Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.27mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.28mi
  4. Distance: 0.35mi
  1. Distance: 0.27mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.28mi
  4. Distance: 0.35mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.27mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.28mi
  4. Distance: 0.35mi
  1. Distance: 0.27mi
  2. Distance: 0.28mi
  3. Distance: 0.28mi
  4. Distance: 0.35mi

About Mateo

Spanish Heart / Southern Soul from the crew at Vin Rouge.

109 W Chapel Hill St
Durham, NC 27701
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Spanish, Tapas / Small Plates

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.

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(919) 530-8700

Website:
http://www.mateotapas.com/

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.

Executive Chef:
Matthew Kelly

Additional:
Bar Dining, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Mateo Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.4

ambience

4.4

value

4.1

Noise

Moderate

91% would recommend it to a friend

Tapas (65)
Fit for Foodies (56)
Good for a Date (45)
See All
Special Occasion (37)
Creative Cuisine (36)
Fun (32)
Pre/post Theatre (30)
Authentic (29)
Worth the Drive (29)
Hot Spot (26)
Good for Anniversaries (25)
Bar Seating (24)
Notable Wine List (23)
Romantic (23)
Vibrant Bar Scene (23)
Neighborhood Gem (23)
Good for Groups (21)
Tasting Menu (19)
Good for Birthdays (18)
Casual (18)
Local Ingredients (17)
Handcrafted Cocktails (14)
Good Vegetarian Options (14)
Cozy (13)
People Watching (12)
Business Meals (9)
Healthy (8)
Happy Hour (7)
Paleo Friendly (6)
Gluten Free Options (5)
Great for Lunch (5)
Comfort Food (4)
Late-night Find (4)
Quick Bite (4)
Spicy (4)
Great Beer (3)
Organic (3)
Quiet Conversation (3)
Seasonal (3)
Great for Brunch (1)
Disabled Access (1)
Live Music (1)
Vegan (1)
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1754 reviews
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 (New York Area)·Dined a day ago

Fantastic food. Excellent service.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 2 days ago

I love this place. I love the food and the service. It is by so far one of my favorite restaurant.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Authentic, Paleo Friendly, Fun, Tapas, Healthy, Casual, Tasting Menu, Bar Seating, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 4 days ago

Great Food, Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff, excellent service - will go back soon!

Tags: Good for a Date, Casual, Comfort Food, Quick Bite, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Pittsburgh)·Dined 5 days ago

What a wonderful experience. Loved everything we had, the calamari, scallops, brisket and monkfish. And the salad is one o will have cravings for! And the desserts are to die for! Will definitely be back when visiting my son at Duke!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 5 days ago

Very interesting Tapas menu that works well for sharing. Well priced Spanish wine list. Friendly college town service but the staff was knowledgeable. Very lively and loud and clearly the most popular place in downtown Durham on a Thursday night

Tags: Good for a Date, Casual, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Business Meals, Authentic, Hot Spot, People Watching
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Tampa)·Dined 5 days ago

Awesome tapas. Great vibe. We really enjoyed the layout. Much lager than you might imagine from the outside.

Loved the comfy cushions!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients, Tapas, Authentic, Live Music, Fit for Foodies, Fun, Tasting Menu, Hot Spot, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined 5 days ago

We had the pleasure of being taken care of by our favorite server, John. He brought over our favorite wine without being prompted. Nice to feel special and have great food also. Best banana pudding ever. Mateo always has great food and excellent service.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Authentic, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Miami)·Dined 6 days ago

Great food, a little bit pricey but maybe because it was Valentine's day.

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food5
ambience4
service5

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined 6 days ago

As always the food was really special !!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 6 days ago

Top Notch Establishment!!!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined 7 days ago

Amazing food, though not a place you should go really hungry. Tapas are delicious though quite small. If you go when you're hungry, be prepared to spend a lot.

Tags: Tapas
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 11, 2018

Mateo is a very good dining option with a downtown buzz. Two of us shared four small plates and we were very content with the amount of food. (Our server said the number of recommended dishes depends on which ones you order.) The regular menu options were nicely seasoned--notable was their chicken pâté, a perfect portion to share with a surprising hint of sweetness. The star of the evening was a special of the day--monkfish with a lobster butter sauce over a spoon of velvety grits. It was a truly memorable dish which bumped our four star rating to five. We were seated about 20 minutes after our reservation time and service was friendly, in spite of servers being a bit rushed to accommodate the crowd. We were not well-versed in the Spanish wine selections and recommendations were spot on. We knew Mateo's excellent reputation so the big surprise was that we were able to have a lovely, special dinner for two-- including 3 glasses of wine--for under $100. The value means we will be able to come back sooner!

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Happy Hour, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 11, 2018

I've been twice, and will go again. It's one of the 20 or 30 best restaurants in the triangle, another jewel in Durham's great restaurant scene, and it's open on Sunday. It's not the cheapest place around, but they have some great food. I strongly recommend trying at least one of the hams, and save the bread to eat with the gambas (the shrimp in olive oil with peppers and lemon). The wine list is focused on Spanish wines, but they are fine. I have a friend from Spain who likes this place, but also says that they take some liberties with some traditional Spanish dishes. I don't have a problem with adapting dishes to regionally available ingredients. For instance, they had a clam dish that included boiled peanuts. I never met anyone who wasn't from eastern North Carolina that liked boiled peanuts (you have to use peanuts that are still green), but for others born east of Interstate 95, it's a worthy dish.

Tags: Good for Groups, People Watching, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Good for Birthdays, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 11, 2018

Amazing food and atmosphere with incredible service.

Tags: Spicy, Seasonal, Vibrant Bar Scene, Healthy, Fit for Foodies, Paleo Friendly, Pre/post Theatre, Tapas, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Fun, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 10, 2018

First visit and wonderful experience

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Charlotte)·Dined on February 9, 2018

Loved it! Great atmosphere; attentive service ; and, outstanding food , wine and drinks - a definite must go to when in Durham!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 9, 2018

Mateo remains one my favorite Durham spots. It's a great place to go on a special occasion -- although can be on the loud side when busy -- and consistently has good food and good wine. Service is also reliably good. I think it's a tad pricey for what it is, but that's probably to be expected in that location. Do try to get a reservation if you're going on a Thursday - Saturday, though, as otherwise it can be hard to get in.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Tapas, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Bar Seating, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries
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food4
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on February 4, 2018

Great pre-theater menu. Interesting, unique and tasty. Great portions so you can try several. The service staff was outstanding. Downstairs was more lively, but we chose more quiet, romantic seating upstairs. Wonderful experience!

Tags: Authentic, Notable Wine List, Pre/post Theatre, Handcrafted Cocktails, Romantic, Good for a Date, Tapas, Neighborhood Gem, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Smaller portion, tapas, but pack a big taste explosion. Be adventurous it's well worth trying something new.

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food4
ambience4
service5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 3, 2018

The steak tartare special was amazing. Hopefully it will put permanently on the menu

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 3, 2018

The food isn't as good as the reviews claim. Additionally they don't sell wine by the glass...

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food2
ambience3
service3
value2

 
 (Greensboro)·Dined on February 2, 2018

Suzanne was fabulous, the food super. We always enjoy this place

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 2, 2018

I have been here multiple times and it is one of my favorite spots. The food and drinks were good as usual but the only thing I was disappointed with was the octopus. Normally this is one of my favorite dishes however much to my surprise they changed the presentation and flavoring of it. I asked the food runner about it and he confirmed that was in fact the octopus and that they changed it because sometimes they make seasonal changes. Was not happy with it but overall still a great experience.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fun, Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Good for Groups, People Watching, Fit for Foodies, Happy Hour, Tapas, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Local Ingredients, Vibrant Bar Scene, Hot Spot, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 2, 2018

Outstanding as always. We were seated upstairs which is a little less noisy. Food was great. Pan con tomate was the best I've had there. Brisket was wonderful. We always come back there when in Durham

Tags: Good for a Date, Vibrant Bar Scene, Fun, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on February 2, 2018

Waiter had to many tables, he didn’t ask us once if we were ok.
Not sure if name

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food5
ambience5
service2
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 31, 2018

Unlike past visits, we were seated upstairs. While the downstairs dining is more like a vibrant Madrid tapas bar (and fun in its own way), upstairs is quieter and much more conducive to conversation. But - upstairs or down - the food and Spanish wines are worth the visit.

Tags: Casual, Tapas, Vibrant Bar Scene, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 31, 2018

The food is quite good, and the beer selection includes a nice Spanish lager. The service was mediocre. It took 10 minutes for us to receive attention, and that was after I got up and asked the host. The noise level is not "Energetic," it is simply too loud. Conversation is difficult.

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food4
ambience2
service2
value3

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 31, 2018

Seeing old friends

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 30, 2018

Great place, must give it a shot! Love the small plates and the vibe is trendy!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Happy Hour, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 30, 2018

Tuesday is 1/2 price tapas day at lunch. Great food at great value!

Tags: Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Bar Seating
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Food was excellent. It took them over 30 minutes to prepare a table even with reservations. The hostesses were disorganized.

Tags: Tapas, Good for Birthdays, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Our waiter was great, though we could barely hear him due to the very noisy environment. Food was fine, but nothing spectacular, although the desserts were good. It is very crowded /tight dining, so definitely not recommended for a romantic / quiet /private evening. We had reservations made a month in advance. We waited over 15 minutes for a table, despite the reservation. The hostesses were very nice and apologetic. The manager was absolutely unconcerned and barely apologetic. Our total meal, with bottle of wine and tip, was over $170 for the two of us. I would've much rather spent that money somewhere else where the food and environment were more memorable. We won't be back.

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food3
ambience2
service3
value1

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Big menu with great options. Extensive sherry menu. Lively atmosphere. Definitely want to get a reservation.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Tapas, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Bar Seating, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on January 26, 2018

We had 7 dishes (small plates). 3 were done well, 2 were average, and 2 were below par. The tortilla was especially poorly made, and if the advertised chorizo and aioli were in it we certainly couldn't find them. None of the dishes had any garlic, an essential of Spanish cooking. We have had some 6 weeks of dining in Spain over the years, so we know what good Spanish good should be like.

Tags: Authentic, Bar Seating, Pre/post Theatre, Notable Wine List
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food3
ambience2
service4
value2

vip
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Very wonderful meal and generous small,plates

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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Greensboro)·Dined on January 25, 2018

We had to wait 30 minutes for our table even though we had a reservation. Food and service were very good.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 25, 2018

I arrived with a 7 PM reservation on a Thursday night, checking out Mateo for the first time. We were told on arrival that our table had their check and we would have our table shortly, but we should grab a drink by the bar while we waited. 30 min later, still no table, though notably several middle tables remained empty the entire time. I approached the host and asked for an update, and he was quite rude. On my way back to the bar, a check came out to a table near the door. Ten minutes later, the host finally approached us and told us once we settled at the bar, our table was open (now 40-45 minutes after our reservation). We were finally directed to our table, the very same which had received their check ten minutes prior. Clearly, the host had mismanaged reservations and then lied about it.

From their our experience got remarkably better. Our waiter was spectacular - full of character, humor, and took care to explain the menu and recommendations at length with us. We got to ordering and tried a host of different plates. All of them were great, though several were exceptional. The chicken croquetas were delicious, the pan con tomate was surprisingly excellent for a simple dish, the slow-cooked brisket was to die for, etc. Dishes came out pretty quickly, other than the two pasta dishes we ordered, which took a good bit longer. Our server recommended 2-4 per person, and to order in waves, which worked out well for us.

However, I find a 45 min wait for a table (with reservation) unacceptable, particularly with no hint of an apology. Light is too dim, and I noticed multiple tables with people trying to read the menu via cell phone flashlight. Mood lighting is fine, but they've taken it too far here. Lastly, it is REALLY loud in here. Some of the food here is absolutely incredible, but particularly given the price (justified if you can receive both excellent food AND service) I'm hard pressed to want to return here after our experience with the host on duty.

Tags: Tapas, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 24, 2018

Mateo continues to impress! Even with so many high quality restaurants.in the area, I'm glad to return to Mateo every so often ( I wish it was more often!). The specials and regular menu options were all excellent: we even ordered an additional serving of the sea scallop special.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 20, 2018

We made a reservation for 9:15 PM and we were not seated until 9:50. Our server then did not approach us for another 10 minutes and did not even acknowledge that we had been waiting 45 minutes. He continued to be rather inattentive throughout the night, not to mention he took the check from the table while we were still seated.
The restaurant is rather closely packed so if you’re unfortunate enough (as we were) to sit next to someone with a loud, obnoxious voice, there’s really no escape.
Despite the disappointing service and overwhelming noise level, the food made it worth the trip. The beet tartare was particularly delicious, unique and well-presented. I would recommend dining here only if you can get a table at opening to avoid the wait and the noise.

Tags: Late-night Find, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience3
service3
value4

 
 (Raleigh)·Dined on January 20, 2018

Food was disappointing again. Will not be back.

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food1
ambience4
service3
value2

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