About Mateo

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

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

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

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 (190)
special occasion (118)
hot spot (113)
See All
vibrant bar scene (76)
neighborhood gem (76)
good for groups (75)
romantic (68)
notable wine list (63)
late-night find (28)
great for lunch (15)
 (7)
great for brunch (5)
kid-friendly (5)
 (5)
 (4)
 (2)
 (2)
 (2)
scenic view (2)
 (2)
 (1)
great for outdoor dining (1)
Sort By:
Newest
1108 reviews
Loading Reviews ...
food5
ambience5
service5

Awesome food!

vip
Dined 3 days ago

Awesome food!

food5
ambience4
service4
value3

Wonderfull Experience

Dined 3 days ago

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
food5
ambience5
service3
value5

Amazing food!

Dined 5 days ago

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
food3
ambience5
service5

We were required to order 4 tapas per p ...

Dined on May 13, 2016

We were required to order 4 tapas per person which was way to much food for us. I understand it was graduation weekend, but we would have preferred having the option to order at the most 3 courses which fits our appetite better.

food5
ambience5
service5

Well worth the premium

Dined on May 12, 2016

Well worth the premium

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I'll be back!

Dined on May 12, 2016

Great food, great service, and Chris the bartender is the best in the business.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Best Tapas in Town

Dined on May 12, 2016

Our patatas bravas is still one of our favorites; bite sized potatoes with a thin crispy shell. Huevo Diablo or deviled egg in chorizo was beautiful. We have never been disappointed.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Delicious dinner as always here. Even th ...

Dined on May 11, 2016

Delicious dinner as always here. Even though it is a very meat centric place the vegetables dishes are really amazing and a great meal by themselves.

food5
ambience5
service4

Wonderful food. Very inventive, yet stil ...

Dined on May 9, 2016

Wonderful food. Very inventive, yet still had traditional Spanish dishes. We LOVED it. The smoked oysters were so yummy that I laughed out loud.

food3
ambience5
service4
value4

Great restaurant with excellent service ...

Dined on May 7, 2016

Great restaurant with excellent service and ambiance. Not a wonderful example of traditional tapas, but good food in a fun atmosphere.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always happy when I dine at Mateo

Dined on May 7, 2016

Great selection of beers, unusual sherries and the food is always special. You can explore a great variety of foods at their menu is small plates. Going with a group is great because you can try so many items. We had the brisket, megas which are anchovies,and dates rolled in proschiutto for dessert with a nice sherry.The churros are great as is the flan. Endless possibilities and fun!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

we were visiting Durham for the weekend

Dined on May 7, 2016

reservations a must. sat immediately and enjoyed the tapas style food . pricey but great for that special meal.

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Amazing!

Dined on May 7, 2016

The food was simply amazing! We stuck to all vegetarian dishes and we couldn't decide which one we liked the best. Creative and lovely menu. Staff friendly, attentive and knowledgeable. The restaurant and bar had a very cool vibe. We went at 5:00 and it was perfect for us. Not loud or too crowded yet. The tables are really close together so if you want more privacy I recommend getting there early. We enjoyed our experience and will likely be back!

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

Great place

Dined on May 7, 2016

A great place after DPAC event, Theather, etc......."

Tags: fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience4
service3
value3

Mateo's

Dined on May 6, 2016

The food was very good. We ordered a lot of items and all were delicious. The service got slower as the restaurant became busier but it wasn't a big deal.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great Tapas

Dined on May 6, 2016

We were in Durham for meeting my wife was attending and found Mateo. We had a great meal with great service. There was a blackboard with the daily specials. The shrimp special tapas were wonderful as was the seafood salad. It was easy to order a couple of items and then add some more. The kitchen was very responsive with is great when having tapas. We found the wine list very nice but expensive. The check was fair for a restaurant of this caliber.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Pleasantly surprised to find such a fabu ...

Dined on May 5, 2016

Pleasantly surprised to find such a fabulous tapas restaurant in Durham. Each dish had its own blend of vibrant flavors never the same from one to another. Highly recommend this place to all!

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

A favorite place

Dined on May 5, 2016

One of my top choices in the Triangle. We got the mix of hams, and the cheeses. Fantastic. Supplemented with a few small plates. The superb service helps to make the meal special.

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

Pre-Concert dinner

Dined on May 3, 2016

Once again, Mateo was a wonderful dining experience. We took our 2 college age daughters this time, and they thoroughly enjoyed the meal. It is fun trying new and different things. Larry was super helpful in helping us decide and was quite attentive to our needs. Highly recommend this place if you are in Durham!

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food4
ambience4
service1
value3

Terrible first impression

Dined on May 3, 2016

We had heard good things about Mateo, so we booked a 5:00 PM spot on a Monday evening (their only availability-a good sign). I am stationed at Ft. Bragg, roughly an hour and a half drive to the restaurant, but fortune smiled upon me and enabled us to arrive at the door at 4:58 PM. When we walked in, we were greeted by a diminutive young woman who informed us that the restaurant was not open and that we needed to wait outside. She brusquely ushered us out and locked the glass door behind us as we watched open-mouthed from the other side. As the bolt clicked into place, I checked my cell phone-5:00 PM-exactly the time of the reservation we booked on Open Table. Embarrassed and thinking surely there had been some sort of mix up, I started scrolling through my old emails to make sure I had the correct time. I did. With very little more time to marvel over the treatment we had received and just before we chose another option, the door was unlocked, and the woman told us we could then come in. The time was 5:03. With no apology or explanation, we were handed our menus and seated. Thankfully, the experience only improved. As Jose Andres devotees, we were excited to try the fare of a chef who had worked closely under the master of contemporary Spanish-American cuisine. Some items on the menu were the same as we had eaten at Jaleo in DC (chicken croquettes, ensalata rusa), but others had a distinctly Southern spin. I particularly enjoyed the crawfish in chorizo butter (a special), and the sweetbreads were executed flawlessly-crispy on the outside while remaining tender within the light breading. Other items came off under seasoned, and the accompaniments nearly completely masked the flavor of the bone marrow. We tried both red and white sangria and found them to be refreshing but uninspired. Overall, the food itself was good , but the treatment we received at the door ensured that we not return. Courtesy is not optional in the service industry.

food3
ambience2
service4
value2

Wasn't a fan, but it's perspective

Dined on May 1, 2016

It wasn't my style of dining. I am not a fan of the single bench seat with side by side small tables. However, it's perspective cause some people do like that style. The food wasn't my taste either. Ordered the calamari (standard fare, could get this anywhere), pate (which came in a larger than expected portion which my wife loved this dish), and the artichoke (this was burnt and tasted greasy). The toasts were burnt as well. However, the drinks were killer and our server was fantastic. I scored it low but doesn't mean it's terrible. Just not for me.

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience5
service3
value3

Rich and flavorful

Dined on May 1, 2016

The sangria is delicious! Interesting selection of tapas--especially for meat lovers. Every dish was well seasoned, flavorful and preaented well!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5

We had a wonderful dinner. The food was ...

Dined on April 29, 2016

We had a wonderful dinner. The food was excellent, as was the service. Can't wait to go back.

food5
ambience4
service4

Very much enjoyed our experience at Mate ...

Dined on April 29, 2016

Very much enjoyed our experience at Mateo last night. Try the Datil and chicken croquetas - amazing!

food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Another great dining experience

Dined on April 28, 2016

So much fun to experience such a variety of high quality interesting great food. Nice selection of wines by the glass and bottle. Terrific place for foodies to enjoy an evening in casual and friendly setting

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5

The only issue we had was that we wanted ...

Dined on April 27, 2016

The only issue we had was that we wanted to try everything on the menu. So many great choices. Everything was delicious and service was excellent!

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Excellent Choice

Dined on April 26, 2016

We really loved the ambiance as soon as we walked in the door. The staff was friendly and attentive. We ordered several Tapas from both the hot and cold menu and all were flavorful and unique from the BBQ Almonds to the smooth Chocolate Mousse. Would highly reccomend to any one that wants a superior dining experience.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
food5
ambience4
service4

Great variety of unique dishes that we' ...

Dined on April 25, 2016

Great variety of unique dishes that we're all fabulous. Full house on a Sunday night made it a bit too loud, but still an interesting and fun night out.

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.