1431 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80202Neighborhood:
Downtown / LoDo
MediterraneanPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.riojadenver.com/
- Phone: 3038202282
- Hours of Operation:
Wednesday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm
Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 2:30pm
Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm,
Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Carte Blanche,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Fusion / Eclectic, Mediterranean
- Executive Chef: Jennifer Jasinski
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
A word from Rioja
Chef Jennifer Jasinski's creatively inspired Mediterranean food is influenced by local seasonal products. Rioja is simple, pure food that emphasizes bright flavors & textures. The wines are a collection of fun interesting varietals that compliment the cuisine.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Rioja reviews from OpenTable diners
454 reviews since June 2, 2014
- Ambiance4.2Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (344)special occasion (277)romantic (160)hot spot (133)notable wine list (132)neighborhood gem (122)great for outdoor dining (68)good for groups (57)great for brunch (45)great for lunch (43)vibrant bar scene (32)late-night find (14)scenic view (4)kid-friendly (3)Show More
- Great overall but had to waitOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 9/28/2014Service and food were great overall but we had to wait nearly 30 minutes even though we had a reservation made more than a week in advance.
- They made up for bad serviceOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 9/27/2014Incredible food. However it took forever to get it. They had screwed up our order and reservation but they were gracious enough to make it right by giving us a round of free drinks, free desserts and 2 free appetizers to hold us over until our food came. If it wasn't for their effort and unbelievable food I probably would never go back but I feel like they made it worth our while. The steak was melt in your mouth I have never had a steak so tender in my life. Really amazing!Special Features:
- waiterOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/27/2014Neil was outstanding as our waiter and really went beyond his job title to take care of us. I will be back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Will be backOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 9/27/2014Did the taste of Iceland here, and it was amazing! Service and good was wonderful!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- YumOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 9/26/2014Delicious as always! Rioja never disappoints when it comes to food or service.Special Features:
- consistently goodOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 9/26/2014The whole experience is good at Rioja. The staff is efficient and nice, they can pair a wine very well, and the food, well, it's great!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent in every wayOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 9/26/2014Dined at Rioja on Friday night. It deserves its reputation as best restaurant in Denver. Lovely ambiance. Impeccable service, including a perfect wine recommendation (Spanish pinot noir) to go with our dinner choices (Grilled Berkshire pork chop and Grilled Spanish Octopus). The food was as delicious as it was beautiful. This truly ranks up there among my best meal experiences.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014VIPDined on 9/25/2014The Icelandic dinner was superb. Done exquisitely. I mean seaweed foam? That's why we eat at Rioja Enjoyed the different combinations. The lamb loin could have been cooked just a touch longer. 24 hours later my wife was still raving about the dessert. Service impeccable.Special Features:
- Amazing as usualCindyVSDined on 9/24/2014The chef at Rioja is a master of putting together unlikely combinations of ingredients and coming up with something that is eye-rolling-ly delicious. (You can ask my husband - I literally rolled my eyes after my first bite.) For our entrees, I had the seared scallops with arugula risotto and saffron-lemon puree, my husband had beet gnocchi with strawberries, mushrooms, and walnuts. Both were heavenly.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 9/24/2014Price of dinner should have been included in 'net publicity.Special Features:
- interesting menu, great servicebisonburgerDined on 9/24/2014The service here is outstanding, unfortunately a rarity here in Denver. The flavors are oozing from every dish, although the portions were a little small. The pork chop was amazing, not too much commment from others at the table on their grilled octopus, and the scallops were really really good. Nice place.Special Features:
- Taste of Iceland was superb.JLewisLDined on 9/24/2014The two fish dishes were excellent. Chef Jen keep up the good work.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best date night everEatemDined on 9/22/2014The food was delicious from the appetizer to the dessertSpecial Features:
- Another celebration at RiojaOpenTable Diner Since 2009VIPDined on 9/22/2014Rioja is our family's go to pick for special occasion dining -- for this outing we were celebrating a birthday. The staff at Rioja know how to make any meal -- and any guest -- feel like they are celebrating something special, even on a Monday night. Service and food were outstanding. Everything that hit our table was delicious, including our cocktails (the Rub Sipper was the table favorite). We shared several small plates and three entrees between four people, and including the amazing bread service and two desserts shared among the table, we were perfectly satisfied. Chef Jasinski's plates are both beautiful and delicious with perfectly married flavors. Three days later I am still raving over everything we ate, but especially the halibut.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- hot hot hot - not in a good wayCledinnerDined on 9/21/2014The dining room was unbearably hot. We were told the a/c broke that afternoon. But, when we asked them to turn the temp down, they did. We could feel air circulating. That said, it did not cool down, and we left before dessert. We had planned to stay for dessert, as it was my husband's birthday and his parents were in from out of town. But, we were just so terribly uncomfortable, we couldn't take it any more. It didn't help that our server disappeared after he took our food orders. The beet salad was nice. The halibut was only half cooked and very, very salty to the point it was inedible. The steak and gnocci were nice. We've been here twice now and I'm not sure if I will go back.
- Outstanding Food & ServiceBreckMomDined on 9/19/2014The staff is always very friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable. The food is delicious and served in perfect portions. The wine list offers excellent Colorado wines, the best of the US, and international selections. We especially love the bread tray! We visited Rioja to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and were greeted with a complimentary glass of champagne upon arrival. We will be back and will happily refer anyone to enjoy the experience themselves.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Anniversary dinnerPandaDined on 9/19/2014Came here for our anniversary based off of Yelp reviews. Highly rated location and we thought it had a Spanish flare based on the name (my wife loves everything Spainish from her time there). The reality is it's "Mediterranean" influenced, according to our waitress. The end result is great food from the bread, to the salads, to the pasta and scallops we had. Everything seemed a chef's creation; we loved the different bread types which far surpassed your standard plain bread and butter at most restaurants. The location is also great, just a block off the 16th Street Mall. Highly recommendedSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DrRoosShowMeDocDined on 9/18/2014Loved the Rioja "picnic". Pork chop was delicious too. Very accommodating for gluten allergy. Portion of ravioli was too small for a meal...would have been good to know this at time of ordering. Will dine there again next time we're in town!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Bring a headlamp...RiboflavenDined on 9/17/2014Excellently prepared food and a bit on the expensive side, but overall a pleasant experience. The interior is so dimly lit, I finally had to approach a ceiling light to read the fine print of the wine list. At that point a server brought me a small flashlight that had the Rioja imprint on it. That was a clue. The server mentioned that repeat customers will often bring their own small flashlights and headlamps. That's a good idea.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Glad we wentScottDined on 9/16/2014We were in Denver for a conference and picked Rioja on the strength of other reviews. We were glad we went! The food was outstanding. Innovative but accessible; the flavors were outstanding and the ingredients clearly fresh and high end. We would recommend Rioja to anyone.Special Features:
- Excellent, small portionsOpenTable Diner Since 2003Dined on 9/16/2014I found the food and service at Rioja to be quite good. The halibut ceviche with strawberry/tequila foam was both beautifully presented and delightfully falvorful. The lamb three ways which inlcuded a wonderfdul tartare element was excellent. Quiet when I first arrived around 5:30, the noise level amped up as the restaurant filled. With tip and a glass of wine, my bill for two ralatively small courses was $90. So go expecting a lovely, special meal and a hefty bill.Special Features:
- Rioja rocks.anitafricklasDined on 9/15/2014I invited a New York friend to have dinner with us on a Monday night. I couldn't believe how crowded it was, how energetic the party was, and how fabulous the food was. We loved everything about it and can't wait to return. Our dinner guest said it was the best restaurant she ever ate at in Denver. I agree.Special Features:
- Monday night dinnerLove2eatDined on 9/15/2014Finally tried Rioja on Larimer, been wanting to try for years & it was worth the wait. Beautiful, simple and elegantly decorated. Service was great, a few hiccups but nothing to complain about. The kitchen was very accommodating by allowing us a smaller portion of the grilled octopus as an appetizer instead of an entrée. The grilled octopus was spectacular! Our dining experience was perfect until a large group was seated very close to our table. Luckily, we were nearing the end of our dining experience. Larger groups tend to be much more demanding which is understandable. Overall a very nice evening.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- AMAZING!beckycdraperDined on 9/14/2014This is one of the best meals I've ever had. Try the vegetarian special even if you're not a vegetarian. The food is fresh and delicious. Will definitely go back here repeatedly.Special Features:
- One of the best I've ever been towyocowboyDined on 9/14/2014Restaurant is crowded and noisy, but…the food is amazingly creative and constantly changing, with efficient and knowledgable serviceSpecial Features:
- Wonderful, as alwaysXxxxDined on 9/13/2014This time I tried the octopus, tender but not really to my taste (never had it before and I paid the price of being daring, which Chef Jen does all the time!). My wife's scallops were divine.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 9/13/2014The food was outstanding. The services was terrible. It took 15 minutes before anyone came to our table, the waiter read the specials from a card, our food was delivered to table that had just been seated. The space is extremely crowded. We were placed next to a wall with a wall behind one of us. We could not get up to use the restroom. This was the second time we had a bad experience. Will not return.
- Poor ServiceFoodieVIPDined on 9/13/2014Our waiter Matt left us waiting unattended for 45 minutes. The Open Table reservations says that the optimum time for 2 for dinner is one hour and thirty minutes and asks patrons to honor that amount of time so that all reservations can be handled. Our visit was closer to 2 hours due solely to lack of attention after our meal was served. This left us with no time for dessert as we had theater tickets. We would have mentioned it to the waiter and/or other staff but they were not available to us either. One of our pasta meals was very bitter and did not taste good. The cocktail with ginger syrup tasted like cough syrup.
- Lived up to recommendationsMrsTDined on 9/12/2014We went to Rioja on the recommendation of a friend who considers it the best food in Denver. Can't comment on how it compares to others, but thoroughly enjoyed it. The food was indeed superb and the wine list had an extensive range of well-priced Rioja wines. Excellent cocktails at the bar and the general buzz in the restaurant - which was incredibly busy - added to an overall great experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Worth the visitDiningOutDined on 9/12/2014Dinner was very good. Interesting cocktails and a good wine list. Our server was helpful with wine pairings and menu suggestions. All of the staff were very polite, friendly, and knowledgeable about the menu. The only aspect I wasn't pleased with was reservations. I had made a reservation a couple weeks in advance and upon arrival we were seated at a table that wasn't in the dining room. The table was clearly there for walk-ins. Not sure why a reservation was seated there, but we asked to be moved. I would have preferred a proper table in the dining room. Restaurant should state that you must request a table in the proper dining area if they intend on putting reservations in the bar area. Otherwise, it was a pleasant experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- European "picnic"VickiDined on 9/11/2014We had a wonderful evening. The staff were very accommodating and knowledgeable. The food was a real treat.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing!YummyinDenverDined on 9/11/2014Unique dishes--all delicious! A must-go!!! Ambience was very nice. Crowded and busy but not too much. Food was ridiculously good. We had the pork belly, house salad to start. Both devine. Then one of the hand-made pastas and the halibut for our main dishes. Wow!!!!! And save room for dessert...just too good. Prices were very reasonable. And the service was perfect. Make a reservation--they are busy!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Pretty good. Small portionsnnn2323Dined on 9/11/2014This was my 4th time here & I took out of town coworkers. I had forgotten how small the portions are which is not great for men. 1st course was beet salad. It was actually not a salad but a few beets on a plate with a too sweet sauce. For my entree I had the halibut which was good, but I had really been looking forward to the squid ink pasta with octopus that had unfortunately been taken off the menu. At least it had the same fried lemons from the pasta.Love those. We all ordered dessert because we were still hungry (maybe this is their strategy). I had a strawberry dessert with a cookie and coconut sorbet. The cookie and sorbet were delicious. Strawberry part ok. Had a snack when I got home which is a bummer after a $60 per person meal.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Continuous interruptionsjaireviewsDined on 9/11/2014Took a professional connection to lunch. Had a good experience before but this one was not nearly as good. Within the first 5-10 minutes we were served by 4 different people who usually came over and interrupted our conversation rather than politely introducing themselves. Food was also mediocre. I ordered the special that was a kind of meatloaf made of poultry; I couldn't even finish it. Will likely not return.
- Good placePlattParkBanditDined on 9/7/2014We enjoyed our dining experience at Rioja. It had been built up quite a bit by several people who recommended it, so my expectations were pretty high. There was nothing wrong with our dining experience, but the bar had been set so high, that I didn't feel it was an extraordinary experience (which is what I'd expected). The food was good, the service was good, but there was nothing that stood out as an "oh wow" dish.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Second VisitMikeLDined on 9/7/2014We went to Rioja on our anniversary in May and enjoyed it so much we returned in September with family and friends to celebrate my wifes' birthday. Not a single thing bad to say about either experience. The food is incredible and the service outstanding. My elderly in-laws even liked it and they are pretty fussy - a good sign in my world. Special touches like the birthday card for my wife and the celebratory dessert donuts with a candle rounded out a very enjoyable visit. Definitely can't wait to go back again. TRY THE PORK BELLY! it is OUTSTANDING and fun!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Anniversary DidderOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 9/6/2014it's a great place to go for an anniversary dinnerour.Special Features:
- not what I was led to believejb1977Dined on 9/6/2014I was recommended this restraunt by several friends who said it was great for a romantic night out. I was rather disappointed. The place was very liud making conversation difficult. The appitizer was decent and inventive but small. My wife really enjoyed the sangria, however my martini was littered with ice chunks. The entre was very flavorfull but again too small for the price. Both of us left hungry and a little dissapointed. On the plus side the service was excellent.Special Features:
- Fabulous dinner in Larimer SquaremthomDined on 9/6/2014Riojia for dinner before the theatre was a great find! The fresh made pastas were innovative and delicious. The drink selection was fantastic. The staff were friendly and helpful. .Special Features:
- Average BrunchBrendonNajeeDined on 9/6/2014This was my first time going to Rioja for brunch, and I really wasn't impressed. While we waited for our food they offered us some house made biscuits that were cold, hard and dry. I ordered the bacon and eggs and, while the "bacon" (pork belly) was good, I was struck by the lack of flavor in the accompanying french toast. My sister did not care for her dessertesque raspberry french toast, and barely ate a bite. The service and ambience was up to par, but the brunch there just isn't that impressive.Special Features: