Mateo
Mateo

Mateo

  • 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.
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Mateo reviews from OpenTable diners
295 reviews since July 27, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.6
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelEnergetic
97% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (253)hot spot (153)special occasion (118)neighborhood gem (111)notable wine list (102)vibrant bar scene (94)good for groups (88)romantic (76)late-night find (35)great for lunch (18)great for brunch (6)scenic view (3)kid-friendly (2)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • Excellent
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    Truly authentic spanish food. They even have rabbit fideua, which is very rare to find in tapas restaurants. I've been there a couple of times and have had 80% of the menu and everything is delicious!!! The sangria is pretty good too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful experience ... make a reservation!
    RickW
    Dined on 11/20/2014
    The food is very good ... the wine is good too. The ambiance is warm and lively. This was our second time at Mateo's and it was better then the first
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • lmdaVIP
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    Mateo has a great atmosphere and even better food!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fabulous
    luvgoodeats
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Wonderful all around- service, food, wine & dessert were all excellent!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We love Mateo!
    SaLena
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    Another fabulous night at our new favorite dining experience! The food of course, is amazing, but the staff is knowledgeable, personable, and fun! The whole experience is truly enjoyable. Thank you!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous food but other issues
    DurhamVIP
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    This is an amazing restaurant. The tapas are outstanding, interestingly imagined and created, and not outdone anywhere else we've been in many geographical areas including Spain . However, this is a hard restaurant to find a parking place for. One has to be lucky, and that's hard to count on. Additionally, the service this time was slower due to such high volume of customers (this on a Thursday night). We actually felt ignored for a time. Once the tapas had been ordered (we ordered them all at the start along with our drinks), they came in great succession / procession. No problem there. But the restaurant is noisy and hard to hear each other for conversation. Yet it remains one of our favorite restaurants.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • tapas restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    Good tapas food with complementary wines. In and out in an hour. Reasonable prices.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great experience, can't wait to go again!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    Fantastic food and great service. A little on the pricey side, so perfect for special occasions.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Best Tapas This Side of Seville!
    Psych13
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    Our party of four sampled a variety of appetizers, salads, tapas, and desserts for dinner at this relaxing and fun spot in downtown Durham. Though all were "good", tasty highlights of our small plates were the Kale Salad...delicious; the bbque ribs....wonderful, wonderful glaze; the lamb meatball; and, last but in no way least - a shrimp and rice mixture in a creamy sauce; lastly, a mixture of sausage, brussels sprout, etc. - though I can't recall their Spanish names, ALL selections were DELICIOUS! Had Mom prepared brussels sprouts as well as this place, we kids would have eaten our vegetables......sorry Mom -:)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service is slipping
    sajuVIP
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    I love Mateo. It's my go to place for lots of occasions, so I've been disappointed in the last several visits by the really slow service, borderlining on inattentiveness. This last visit was the worst, with our entire second round of tapas orders not being submitted. Eventually, the waiter returned to the table and asked if there was anything else, and we said, yes we ordered these things. It was clear he had not submitted them, so we just cancelled and got our check. Fortunately, the food continues to be excellent, but the service is making me think of finding a new go to place...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Impeccable service so the food tastes even better!
    dsperati
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    We dined (2 of us) at Mateo on a Wednesday night before a show at the DPAC. We arrived at 5:45 and were seated immediately. Shortly thereafter the place filled up very quickly so it is important to have reservations no matter how early you are going. Our waiter John was, without question, one of the absolute best waiters we have ever had in any restaurant, and we've had some amazing dining experiences. He walked us through the menus - food and wine - and made incredible suggestions based on our preferences. You could tell he takes great pride in their food and wine and that certainly elevates the dining experience for the customer.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great group experience
    SarahVIP
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    They were very accommodating for our larger group of 8. It is a small restaurant and though it was a little tight as they warned us, it was cozy. The atmosphere was great. It was lively and it was clear that it was this busy all the time. The food was all very delicious and though one of our dishes was forgotten/came out very late, they were sincere and very apologetic for it. We were in no rush so we were there for hours, but it wouldn't be somewhere I would recommend if you only had a small window of time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Loved the experience upstairs
    SMaxVIP
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We have eaten at Mateo's several times and this time we requested upstairs seating. The noise level is significantly lower upstairs and we really like that. Same great food just a lot easier to carry on a conversation!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Consistently Solid Food
    OnceAndDoneVIP
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    Every time I visit Durham, I make an effort to visit Mateo. There are few restaurants in Durham that provide the same quality of food and unique dining experience for the price. It's a great departure from the standard BBQ and farm to table fare so common in the triangle area. This is a great restaurant if your focus is on quality over quantity.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/4/2014
    While we loved the food and wine, the place was so noisy that having a conversation between just the two of us was really hard work, and that really cut into our dining pleasure.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • terrific tapas
    Oz4tpas
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    this was a wonderful find. Busy and hard to get in but worthwhile. The food was authentic and well prepared and presented. we really couldnt fault the place and would return in a heartbeat. being ale to drink 14 year old wine by the glass was a treat - it was good
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful food and ambiance
    pinkbike2rideVIP
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    Don't know why we waited so long to discover Mateo. "now I know" why its the rave in Durham. Fabulous and interesting food, fun to share with a group.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Do not miss the...
    DinnerOut
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    Do not miss the Queso Frito y Huevo. A++ Everything was fantastic, but that dish exceeded our expectations by a mile. That dish alone is worth visiting Mateo again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious, start to finish.
    eaterWB
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    Decided to visit Mateo with a couple friends before attending a wedding. Got there when they opened at 5, so no wait, although I hear it gets packed otherwise. The wine menu was not an easy one to navigate being they aren't your typical grape varietals, but got a Tempranillo red thanks to the server. It was great. All of the tapas were a home-run, not a single one I would not recommend and we had 8. A Spanish menu like this is rare and made for an adventurous but outstanding meal. Would highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delectable little plates
    lovesasurprise
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    I love the opportunity to try novel inspired dishes with interesting flavor combinations. Mateo doesn't disappoint. Even better, as a tapas restaurant, each dish is small enough that you'll be able to order many things in one evening. I haven't had anything yet that wasn't excellent. The dry sherry flight is not to be missed. The service is really good. Prices are reasonable. The noise level is difficult if you have someone who is hard of hearing...this is not a quiet spot. There is a small parking lot right by the restaurant and if you're lucky, you'll get a spot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • 1st time for lunch
    KJTECU
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    We love Mateo for dinner, but had never been for lunch. They have a completely different lunch menu and it was fabulous! We shared 2 tapas plates and each had a sandwich and got out for under $30--including tip! That never happens! We love Mateo for dinner and will definitely return for lunch! They never disappoint!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Mateo Magnificance
    Mikee
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    Mateo is a must-dine experience for discerning culinary snobs and others who are looking for a unique and wonderfully delicious food experience. This was my third or fourth visit and the experience seems to get better each time. Loved the Beef Cheeks and leave room for desert. My guest who said they did not like Flan almost ate the entire portion before I got a bite. The bread pudding is excellent as well. Try it, you'll Love It!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Deliscious, reasonably priced, fun
    BetsyVIP
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Our group of 5 had a delightful assortment of plates suited for a variety of dietary tastes and restrictions. The chicken croquette special was excellent, as were the lamb meatballs, calamari, duck, salads and desserts. We were happily sated but not stuffed which was ideal. And the bill was very reasonable for five (~$145 including tip and $18 for a sangria carafe). Will definitely be back !!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First time
    Joey211VIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Went for lunch and had a wonderful experience. Great tapas....very nice and relaxed service. Only reason we didn't have dinner was no reservations. If you get a chance...GO
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great tapas restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    the best tapas restaurant in town although there is no many restaurants of this kind in durham or the triangle area , this is the best one , nice wine list , little expensive , but it is ok for time in time , highly recommend it !!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious Food
    MMHill
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    We had a group of 7 and tried just about everything on the menu and it was OUTSTANDING, although maybe just slightly overpriced, especially the $20 corkage fee (most places in the area are $10 to $15). It was quite loud so be prepared to nearly yell across the table, but the food is well worth it!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Marym
    Marinemom
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    FANTASTIC FOOD and SERVICE. We have eaten at MATEO's several times since joining DPAC and they NEVER disappoint.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mateo a MUST!
    betsy989
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Really loved Mateo. The food, drinks, and service were terrific. The only downside for me was the noise level making hard to hear other people at the table. Don't understand why new restaurants can't do more too lower the noise level.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love this!
    emazon
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Whenever we come to Durham, we always come to Mateo. The wine list is very interesting and the food is delectable. Makes me wish we lived closer-- I'd be here all the time!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Mateo is always good! The food is excellent and there are a lot of fun food options from which to choose.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for date night
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Been to Mateo before, first time for lunch... Not a huge variety of opting for lunch, however the dinner menu is awesome!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A bit of Spain in Durham
    spanishfoodie
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    I lived in Spain for several years and have yearned for the great wine and tapas that I used to enjoy while living there. Mateo brings me back to Spain. The tapas are excellent and authentic. The wine list is great and accessible to all price ranges from ~$26 - >$200 / bottle. They even have sidra (a very Spanish cider).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    We were novices with ordering tapas, but our waitress was patient and helpful. We're heading to Spain next week with some knowledge of how to order there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very nice
    Lezly24
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Went for interview lunch and enjoyed it very much. Tapas great, service great
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Anniversary dinner
    StephEats
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    We went here for our anniversary dinner as we both love food and trying new places. Mateo was recommended to me, and I was told it is 1000X better than any other tapas in the area. When we arrived we noticed the restaurant was busy--that's a good sign! The ambiance was lovely--each table had a lit candle. The food was delicious and the price was lower than anticipated!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • DurhamVIP
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Wonderful food, imaginative combinations. We love this place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • excellent food
    Addison
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    First experience at Mateo. Excellent food. Loved the ribs! Great atmosphere. Service wasn't ok. Hostess seemed unorganized and server wasn't super friendly. I would recommend to friends.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic!!!
    NCDAD
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Wow - I had heard that this was a top spot in the Durham/Chapel Hill area. The recommendations were correct, the food is FANTASTIC. Went for dinner on a Saturday night prior to a DPAC show and the place was busy and packed. The Bar was full and energized. But our reservations (you NEED ONE) were right on time and we were lucky (for us) to sit upstairs in the quieter section. The food is perhaps some of the best Tapas (or any food) I have ever had. Each selection was better then the other. Special Praise to the Ribs and the Croquettes. We already made reservations for our next visit when family are in town. Don't miss this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    We love Mateo for the flexibility - great place to stop in for a little snack after a show or bring out of town guests for a unique dining experience. This was our 4th visit to Mateo and we'll definitely keep coming back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Yummy
    Zeppelin
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    We went there for a casual Friday dinner and were pleasantly surprised. The food choices are excellent, the ambience and atmosphere is warm and welcoming and the service is quick. The portions are small and we were able to try a few dishes. Their wine and drinks menu is extensive as well. I had "Pepine" which is gin and tonic with pickled cucumbers. It was spectacular. This place is A+
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.