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
462 reviews since May 5, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.6
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
91% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (342)special occasion (287)romantic (171)notable wine list (140)hot spot (131)neighborhood gem (125)great for outdoor dining (73)good for groups (61)great for lunch (53)great for brunch (51)vibrant bar scene (31)late-night find (18)kid-friendly (7)scenic view (4)Show More
  • Great when celebrating
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    I chose this restaurant based on some online reviews, and could not have been more pleased. The food choices were unique and modern, but also accessible and comforting. My husband and I were celebrating an anniversary and the entire staff went out of their way (on a busy weekend evening) to make up feel welcome and special.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Rare Disappointment
    EllendummVIP
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Food is usually top-notch and innovative here. I adore the artichoke tortellini - signature dish! We took a friend from California here for brunch - tried the breakfast sandwich to get out of my rut. Very ordinary and had a sweet cream cheese that didn't fit at all... But I'll be back, because I know this is an unusual experience here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent as Always
    KyleVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Whenever I'm in Denver I eat at Rioja. The food I'd innovative and delicious. I went with my mother and husband. Everyone loved their meals. The highlights were the pork belly starter, so tender it melted in your mouth, beet salad, ravioli, and the pork. Great red sangria and a good wine list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • jepr
    JeprVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We have always loved Rioja and last Sat. night was no exception. The food and service were both outstanding. I had the Halibut and our guests had the Petaluma chicken. Both were fantastic. I can't wait to go again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Never disappoints!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    I have been going to Rioja since she opened the restaurant and I love the lunch lamb burger and always order the beignets...YUMMY :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Areyoukiddingme
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Vibrant dining spot. Food was great as was the service. Will definitely dine there again!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • GF friendly
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    One of our diners was gluten intolerant, and the chef and waiters not only went out of their way to accommodate her, but were very friendly about it as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Everything was excellent except one thing. The temperature inside the restaurant was freezy - much colder than outside that evening and the evening was not even a very warm one.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Artfully unique and lovely cuisine
    Sarah
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    The food was both beautifully presented and lovely to eat-it was a fun and romantic dining experience with the only downfall being that the cocktails (which were decadent to taste) were not displayed with a level of sophistication and flare that matched the meal. Otherwise the experience was absolutely complete and we are already anticipating our next visit!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, as always.
    BeverleyVIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Four of us went for restaurant week and had a wonderful meal. We started with the "picnic" and some salads. We had the artichoke pasta, the halibut, chicken and the special seafood pasta dish (our least favorite). We had the chocolate cake and blackberry cheesecake, too. So good! At $200 for four, it wasn't inexpensive, but it was worth it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • inexperienced staff and food subpar
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    To spend $80 not including drinks for food that was lukewarm, extremely small portion, and really not cooked very well AFTER having to wait 45 minutes past our reservation time was not my idea of a great time. For the same price there are better places in Denver that would provide food that makes you go "oh my god" every bite and a much classier environment.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Rioja review
    WillYUM
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    My first experience at Rioja was fabulous and met all my expectations. Service- check. Food- check. Ambiance, decor, and lighting- check. Alcoholic beverage- check. Dessert- check. Timing was flawless and menu is diverse, creative, and delicious. I would recommend this restaurant anytime!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • best dining experience ever
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    I had the best time at Rioja during Denver Restaurant Week. My friend and I made reservations a month in advanced to be able to take part of the special menu. I am a huge fan of Chef Jennifer Jasinski; I have done two stages in the kitchen at the restaurant before ever being a patron. I'm so glad finally took the opportunity to dine at Rioja. We were seated quickly and promptly were attended to. We received water, ordered drinks, placed our food order; the wait staff flawlessly did all this. We ordered a duck confit flatbread that was perfectly seasoned and texturally great. Palisade peaches, pickled red onions, mushrooms, and gorgonzola were paired with the duck and it was so good. Our entrees were mind-blowing and so was dessert
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Absolutely wonderful
    Birthdaygirls
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Restaurant week menu was wonderful. Food presentation was beautiful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Favorite place in Denver
    DanandAllisonColorado
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    We are always really impressed by the food at Rioja! Everything we have had has been amazing and we have our favorites that we keep coming back for. This is our favorite place in Denver!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful
    TastingCarrots
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Delicious food - Great service - Nothing else to say.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good but not great
    DenCodiner
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    My dish was good (pork loin), my boyfriend's dish was lacking and extremely underwhelming (pachetti). Small portions. Bread was amazing but the bread waiter only came to our table once. Overall, pretty disappointing, especially given the prices and hype this place gets.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    I had been looking foward to Rioja since we moved here four weeks ago. We were actually a little disappointed. My husband who is a bacon sans tic was not at all impressed with his appetizer. I who am a salt addict could not eat my scallop entree because it was too salty for me. Might give it another try hopefully it will be better
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • lovely food, good service
    avs11VIP
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Restaurant week menu was lovely and tasted very special. My only complaint is that there was a lot of upselling. Menu without additional items was thin.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yum! Yum! Yum!
    CateEats
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Everything is wonderful at Rioja! We had dinner during Denver Restaurant Week, which could have been taxing for any restaurant, but Rioja was totally perfect. Food was fabulous, service was exceptional (they are a team and it amazing to watch them move about the tables).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Restaurant Week
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Really enjoyed my Restaurant Week meal here. The beet salad was perfect mix of texture and sweet and savory tastes. My server was friendly, personable and knowledgeable about wines to go with each course. I appreciated the half glass option, as I love wine, but don't drink much alcohol anymore. I could have licked my beignet dessert plate clean!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very respectful for flavors
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    Nowadays you find a lot of restaurants that have a modern approach to food. Rioja is not an exception. What is remarkable is that Rioja respects the flavor of food. Straight forward and simple. Executed greatly and presented in a very clean way. The Artichoke Tortelloni are exceptional and the special of the night, Pork Cheeks, outstanding. Definitely a place to come back and explore.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awesome
    kimberly868
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    What I had for dinner I would NEVER have ordered based on the description of ingredients. But both my husband and the waiter suggested I go for it. I'm so glad I did it was spectacular (Pork Checks, not on the main menu). I can truly say that there are people in this world who are true food artists and the chef at this place, at least for this dish, was an amazing artist. The rest of our dinner I would say was terrific as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing
    WashParkGrill
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    This was the perfect place for a Date Night for my wife and I. She's a Foodie and wanted to try this place for awhile. The pork tenderloin was amazing and melted in my mouth. My wife had the Halibut and couldn't stop talking about how good it was. Everything was so good at Rioja that we can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Consistantly Great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Had out of town guests, wanted to take them to our favorite restaurant -- Always good Super staff; Great food, Our guests were impressed with our favorite restaurant We were amazed how efficient the staff was and especially during restaurant week We visited on a Tuesday great location for walking around before and after dinner. Pace of the meal was just right - did not feel rushed
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Outstanding!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Four of us dined at Rioja during Denver Restaurant Week and the experience couldn't have been better. The selections on the special menu covered a wide variety of tastes and were scrumptuous. Our server, Adrian, couldn't have been more accommodating and answered all of our questions with graciousness. And the bread basket is worth the trip! We will definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food, Horrible Service
    Bfagan
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    The food was great and would go here again just for that, but the service was horrible which made for a disappointing night.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Extraordinary dinner at Rioja
    Denvernewcomer
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    My husband and I had tried to go to Rioja for my birthday earlier this year but could not get in due to the size of our group - so we decided to go this week during restaurant week. The entire evening was wonderful. Our main waiter was very helpful and checked in on how we were doing regularly. The spectacular food however surpassed all our expectations - and the lovely recommended bottle of rose wine from Spain the perfect complement - again thanks to our waiter. We both felt it was at the top of some great meals here in Denver and we know we will return again - hopefully many times - in future.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • FunFoodie
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    The food was excellent and the portions were big. We loved the hip vibe here. The wait staff was knowledgable, attentive and helpful. Very good!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Trying to Hard
    NYFoodie
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    The ambulance was exciting and the menu was interesting. I think the restaurant was trying to hard to do wait out food. The innovation was to be applauded but the birdseed on the dessert was not.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • SteveH
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    We went to Rioja for 5280 week. It's a great restaurant with great food. It's a great date night restaurant
    Special Features:
    romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wow doesn't it enough
    LaceyVIP
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    The food was out of this world. I had the ricotta cheese cake as a starter it was so full flavor. Neil our waiter was beyond incredible. This is our new special occassion go to. The binets are to die for.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Restaurant Week Win!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Thank you to Jen and Beth for offering your entire regular menu (with a few moderate upcharges) during the 2014 Restaurant Week. That showed us your high level of class and customer care, and we really appreciated it. Everything was amazing!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • pork belly standout
    NeilAdamMcGinnisVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Housemade Doughnuts- 5/5 Cantaloupe Consomme- 3/5 (good but essentially just cantaloupe water) Fresh Bacon- 5/5 (wow... sounds kinda boring but tastes AMAZING) Artichoke Tortelloni- 4/5 (good but not something i would order again) Morning Cocktails- 4/5 (better than most places but i'm still craving real cocktails) Service- 5/5 (our waitress was very nice and helpful) Atmosphere- 3/5 (very conservative, not my style) Overall we enjoyed this restaurant very much. It's clear they know how to cook food properly.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Our Go-To for Special Occasions
    Shrinkucci
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Rioja is a special restaurant. It has maintained a high standard for as long as we have been going there. The menu changes regularly, the service is great and the food is delicious. There is an appetizer on the menu called The Picnic. It is an array of interesting olives, meats, nuts and delicately prepared cheeses and vegetables. We can't seem to ever NOT order it. It is marvelous. Two additional advantages are the inexpensive parking and the fact it is adjacent to Corridor 99--a fun champagne bar. We typically order a split or two of bubbly there and then go to Rioja's at our appointed time. It makes for a fun evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic!
    OkobojibelleVIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We had the pheasant (the night's special) and lamb and both were excellent! The pheasant had been brined and was succulent and very tender and there was a whole breast and leg - a big pheasant compared to the ones my brother brings to the table during pheasant hunting season. The lamb had great flavor althought the portions on the lamb could have been better. The strawberry halibut ceviche was really good - the sweet and sour taste between the strawberries and the jalepenos was a wonderful contrast. And to top off the dinner we had the Strawberry and Coconut dessert. My date and I decided to share and he did not get very much of it! Sublime.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Reservation? Who cares...
    LucyVIP
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Having made a 7 pm reservation, we were not seated until 8 pm. It then took 45 minutes before we saw any food and what we did get was over salted. Our waiter presented us with a complimentary appetizer which did not take into consideration clearly stated food allergies. My scallops were nice, but the arugula risotto tasted like grass! The lamb 3 ways was cold and the vegetables inedible. The pork chop was nicely roasted, but cold by the time it reached us. I can understand a restaurant having a busy night, but this was an epic fail on several fronts. We will not return and recommend that everyone else think twice about visiting this once well reviewed restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • DenverKVSVIP
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Rioja never fails to disappoint. The service is impeccable and the food excellent, the menu including seasonal ingredients, is extremely creative. One area of improvement is managing the reservations and the dining room. For the second time I had reservations and had to wait over a half hour for my table. The staff was delightful, treating us to cocktails and an appetizer however, it would have been nicer to have had my table ready when our party arrived.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • 1st Recommendation
    Cookiemonster
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    My wife and I decided to celebrate our anniversary here. Being our second dining was as outstanding as the first. I won't say that about many places, but this one hit all the marks. Food was refreshing and brilliant by taste and presentation. The service nailed it, friendly knowledgeable and diligent without being overbearing. The magnetic ambiance matches the food and staff. Every place we've been to more than once, can't repeat the magic like this one just did. That's why this would be my first recommendation to those visiting Denver looking for great dining
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Simply amazing.
    Mthede1VIP
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    The experience at Rioja was everything we expected it to be and more! The food and service were outstanding - can't wait to return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate