About Mateo

109 W Chapel Hill St
Durham, NC 27701
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Spanish Heart / Southern Soul from the crew at Vin Rouge.

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:
BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Restaurant Photos

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Huevos Diablos
Calamari
Bone Marrow With Braised Shortrib
Almejas Pequeñas
Boquerones
Datil
Patatas Bravas
Morcilla
Iberico
Fideuá
Quesos Y Heuvos
Bistec
Tunabelly Toast
Sweet Potato Cheesecake
Clams
Desserts: Churros With Chocolate Sauce, Fig Bread Pudding,  Crema Catalan
Kale Salad
Jamon Sampler
Ensalada De Mariscos
Pollo A La Ajillo
Chicken Fried Chicken
Shrimp And Grits With Chorizo Sausage And Green Chile Cheese Grits
Potato Nest With Chorizo, Chili And Egg
Pork Cheek Canneloni
Sour dough toast with fresh tomato spread
Tortilla Espanola
Beet Salad

Mateo Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.5

ambience

4.4

value

4.1

noise

Moderate

96% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Most Booked
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Best Overall
Durham
Best Food
Durham
3 More
Best Service
Durham
Fit for Foodies
Durham
Most Booked
Durham
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Fit for Foodies (195)
Special Occasion (130)
Hot Spot (116)
See All
Good for Groups (80)
Neighborhood Gem (76)
Notable Wine List (74)
Vibrant Bar Scene (63)
Romantic (63)
Late-night Find (20)
Great for Lunch (19)
Great for Brunch (6)
Scenic View (5)
Kid-friendly (3)
Historic (1)
Tasting Menu (1)
Good for Birthdays (1)
Tapas (1)
Creative Cuisine (1)
Bar Seating (1)
Worth the Drive (1)
Good for a Date (1)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Authentic (1)
People Watching (1)
Good for Anniversaries (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
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1199 reviews
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Consistently innovative farm to table me ...

vip
 (New York Area)
·Dined 4 days ago

Consistently innovative farm to table menu. Never disappointed.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Sunday Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Cozy, Spicy, Paleo Friendly, Tapas, Business Meals
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Great service, great food and reasonably ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined 5 days ago

Great service, great food and reasonably priced for our party of six. Great bar drinks. What's not to love about this gem?!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Super place invective menu would like a ...

vip
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 25, 2016

Super place invective menu would like a few more vegetarian options

Tags: Tapas, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

We had a great experience. Food was deli ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on August 24, 2016

We had a great experience. Food was delicious, good size portions , attentive service, and reasonable prices.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Mateo's is my favorite Italian returant! ...

 
 (Indiana)
·Dined on August 23, 2016

Mateo's is my favorite Italian returant! The food is authentic and absolutely incredible. I have had many entrees there over the years, and each is to die for!!!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Worth the Drive, Cozy, Good for Groups
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food5
ambience5
service3
value5

Nice ambiance. Service is a bit spotty. ...

vip
 (Dallas)
·Dined on August 22, 2016

Nice ambiance. Service is a bit spotty. We have been to other Tapas restaurants around the country. Food was good, but the Tapas selection was a bit disappointing and not the usual traditional tapas. We got into a nice conversation with the couple sitting next to us and ended up having a great time! It is a good restaurant but not our first choice for Tapas.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value4

Mateo was recommended to us by friends w ...

 
 (Miami)
·Dined on August 22, 2016

Mateo was recommended to us by friends who live in the area. It did not disappoint. We had several different small plates, the deviled eggs, the tomato salad, the octopus, the chicken croquettes, one of the mixed seafood items, and the small cheese plate. The only plate to disappoint us was the chicken croquettes and we live in south Florida where the croquettes are hard to beat. We loved their drink menu as well. The sweet tea sangria was perfect for a summer evening in N.C. Our waitress was lovely and we will definitely be back.

Tags: Tapas, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Happy Hour
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

The bone marrow is delicious. Do bullit ...

 
 (Nashville)
·Dined on August 20, 2016

The bone marrow is delicious. Do bullit whiskey luge

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food4
ambience5
service5

The food, ambiance and service are alway ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 19, 2016

The food, ambiance and service are always stellar. The flavors are consistently rich and complex, yet balanced. This is a high-value dining experience.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Atmosphere is great. Server was a bit we ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 17, 2016

Atmosphere is great. Server was a bit weird and food was just so-so. Had Stanbury tonight and THAT is where it's at food wise.

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food3
ambience5
service3
value3

My husband and I love this restaurant an ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 16, 2016

My husband and I love this restaurant and often sit at the bar to enjoy a drink and order food but we made a reservation so that we could dine at a table here for the 1st time. Our server was incredible and made the most delicious wine recommendation that I had 2 glasses when I had originally planned on one. We love the food and every time we go we order 4 - 6 small plates to share which we did this time. The atmosphere was energetic as usual which we love. The only thing I would change would be the barstools and high table stools as they are not the most comfortable seats.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Notable Wine List, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
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The quality and uniqueness of the food w ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 16, 2016

The quality and uniqueness of the food was astounding. My date and I went in with high expectations and the service, ambiance and food blew away those expectations. In a perfect world, I'd eat at Mateo a few times a week. Unbelievable!!

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Romantic, Hot Spot
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food5
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service5
value5

A wide variety of interesting and delici ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on August 14, 2016

A wide variety of interesting and delicious tapas are served by attentive servers. The only negative was the high noise level which made talking across the table more challenging than necessary.

Tags: Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

One of my favorite restaurants in Durham ...

 
 (Chicago)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

One of my favorite restaurants in Durham. It serves excellent food in an unassuming but charming manner with waitstaff that are attentive, knowledgeable, and nice.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Some of the most inventive dishes in the ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Some of the most inventive dishes in the Triangle.

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene, Hot Spot, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

First time here, came for family birthda ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

First time here, came for family birthday celebration for ages 18, 26, and 84. Great service, fab food and everyone managed to find something they liked. It was a bit of a stretch for the 84yo, but all in all a good time. Only issue was the noise level was a bit much, making it difficult to hear the waitress.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Romantic
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Loved this place. Food was outstanding ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Loved this place. Food was outstanding. We sat at the bar and the service was excellent. Will definitely be back.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great place & atmosphere, gluten free be ...

 
 (London)
·Dined on August 13, 2016

Great place & atmosphere, gluten free beer And vast list of beer + cocktails & wine. Food is ok, not great, But fair. Its noise. Cool place!

Tags: Hot Spot, Late-night Find, Notable Wine List, Group Bookings, Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighbourhood Gem, Scenic View
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food3
ambience4
service5
value4

One of the best tapas restaurants in the ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 12, 2016

One of the best tapas restaurants in the country. Authentic yet adventurous, with a Southern spin.

Tags: Good for Groups, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Vibrant Bar Scene, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Mateo's is my definite crowd pleaser spo ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 11, 2016

Mateo's is my definite crowd pleaser spot in Durham.

Tags: Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Vibrant Bar Scene, Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

A little on the expensive side for tapas ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 11, 2016

A little on the expensive side for tapas, but the food was amazing! Wait staff was excellent- had great suggestions. Great for a special night out.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Romantic, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

Everything was fabulous- par excellence! ...

vip
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 10, 2016

Everything was fabulous- par excellence! Kate was wonderful- so helpful and friendly.

Every morsel was delicious and inimitable.

My friend enjoyed her first experience at Mateo, and it was a wonderful birthday choice.

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food5
ambience5
service5

If you are a foodie and your tastes wand ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 10, 2016

If you are a foodie and your tastes wander off main street, then you'll appreciate this place. Tapas is great to share but sweetbreads, blood sausage, and bone marrow plates were not popular with my group.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

I will have to go back during dinner to ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on August 9, 2016

I will have to go back during dinner to give a fair review

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food3
ambience4
service2

Visiting Durham x 10 days and chose to e ...

 
 (Denver)
·Dined on August 5, 2016

Visiting Durham x 10 days and chose to eat at Mateo x 3 during my visit. Wonderful selections both on the regular menu and for the daily specials. Mateo delighted the "foodies" in my family!

Tags: Hot Spot, Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
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service5
value5

A must try for foodies (but don't expect ...

 
 (Seattle)
·Dined on July 31, 2016

A must try for foodies (but don't expect a quiet evening out)!! The food here was simply amazing. My husband is from Spain, and this THE best Spanish food we have had in the U.S to date. It's a mix of traditional recipes cooked perfectly and more inventive modern fusion recipes, and they throw in a few adventurous items to excite the foodies among us. My favorites were the morcilla (blood sausage, divine with Moroccan influenced spices), the molleja (sweetbreads), and the truly perfectly cooked tortilla espanola. As for service, the waiter at the table next to us was a consummate professional - our waitress was just OK. The food arrived quickly, impressive given how hopping the place was. Not ideal for intimate conversation, as it can get really quite loud in there. Ambiance is nice and feels almost like "family style" given how close the tables can be. The wine list was excellent and the drinks inventive and interesting. A fun date place if you don't mind the noise. Go forth and enjoy!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

Good selection for vegetarians. Highligh ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

Good selection for vegetarians. Highlights were the okra and sangria. Excellent service and cozy ambience. Upstairs tables are in more intimate setting than downstairs. Leave extra time to find a place to park and walk.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

A little loud and dim, but phenomenal sm ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 30, 2016

A little loud and dim, but phenomenal small plates. Do not leave without getting the bone marrow. The preparation changes often, but every time we've had it, it's been incredible.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, Special Occasion, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

Service was excellent. We were seated d ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 29, 2016

Service was excellent. We were seated downstairs at a window table-which gave a feeling of privacy while people watching. Selection of tapas and wine were varied and many. We especially loved the Duck w/rice.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot
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food5
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service5
value5

Mateo, with its seasonal menu, locally s ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 29, 2016

Mateo, with its seasonal menu, locally sourced ingredients, and inventive dishes, is the treasure of Durham and a constant delight. The wine list is superb - try the tempranillo reds. Upstairs is very atmospheric, and might be good for couples wanting a slightly mellower vibe, but feels a little removed from the scene downstairs, so ask for a downstairs table if you want to be where the action is. It is noisy, even upstairs - the only drawback. But you feel like you're at the center of the culinary world, so why not be excited about it?

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Romantic, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Great, fun atmosphere. We ordered 6 tapa ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on July 29, 2016

Great, fun atmosphere. We ordered 6 tapas, wine and dessert. The tapas ranged from good to great. The dessert - churros con chocolate was doughy. When I ate these while living in Spain or NYC, they are typically served more crunchy. Great variety of beverages. Glad to have finally made it to this Durham top list restaurant. Had a nice evening but overall not sure the value equals the costs.

Tags: Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Notable Wine List
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

This restaurant gets a lot of praise and ...

vip
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 28, 2016

This restaurant gets a lot of praise and it does have some very good food. I've only eaten there twice and have enjoyed myself, however, there was a pretty high level of expectation going in, especially since I'd had and loved an amazing variety of dishes at a catered event, but I wasn't quite as blown away as I thought I'd be. Maybe it works better in large groups where you can order a number of items and sample lots of dishes. Both times I've gone have been just my wife and I. The food I had was very good but not quite as impressive as I'd hoped. Maybe that's just a problem with my expectations. My only real complaint is that it is really, really loud. Both of my visits were on Tuesday or Wednesday nights so I can't imagine what its like on a weekend. Maybe just because its so popular and crowded or they have too many tables too close together or the large echo-y room, but it was really difficult to have a normal conversation without feeling like I was shouting. The drinks and service were excellent and the chairs are a lot more comfortable than the metal high top seats.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Late-night Find, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene, Notable Wine List
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food4
ambience2
service4
value3

Service tends to suffer when this place ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 24, 2016

Service tends to suffer when this place is really packed. The bartender was great; she was attentive and served drinks quickly. Our server, not so much. She neglected my party of 2 for her bigger group.

Place is also super loud bad acoustics. Dining on a weekend reminded me to eat here during the week instead.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups
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food4
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service3
value3

Our waitress was super attentive and kno ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 23, 2016

Our waitress was super attentive and knowledgable about the menu. It was perfect for a group setting and for sharing a lot of small plates. Will definitely be going back!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups
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food4
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service5
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Meal we great but it must be noted that ...

vip
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 22, 2016

Meal we great but it must be noted that everything we ordered was off the specials menu and not the printed menu.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
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food4
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service5
value3

We were in town to drop our child off at ...

 
 (Alabama)
·Dined on July 22, 2016

We were in town to drop our child off at Duke for a camp and spent the evening at Mateo. Having read reviews before making my reservation, I requested a table upstairs and I am so glad I did. The downstairs area was packed and quite loud. We would not have been able to have a conversation there without yelling. The host took us upstairs and calm descended. Definitely recommend that!

The food was amazing. We tried a variety of items, some from the daily specials board and some from the menu. Our daughter has nut allergies and they were very gracious about accommodating her. Overall, a great experience for 2 adults and an up and coming foodie teenager. It has a rustic, hip vibe and an upscale feel without being a stuffy, white-tablecloth place.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food5
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value5

Our dinner at Mateo was great. It is ver ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 22, 2016

Our dinner at Mateo was great. It is very popular. We dined at 6:15 and had a reservation. By 6:30 it was completey full. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal, especially the cold dishes. We sampled two small plates (dates and Spanish olives). Both were outstanding. We also tried the bread topped with a dice tomato spread. It was also fantastic. The 4 hot dishes were good but not great, except the spareribs, which were awesome. The fried potatoes, fried okra and pork and beef meatballs were solid but not exceptional.

We will definitely go back, but will probably try the Spanish cheeses and ham combo plates next time. They looked wonderful.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion, Vibrant Bar Scene
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Fantastic, local, seasonal, great servic ...

vip
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 22, 2016

Fantastic, local, seasonal, great service, my favorite restaurant in Durham. This is saying a lot, as there are many great restaurants doing good things here. We opted for upstairs, which is a bit quieter and more intimate this time. In any case, make your reservations early, and you should put your trust in your server: they are trained on the wine list, they know the food and they'll serve you well.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent food. Great service.

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 21, 2016

Excellent food. Great service.

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food5
ambience5
service5

The service was excellent and the food i ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 21, 2016

The service was excellent and the food is very unique, I would never have considered the pairings but they all work well.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Groups, Notable Wine List, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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