Mateo

Mateo

  • 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

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
265 reviews since May 5, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.6
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelEnergetic
96% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (224)hot spot (139)special occasion (129)notable wine list (103)neighborhood gem (97)vibrant bar scene (85)romantic (84)good for groups (61)late-night find (49)great for lunch (37)great for brunch (10)scenic view (4)kid-friendly (3)Show More
  • Nice spot!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Nice 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:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fabulous food, service, but loud
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    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...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great date night spot
    ajkline
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The food is excellent!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    Guilauda
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Second time at Mateo and another good experience. Really good food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing food. Wonderful evening
    K8TK8TS
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fear of upstairs
    Helen
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Food was terrific and service was too. Seats were not comfortable and ambiance left something to be desired.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointing this time
    loganm
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tapas -- well OK
    JohnGault
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always new, consistently good
    kkww
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mateo Restaurat
    FoodIsGood
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Currently at the top of my list of excellent restaurants in the Triangle!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious tapas!
    ViviamE
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    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 :)
    Special Features:
    late-night find, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mateo Durham NC
    kayp
    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.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent!
    Mateo
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    They know their Spanish food, very authentic. Iberico ham is a must try.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always amazing!
    Sbdial
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Thomas
    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!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lynn
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Absolutely wonderful. The food, service and ambiance "Excellent"
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great, as always
    JFM1965
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Mateo is a gem in Durham. Great food, superb service, and great location downtown.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Super Yummy
    MichelleTanner
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great varied food selection
    Foodie42
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • always good
    MeganAnn
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    I have enjoyed each time I have been to Mateo so much. The ambience is wonderful and the food is phenomenal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love Mateo!
    GotGoals
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Interestng menu, very good meal
    DawnK
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mateo
    Katina
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Delicious tapas and wonderful wines - a great night out with friends!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not bad
    Azooz
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful early Friday night
    nc2njgirl
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Always great!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Service a little slow but food was off the charts crawfish pork meatball F ing amazing!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious!
    wescta00
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent Tapas Restuarant
    Pichuca
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Chanti7
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Everything was great, but wish there were more vegetarian options!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yum, yum.
    Helen
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    Tuesday lunch at Mateo was delicious. The added special of 2 tapas for $10 was 'icing on the cake.'
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great late night place
    Jiaomaine
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderfully traditional tapas bar
    Hamlet
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Great variety of offerings. Very helpful and knowledgeable waiter. Had not been to such a tapas bar since visiting Spain last summer. Great find.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • NYC in Durham
    Kim61
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Fantastic
    Foodie
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Great food. Wonderful mix of fabulous combinations. Great service. Can't wait to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always perfect
    WashingtonVIP
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.