Mateo

4.7
1877 reviews
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$30 and under
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Spanish
Top Tags:
  • Tapas
  • Authentic
  • Fit for Foodies
Spanish Heart / Southern Soul from chef Matt Kelly.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Spanish, Tapas / Small Plates
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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.
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Phone number
(919) 530-8700
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Matthew Kelly
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Neighborhood
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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.
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1877 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Mateo is fantastic - what incredible food! our friend from Guatemala was visiting us and we had told her about Mateo some months before. I was happy we were able to get in on Sunday!

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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Excellent meal, impeccable service, really nice evening!

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4.0Dined 6 days ago

All of the food was fantastic but out favorite was the crispy fried rice, seriously. The octopus was also lovely and fresh but the bistec was forgettable. I would highly recommend Mateo.

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

This place doesn’t really need another glowing review—everyone knows it’s excellent!! My husband had his eye on this place for over a year before we finally splurged and tried it. Delicious and creative tapas, wonderful drinks, friendly service. What’s not to like, although it was a little loud for a romantic dinner.

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5.0Dined 7 days ago

A great place for an special event, for lovers, friends of good foot and great for conversacion.

Nice location and friendly and competent personal.

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5.0Dined on June 14, 2018

Food was amazing and 100% worth every penny. Similar sentiment for the cocktails. Service wasn’t quite as good as food, but they paced out how they brought out the dishes so well that we always had a new great dish popping up. We never felt rushed or anything truly negative... just a slightly weird vibe. Imp

Given the high quality of the entire experience, quibbles are almost not worth bringing up; however, at $140 I felt it should be noted. Don’t get it twisted though... totally worth the price.

It was ducking fope.

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3.0Dined on June 13, 2018

Great service! We tried nearly everything on the specials board. The food was a bit bland but the presentation is beautiful and fresh. The cocktails are trendy and delicious. Very hipster environment that I now expect in Durham so if you're into the latest trend, you'll love this place!

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5.0Dined on June 10, 2018

Food and service were exceptional! Truly a delightful dining experience. Thank you!

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2018

Great food, loved the fiddlehead.

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4.0Dined on June 9, 2018

Our waitress had a bad attitude-she didn’t smile and was unfriendly.

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2018

Mateo is simply outstanding. This is the second time we have taken our adult son there on his birthday, and both meals have been so memorable! It is important to have reservations - it is a busy place. Our server, Sarah, was excellent and made helpful recommendations. We will return to Mateo whenever we can!

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4.0Dined on June 9, 2018

Extensive wine list has many wines we're not familiar with. There is no way to judge price vs. quality. The wine list has good descriptions but not standard wine ratings (e.g., 92).

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5.0Dined on June 8, 2018

As always, we were so pleased. Cassidy was knowledgeable,helpful, and attentive to just the appropriate degree. The food is always excellent. For January’s Triangle Restaurant Week, we went to a place a few doors down with same theme, and were extremely disappointed—with the experience, and that we could have gone to Mateo’s instead. Do wish the noise level wasn’t so extreme—-energetic is not the word I would choose. Thanks for a great experience, again!

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5.0Dined on June 6, 2018

We came, we ate, we conquered. And it was AMAZEBALLZ. The wine list is incredible and the food is exquisite.

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3.0Dined on June 5, 2018

Don’t sit in 2 seater tables against the wall You will be packed so tight against other parties your elbows will hit.

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5.0Dined on June 3, 2018

As always, food and service we're a home run. Thanks for making my birthday special!

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4.0Dined on June 3, 2018

As always, Mateo’s tapas did not disappoint! The chicken, the patatas bravas, the croquetas, the bone marrow (medula) and the costillas de pollo were the best!!
This will remain my favorite tapas spot in the Triangle!

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4.0Dined on June 2, 2018

Another visit to Mateo and again, loved the food. They have added some new menu items and changed some specials since our last visit. The beef tartare was new to me, and it was especially delicious.

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5.0Dined on June 2, 2018

I think I just had the best meal I have ever had at this excellent restaurant, including one of the best salads I have ever had in my life. The service was excellent, I love the ambience, and chef is absolutely on top of his/her game. It was a perfect evening...

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5.0Dined on June 1, 2018

We were so excited about every dish we got! Service was fantastic. Dont go here for a great beer menu though- very limited and pricey. This is definitely a cocktail/wine place.

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5.0Dined on June 1, 2018

Food is really good, one of downtown Durham's great restaurants.

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5.0Dined on May 28, 2018

Great restaurant! Food always perfectly cooked. On the expensive end but worth it!

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5.0Dined on May 27, 2018

My husband and I decided to try Mateo early on a Sunday evening before walking over to the Carolina Theater. We were seated quickly, and our waitress recommended 4 to 6 dishes for the two of us. We chose beets and ensalada rusa from the tapas frias menu, and the albondigas and medula from the tapas calientes menu. Each dish came out quickly, and four dishes was perfect for us since it was early. The medula is fantastic - flavorful, tender, rich - and a must-have off the menu. If you get nothing else, order the medula. Overall, we greatly enjoyed our experience and would visit again in a heartbeat.

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4.0Dined on May 26, 2018

Great food and service. Roasted cauliflower was a favorite!

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5.0Dined on May 26, 2018

Always great food and great service.

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4.0Dined on May 26, 2018

We really enjoyed our meal and we’re thankful we were sat so late, 11:00pm! Our food was delicious and the few tapas we tried were pretty authentic Spanish tapas. Our wait staff was not so kind— she seemed annoyed that we were there, spoke softly and really couldn’t have been bothered to make sure we had a good experience. It was awkward and definitely not expected from this restaurant.
We will definitely be back for the food but hopefully this time have a better overall experience.

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5.0Dined on May 24, 2018

The food was fantastic especially the rib eye special

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5.0Dined on May 23, 2018

What a wonderful place to dine. The food selections were unique and simply delicious. Not just tasty, but presented well. Service was just as complimentary. I will definitely eat here again!

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4.0Dined on May 20, 2018

We were in town for the day and were looking for a good place to eat when we fell into a review of Mateo. We read a couple of reviews and made a reservation. We are foodies from Denver and we were thrilled to find this gem. A great tapas restaurant with a southern twist. We arrived early and were quickly seated. Our waiter was right over to take drink orders and give us a quick tutorial on the menu and how many plates we should order for sharing. Between the four of us we were able to taste 12 plates. Food was original and tasty. Service was quick and the final bill was very reasonable for food and wine. Highly recommend the lovely gem.

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5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Really outstanding. Excellent food. Highly recommend the asparagus dishes.

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5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

Excellent food once again and very accommodating for my parents who wanted to be seated away from the kitchen. The noise level was very loud but the overall experience was great.

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5.0Dined on May 17, 2018

Great food. Shrimp was amazing!

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4.0Dined on May 17, 2018

Excellent as always. Had the Serrano ham and cheese sandwich and patatas bravas.

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5.0Dined on May 16, 2018

Great tapas and wine! Would recommend starting with two plates per person, but we ended up ordering more!

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3.0Dined on May 10, 2018

Our waiter was very helpful until the restaurant got busy, then the level of service dropped down quite a bit. Other staff members stepped in to help, which kept things flowing well, but the service was disappointing at the end. The bistec de carne could not have been more than 2 oz of beef for $18. It was very good, but we felt it was overpriced.

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5.0Dined on May 10, 2018

Amazing small plates and wine/ beer list close to dpac so very convenient pre or post meal .

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5.0Dined on May 9, 2018

Food is some of the best tapas we have had. Caleb, our waiter was excellent

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5.0Dined on May 8, 2018

First visit. It was so much fun and the food was great. We got there early enough that the noise wasn’t an issue

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5.0Dined on May 5, 2018

This is all you need to know: octopus - buy it

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5.0Dined on May 5, 2018

We always enjoy dinner at Matteo’s. The wait staff is awesome. They are always ready with suggestions and they know about all the dishes. Their service is excellent , too. It is a noisy restaurant but that is part of the ambiance. This is my favorite restaurant by far!!!

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