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Rioja
Rioja

Rioja Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.riojadenver.com
  • Phone: (303) 820-2282
  • 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: Mediterranean, Fusion / Eclectic
  • 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.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "Rioja was a great find. The staff all worked incredibly well together. The food runners were very polite and knowledgeable about what they were placing in front of us. Our party of three decided to order a number of appetizers and one entree and split everything. The sizes were great for the three of us; but - I wouldn't suggest coming SUPER hungry. The flavors were robust and adventurous. I particularly liked the bread service. This gentleman was very pleasant and helpful. The group serving environment worked like a charm; each person with his own job coming together like a dance. Plates were served and removed quietly and fresh silverware, water, and napkins were always at hand. I'd suggest trying lots of items from the menu!"
    Dined on 7/7/2014
  • "Spending a full week in Denver, we had many opportunities to eat out. This restaurant was on the top of the list. Delicious, eclectic, great service, nice ambiance, good bar - it covered all the bases. Our server had her pulse on the menu, catering to my husband's very specific palate. I would strongly recommend the artichoke tortelloni, which was amazingly delectable - the broth, the filler, the homemade pasta....oh my!!! And, the Alaskan Halibut was perfectly seared on one side, yet moist and flaky underneath - heavenly. If I lived near Denver, this would be our go-to place."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "Lamb 3 ways was great. White bean soup with bacon was to die for. Salads are always fun, and each one is made a different way each time we come. Service is friendly and super-competent."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "I was in Denver for eight days on business. Rioja was the best restaurant I dined at by a long shot. The food was devine, the menu creative, the service outstanding and the neighborhood delightful. It is my favorite Denver eatery"
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "My husband and I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary at Rioja last year, and decided to keep with tradition and celebrate our 2nd there as well this year. The staff wrote us a Happy Anniversary note and made sure we felt special throughout our dining experience. We love the red salt served with the bread, and absolutely recommend the bacon appetizer. Delicious!!"
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "My husband and I visited Rioja for our first time to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. We were running late and I called to let them know. We waited no more than fifteen minutes for a table even though we missed our reservation by at least ten minutes. They were very accommodating and kind. We had excellent drinks at the bar. Our server was exceptionally attentive. We had the 7-course tasting menu and it was truly superb. Every course was surprising and delicious. Our server brought us a very nice grapefruit and cava palate cleanser as a treat in honor of our anniversary. She also gave us a card signed by the staff congratulating us. It was all very sweet. The food was amazing. The only issue was that it was a bit hot in there."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "I have had brunch, lunch & dinner here. As always one cannot go wrong, great food, exceptional wine list and service."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "This is a must dine stop when we are in Denver, found Rioja the first time be searching for someplace serving Easter Brunch!!! Now every year when we vacation in Denver, this is a required dining stop. The Menu never disappoints, the wine selection is excellent!. I really enjoyed the grilled salmon and the key lime semifreddo was wonderful. Can't wait until we get back there again."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "I've been meaning to try this restaurant for a long time and finally made it with a new girlfriend. It was so very good. The food quality and taste exceeded my expectations and the service was exemplary. Pretty decent wine list too. You need to pay attention to where you are seated though. Some areas are better than others."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "Wonderful food, relaxing atmosphere, great service!"
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "The food was some of the best we have had in denver. Don't hesitate! Go there now!"
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Loved Rioja -- Wonderful food and service. Our first visit won't be our last."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "Unusual choices and flavors. Awesome bread basket. Nice wine selection."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "I specifically asked for a quiet table because my husband is hearing impaired. Our side of the restaurant was especially noisy that night. Even though the food was fabulous we left without ordering dessert because we were tired of screaming."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "It that's what I'd call it. Very nice. The portions were a bit small. We had a man with us who literally was hungry when we left. And he's not a big guy. We ate an app...the cheese plate and the beet salad shared amongst us. I had the halibut. Excellent. And we had a chocolate dessert. Ok. Nothing I'd rave about. But a nice spot. Kinda fancier."
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "Everything we ate was terrific, but I have to give a shout out to that incredible cheese and olive plate. I have eaten cheese plates at 3 star restaurants that did not come close to the wonderful flavor combinations I experienced here. The Michelin people are FOOLS not to come to Denver to rate this restaurant. The olives were treated 4 or 5 different ways, and the goat cheeses lined up with them. The dried olive crunchies especially stick in my mind. I brought my father as well and this meal convinced him that Denver was not the cowtown he knew growing up. I also need to acknowledge the bar menu. I very much enjoyed the cocktails unique to this place. And as is to be expected at a place like this, the service was spectacular."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "I have dined at Rioja several times and each time I am very pleased with the service and food quality. This trip I dined with a work associate from the NE, who is very much a foodie, and he loved it! Previously I took my 20 year old son out for a special occassion and he was utterly impressed. They are creative, and the food combination and presentation are unique. I'm looking forward to the opening of the Chef's new seafood restaurant in Union Station. Jen is truly a very talented Chef!"
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "What a great place to take out of town guest that want a true Denver culinary experience. Our waiter was awesome!! I believe his name was Mark (sorry if it was not). Definitely would go back."
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "The Colorado lamb, and the artichoke tortelloni were truly amazing. The desserts were enjoyable. Sadly, I am not sure the amazing food is worth the time limit set on your dining experience. ( 90 minutes for a table of 2, 2 hours for a table of 4) We spent much of the evening with time as the focus instead of the food. That was exacerbated by the in attentive wait staff, (gee, took a very long time to get drink orders, then rushed food order), and the arrogant host/ front end staff. As great as the food was, I know Denver offers plenty of places you can get a delicious meal, with an atmosphere conducive to enjoying it!"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "We had a fantastic dinner, 2 amazing plates. Great time and in a fun location. Definitely recommend."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Not worthy of return visit. Beet salad excellent especially beet chips. Pork decent but side soggy/inedible. Dessert uninspired."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Loved the bread selection and brunch cocktails. The bacon appetizer was so delicious! Good ambiance and wonderful drink menu."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "You can always know, for sure, you are going to have a fabulous meal with incredible service when you dine here!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "My wife and I went there for our anniversary on a recommendation. What a pleasant experience! The staff we conversed with were all attentive and our server, Kelly, was superb. It has an eclectic menu, with choices to suit most discerning diners. The food presentation, the wine, the appetizers, the entrees, and the desserts were all top class—a wonderful experience! We shall return and recommend Rioja to others."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Rioja was great. Spectacular, inventive food; attentive, friendly service; wonderful choice of wine. Menu was superlative and the twists on ordinary food were note-worthy - i.e., the olive "candy." Definitely a great place for foodies who pay attention to the nuances great chefs have with preparation and presentation. The only thing I would change would be, sigh, the noise level and the placement of tables to others. We felt like we were dining with the people who sat next to us, since we were a scant foot apart. Couldn't help but hear their conversation and I'm sure they heard ours. Fortunately, they were nice enough people, but still ... felt a bit intrusive!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Our party of four had a lovely dinner . The service was excellent. We never had to ask for ANYthing. Water (both sparkling and plain) was refilled constantly. The bread basket (wonderful variety) came around frequently. Our server was knowledgable and attentive. Plates were cleared promptly and new silverware set up immediately. We shared the cheese and olive plate to begin and it was a great start. The appetizers were fantastic: both the halibut ceviche and the scallop crudo. House salad was fresh and tasty. We shared a small pasta dish--the cavatelli-- that everyone adored. We tried four different entrees: the lamb three ways, salmon, pork tenderloin and the artichoke tortelloni--all incredible. We will be back again soon."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Everything about Rioja was special and exceptionally well executed! The service was flawless and the food continued to build throughout the evening - each time we thought the food was superb - the next course exceeded the last!! It was an amazing dining experience that we will treasure as part of our trip to Denver!"
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Worth a visit to see and taste the very creative, well-thought, and highly executed approach. Each dish was "clever-er" than the one before -- yet far enough from the edge of being overwrought or pretentious. The flavor combinations and ingredients were unique and freshly presented. A vibrant, professional atmosphere that did not take things overly serious/formal, which was refreshing as well."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "Our server discussed in detail our courses as he presented them. He paired each course with an appropriate half glass of wine to whatever we ordered."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "Our dining experience at Rioja was fantastic...great drinks, appetizers, entrees, and desserts! A packed house during mid-week, we enjoyed the buzz of conversations all around. Competent wait staff kept the food coming and our glasses full...wonderful selections from all menus!"
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "Rioja is outstanding. The food is amazing. This is my favorite restaurant and I will definatly be back."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "Food good but as usual service leaves little to be desired."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "Food came out cold. Steak was all cut up on plate not like a normal steak. Service not great. Said they would take item off the bill and they forgot. Will not go back anytime soon."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "This is our second time at Rioja. While the first time was incredible, the second wasn't as stellar. The food was pretty much the same (delicious), but the service was only so-so, and it was the amazing service that made all the difference the first time we visited. It feels odd to complain about okay service, but our first time at the restaurant was definitely special because our waiter was amazing. He was enthusiastic about the food, happy that we were having a great time, and made us feel like we were the only table he was waiting on. The waiter this time was just the guy who wrote down what we wanted and then brought it to the table when it was ready; he just wasn't engaged."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "my husband and i celebrated our anniversary. We ordered the vegetarian selection. the portions are small but excellent. the white fava bean soup was superb as was an arugula salad that we ordered. Service was attentive. we got our food on time but service got a bit slow as the night moved on.. the restaurant was very busy. noise level is quite high making conversation difficult."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "Still the best in Denver. Consistent, innovative dishes. Great, knowledgeable service."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "Food excellent but service very slow; noise horrid. We do not plan to return."
    Dined on 6/16/2014
  • "Rioja is among our favorite "special occasion" restaurants. If we're looking to treat ourselves to an exemplary dinner, Rioja is always on the list. Never have we dined there and not been overwhelmingly pleased with the food and the service. Simply put: If you haven't been to Rioja, go to Rioja."
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "My wife and I made reservations for Rioja the other night and hadn't been since late last year. Like many people we had heard of the James Beard award that Rioja Executive Chef Jen won. Many people are familiar with this award and I definitely had a small concern this could negatively affect the operations of the Restaurant. Of course there might be even more (inventive? if that's possible) dishes but also the popularity with many people that may not have heard of Rioja otherwise. Our experience was nothing compared to the days when Beth ran the front end as THE well oiled machine. Service was lacking, and it was the only time we had been to Rioja and felt like we just had our table and orders just squeezed in between everyone elses."
    Dined on 6/16/2014
  • "We went to Rioja to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. My first issue was receiving an email from them reminding me of their 90 minute rule for use of a table for 2. We were hounded for our dinner order. Recognizing that we were being rushed, I only ordered a drink and appetizer. They were delivered within minutes. I did not order dinner until the appetizers were cleared (the waitress asked twice while we were eating our appetizers). I then ordered the dinner entree and it arrived in less than 5 minutes. From the time we were seated until the dinner plates were cleared was a grand total of 40 minutes. I complained to the manager and received a half hearted apology. Welcome to fast food service at fine dining prices."
    Dined on 6/16/2014