Rioja
Rioja

Rioja

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.riojadenver.com/
  • Phone: 3038202282
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch:

    Wednesday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm


    Brunch:

    Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 2:30pm


    Dinner:

    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

Getting there

  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Valet available on Larimer Square Tuesday - Saturday. A parking garage is located directly behind the restaurant on Market Street. Street parking is available throughout Larimer Square.
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 photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Rioja reviews from OpenTable diners
450 reviews since June 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.6
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (350)special occasion (275)romantic (152)hot spot (139)notable wine list (133)neighborhood gem (121)great for outdoor dining (62)good for groups (56)great for lunch (48)great for brunch (46)vibrant bar scene (32)late-night find (15)scenic view (5)kid-friendly (2)Show More
  • Great tasting food, not my style!
    supermario
    Dined on 10/22/2014
    This restaurant is touted as the best in Denver, but I found it very noisy at first, better when some parties left. The tables were packed in close, so you were able to hear everybody's conversation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We Will Be Back
    bobbi
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    Although our reservation was not until 8:00 p.m., we showed up early as our evening event did not last as long as we thought. We explained we were early and would understand if we could not be seated. Although the place was packed, they graciously seated us and we had a wonderful evening. We had great service, delicious food and decided we should check out some of the chef's other restaurants, and hope to do that soon. The only one we have been to previously is Bistro Vendome and it remains a favorite place, especially pre and post theater events.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very Satisfied!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    We loved the service here, everyone is super nice and friendly but most importantly authentic and real. The food was excellent, very creative and made with care. The chef signature artichoke tortelloni was superb, and being a vegetarian I especially appreciated chef's vision to create delicious vegetarian options that are both creative and delicious. We will definitely be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • May be the best meal I've ever had!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    We looked up Rioja based on watching some cooking shows where Jennifer (the owner chef) competed. We were unprepared for how unbelievably good the food was. There is a reason she won the James Beard award (the only one ever won in the region) and her food speaks for itself. I will be back every time I am in Denver for business that is a promise. If you haven't yet had the pleasure of eating here, do yourself a flavor favor! I can't speak highly enough about how good the service was either, sharp and polite with great knowledge and recommendations. We had three people and a $100 bottle of wine, 3 appetizers, 3 meals and 3 deserts for around $300. Unbelievable! I will be trying her other 3 restaurants in Denver as well. WOW!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Overrated "Hot Spot"
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    I so wanted this to be a great experience. I was celebrating a birthday and read many great reviews. I found the food average at best with several disasters with flavors and textures that just didn't seem to blend well. Restaurant was very loud and the ambiance was uninspiring. Waiter was unattentive and never returned when he said "let me set this down, I'll be right back". We will not return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food and noise
    duchess
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Food was excellent, but served in such a chaotic environment that it was difficult to really enjoy it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food and service
    RjSm
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Friendly, attentive, and informative servers. Highly recommend the Berkshire pork chop and Colorado Lamb variations. Would skip the Grilled Spanish Octopus.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not Spanish, Still Good
    SarckVIP
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    I must not have read the review and assumed it was Spanish tapas. It wasn't--Rioja is inventive Mediterranean. And despite my craving for Spanish, it was excellent. From the unlimited gourmet bread to the friendly service and varies and tasty menu we ate well and had a good time. It was pricey, so it's a great place to take clients or family.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I had mile high hopes.......
    thisisntmyfirstrodeo
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    My wife and I decided to try Rioja, as our dinner destination mainly because of its past James Beard Award and the reviews online. I had the beet infused gnocchi for a starter. It was a very small portion but the flavor was excellent. For dinner we had the Artichoke Tortellini and the Lamb in three variations. Again the portions were very small, and the temperature of both dishes was luke warm. My lamb tartar was pasty and under seasoned. The grilled lamb was delicious, but the braised lamb was fatty. My wife's tortellini was "just ok" The establishment was very noisy. Including desert and tip the check was $100. I am not apposed to paying $30+ for an entree, but my expectation is that I be given good food in a satisfying portion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great evening
    GreyHawk
    Dined on 10/13/2014
    We had a great dining experience and will return. Unique menu. Good wine. Great service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Great service and great food. They make a special night even better.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First time
    Tastebudders
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    This was for our anniversary so we thought something different vs the typical dinner -loved it! We went for brunch, service was great food was even better - make sure you order the doughnuts. Made fresh for each order they arrived warm with lemon & raspberry filling...non traditional eggs Benedict perfect. Assortment of fresh bread with each meal. Will diffidently go back
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • recomend to impress
    roadelf
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    When we want to impress friends this is the place. It is the most consistently wonderful restaurant we know of.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Great spot for drinks and appetizers. Skip it for a full meal though.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Missed the Mark
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Fame often has big drawbacks and they were very evident at our dinner on a busy Saturday night. We were seated and served water promptly, but then left for a very long time before being able to order anything else. This was the theme for the evening. Service was dreadfully slow and inattentive, we waited endlessly for bread, drinks, entrees. We were set to order dessert, but the waiter took so long to return that we lost our appetite for it. My husband had a cappuccino, which was served luke-warm and watery. Our friend ordered an after dinner drink, which was served very short. Our meal lasted almost three hours, but was not a leisurely presented experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always great!
    Shelly
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    Always an eclectic & enjoyable menu. Miss the marinated olives (now available on the bar menu), but the olive & goat cheese plate is fabulous, as well!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing!
    joan
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    We chose Rioja for a special occasion dinner, and we were thrilled. The service was perfect, not snooty. The food was outstanding - halibut, chicken, and the vegetarian sampler. We will definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delightful
    TPTechie
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Wonderful dining experience. Almost endless bread service. Artichoke tortelloni was the best pasta I've ever eaten. Everything was perfectly cooked. Service was just right--not too much, not too little. And the sugar-crusted spearmint leaf at the end was a delightful surprise. So glad I got to eat here while in Denver.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent date night restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    The food was delicious down to the very last piece which was sugar coated mint leaves on the tip plate. I do not think you can go wrong with any of the items on the menu. The only comment I would have is that the portions were a little smaller from some of the other higher end restaurants I have been to in Denver. Everything was delicious, I just wish I had more to taste.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best in Denver
    Bdog
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Rioja remains one of my favorite dinner spots in the city. Food quality always superb!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Outstanding Dining Experience
    Russell
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    Rioja was exceptional in all respects. The food was superb, and the service was outstanding. I would highly recommend for any occasion
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Birthday
    StraightUp3
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    Our son was in from Chicago for his mom's birthday, so she chose Rioja. He's a foodie, had the octapus, and enjoyed it all, as did she her halibut. We shared the artichoke tortelloni as an appetizer, and it was awesome. The breads are a special treat, the service was just right, and we enjoyed everything totally at leisure.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • VERY DISAPPOINTING
    JankossVIP
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    I have dined here many times and always had a wonderful experience -- good food and perfect service. Not this time. It stated with the water. He brought water for two of us, the third was in the powder room and we didn't know if she wanted sparkling or regular. He never came to the table to ask, another person brought water to her. He finally returned to take our order and brought our bread. After our meals were served we never saw him again, and there was a problem with one of the orders. The next person to come to our table, after we had finished our meals, was a woman who I thought was the manager, but later learned she is an owner, We were under the impression tshe would comep a dessert to make up for the problem. Didn't happen
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great service, amazing food.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    My husband and I dined at Roja for our 14th anniversary Sunday brunch. Everything was wonderful. Great service from a good waiter who knew the details about the food he was serving, providing us with a very fine dining experience, without being snobby or rude. Excellent food. We will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service matched to great food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    I had a reservation for 5 people at 9:15pm on Sat night. Service was tremendous, our waitress knew the menu and her recommendations were on point. Food was excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very, very good
    Jessica
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    We went to Rioja (our favorite for special dinners) for brunch, and had a breakfast sandwich and the latke plate. The breakfast sandwich is amazing - rich and satisfying, with a perfect balance of savory, salty, spicy, crispy, creamy, a touch of sweet... and pretty inexpensive (~$12 I think?) compared to high-end brunches around the same location. Now a small nit-pick... I'll admit this is the first time I've had even one item that was less than brilliant at Rioja, but the latkes themselves were a little on the oily/soft side. Everything else about the latke breakfast dish was delicious, though. The service is always perfect there... warm and friendly, knowledgeable, attentive but not intrusive, perfectly timed. Overall, excellent!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Local favorite!
    Particular1
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Local favorite and great choice for family visiting from out of town. Have always had superb service and excellent meals. Noise level can be a bit difficult to talk over, so if looking for a quiet moment choose a table outside or in a corner booth. LOVE IT!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food
    JuliaThompson
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    The seared scallop special on a bed of pureed celery was fantastic, as was the artichoke tortelloni. Members of our party enjoyed the flatbread sandwich and the beignets. An added plus, is that the coffee was great. Always an important way to end a meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Expensive
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    The appetizer cheese plate was ridiculous , I felt like we were on Saturday night Live doing a skit! 3 big guys 1 girl staring at a big square plate with dabs of different cheeses, nothing to spread it on or eat it with. The whole cheese plate was probably a total of 4 tablespoons! It was hilarious . The pork chop was very good, the dessert was not too great, we ordered the ice cream which choice was ,orange, lime, and maple all on a cookie. What kinda place has no chocolate ice cream?? It was about 400.00 for 4 of us. Overrated and expensive, I would not go back
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Tuck
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    We had a friend in from DC. The whole experience knocked his socks off. We are looking forward to our next visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Chef Jen and her staff shine again.
    ChefC
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    As always; food and service were spectacular. Dessert menu seems to have hung around a little too long, but I absolutely adore this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • review
    jeffinsav
    Dined on 9/29/2014
    the food was great and service was outstanding i would recommend it to all of my 'foodie' friemds
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • bensonandpiper
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    Everything we had was OUTSTANDING, except the cantaloupe soup was average at best. We started wtih the bacon, ceviche and soup as appetizers. The bacon was like a play on split pea soup and it was delicious. The ceviche was nice and fresh and refreshing. Then we had a lamb special, octopus, chicken and pork. The lamb and the octopus were very small but extremely tasty (its a good thing this is what the girls ordered). The chicken was a generous portion and our waitress said it'll be the best chicken you have ever had...i'd say she was pretty spot on. The pork was also a nice portion and was also very nicely done. The corn timbale for dessert! thats all i have to say. All around fantastic meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great overall but had to wait
    jwc516
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    Service 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    Service was a little slow. Took quite a while to get our drinks and at least 30 minutes for our entrees. But is was the morning of the Race for the Cure so lots of large groups were in the restaurant at the time. Food was very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Service is Lacking...
    OrlandoLawyerVIP
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    I was visiting Denver and tried this place out on a Saturday night. The food was good but the service was a disaster, which ruined the experience. Although I had a reservation, there was no seat available when I arrived. Further, the restaurant was really hot inside the entire time. It took approximately 2 hours to eat an appetizer and main dish. Although I was in the mood for desert, I had no desire to be there any longer and moved on. I received an email the next day from OpenTable stating that they claimed I was a no show, which obviously was not true. Maybe it's better on a non-busy night, but I would not waste your time on a Friday or Saturday night. They clearly overbook the place. I'd rather pay more money for better service.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • They made up for bad service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Incredible 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:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • waiter
    sparks
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Neil was outstanding as our waiter and really went beyond his job title to take care of us. I will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Will be back
    Clay
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Did the taste of Iceland here, and it was amazing! Service and good was wonderful!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Best place to take out of town relatives. The food is fantastic and impressive. Love this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.