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:
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

Restaurant Photos

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

Mateo Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.4

ambience

4.4

noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Hot Spot
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Most Booked
Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill
Best Overall
Durham
4 More
Best Food
Durham
Best Ambiance
Durham
Fit for Foodies
Durham
Most Booked
Durham
Best Restaurants in Durham ›

fit for foodies (195)
special occasion (120)
hot spot (113)
See All
neighborhood gem (78)
good for groups (77)
vibrant bar scene (70)
notable wine list (68)
romantic (61)
late-night find (26)
great for lunch (14)
kid-friendly (7)
great for brunch (3)
scenic view (2)
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1134 reviews
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food5
ambience5
service5

Delicious and wonderful.

Dined 2 days ago

Delicious and wonderful.

food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Service was prompt, efficient, and helpf ...

Dined on June 19, 2016

Service was prompt, efficient, and helpful. Still thinking about the octopus with smoked mussels in salsa verde sauce. That was amazing! The chocolate mousse was also exceptional. Highly recommend for diners who like the opportunity to enjoy something different, and for those who are a bit more conservative in their dining there are still choices that would appeal to them too.

Tags: fit for foodies, notable wine list
food4
ambience3
service4
value4

Mateo has delicious staples (like the pa ...

Dined on June 16, 2016

Mateo has delicious staples (like the pan con tomate), and scrumptious seasonal specials. It's a little cramped, but that adds to the special occasion feel already brought on by the food.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Great meal, as per usual at Mateo. Excel ...

Dined on June 15, 2016

Great meal, as per usual at Mateo. Excellent service and delightful food. Good wine list. Only tiny complaint is noise.

Tags: hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food3
ambience1
service2

This is not a romantic dinner spot. It i ...

Dined on June 12, 2016

This is not a romantic dinner spot. It is busy cramped and loud. You basically sit family style with no privacy. Food was ok, not great, and pricy. We won't be going back

food4
ambience3
service2
value2

We brought friends from out of town as M ...

Dined on June 11, 2016

We brought friends from out of town as Mateos has been a favorite, however we will not plan to come back unless it is just the two of us. We had a reservation for 8 and still had to wait 35mins standing at the door in the way. Hostess and waitresses were rude?! Completely different experience than we have had before. Disappointed.

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience4
service4

A wonderful experience

Dined on June 11, 2016

A wonderful experience

food3
ambience4
service5
value3

The food was good but not quite as good ...

Dined on June 11, 2016

The food was good but not quite as good as I expected, possibly due to my lack of familiarity with Spanish food. The waitress was fantastic and really helped make the whole experience much better. She had good knowledge of all of the dishes and helped us make our selections.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Great tapas - love the small plates and ...

Dined on June 11, 2016

Great tapas - love the small plates and the varied choices. Even my kids were thrilled. The duck risotto (pato y arroz) was the big winner in our family though the octopus dish and clams dish were also delicious. Dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in proscuitto was my 12-year-old fave. We'll be back. My only suggestion is that I wish there were more veggie choices.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5

Immediately upon arrival we were shown t ...

Dined on June 11, 2016

Immediately upon arrival we were shown to our table which was in the more private upstairs area. Service was on point and every dish was amazing! When we left, the downstairs had completely filled up and was very energetic (noise level was moderate-to-high, but in a good way). Some of the seating downstairs along the banquette was very close, so not great for privacy. Highly recommend- it was a great experience.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I'm only going to say that I have eaten ...

Dined on June 11, 2016

I'm only going to say that I have eaten in a number of very good restaurants and Mateo is one of the best I've eaten in.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, late-night find, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

We loved absolutely everything about our ...

Dined on June 11, 2016

We loved absolutely everything about our first dining experience at Mateo! We will be back again!

food2
ambience2
service3
value2

Just an OK Place

Dined on June 10, 2016

The food was ok. We had the Resturaunt Week Special and the servings seemed to be smaller than expected.

food5
ambience4
service5
value4

As usual, the food and table service was ...

Dined on June 10, 2016

As usual, the food and table service was outstanding. Our server was attentive and knowledgeable.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food2
ambience3
service3
value1

We were going to be 10 minutes late for ...

Dined on June 9, 2016

We were going to be 10 minutes late for our reservation and called to let Mateo know. We were told they could not hold it, we would be put in the bar. The bar has the most uncomfortable bar stools I have ever had the displeasure of sitting on. We ordered seafood Tapas that came soaking in oil. You needed a paper towel to soak up the excess. Not very appetizing. I had a trout that was very good and not soaked in oil. The blue crab, claws were also good. Service was average at best, we waited for bread and for desert. My desert was a blueberry "hand pie" which I did not know was going to be deep fried and it was awful. Perhaps dinner upstairs is different, I am sure they dont have to sit on those God Awful bar stools. (My legs were numb). It was certainly not worth the $$$ price tag.

food3
ambience5
service4
value2

Interesting option

Dined on June 8, 2016

The menu had several interesting options but it felt a little overpriced and ALL of the food I tasted was oversalted. It was really disappointing having such interesting dishes and combinations of food be a flop because of the excessive saltiness.

Tags: good for groups, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Delicious Tapas

Dined on June 7, 2016

My fiancee and I went for the Triangle Restaurant Week and Mateo's did not disappoint. The room maintained a festive environment and the service was solid. Our waitress provided thorough descriptions of the dishes we were interested in and she entertained throughout the visit. I suggest the Pato y Arroz dish, the Gambas shrimp dish, and the jamón selection. The first two had tremendously rich flavors and the meat selection was delectable.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service4

Amazing, amazing food. Great variety. ...

Dined on June 4, 2016

Amazing, amazing food. Great variety. Beautiful place. If I lived in Durham I'd go as often as I could.

food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Good.

Dined on May 28, 2016

The restaurant looked really cool and everyone seemed to enjoy the food. I think some of it is a little unusual, so be prepared for some new and unexpected stuff.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5

Wow is this an awesome place! Great dish ...

Dined on May 28, 2016

Wow is this an awesome place! Great dishes and service. We sat upstairs where it is not as Loud- awesome !!!! 5 stars!

food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Great meal

Dined on May 28, 2016

I came here with friends for my husband's birthday. We were seated upstairs, which was quieter than downstairs. We ordered 1-2 dishes per person and were mostly full by the end of the meal. There was nothing bad that we had. We never felt rushed- our meal was over 2 hours. Our waiter started out very attentive, but as the night wore on, we saw less and less of him. It took a while for us to get our check. That wasn't too big of a deal considering. The cost was incredible- it was just over $100 with tip for four people, which was extremely reasonable for the quality and quantity of food we received. Both my husband and I thought it would be at least 50% more.

Tags: special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

The food was fabulous. Cozy table in bac ...

Dined on May 28, 2016

The food was fabulous. Cozy table in back. Super special server who was soooo much fun.

Tags: fit for foodies, late-night find
food4
ambience3
service3
value4

Good but not great

Dined on May 28, 2016

This was our second time dining at Mateo. The first time was about a year ago, and we were blown away. The food was excellent, the service was great. We were pleasantly surprised to find such a sophisticated restaurant in Durham. This time, we returned with my Dad, who was visiting from Europe. We were excited to show him this gem in Durham, but we were a little disappointed. The food was still very good, but it wasn't up to the level we experienced last year. The albondigas were slightly dry and under-seasoned. The brandade was tasty but overwhelmed by the other things on the toast. The chicken croquetas were good, but not as good as I remember them. The bocadillo and cheese croquetas tasted like something you could get at any good BBQ place, good but not great. The smoked oysters and a duck/rice dish were the highlights. The place was very busy, as expected for a Friday night. My father wears hearing aids, so it was a hard to talk while we were there. He and I were having a good (but loud) conversation on one side of the table that the people on the other side couldn't hear at all. He commented on how loud American restaurants are now, that they don't take measures in the design to dampen sound, unlike European restaurants which are generally quieter. The server was nice and friendly, but he wasn't very attentive. He had a lot of tables, we saw him all over the place, so it wasn't that he was being a slacker. I don't think they had enough wait staff for the number of diners. It took us a while to order our dishes, but we weren't in a hurry. We ordered three pintxos, expecting those to come out first, as well as several small plates. Everything came out in a frenzy after that, and the pintxos came out in the middle, one of them was the last thing to arrive at our table. We wished that the dishes had been staggered a bit more, the service felt very rushed. Overall, it was a good experience with a nice meal and nice wine. But it didn't live up to our memories.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Great Place, Great Food

Dined on May 27, 2016

This is our 4th trip and has been upto par so far. All the dishes we tried have been great and the ambiance is great also. They now have an upstairs seating area which is also great for private parties. Will definitely go there again.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5

Awesome food!

vip
Dined on May 27, 2016

Awesome food!

food5
ambience4
service4
value3

Wonderfull Experience

Dined on May 26, 2016

We come here pretty regularly and find it to be exceptional. The food is good and original as their wine list is varied.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

The food was good, the service was fine ...

Dined on May 25, 2016

The food was good, the service was fine but the noise level was so high that the experience was a very unpleasant one. There was a large party at a nearby table that was so loud and raucous that it spoiled the evening for me.

Tags: neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service3
value5

Amazing food!

Dined on May 24, 2016

Several of us had dinner at Mateo last night. The food was, as expected, incredible. I think our favorites were the Ensalada Rusa (with smoked trout), Tortilla Espanosa, Calamares Fritas, Costillas de Puerca, and brisket. The patatas brava were good, but we've had better at Old Havana. We shared about 10 dishes between 5 people, and that was enough food that we all got to sample many dishes, and left feeling full but not in a food coma. The food was really excellent, some of the best that we've ever had in Durham. The service was very good, until the end of the meal, when the last dish didn't come out, and then came out about 20 minutes after the prior dishes. While we'd initially planned for dessert, our server essentially disappeared, and we sat for 20 more min waiting for a dessert menu. After about 20 minutes of waiting, we decided to go elsewhere for dessert. Still took quite a while to get the check, get it settled, and get out of the restaurant. I don't blame the server, per se, serving tapas is labor intensive, and when the restaurant got really busy, there just didn't seem to be enough servers on deck to handle things. But, it was a great experience, and we will return. We also thought the check was pretty reasonable considering the quality of the food. Downstairs tables are very noisy, please keep that in mind.

Tags: good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Wonderfully romantic.

vip
Dined on May 23, 2016

Mateo was the perfect place for my first night out with an amazing woman. She was so intelligent and beautiful! Oh, and did I mention that the food and drinks were fantastic at this Durham hot spot.

Tags: romantic, late-night find, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5

Best wine selection ice ever seen!

Dined on May 23, 2016

Best wine selection ice ever seen!

food5
ambience5
service5

Great tapas - mata y pimienta gelatin: t ...

vip
Dined on May 22, 2016

Great tapas - mata y pimienta gelatin: their housemade cheese and pepper jam are the best. Sangria🍷 is a must! & bone marrow 👍🏼 chicken croquette + beer = perfect combination

food5
ambience4
service5
value5

Great tapas

Dined on May 21, 2016

The service was excellent. The server was great at explaining the menu and how to order. Everything we got was awesome. For two, one female & one male, of us we ordered 5 tapas. It was plenty. We didn't get desert, decided to do that else where. I thought the price was pretty reasonable.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
food4
ambience3
service5
value1

The food and service were good but it wa ...

Dined on May 21, 2016

The food and service were good but it was overpriced for the portion sizes.

food5
ambience5
service5

I always look forward to eating here, an ...

Dined on May 21, 2016

I always look forward to eating here, and it never disappoints. This time we took my parents, and my dad has hearing issues so I think it is worth noting, downstairs is loud, if you prefer a more quiet experience ask to be seated upstairs.

food5
ambience3
service4
value4

Great sampling

Dined on May 19, 2016

Mateo's extensive menu of tapas items can be a wonderful exploration of unusual combinations. Everything we tried was delicious, although it is easy to run up the price as one tries one more and one more. You can also sample several wines by getting the 3-oz. size.

Tags: fit for foodies
food1
ambience2
service2
value1

Expensive, low portions... too pricy

Dined on May 19, 2016

Serrano Ham was Prosiuto not real Serrano and the Pata Negra was extremely expensive/really small portion and not what promised.... the samples its like 2/3 slices of each option not even a real chorizo... pretty dissappounted...

food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Another great meal at Mateo, this place ...

Dined on May 17, 2016

Another great meal at Mateo, this place never lets me down. Took my 10 year old daughter for a special dinner.

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food4
ambience4
service2
value1

Mateo is a good option for a special occ ...

Dined on May 16, 2016

Mateo is a good option for a special occasion. The food is really good, although eating tapas might ended up being an expensive experience. Try the pan con tomate and the meat special.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service4
value5

Great tapas, nice laid back environment. ...

Dined on May 14, 2016

Great tapas, nice laid back environment. Reasonable prices.

Tags: fit for foodies
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

Always amazing

Dined on May 13, 2016

This is probably my sixth time at Mateo and it NEVER gets old. Definitely my favorite restaurant. They didn't even have a cheese plate (one of our must haves) on the fixed price menu and they made us one anyways. The waitress was helpful and super nice. Hands down would recommend this to anyone who enjoys small plates and extremely well prepared, interesting food.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list

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