109 W Chapel Hill St
Durham, NC 27701Neighborhood:
SpanishPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.mateotapas.com/
- Phone: 9195308700x
- 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
A word from Mateo
Spanish Heart / Southern Soul from the crew at Vin Rouge.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
- Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Mateo - Best Restaurants in Durham ›
Mateo reviews from OpenTable diners
279 reviews since May 27, 2014
- Ambiance4.3Noise LevelEnergetic
fit for foodies (235)hot spot (144)special occasion (127)notable wine list (104)neighborhood gem (99)vibrant bar scene (84)romantic (81)good for groups (71)late-night find (46)great for lunch (28)great for brunch (6)scenic view (4)kid-friendly (1)Show More
- Amazing foodOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/21/2014Although I had a hard time reading the menu, our waiter was fantastic and explained everything to us. All I can say is this restaurant has got to be one of the BEST in the area. What the chef does with the ingredients to blend the flavors is amazing and creative. Can not wait to go back. HIGHLY RECOMMENDSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Mateo es muy buenooltexanDined on 9/20/2014We went on a Saturday night during Centerfest and to say the bar scene was 'energetic' is an understatement... noisy as H--- comes more to mind. But the food, very authentic Spanish tapas dishes, were all excellent and I would love to try more of them next time. Prices are quite reasonable. Definitely a keeper and fun, if it's not too crowded. They also have a nice selection of Spanish wines by the glass in true tapas bar fashion. A little touch of old Madrid right here in the Triangle.Special Features:
- Yummy and specialOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/20/2014This was my second time dining at Mateo, and it did not disappoint. The food - everything we tried, whether we could pronounce it or not - was delicious. Our server wasn't the most outgoing sort, but we got our food and drinks in a timely manner. Will certainly go back again!Special Features:
- Exceeded ExpectationsOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 9/19/2014Took my parents here on a Friday night, we arrived a little bit before our reservations and had at drink at the bar. The restaurant was very busy and loud but in a fun where you'd want to be way. The hostess was great and we got seated right at our reservation time. We were seated upstairs which was less noisy. The food was amazing, it came out staggered and we had a chance to enjoy everything without being overwhelmed with plates. We were going to order more but the waiter took a little while to get back to us which was okay because by the time we paused we were full! I highly recommend the ribeye, ribs and cured meat plate!Special Features:
- First time - will be back!LauraVIPDined on 9/19/2014Wonderful options - virtually everything was excellent. Waiter John R. did not steer us wrong on either wine or plates. Brought by some delicious pepper bites gratis. Noise level very high (couldn't register highest level here online for some reason ) but prompted talking to those seated nearby, good vibe all around. Only caveat was less than welcoming/ friendly environment at host station and a bit of a delay in waiter arrival, which we chalked up to a very busy Saturday night. Great smile from the latter, none from the former, though. Looking forward to being back in a few weeks when we return to Durham, bringing friends... Gracias!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- super delicioussparkles33Dined on 9/19/2014Wonderful meal; the specials were fantastic. Was able to get two seats at the bar right around 6pm; perfect place for a earlier dinner before catching a show at DPAC. It is still one of my favorite restaurants in Durham.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 9/18/2014Creative dishes artfully presented. Great taste combinations. Glad to leave the very noisy environment -- need sound baffles so conversation is easier.Special Features:
- AwesomeWoogiebear82Dined on 9/14/2014simply awesome always a great dinning experience. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone. it's a real jewel!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Authentic but with twistDoriVIPDined on 9/14/2014We went for dinner to mateo! EBay a wonderful place! Service was fantastic and tapas were delicious ! The croquetas, pato con arroz ,sangria, were all so tasty and fresh . Everything on menu including desserts are made to highest standards. There's a southern twist with local ingredients and delicious toppings on some dishes. Must go!!!! Highly recommendSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- sarahwalkerDined on 9/13/2014The food was delicious at Mateo, but the service was terrible. Our waiter seemed to have forgotten about us most of the evening, and we missed out on many opportunities to order more small plates.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A fun eveningEatitupDined on 9/13/2014If you dine at Mateo, make sure you come with a group. It is lots of fun to share dishes. The restaurant is quite loud, so be prepared to shout in order to be heard.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fantastic meal at MateoCandilahVIPDined on 9/13/2014If you are headed to the Carolina Theater, I highly recommend Mateo as a pre-show dinner spot. The tapas were delicious and the service was outstanding.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- excellent tapasdavidVIPDined on 9/13/2014There is a downstairs area with a bar, as well as an upstairs area that is a little less crowded and noisy, though still very energetic. Even upstairs, my wife and I had to raise our voices to hear one another, and my mother, who wears hearing aids, had a very difficult time. Our server was fast and attentive. We split the gazpacho, rabbit, bone marrow, sweetbreads, shrimp, and blood sausage tapas; in addition, the waiter erroneously keyed in one of our choices as short ribs, which he brought to our table, and which we ended up getting for free. We split the chorros and bread pudding desserts. Each of the choices was delicious. We definitely plan to return.Special Features:
- waning qualityoysterloverDined on 9/13/2014Mateos was a welcome and exciting addition to the downtown dinner options. But with time, it seems to be sliding in quality. The tapas dishes have wonderful sauces that nicely lend themselves to dipping with bread. But this doesn't come with a meal, one has to ask, and while it is usually provided, why not just bring it? The bread pudding was truly exceptional when the restaurant first opened. That is no longer the case, and it just isn't exciting any longer. Some dishes quality are uneven, and hard to tell. Food is expensive for the quantity provided. Mateo's is capable of doing better, as they did when they first opened. Service is quite solid, once you are seated. Nice and extensive selection of wine and sherry options.
- Do not miss this place.mrsprudleDined on 9/13/2014The entire experience was great. Wait staff ( John) very knowledgeable .. !Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- bblocDined on 9/13/2014The food, the service were both fantastic. Such unusual tapas, fun to share platesSpecial Features:
- Mateo charms!LorinanaVIPDined on 9/11/2014Went to this neighborhood gem in downtown Durham with friends and spent a delightful few hours oohing and sawing over the food. From the bacon wrapped dates to the short ribs and fried okra, the food was fresh, hot and the tastes jumped off the plate. It was our first visit but won't be our last!Special Features:
- Good food, fun experienceSMaxVIPDined on 9/6/2014Enjoyed the ambiance and great conversation over multiple delicious and various tapas plates!Special Features:
- A great timeherbameyDined on 9/6/2014We went with friends and had yet another great time at Mateo sampling dishes.Special Features:
- OverratedOakparkfoodieDined on 9/5/2014We felt the food was not freshly prepared. It was ready in the kitchen and as we ordered it we got all 6 dishes within 5 minutes. We had finished eating within 35 minutes of us arriving. Thought the starters we really very small portions. The Sangria was very good.Special Features:
- A new favorite dishLocalDINKsDined on 9/4/2014Already a fan of Mateo. Was disappointed with super salty duck and chorizo/succotash dishes last time, so tried some new things. So glad I did. Hanger steak will join the ribs and dates on the "must order" list. (New rule: everyone has to order their own ribs!) Thanks to the waiter who didn't hesitate to bring two skinny chicks a plate of sliced baguette to lay in the spectacularly delicious pool of lemony olive oil under the shrimp. Downstairs can get noisy on a busy weekend night, but was comfortably "social" on this weeknight visit.Special Features:
- Amazing!OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 9/4/2014Went with a group and got a variety of apps and everyone got sandwiches or salads and everything was amazing. Simple ideas with unique twists that you wouldn't think of.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nice spot!OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 8/31/2014Nice spot in downtown Durham. Great food, device and atmosphere. Looking forward to going back. The wait staff was excellent at recommending options and the food was delicious. Very accommodating to my wife's gluten allergy. And the Cheerwine Sangria was awesome.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fabulous food, service, but loudbudwomDined on 8/30/2014We 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...Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great date night spotajklineDined on 8/30/2014Went 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The food is excellent!DurHamDudeDined on 8/30/2014My 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great foodGuilaudaDined on 8/30/2014Second time at Mateo and another good experience. Really good food.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing food. Wonderful eveningK8TK8TSDined on 8/30/2014Creative 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.Special Features:
- Fear of upstairsHelenDined on 8/30/2014We 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Arl2BernDined on 8/30/2014Food was terrific and service was too. Seats were not comfortable and ambiance left something to be desired.Special Features:
- Disappointing this timeloganmDined on 8/29/2014Have 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.
- Tapas -- well OKJohnGaultDined on 8/27/2014OK - 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.
- Always new, consistently goodkkwwDined on 8/27/2014We'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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ¡Que rico!EmilyVIPDined on 8/24/2014The food here, served tapas style, is incredible. We loved everything we tried! My favorited were the croquetas and the gambas... Yum. I can't wait to go back!Special Features:
- Mateo RestauratFoodIsGoodDined on 8/22/2014Five 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.Special Features:
- Fantastic!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/20/2014Currently at the top of my list of excellent restaurants in the Triangle!Special Features:
- Delicious tapas!ViviamEDined on 8/16/2014What 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 :)Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Mateo Durham NCkaypDined on 8/16/2014I 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.Special Features:
- Excellent!MateoDined on 8/15/2014They know their Spanish food, very authentic. Iberico ham is a must try.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always amazing!SbdialDined on 8/15/2014Great 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.