local mexican restaurant

Who We Are

The Matador was created to offer an experience like no other! Featuring made from scratch Mexican cuisine and hand crafted cocktails along with the most diverse selection of Tequilas anywhere! Featuring a team of chefs, servers and bartenders that take pride in always delivering a memorable experience at every turn! To truly understand us, we invite you to join us at any of our 11 locations with more coming soon!

local mexican food restaurant

The Founders

Nathan Opper, Co-Founder: A Michigan native and restaurant industry veteran since the mid-90s, Nathan managed some of Seattle’s hottest restaurant spots before teaming up with Zak Melang to open The Matador. Prior to the restaurant business, Nathan jumped into the construction industry at the young age of 15 and now draws upon his vast expertise to help with the architectural design and unique construction of each Matador restaurant. Nathan is a dedicated Mexican cuisine connoisseur which drives him to seek perfection when updating the Matador’s eclectic menu.

Zak Melang, Co-Founder: A restaurant & bar veteran, Zak began his career in his native state of N. Carolina. After moving west, Zak quickly made his mark on the Seattle restaurant scene, spending time managing the landmark Floyd’s Place restaurant and he was a partner in opening 10 Mercer in Seattle’s lower Queen Anne. Drawing from his experience, Zak followed his passion for Mexican food & tequila and partnered with Nathan Opper to found The Matador. Zak is an avid traveler and visits Mexico twice a year to stay in touch with the flavors of the region –this includes “researching” the tequila market to enhance the restaurants’ collection of more than 100 premium tequilas. Zak is a talented artist and craftsman and is responsible for creating the restaurants’ alluring rustic style. He designs all the restaurants’ ornate tables and bar tops and builds them by hand.

Our Kitchen

Everything we do, is done with passion and care! Our menu features food that is made from scratch daily and our fresh sheet allows us to offer our guests something new and exciting, sourcing seasonal ingredients that can be found locally and regionally. Our beverages are hand crafted, and our margaritas are hand shaken, and only include ingredients that can be found in nature! Our amazing team members are some of the best in the restaurant world, and they all are ready to take care of our guests, and provide an experience that is both memorable and customized!


Q: Do you accept reservations?
A: We do not take reservations at any of our Matador locations. We seat all our guests on a first-come, first-served basis. We do offer private rooms for group reservations at both our Portland Matador locations, one on East Burnside and the other on NW 23rd, as well as our Redmond location.

Q: Do you offer rooms for private parties?
A: We have private dining space at both of our Portland locations and our Redmond Matador location may be able to accommodate private parties on a case by case basis. Private rooms must be reserved in advance with a General Manger.
We do have a private event space, called Grog, located just down the block from our original location in the historic Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. Grog is available for parties up to 60 guests for seated dining or 80 guests for cocktail style. Feel free to contact our sister brand, the Ballard Annex Oyster House, for booking details at 206-783-5410.

Q: Are children allowed in the restaurants?
A: With the exception of our Matador Boise, Meridian, Denver and Fort Collins locations, all Matador Restaurants only allow guests that are 21 years of age and older. The Matador Boise and Denver allow minors until 9pm. Our Meridian location allows minors until 11pm and our Fort Collins location allows minors until 10 pm.

Q: When is Happy Hour?
A: We offer $5 appetizers daily during our Happy Hours from 4pm to 6pm and again from 10pm to 1am.

Q: Do you have TVs in the bar? What’s on?
A: All our locations have HD Plasma TV’s, which typically show various sporting events, and whenever possible we have any local teams that may be playing on the big screens!

Q: Do you have vegetarian or vegan menu items?
A: We offer several vegetarian menu items. Our Texas Style Nachos and Braised Grape Salad make for great starters and our Veggie Enchiladas, Cheese or Veggie Quesadillas, and Portobello Mushroom Fajitas are delicious vegetarian entrée choices.

Q: Do you have gluten-free items on your menu?
A: We offer an extensive array of gluten-free items all of which can be found on our main menu with a little “gf” next to them!

Q: Who are the artists responsible for the intricate metalwork and hand-carved tabletops featured in all your restaurants?
A: Matador Restaurants’ founder Zak Melang hand-designed, cut, and created each individual bar and table top. Every effort is made to have the Bull Skulls in each restaurant hand painted by local artisans! And the custom metalwork was designed and forged by local Seattle artists that have been helping us create amazing metalwork since we opened our first Matador in 2004!

In the News

Opening a restaurant takes sweat… – Seattle Times, 2012 / get the full scoop

Matador Restaurant to Open in the Highlands – Denver Eater, 2013 / get the full scoop

Matador restaurateurs have millions of reasons… – Biz Journals, 2014 / get the full scoop

A celebration of local culinary enterprise – Seattle Dining, 2014 / get the full scoop

Best Happy Hour In Seattle is Huge for us… – King 5, 2014 / get the full scoop

Named one of the 10 Best in Portland – USA Today, 2015 / get the full scoop

Named one of the best locations in Denver with a Fireplace – Thrillist, 2015 / get the full scoop

Ingredients for success – Seattle Times, 2015 / get the full scoop