Hands down my favorite restaurant in downtown Durham. My boyfriend and I look forward to eating here every time he visits and we have never been disappointed. I have had a couple tapas that I didn’t love, but that’s just taste preferences. I’ll never forget the first time we went and we were so shocked at how good everything was. Usually with tapas, there’s a couple misses, but Mateo’s never misses. I have never had anything poorly served or underwhelming. And their drinks are always phenomenal. Servers are super attentive and willing to provide suggestions as well. I love the vibe inside and they play great music. Fun, new specials each time we go. I genuinely can’t say enough good things about Mateo’s.
Some of our favorite dishes: pan con tomate (good with either the cheese or ham), the deviled eggs (I’m a deviled egg lover and these are SO good), the shrimp (idk how they do the sauce but WOW), the queso frito (my boyfriends obsessed), the meatballs, the fried chicken, etc etc etc. We usually get like 5-7 and leave pretty stuffed. Their dessert also ROCKS. Grenada cobbler drink is soooooo yum even tho it sounds like a lot going on and my boyfriend’s signature is the Ferdinand.
Nov 26, 2023
First time at Mateo and loved it. Our waitress Lauryn was outstanding and didn't great job guiding us through the menu. Can't wait to go back.
Nov 16, 2023
The inside atmosphere of Mateo is gorgeous, very cozy with warm lighting, well spaced tables, and high ceilings. Our server was quick, kind, and efficient. Knocking a star down for the food - while it was pretty good and we enjoyed the cocktails, the tapas we got were just okay (the patatas bravas in particular were mid). I very much didn’t like the Spanish olive oil cake and wouldn’t recommend it, but the banana pudding was pleasantly boozy.
Nov 13, 2023
We had a very good time! The host was very friendly, even though we called at the last minute, they tried fitting us in. The tapas were great, especially liked the bone marrow, which has some meat besides marrow on it. We also did the sherry flight that came with four different Sherry for tasting. The atmosphere was nice, cozy and relaxed, definitely recommend anyone to come visit!
Nov 13, 2023
Celebrated a birthday dinner here this weekend and it was wonderful. Every dish was uniquely crafted & perfectly portioned. Our server was lovely & very knowledgeable. I’m not a big banana pudding fan, but they may have some of the best banana pudding I’ve ever had in my life. Definitely worth a try!
Great spot for a date night or for a small gathering!
Aug 6, 2023
The food was underwhelming. The steak arrived cold and dry, you can even see this in the picture. The bone marrow was subpar, and topped with a brisket that was like warm. The octopus was room temperature. The only freshly cooked/ hot thing we got was the garlic shrimp.
Jul 16, 2023
amazing dining experience! we had the pan con tomate, the chicken croquetas, the calamares and the patatas bravas. to drink we had a pitcher of cheerwine sangria which was super tasty! all the dishes were tasty and well seasoned. the calamares were fresh and piping hot. we LOVED the pan con tomate with cheese, i swear i dream about it. we could've done without the patatas bravas but they were still tasty and also very filling. i would definitely go again and try some more new dishes!
Jul 16, 2023
Staff were all lovely and worked together like a well-oiled machine. It made our experience feel seamless across almost a dozen courses. Xander's drink choices were on point every time and the food was absolutely delicious. You will spend a pretty penny, especially if you are with friends, but - you will get every ounce of what you pay for.
Jul 6, 2023
Our server Lauryn was very knowledgeable and helpful and even helped us with our allergy restrictions so that we enjoyed one of the best gastronomic experiences in a long time! Thank you 🙏 we travel a lot but rarely feel inspired to write a review but tonight I am.
Jun 23, 2023
5+++ star experience at Mateo Wednesday night. I worked with Rachelle to reserve their private dining room for a team dinner - what a phenomenal experience! The service was exceptional (thanks Jake!), the wine was superb, the atmosphere and space were stunning, and the food blew me away. Everyone on my team was raving about the experience the next day. Thank you Mateo, for such a rich dining experience. I am already looking forward to my return visit!
Jun 9, 2023
We Loved Mateo Bar de Tapas! Food was Amazing, Music was Chill and the Desserts are Top Shelf. Don't sleep on this place it's a hit. We paid for parking in the back super cheap and close too. Get Anything off the Menu " It's all Good"
May 11, 2023
It is a great place to go, share a good wine, and enjoy great Spanish Tapas, which are small appetizers. We loved the food! For 3 of us we ordered the stuffed Dates that were nice and sweet but not so sweet that you fell you're eating dessert, Mata cheese and bread; Octopus that was not the best it lacked grilling and it was a bit rubbery; Albondigas (meatballs garnished with an amazing sauce) and were super tasty; Papas Bravas (dices potatoes with paprika and tomato sauce) that were amazing; Pan con tomate (bread garnished with tomato and an addition of serrano ham) super delicious; Gambas (large shrimp in an olive garlic sauce garnished with dried peppers; and a bottle of Spanish red wine. OMG, I am now salivating just thinking about this amazing meal. What a great place to taste all sorts of small dishes, each with its own distinct flavor. Even though the octopus wasn't great, it deserves a great review.