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
454 reviews since May 1, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.6
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (326)special occasion (274)romantic (162)notable wine list (136)hot spot (120)neighborhood gem (117)great for outdoor dining (74)good for groups (59)great for brunch (53)great for lunch (53)vibrant bar scene (29)late-night find (18)kid-friendly (7)scenic view (5)Show More
  • 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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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
  • 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!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    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.
  • 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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    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
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    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
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    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
  • Amazing as always!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Food, service, and atmosphere always amazing! Keep up the great job! We love your restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • chefs bar
    1diner
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Turns out it is a view of the pastry chef, and they are not interactive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Decor = bad hotel restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Wait staff was disinterested. Food was just okay for the price. Lacks ambiance and good service. It was packed on Friday night with a boring crowd. If you agree that price should include food, service and ambience, do not go here. You will feel cheated. And leave hungry.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Rushed?
    jofilogomoVIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    This is one of our favorite restaurants and as usual the food didn't disappoint!!! We did however, feel rushed through the meal. Our waiter didn't even tell us his name and didn't engage us. The host was super wonderful and the attention from the bus boys was good!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love the Chicken Sandwich
    KaraSt
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    I mostly go to Rioja for the Gabe's Chronic Chicken sandwich. It is very unusual and flavorful!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Rioja - great as always
    dottie4dining
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Food is excellent, the wine was excellent, service was great. Love their biscuits too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Missed the mark
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    We chose Rioja's to celebrate our anniversary and let them know it was a special occasion. The service and food were good. The restaurant, however, was alarmingly loud and not particularly conducive to a romantic date. As we were leaving the couple at the table next to us were visited by a server with a dessert with a candle who broadly announced his congratulations on their anniversary--the kind of special touch we expected. I mentioned this on my way out and was told that the next time I come in, they would offer us free drinks and an appetizer. I am not sure how that will be accomplished. Does Rioja keep records? It left a bad taste for their customer service and I don't think we'll be returning for special events in the future.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious Gluten-Free Options
    afos13
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    I was so grateful for the knowledgeable staff and how many gluten-free options were available (such as veggie chips instead of bread). Thank you for a great meal and experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing Pasta
    foody
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    The pasta here as melt in your mouth tender. The service was excellent and the ambiance was perfect! Great find!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Robert
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    We had a great dinner earlier in the year and our recent brunch was no less brilliant!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great restaurant
    James
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Fantastic and friendly service, great food and wonderful wine. We will definitely return.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Restaurant!
    Happy
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    We had never been there before and we were very impressed. Every one of our Entrees were delicious. I had the chicken it was very juicy tender and flavorful. It was the best chicken I have ever eaten. Everyone was very friendly and attentive to our needs. It was my daughter-in-laws birthday and they graciously comped her dessert. I would recommend them highly.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Friday evening dinner
    Ciagrad
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    It had been a while since we had last dined at Rioja, and decided to visit again with out of town friends who were in Denver for just the evening. Everyone enjoyed their meal. Beet gnocchis were fabulous and our friend highly recommended the lamb entree.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Yet another great meal
    denverguy49VIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Fantastic in every way. Food service and ambiance were perfect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Oh the tastes!
    apapol3x
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    We stuck mostly to the appetizer section at Rioja, but we were consistently amazed by the variety and deliciousness of the tastes we were experiencing. Go with the halibut civiche as well as the Rioja picnic as great starters. You will not be surprised that the entrees are also delicious and the benoits for desert may even take the cake!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food but noisy
    esever
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    All of the food my partner and I had was beautifully presented and delicious, but I prefer quieter restaurants.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently perfect
    PEAHEN
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Rioja has been a favorite of ours for quite some time. We live far out of town but always choose Rioja as one of our top choices when we come into the city. We know we will have excellent food and the service will be great - as it was this time. Scott our waiter saw to our every wish in a professional, quiet way and treated my " girls" group with the utmost class. The dinner was the perfect opening to a fantastic evening and weekend. Cudos to Rioja, their chef and all their staff, even their valet service who came through with extra service in a pinch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lovely service, unique food
    Texanintown
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    Great spot. Bartender recommended two Spanish wines (red for my husband, white for me) that were delicious. We waited at the bar with our wine for a short time before our table was ready - we were glad we made reservations because it was crowded. My husband had a steak for dinner and I had an interesting, tasty, light vegetarian meal. Excellent bread. Service was just impeccable. Really enjoyed this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Must Eat
    PBeeVee
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    Rioja met all of my expectations. Great food, atmosphere and service. Food is just as much about "the experience" as the taste and Rioja delivered. The décor was lovely, seating was comfortable and the staff and management seemed to enjoy their job as well as servicing guests. The fabulous bread basket that came to our table and offered so may unique choices to try. The young waiter was enthusiastic and informative. The waitress was outstanding and helpful with menu choices. The Beignet dessert was excellent!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.