Welcome to the Matador
Come in and be enveloped by our passion for the most daring of spirits. For brave, fresh Mexican flavors, and beautiful scratch-made cocktails. For the people and the culture of Mexico, where we forge friendships with tequila makers, listen to their stories, and bring them home to share with you, as we guide you through your tequila experience.
Choose from the most diverse selection of tequilas you’ll find anywhere—in a space filled with furnishings and fittings inspired by our travels, and crafted by our founder’s own hands. Join us. We invite you to become a part of the journey.
We Know Tequila
Drinking tequila is like drinking in the essence of Mexico.
The Matador believes there’s a perfect tequila for every person and every occasion, and we love nothing more than helping our guests discover theirs. We’ve curated a collection of more than 150 tequilas that we feel are truly excellent, from all over Mexico. Some are available exclusively at the Matador. We even serve our own Private Reserve Tequila—from barrels we select personally after tastings with the makers in Mexico.
This gives you endless ways to experience the fun of this wild and extraordinary spirit, and the nuances of the different regions of Mexico where it’s produced.
Try a margarita made with our own fresh, house-made sour mix, or one of our many other creative cocktails crafted by our in-house mixologist. Let us guide you through a flight, to discover something new and intriguing. Or just savor a beautiful shot of your all-time favorite.
Know Your Agave Spirits
If a tequila is a mezcal, why is mezcal not necessarily a tequila? What’s the difference between tequila categories? The Matador has the answers to these pressing questions, and many more.
To be called 100% de Agave tequila, a spirit must be made from the juice of the Weber Blue Agave with most tequila coming from the Mexican state of Jalisco, or in certain parts of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas. There are several carefully regulated categories a tequila can fall into: Blanco, Joven, Reposado, Añejo, Extra Añejo, and the most recently certified category, Cristalino. To discover more about agave spirits, click here.
Blanco (Silver or White Tequila)
This is freshly distilled tequila in its purest form. It’s either completely un-aged or allowed to rest for up to 60 days in stainless steel tanks. This means a Blanco has none of the flavors that time in an oak barrel would add, and no alteration of the spirit. All you taste is the agave, and the way the distiller chose to process it.
Joven is the Spanish word for young. In tequila-speak, it means a Blanco mixed with Reposado or Añejo to add some depth and subtle character.
Reposado (Rested Tequila)
Allowed to age in oak anywhere from two months to a year, a Reposado is barreled just long enough to round out its rough edges and provide light flavoring from the spirit's interaction with the wood.
Añejo (Aged Tequila)
Aged between one and three years in oak, an Añejo emerges from the barrel in perfect sipping condition, offering up rich and intense flavors of agave and vanilla, as well as floral aromas.
This designation is reserved for tequilas that are aged three years or more—the amount of time is up to the distiller. The province of true tequila aficionados. Extra Añejos are often released as special commemorative editions or packaged in special collectible bottles.
The newest classification of tequila, a Cristalino is an Añejo or Extra Añejo that’s been filtered to remove the heavier compounds and colors during the barrel aging process. Essentially, this process removes the intense woody oak notes, so that smooth, concentrated flavors shine through.
While tequila must be made only from the Weber Blue Agave, Mezcal can be made from that plant, or any one of 49 other different agave varieties. Mezcals must be made in one of eight Mexican states—Oaxaca, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, or Michoacán—and bottled at the distillery. So, just as a scotch is whiskey, but whiskey isn’t necessarily scotch, tequila is mezcal, but mezcal isn’t always tequila.
Frequently Asked Questions
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, we also offer private rooms for group reservations at our Meridian, ID and Ballard, WA locations.
Q: Do you offer rooms for private parties?
A:We have private dining space at both of our Portland locations, our Ballard location, and our Meridian location. Private rooms must be reserved in advance with a General Manager.
Q: Are children allowed in the restaurants?
A: With the exception of our Matador Boise and Meridian locations, all Matador Restaurants only allow guests that are 21 years of age and older. The Matador Boise allows minors until 9pm. Our Meridian location allows minors until 11pm.
Q: When is Happy Hour?
A: We offer 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: Yes. We offer several vegetarian menu items. Please ask your server or bartender for suggestions.
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 made the intricate metalwork and hand-carved tables in 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 artists that have been helping us create amazing metalwork since we opened our first Matador in 2004!
Click below to see our outside catering menus. Whether ordering lunch for the office, or a taco bar for a special event, we've got you covered.
Tucked away from the crowd, the Matador offers several unique private spaces for you and your group. We’ll help you with all the details for a perfect event, whether you’re planning a gathering of friends and family, a business luncheon, a professional workshop, or even a tequila tasting seminar.
The Añejo Room
1438 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210
A private retreat, filled with the energy of one of Portland’s most vibrant neighborhoods.
Whether you’re planning a private dinner with friends, a surprise birthday party for your loved ones or a meeting luncheon with AV capability, NW Matador has the perfect space for you. Our room can accommodate up to 40 guests, and when the weather is right, the large garage door opens to create a beautiful indoor-outdoor experience. Choose from our many customized menus for sit-down dinners and buffet-style entertaining. We provide one or more servers for every gathering, so you can relax and enjoy the company of your guests, our delicious food and drinks, and the intimate, exciting and fun atmosphere of our NW 23rd Avenue location.
Please note that we are unable to rent out the Añejo room for dinner on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Blanco Room
2424 E Burnside St. Portland, OR 97214
A comfortable, beautiful space with indoor-outdoor flexibility
Whether you’re planning a business meeting, celebration, or a surprise event, our private party room in East Portland is a comfortable venue for hosting up to 35 guests, ages 21 and over. Easily accessible for those with physical limitations, this modern, romantic space is an extension of our restaurant’s intimate, yet casual atmosphere. For an indoor-outdoor feel, the room’s large window installations can be opened like a garage door, giving your guests access to the side patio. Whether you prefer sit-down or buffet-style service, our staff is happy to help you plan every detail, from special bar items or individually ordered beverages, to appetizer, entree and dessert options curated by our house chef.
3690 E Monarch Sky Ln #140, Meridian, ID 83646
Heighten the energy of your gathering in this elevated loft-style space
The Casa Del Matador in The Village at Meridian invites you to hold your gathering in a private Mezzanine space, up above the dining area and bar. Artisan-forged metal dividers, Spanish-style wallpaper, brickwork and handcrafted tables define this unique room, illuminated by flickering candlelight through hand-wrought sconces. An ideal venue for business meetings, parties, celebrations, and events of any kind, the mezzanine is above expectations, offering a very special point of view. Enjoy the openness and the view over the restaurant, or draw the curtains and revel in your privacy.
5410 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
Whether you’re planning a private dinner with friends, a surprise birthday party for your loved ones or a meeting luncheon with AV capability, Ballard has the perfect space for you. Our room can accommodate up to 60 guests, rain or shine. Choose from our many customized menus for sit-down dinners and buffet-style entertaining. We provide one or more servers for every gathering, so you can relax and enjoy the company of your guests, our delicious food and drinks, and the intimate, exciting and fun atmosphere of our Ballard location.
To connect with a specific restaurant, please select a location. For general inquiries, use the link below.
We are always looking for passionate people who want to help us create an extraordinary experience for our guests. If that sounds like you, you’ll love it here, and we want to meet you.
Follow the link below to tell us something about yourself below, or just call or stop by one of our restaurants to set up an interview.
Join our rewards program and good things will come your way like special offers and all the latest updates on what’s happening at the Matador.
Gift Cards from the Matador are the perfect way to give your friends and family an excuse to sample new tequilas or try a new entrée from the Matador.