Mateo Bar de Tapas, at 109 W. Chapel Hill St., is an excellent tapas restaurant in the downtown area that features Spanish tapas with a Southern flair. It received a nomination in 2013 from the James Beard Foundation for Best New Restaurant. I enjoyed the great food and atmosphere with local friends.
At 2512 University Drive, Nanataco is now Nuvo Taco and is good for more casual dining.
Bullock’s Bar-B-Cue is the perfect spot for great barbecue and Southern specialties at 3330 Quebec Drive. The decor, servers and customers make for a special experience!
Local friends recommend The Original Q Shack for great barbeque. at 2510 University Dr. and Dos Perros for Mexican classics along with ” hand-crafted cocktails and an extensive beer list – with an emphasis on featuring North Carolina brewers and distillers.” 200 N. Mangum St. in downtown Durham.
Other recommendations in Durham include:
Toast, at 345 Main St., is also highly recommended for authentic Italian sandwiches.
Other restaurants getting good reviews include Luna 112 W. Main St. featuring South American cuisine along with that of the American South and Mother & Sons Trattoria is good for Italian at 107 W. Chapel Hill St. It is owned by the same group as Mateo Bar de Tapas.
Saltbox Seafood Joint has two casual locations while Picnic is known for great sandwiches. Pizzeria Toro is known for wood fired pizzas and their Littler restaurant nearby, a small intimate spot for seasonal fare. M Sushi is known for its high quality sushi.
Nearby Raleigh is getting great press for its restaurant scene. Ashley Christensen received the James Beard Award for Best Chef 2019. I will definitely spend time there on my next trip and focus on some of her six restaurant concepts.