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
Clams
Desserts: Churros With Chocolate Sauce, Fig Bread Pudding,  Crema Catalan
Kale Salad
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

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.5

ambience

4.4

value

4.1

noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

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

fit for foodies (210)
special occasion (140)
hot spot (125)
See All
good for groups (87)
neighborhood gem (83)
notable wine list (75)
vibrant bar scene (72)
romantic (70)
great for lunch (19)
late-night find (18)
kid-friendly (6)
great for brunch (6)
scenic view (5)
great for outdoor dining (1)
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1164 reviews
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Service tends to suffer when this place ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined 6 days ago

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
ambience4
service3
value3

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
ambience4
service5
value3

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, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Fantastic, local, seasonal, great servic ...

 
 (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, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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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, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent food and service! Mateo is on ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 20, 2016

Excellent food and service! Mateo is one of the many restaurants that have opened in downtown Durham and helped to revitalize the area. We always enjoy our visits to Mateo.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

The food, ambiance and the waitress were ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 17, 2016

The food, ambiance and the waitress were all fantastic! I will definitely dine here again!

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I took my girlfriend to Mateo for her bi ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 17, 2016

I took my girlfriend to Mateo for her birthday this past Sunday and it was excellent. Our server was great with suggestions, everything was timed appropriately. We'll definitely back.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Wonderful food. Lauren was an amazing s ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

Wonderful food. Lauren was an amazing server! Noise makes it impossible to have a conversation at a table for four.

Tags: fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
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food5
ambience3
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value4

Food selection is very good, but if you' ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

Food selection is very good, but if you're a "meat and potatoes" kind of person (like we had with us that night), it might not be your first choice for dining. First time we've dined upstairs and I prefer this - much easier to carry on a conversation. Downstairs can be quite cramped. Strongly recommend making reservations.

Tags: fit for foodies
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food4
ambience5
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value4

I'm obsessed with Mateo and it was the o ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 16, 2016

I'm obsessed with Mateo and it was the only option in my mind for when my two college friends came to town.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Happening restaurant in the heart of Dur ...

 
 (Philadelphia)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

Happening restaurant in the heart of Durham. The tapas style enabled us to try a variety of delicacies. My favorite was the corn! Everything else was really good too. Worth the trip and be sure to try the cider.

Tags: great for outdoor dining
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food4
ambience4
service4
value5

Definitely enjoyed the food. I will be ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 15, 2016

Definitely enjoyed the food. I will be back and will probably bring more friends.

Tags: fit for foodies
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

The food was great. It always is. The ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 14, 2016

The food was great. It always is. The server was fantastic. It would be nice if it was a little quieter. Ask for an upstairs table.

Tags: fit for foodies, hot spot
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

Spanish Tapas with a magnificent touch o ...

 
 (Miami)
·Dined on July 10, 2016

Spanish Tapas with a magnificent touch of NC flavors - unique, as the finger print.

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food5
ambience5
service5

I love this place. The food is always in ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 10, 2016

I love this place. The food is always inventive and delicious. They use high quality fresh

ingredients and the dishes are consistent week after week after month. Specials are always very interesting, and sometimes I hesitate, to try something, but I usually am delighted if I try it.

Weekends are tough to get reservations, but you can usually sit at the bar.

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We love traditional Spanish tapas (like ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·Dined on July 6, 2016

We love traditional Spanish tapas (like Curate in Asheville) but really enjoyed the Southern twist on favorites. The chicken croquettes with aioli and local honey were amazing! Cocktails are fun and inspired. Love Mateo!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
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food5
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service5
value5

Highly recommend this food! Felt like th ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 4, 2016

Highly recommend this food! Felt like the chefs put their heart and soul into making really good food. Extensive quality wines.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
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food5
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service4
value5

We had a fantastic meal at Mateo last Sa ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 3, 2016

We had a fantastic meal at Mateo last Saturday night. It, the service and ambience had us thoroughly enjoying ourselves for a good four hours. Matt, our server, was a pro with a great sense of humor. What stood out were the smoked trout and caviar and bone marrow tapas. We'll be back!

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
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food5
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value5

Brought my family from out of town here, ...

 
 (New York Area)
·Dined on July 2, 2016

Brought my family from out of town here, everything was wonderful! And get the NC trout for the table!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Unique Spanish tapas - sangria, gambas, ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 2, 2016

Unique Spanish tapas - sangria, gambas, chorizo deviled eggs & more - all delicious! Our server was especially helpful too!

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food4
ambience4
service5

Took my boyfriend here as a surprise for ...

vip
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on July 1, 2016

Took my boyfriend here as a surprise for his birthday dinner. We've had this place on our list for so long and have heard great things. We tried Taberna Tapas (very close by in Durham) last summer and liked it, but agreed Mateo topped it. Having gone to Spain and loved the food, I was thrilled to find some more authentic dishes on the list. We're both trying vegetarianism so it was a little more limited, but there were plenty of options regardless.

We ordered the farmers cheese and pepper jelly (outstanding), an appetizer special of cooked Spanish green peppers, the tortilla Española which had oysters and yellow squash, and the patatas bravas with tomato sauce and 2 aioli sauces (the last 3 all popular in Spain). It was just enough to be quite full but not stuffed and have some for leftovers.

I found the bill very reasonable considering we both ordered a drink, and the service was absolutely wonderful. I requested a more secluded spot so they put us upstairs right next to a window that overlooked Durham. Definitely recommend sitting upstairs- it's a more intimate and quiet atmosphere, but still the same decor as downstairs. Also considering their menu and ingredients rotate slightly based on season, we would definitely go back!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
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food4
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service5
value3

Very nice Spanish wine. Not a good resta ...

 
 (New England)
·Dined on July 1, 2016

Very nice Spanish wine. Not a good restaurant for a vegetarian; even classic Spanish dishes that are normally without meat included meat here (like tortilla espagnola). The chef seemed unable to very simply modify a dish of green beans to make it vegetarian.

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food3
ambience5
service4
value2

This was our second visit to Mateo. Cons ...

 
 (Cleveland)
·Dined on June 28, 2016

This was our second visit to Mateo. Considering all the restaurants in Durham we still want to try, that says a lot about our first experience. This time was equally memorable! Lots of fun spending a couple of hours going through a couple of small tapas plates at a time. Our server was patient and accommodating as we worked our way through the extensive menu. Our journey included fried artichokes, pickled anchovies, sweetbreads, croquetta, chorizo deviled eggs, calamari, and a few others I can't remember, other than they were all delicious! Next time we want to try Matthew Kelly's Italian restaurant right next door - Mothers & Sons.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Upstairs had a great view of the Durham ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 26, 2016

Upstairs had a great view of the Durham Bulls fireworks that night!!

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food5
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service5

Awesome variety of tapas and sherries. ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 24, 2016

Awesome variety of tapas and sherries. Mixed drinks are amazing. The Datil is the best.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
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food5
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service5
value5

Terrific table upstairs, lively and food ...

 
 (Los Angeles)
·Dined on June 24, 2016

Terrific table upstairs, lively and food was excellent

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Delicious and wonderful.

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 24, 2016

Delicious and wonderful.

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food5
ambience5
service5

The food at Mateo was amazing - some of ...

 
 (Baltimore)
·Dined on June 24, 2016

The food at Mateo was amazing - some of the best, most unique tapas I've ever had and each dish was better than the one before. Our server was not very friendly or helpful, but beyond that, we had a wonderful experience and felt like we got such a high caliber evening of food at a reasonable price.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
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food5
ambience3
service3
value4

Service was prompt, efficient, and helpf ...

 
 (Las Vegas)
·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
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

After hearing Alton Brown call this the ...

 
 (Las Vegas)
·Dined on June 18, 2016

After hearing Alton Brown call this the best tapas bar in America, my expectations were high. We chose tapas based on the recommendations of our knowledgeable server.

The bone marrow was more like the fatty drippings off a crockpot roast and not like the smooth butteriness of marrow I have had in the past. The ribs were quite good as were the ham wrapped figs (though prosciutto wrapped is better I think). Everything else foodwise was a bit lackluster.

Great ambience and a good beer selection. It was boisterous without being noisy and our 2 week old slept well.

They need to step up their game as I have heard similar experiences from my friends. Maybe narrow down the options and nail those?

Tags: fit for foodies
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food3
ambience5
service4
value3

Mateo has delicious staples (like the pa ...

 
 (Jackson Hole)
·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
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

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

 
 (San Francisco)
·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
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food5
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service5
value4

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

 
 (Raleigh)
·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

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food3
ambience1
service2

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

 
 (Raleigh)
·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
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food4
ambience3
service2
value2

A wonderful experience

 
 (Raleigh)
·Dined on June 11, 2016

A wonderful experience

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food5
ambience4
service4

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

 
 (Raleigh)
·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
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food3
ambience4
service5
value3

Great tapas - love the small plates and ...

 
 (Raleigh)
·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
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Immediately upon arrival we were shown t ...

 
 (South Carolina)
·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.

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food5
ambience5
service5

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