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“If you like bland, flavourless food, uptight staff and watered down drinks this is the place for you” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of El Matador

El Matador
Ranked #1,928 of 3,600 Restaurants in Vancouver
Cuisines: Spanish
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
north vancouver
Level Contributor
43 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“If you like bland, flavourless food, uptight staff and watered down drinks this is the place for you”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2013

First visit to El Matador last night, as we walked in we were looking forward to what should have been a great meal, the decor was really great , a small and quaint dining room with communal dining areas. We ordered a pitcher of Sangria but what we received was like watered down kool-aid and a bowl of mushy olives, not only was the sangria low in the alcohol content but had no fruit or fruit juices. We ordered a number of tapas, the mushroom caps, sherry prawns, papas bravas, some sort of grilled cheese, chicken wings and the chorizo cheese puffs, I won't go into details about each one individually as all of them were a 6 out of 10. The service staff were unsmiling and uptight as well. I am a foodie as are my 2 friends that were with me, and we all gave the food a thumbs down I. We won't be back.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank flygirl2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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34 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    11
    6
    10
    2
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Port Moody, Canada
Level Contributor
107 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Has become my home away from home...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2013

El Matador is a tapas bar near my home. I'm glad I didn't know until recently it is owned by the same people who own The District for reasons which will be evident if you read my review of that restaurant.

This place is awesome. It's not large, which is one of the great things about it (Don't change this, please!!!). It has one long table with tall stools which seat about 20 people and then a bank of tables for 2 or 4 along the back wall. They sell 5 oz. glasses of wine which is a nice size to have with tapas. (To clarify, they do sell other beverages in other sizes as well.)

The server brings you a small bowl of delicious olives, whatever your beverage of choice is and a piece of paper and a pencil. The tapas are listed on the paper and you just check off the tapas you want. They are all $5/each, which allows you the opportunity to be adventurous. I'm a pescetarian (I eat seafood but not meat) and I have no trouble finding tasty options here. My fellow carnivores are equally impressed, though. The servings are generous while still being what they are - tapas. There are cold ones and hot ones - as they all come in quite quick succession, you may want to consider just ordering the cold ones to start and then moving to the hot ones after.

After 9:00 p.m. (they're open late), most tapas are only $3! What a deal!

I have been to this restaurant probably half a dozen times since I discovered it a month or so ago. There are lots of options out there for me to spend my $$ and I am quite particular about where I eat out, so that should tell you something.

If the owners are reading this - please do not change anything. You have a great staff, great chef, great atmosphere. Don't wreck it by making the restaurant bigger or making the servings skimpier or jacking up the prices now that the locals are starting to recognize the value. You've got something great - don't screw it up!!

  • Visited April 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank JDBradshaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OLYMPIA
Level Contributor
32 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“El Matador”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 22, 2013

I'd never had tapas before, but during a recent trip to North Vancouver we felt adventurous. El Matador was about a block away from the Pinnacle where we were staying so we gave it a try.

We're so glad we did.

The atmosphere is warm and friendly. We felt comfortable enough to sit and stay for awhile - we even ordered another round of food.

The service was terrific and the chef happily accommodated our food requests.

Worth a visit!

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank CTaylor_Oly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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