only checked with us once; at which time I also ordered the beet salad. Didn't get that until we were asking for the check - so turned it down. Might give it one more chance."
    Dined on 8/27/2014
  • "We've been to Mateo about five times before DPAC events and it gets better every time. The menu is constantly evolving to satify a wide range of tastes with their innovative small plates. We found an excellent red blend from northeastern Spain at $29 that was a great match for the spicy meatballs. But the real bonus at Mateo is the staff. John was our main waiter and I hope we get to see him next time. I still don't understand how they get all those orders right in that chaotic kitchen and have them delivered by all of those different people....in a hurry! They must be doing something right as many of their folks have been there a long time....rare in the food service business."
    Dined on 8/27/2014
  • "Five of us went here for a late night dinner. We got started around 9:45 and left around midnight. The food was great. Because it's a tapas bar, we ordered around a dozen different dishes that we were able to share. Some of the food was a little edgy - like the crisp pork tail which was the whole pig tail. Everything was delicious, the server was knowledgeable about the food and helpful with the wine (we had a great bottle), and the atmoshphere had a comfortable noise level. We had a great timel."
    Dined on 8/22/2014
  • "Currently at the top of my list of excellent restaurants in the Triangle!"
    Dined on 8/20/2014
  • "What a nice place! We ordered several tapas: pan con queso, costillas de puerco, tortilla española, rice & duck, pollo frito, calamari and finally budin de pan for dessert. Everything was son YUMMY! My only complain is the tapas portion size - pretty small, good for two people so if your party is bigger you should order more than one serving of each tapa. We also ordered some spanish wine -Viña Alberdi which is very hard to find locally- and it was the perfect complement for a great dinner. My friends, husband and me are looking forward to going back to Mateo soon :)"
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "I really love he environment of this tapas restaurant, but to be honest, I wish the food flavoring was better. I thought the hype of the place didn't match flavor of things, at least for the dishes I order."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "They know their Spanish food, very authentic. Iberico ham is a must try."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "Great food and drinks, Durham favorite! My husband and I enjoy eating at the bar or inviting friends to share in tasty unique small plates and extensive wine/beer menu."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "We tried several different items, from pork and beef meat balls, to seafood dishes. They were all very good. The staff knew the wine list, and was very helpful with the Spanish wine selection. Great experience!!!"
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "Absolutely wonderful. The food, service and ambiance "Excellent""
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "Mateo is a gem in Durham. Great food, superb service, and great location downtown."
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "We really enjoyed Mateo! The food was great, as was the wine. There were some more interesting options (e.g., fried pork skins with chorizo ranch dipping sauce) and more traditional options (e.g., patatas bravas), but interesting or expected, everything was great. Our server was polite and helpful, and I'd go back again in a heartbeat."
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "Reservations should be made which we did. We arrived early and high top table was ready and proved to be good for conversation. Our group of four included "foodies" and we each selected two items and shared. The perfect amount for us. Our favorite was the "Gambas" (shrimp). We will return."
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "I have been to Mateo several times now and it is always excellent. I have a few favorites on the menu and I can not wait to eat there again. The datil are a great way to start and the mata is so enjoyable spread with the pepper jelly on the bread. I think Mateo is well priced for the high quality food they serve. I love to order a few things at a time and they arrive pretty quickly. I took friends to Mateo for the first time this week and they loved it."
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "I have enjoyed each time I have been to Mateo so much. The ambience is wonderful and the food is phenomenal."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "This is hands down my favorite restaurant in the Triangle. In all the times I have been, each dish is something I would be more than happy to order time and again (though they are great about changing their menu items up, keeping it fresh and delicious)! The service is personable yet knowledgeable about what each dish/ingredients are, as well as being able to assist in making appropriate beverage choices to fit the meal. If I could eat their bread pudding for every meal of my life I would die a happy lady. Their Cheerwine sangria is not to be missed! You can't go wrong in choosing to dine at Mateo, it is a great way to round out attending a Downtown Durham activity!"
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "Enjoyed our first visit to Mateo. At first I was dismayed when told we were climbing the long staircase to the upper level, but given the crowd and noise downstairs when we left, I appreciated having been seated in the quiet upstairs room, which has a nice decor. Our server was excellent in explaining the menu and describing the dishes to help our selection. Everything we ate was very good. I especially enjoyed the cheese and jamon selections. The drink titled Ferdinand was excellent, although pricey. There was a nice variety on the menu with creative dishes, I regret that I couldn't try more of them. If you like Tapas you are bound to enjoy this restaurant."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "Delicious tapas and wonderful wines - a great night out with friends!"
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Nice restaurant, but not on a busy night like Friday. Our waitress took forever to get to our table and the noise level was very high. Next time we go it'll be on an off day during the week."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "We reserved a table for 2 at 5:45 on Friday night. The hostess sat us in the newly opened upstairs which was a lot quieter and just as pleasant than the main dining room. We had a shrimp dish from the daily specials menu which was excellent, very fresh, the rabbit sausage with homestyle beans which we found to be a bit bland for our tastes, but still good, the ham spread with rhubarb jam, sort of like a pate which I loved and the sweetbreads. Everything was complemented by a very robust white wine, I think it was called Roja something. We had a movie to attend at the Carolina theater at 7pm and walked over with plenty of time to spare. Thoroughly enjoyed the upstairs room as it gave us a chance to feel more private than downstairs."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Service a little slow but food was off the charts crawfish pork meatball F ing amazing!!"
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "Taste and service were amazing. Had a variety of tapas and they were all delicious. The bone marrow with oxtail was the favorite! Cheerwine Sangria was delicious also. Took one star off because some of the plates were very small portions ( I know they are tapas but with how pricey it is I expect some plates to have a little more food) and coffee was cold."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "I have been to Mateo a few times already and I am always happy that I went. The ambience is great, they a have a second floor that is less noisy and great for dinner with friends. The food is amazing. Each tapa is an explosion of flavors. They have a good combination of cold and warm tapas. I personally love the "fried cheese and egg" tapa and the Chicken Croquettes. They do a good job of being a traditional tapas place with a modern twist while combining local ingredients. Fully recommended it."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "Everything was great, but wish there were more vegetarian options!"
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "Tuesday lunch at Mateo was delicious. The added special of 2 tapas for $10 was 'icing on the cake.'"
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "I'm not a heavy eater (actually a non eater) after 8:00 pm. However, after missing dinner to catch an American Dance Festival Performance, we selected this place for the tapas portions. The food was very simple and tasty and authentic tapas portions! We had mainly seafood dishes such as the mussels and shrimp dishes. Very nice."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Great variety of offerings. Very helpful and knowledgeable waiter. Had not been to such a tapas bar since visiting Spain last summer. Great find."
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "You seriously can believe you're sitting in New York City's latest 'place to be'. Great food, wine and buzz but like NYC it can be noisy so keep your group small and have a great time."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "The place had a nice ambiance. It was busy & lively so I was excited for the experience. The hostess was very nice so we had a great first impression. She said our table was paying their bill so we should wait at the bar. It was a bit too loud for my parents. But my sister assured us that it was amazing & that it would be worth it. I ordered a glass of wine & honestly the bartenders were not that friendly. It actually left a bad taste in my mouth. Not even the wine could take that away (a very good Albariño btw). We were sat 20 min later. Out of the 10 items we received only 1 thing was moderately good which was the special vegetable dish. My mom said the chickpea mini app tasted like armpits. Everything was really salty. Maybe a bad night."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "Great food. Wonderful mix of fabulous combinations. Great service. Can't wait to return."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "Why don't more people come here for lunch? The food and service are just as amazing, and we never have to wait for a table. So great."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "I'd heard a lot of friends say how good Mateo was, and I wasn't disappointed. Everything was super, super yummy. The major downside is that it is so loud it is hard to hear your friend across the table. Perhaps consider installing some sound absorbing material."
    Dined on 7/15/2014