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(48 Reviews)

2221 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107

(206) 297-2855

Today: 11:00 am - 2:00 am
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General Info
The Matador serves fresh Tex-Mex cuisine and premium tequilas in an inviting, social atmosphere with amber lighting and unique, hacienda-inspired décor.

Regular Hours

Extra Phones

Primary Phone: (206) 297-1373

Payment method
amex, master card, travelers checks, visa, all major credit cards
Price Range
Adams, Ballard

The Matador-Ballard

The Matador Restaurant & Tequila Bar

The Matador

American Restaurants, Bars, Mexican Restaurants, Latin American Restaurants, Restaurants
Other Information

Parking: Paid

Specialties: Parties


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Provided by Citysearch - 
Excellent happy hour

Great Tex Mex happy hour menu- steak tacos, nachos, quesadillas. Very good deals & relaxing atmosphere. I like the Ballard location best. It fills up early, so go on the early side.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Best late night place for happy hour

I love this place. Great place to hang out late night. They've got the best happy hour menu in Seattle. The spicy habanero prawns and the shrimp quesidalla are the best. Plenty of tables so it's easy to get a table even on weekend nights. Also, they always play good music. The service is generally but the servers can be a little inattentive when it's busy.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great all of the way around

I've only been to the Matador twice, but my husband's and my experience there has been completely different than a number of their reviews. Both times we've said during dinner how great their service is - and it really has nice as Crow, imho, and I love Crow.

I can't vouch for the mixed drinks, my husband drinks Bacardis and Cokes which are pretty tough to screw up and I have the Dos Equis Amber on tap with two limes which is hard to screw up too. The comments on their food being so-so I definitely don't agree with.....both times I had veggie enchiladas and they were delicious. Especially the Enchiladas Picante....mmm...yum!

So I guess I'd say to go and try it once for yourself and see what you think.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Worst margaritas in the city!

Although the Matador has a hip, cool, antique, Mexican feel to it, the ambiance can't make up for the fact that the bartenders make some of the worst drinks in town. Specialty drinks like Mojitos are OK, but any standard bar drinks are less than satisfactory. I consider a Margarita a standard bar drink, and you can usually judge a bartender by the margarita he/she mixes (especially in a Latin-vibed place). The margaritas my friends and I had were the most watered down, tasteless, and boring we have ever drunk. One guy in my party even sent his back- only to receive the same thing. They were like watery limeade! Oh, and when he did this, the waitress got a little lippy with him. He said, ""I'm pretty sure there is barely any tequila in this."" She replied, ""I'm pretty much sure there is."" Kinda snotty especially to a man who was probably about 40 years older than she was. We also had some typical drinks like rum and cokes, and bourbon presses, which had absolutely no effervesence- all the guns must have been broken. We kind of experimented through the night with different drinks and they all pretty much sucked, even the mojitos seemed watery. The appetizers were so so, but what is a happy hour without happy hour drinks? The only thing ""Happy Hour"" is the food. There are no ""Happy Hour"" drink deals. Don't bother fighting the crowds. Go get a good margarita at the Chupacabra on Phinny Ridge!!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great Happy Hour specials

This place has an excellent happy hour - Whole friggin' plate of nachos for $4? Pork tacos for $4? Hello? Awesome. They have a bunch of stuff in the $4 to $5 price range for happy hour specials. Their margaritas are good too.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Fun spot, below average food

I've had drinks at the Matador several times and have always enjoyed the atmosphere and margaritas. Tonight however, my boyfriend and I decided to try some of the food and we were pretty disappointed. I ordered three of the happy hour items: a salad, soup, and the blackened fish taco. A lot of inconsistency in these items, but I suppose you can't expect a whole lot from $5 plates. The soup was very bland but ok, the salad was super spicy(with big chunks of jalapeno peppers) which I wasn't expecting, and the Blackened Fish in the tacos was so overly salted that I could barely eat a second bite - not appetizing at all and I usually really enjoy blackened fish. My boyfriend's red chile enchiladas were ok, except for the fairly large bone that he came across inside one of the enchiladas (luckily he didn't choke on it). We mentioned to our very friendly server Erin that she should inform the kitchen to be more careful - and she did apologize. Overall I'd say it is still a fun place for drinks, but we won't be back for an actual meal.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Good food, great ambience

I saw several reviews regarding bad service at the Matador, so I decided to write about my good experience there. We went on a Sat night around 9:00 and got seating within 15 minutes. The service was not the best, but we had no complaints either. Our drinks were brought within 5 minutes and appetizers within 15 minutes. The food was also very good. I highly recommend the vegetarian enchiladas... very flavorful and tasty.
As the bar got crowded, the drinks were coming a little slower but our waitress apologized for it. Overall, it was a good experience and I wish we had more of such places in Seattle.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Pretentious and definite pass up

I went to this bar with a group of six people who often frequent local bars with me, and we have never been so disappointed and put off by a place like we were in the Matador. The waitresses were SO miserable, and could not bring themselves to even force a half grin when faced with KINDNESS. We waited patiently for a table in a small, cramped corner, and every waitress who walked by would rudely yell at my friends, such as ""Get the hell out of our way!"" Literally. Great business, guys! Bartenders - three of them, and each one said they'd be right back to get me a drink, and all three of them failed to remember me as they were too occupied serving the mixture of cougars and half-lidded burnt out frat boys littering the bar. Finally, my friend receives his order of nachos and asks politely for extra napkins, to which the miserable waitress told us to deal. Seriously? It was like the twilight zone. This is coming from a book nerd and a crop of corporate nobodies, it's not like we were wildly and trashing the place. I would not recommend this bar to anyone, unless of course you enjoy being slapped in the face with blatant rudeness.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Shrimp Tacos!!!

I haven't been recently, but it sounds like the service has gone downhill. It wasn't really that great when I'd been before but I have to say that their happy hour menu was really, really, really good! And cheap! My favorite were the shrimp tacos, they are so good!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Don't expect much...

Forget getting anything, service, help from others, name it don't count on it! A group of three went down on a not so busy Sat night, expecting more people to join us. While waiting for a table we ordered drinks at the bar. We moved to the table, and with 5 menus (no food), and half full drinks our idiot of a waitress asked if we wanted more mention of food. And don't count on anyone else helping you, you must order from your waitress. Little did we know she would stop by no more than every 20 mins. The rest showed up, and due to the poor service, they had to go to the bar to get drinks.

Some other friends happen to be stopping by, the stopped in to say hi...they asked to pay their tab (they never sat at our table, they just stood and said hi), and left. When we got out bill at least $30 of their bill was on ours, when we asked our waitress to fix it, after asking the hostess to get our waitress, she went in to this ridiculous diatribe about how she would have to pay for the mistake if we didn't. EXCUSE ME!?! We didn't make the mistake why should we pay for it. She even asked if we could front the money and get it back from the people that stopped by. I am quite certain she dyed her hair brown, she had to be naturally blonde! THAT THE RESULT OF MAKING MISTAKES!

I have worked as a bartender before, and I understand the business and am usually very forgiving of servers/bartenders, but with the exception of the bartender the entire service staff was heck bent on only doing the absolute minimum! Great happy hour portions, but only worth it if you are willing to be exceptionally patient with the service!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Terrible Service

So I had heard all these wonderful things about the food at The Matador and decided to go there for dinner last week. All the things I heard about the food were right, one word...YUM. I have to say though THE SERVICE COMPLETELY STINKS!!! It took 20 min for chips and water to show up. If the waitress cracked a smile it may have hurt her. My water was never refilled. The kicker was that my partner had to approach a group of employees gossiping in the corner for us to get the check so we could leave. The ONLY reason I went out of my way to give this place 2 stars is because the food is awesome. Unless some major staff overhaul happened I will never eat there again.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Go for the atmosphere and the happy hour!

I took my friend here for a belated birthday celebration. We arrived slightly before 6 pm (Happy Hour is from 3-6) and sat at the bar. The bartender was prompt to serve us and make some recommendations on both drinks and appetizers. We both got margaritas, which were superb, and split plates of calamari and quesadillas. The food was great without too much spice and both bartenders were good about being attentive to us and friendly. Atmosphere was nice and small enough to feel cozy. We managed to get there before the crowd, so if you don't want to wait for a seat you would be wise to arrive before 7 pm, even on a weeknight.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Good food, good drinks

My boyfriend and I went here last night for dinner. There were no tables available, so they let us sit at the bar till we got seated. The bartender was very nice and gave us water and chips and salsa without even having to ask. I got a cosmo and it was nice and stiff. When we were seated, I ordered steak/shrimp fajitas and my boyfriend got steak medallions. If I went again I would get the shrimp fajitas as the steak kind of tasted like it had a teryaki sauce on it. Our dinner was good and I would probably go back for the happy hour, probably not for dinner.



Provided by Citysearch - 
tequila heaven, waistline hell

sometimes a place just goes too far making people happy, and they get fat.

ok, seriously. like it's sister ""matador west"" in west seattle, this restaurant has something beautiful for everyone. i think the happy hour menu is genius, a huge selection of incredible little meals for just a few bucks a piece, and if you're going to judge a bar on it's tequila choices, you're going to fall madly in love with the matador.

this is one of those ""mexican"" food restaurants that specializes in american comfort food style mexican. authenticity is not the point here, pure food bliss is.

unfortunately this is the destination for loud stupid kids on weekend nights, so if you have the choice head to matador west on weekends to get away from the amateurs.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Jalapenos, goatcheese & bacon... need I say more??

Besides the best jalapenos ever, the Matador is the first place I think of when I want to be by a fire OR sit outside. Plus, who knew? the tastiest steak around!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great Restaurant

I have been to The Matador a few times now and have always enjoyed it. I love the shrimp quesadilla's, and the nacho's. Happy hour is excellent. Great prices. Good service.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Worst paella ever (and shoddy customer service)

Two of us ordered the paella for dinner. It was the worst paella that both of us had eaten in our lives. It was burnt so that there was a thick crust of hard rice, stuck to the bottom. The rice on top was extremely dry and hard, to the point where it was actually unchewable. Between the rice stuck to the bottom and inedible rice on top, there wasn't much left to eat. It was served in a heavy skillet, presumably what they cooked it in.
It seems to me that they stuck it in the oven, forgot all about it and were shameless enough to serve it.

I would have still gone back for the ambience (and just avoided the paella), if the waitress had at least acknowledged the problem. However, when I complained to her about it, she pretended that that was normal and said that the rice was 'carmalized'. It didn't even seem to register on her that the dish was inedible. I know that the place gets busy, but that's no excuse for downright bad service. I certainly won't be going back there.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Great Food!

I came here with a group of friends and we loved it. The food was excellent, the service was great and the ambiance was pleasant.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Can I give less than 1 star?

I'd walk a mile to avoid this place. I went there with 5 friends after seeing a movie on Sunday afternoon at the Majestic Bay. We ended up at the Matador because it was within walking distance, in the future I'd keep walking. The service was slow and inconsistent, the waitress couldn't manage to keep the ice teas full and pretty much just ignored our table for large amounts of time. The food is mundane and sub-par. The salsa was so spicy that most of us were unable to eat it. I ordered the Carnitas and they were terrible. The pork itself was completely underdone and had a sweet aftertaste which is not what carnitas should taste like. The tomatillo salsa also had a sweet aftertaste to it as well, again not what it should taste like. All in all it was a waste of time and food as I left 75% of my order on my plate. While authentic mexican food may not be easy to find in Seattle I know that I've had decent mexican food in the past and the Matador certainly does not qualify. Avoid Avoid Avoid!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Good Happy Hour

Matador is the neighborhood singles spot. For dining, i would go other places but for a margarita and happy hour spot it's a good place for bar food. The spring rolls and nachos are pretty tasty and the prices are very reasonable. The bartenders are friendly too and the patio is fairly large.

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