Rioja
Rioja

Rioja

  • 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: 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
448 reviews since July 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (347)special occasion (268)romantic (152)hot spot (145)notable wine list (132)neighborhood gem (119)good for groups (60)great for outdoor dining (54)great for brunch (47)great for lunch (42)vibrant bar scene (33)late-night find (15)scenic view (4)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • dissapointedVIP
    Dined on 11/17/2014
    We had a birthday dinner and the service was excellent. A nice touch with the servers all signing a card. A waiter accidentally broke a full wine glass and promptly replaced. The food was OK- to good but portion sizes on all apps and entrees were so small we left hungry! Breads were the best! Of notable disappointment was Duck Confit which was served as 4 dice size dry little cubes. Not the rich and buttery shredded duck meat I was expecting.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • A Bit Disappointed!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/17/2014
    We have been to Rioja lots of times and this time we took some out of town guests that are moving to Colorado next year. The food was delicious, however, very, very scant for the price. When one orders $32.00 lamb, prepared three ways, one expects to have a decent slice of each. Mine and my friend's was a slice that you could see thru, and the tartare was two bites and gone. We expected for that charge to have a bit more of the protein....disappointed!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Meal Ever....
    JuanSeVIP
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    The food and the service were impeccable. The fresh bread was sublime. We ordered salad, bacon(2), scallops, lamb and chocolate. Every plate was cooked and seasoned to perfection. We do recommend Rioja to anyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We had an amazing experience dining at Rioja!
    Juana
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    I recommend any of the pastas but the truffle one was divine. The pheasant was delicious and I loved the pumpkin touch. Cocktails were solid. I really loved the food but to be honest I thought the wall decorations had room for improvement. Will definitely be back and am recommending to friends!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent!
    DiningDinksVIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    We had been to Rioja previously and had a great experience, and this one solidified why it is one of our favorites. The entire experience was excellent. I had the truffle gnocchi special and my husband had the sole. Both dishes were fabulous and the service was impeccable. Definitely a must try!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lost its flair
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    I've been going to this restaurant for 6 years consistently; brunch, lunch and dinners. The menus always seem creative and new. But, this last brunch was just o.k. The same menu for years doesn't cut it anymore. And, when my husband comments about it being "eh" I know it's time to move on. First, the hostess was not the "mostess" - she was grumpy when we arrived about 35 minutes early (the restaurant was about 1/5 full) and then she sat us at the crappiest table in the restaurant; in front of the bus station stuffed in the corner staring at the wall and rack of glasses. Mind you, the restaurant has a massive number of tables open. The favorite goat cheese biscuits were hard, flat and tasted a day or two old. The donuts were the shining star and we should have stopped there. I didn't care for the Raspberry Stuffed French Toast - it was pink but no raspberry flavor and it was clearly fried in last nights oil and tasted like the dinner menu. My husband had the eggs & bacon but ours at home are much better. I'm yawning...gotta find a new brunch place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 1969paulVIP
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    This place was highly recommended by family and it lived up to the hype. Will definitely consider this again when back in Denver.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lauren
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    This restaurant is always my husband and I's go to for a great date night. We recommend this place to everyone! Never disappoints.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Little Underwhemled
    forkknifebaseballwifeVIP
    Dined on 11/10/2014
    We went to Rioja to celebrate our first anniversary; I've read about it countless times in 5280 and was pretty excited to finally give it a try. We ordered a variety of dishes, from a beet salad to pork belly, scallops to pasta. We were quite disappointed in the food- there were elements on a few plates that were very bitter, so much so that we hardly ate the two entrees we ordered. We are both big foodies, so it was a bit of a let down. That being said, the service was fantastic, the atmosphere even on a Monday night was busy and exciting. I may give it another chance in the future, but it will not be a place we are returning to any time soon.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • TXCB
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    We arrived at 7:15pm, but they were already out of lamb. No accuse. The Tasting Menu was ordered, when asked to substitue their Cheesecake dessert; they substituted a tiny scoop of sorbet. This is cheap Walmart stuff, and why would anyone paid high prices for a scoop of sorbet. Bad attitude.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Rioja's
    Beth
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Rioja's is still a good restaurant, but I was a bit disappointed this time. The service was only average. The food while still very good, wasn't as inventive as I've come to expect. And either my tastes have changed or they changed the recipe on their blackberry whiskey sour. It used to be exceptional and a must have cocktail when visiting, not sure I'd order it again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Always great service and a great menu. Exactly what you expect from an upscale place with a world class chef.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Experience
    HookdOnDis
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    The Rioja is a gem of a dining experience. Whether after theatre, a special occasion, or just because you want a terrific dinner, Rioja is excellent in all regards. I noted that EVERY staff person on our way out thanked us for dining with them that night! GREAT JOB!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always Fantastic
    JiggsMann
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Our meal and service on the 8th were fantastic. We've been dining at Rioja for what I believe is almost 10 years now. Never had a bad meal. We returned to Rioja on the 9th after a disappointing experience at Stoic & Genuine. Had another great meal at the bar and excellent service from Lauren.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Energy and Elegance
    paigeappleVIP
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    What a find in Denver! Wonderful, innovative food paired with great service. Do not miss the artichoke pasta... or the chocolate/caramel tart. Our server guided us to excellent choices and a lovely wine to pair with the meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Downtown Diamond
    pinkyaVIP
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    A friend and I ate at Rioja prior to a show at the Buell Theatre. We were seated promptly and greeted enthusiastically by our waiter/bartender. We chose to eat at the bar and were not disappointed. Our friend recommended his favorite dishes on the menu and steered us in the right direction for drinks/wine/food. Everything was OUTSTANDING and I highly recommend for a great evening out when you're downtown. We enjoyed the Fresh Bacon, Artichocke Tortellini, and the New York Strip. Everything we had was amazing!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great experience
    AW1985
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    Great service, lots of delicious foods and wines and relaxing atmosphere. Upscale, good for special occasion. Fun dishes and nice that they offer a tasting menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Exceptional Spot
    dining14VIP
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    As always, this is the true dining experience, always consistent and absolutely first rate.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Will definitely return
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    We took clients prior to the theatre. Service was attentive and informed, and the food was delicious with a beautiful presentation. We highly recommend the pork chops and the chocolate caramel tart, as well as the black and white cheesecake. The bread selection was also really good, lavender sourdough bread, goat cheese biscuits etc. We look forward to returning and trying other dishes. My only disappointment is how noisy it got when the restaurant was full. This seems to be the trend in restaurants unfortunately.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • brunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    avoid the lamb omelet. not good at all. told the server and she said she'd tell the chef. nice
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • food was great
    nick
    Dined on 11/2/2014
    as always, brunch at Rioja was great. love the service and the food is always outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of the best dinners I've had!
    LorieR
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Rioja was absolutely amazing! The ambiance is dark and cozy, and although it was a bit loud, I could still hear my husband across the table. The waiters were so knowledgable about the menu and really made some great recommendations. Now, the food? Obnoxiously amazing!!! I had the pork belly, artichoke tortellini and the beignets and WOW, everything was so delicious! This is an absute must for anyone that loves phenomenal food!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    suzyqVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Looking forward to dinner as we have always had great food. Not so this night. I ordered the special - beef short ribs, which I normally love! Taste was too salty, sautéed Asian mushrooms were gritty. Overall, too many flavors on one plate. I did not eat it but server kindly took it off bill. Too late to order another entrée. However fresh bacon app & salad were both good.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious food, impeccable service!
    Yummly
    Dined on 10/31/2014
    What a find! I brought my husband to Denver for his 40th birthday and found Rioja online. Each course we were served was better than the one before it and the server was not only spot-on in each of her wine-pairing recommendations, but she was friendly and her timing was superb. We're already dreaming of our return. Oh, and did I mention, my husband was presented a birthday card signed by the whole staff? Nice touch!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The best
    Foodie
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Had not been to Rioja in about a year. I was dazzled by the delicious, beautifully presented food and perfect service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awesome as always
    JMR1
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Rioja never disappoints. The food and ambiance and FABULOUS wait staff are always superior! You can seats expect the same level of care and service. We love it here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Dinner
    luvfinefood
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Creative selections - octopus & beet gnocchi! Attentive and informative service, including a nice b-day card for my husband, signed by the staff. My only complaint is that the noise level was too high for comfortable conversation across our round table for five. Otherwise, as expected, a fine dining experience!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Incredible Gem!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    The presentation was spectacular and the food tasted as good at it looked!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What a find!
    myexperience
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    We loved our evening at Rioja - the food was wonderful, very inventive and tasty. Our server was busy, yet she was very personable and spent time visiting with us and never rushed us. We felt like we found the best spot in town!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great meal
    jds2214
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    Had a wonderful meal here with six coworkers while we were in Denver for a meeting last week. The service and the food were fantastic; Rioja was the perfect choice for a group that included both vegetarians and meat lovers.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, good people
    FoodieFromGolden
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    My fiancé and I came for a nice dinner. Service was fast and friendly. All the dishes were perfect, and very unique. We will definitely be back.
    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.
  • Loved Rioja!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Exceptional food, ambiance to match, surprisingly reasonable prices. Two of us had an appetizer, 2 entrees (including a daily special), couple drinks apiece, and bill was just over $100. We will definitely be returning to Rioja.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Rioja constant delivers!!!!
    bbally
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    We try and visit Rioja from Grand Junction, Colorado a couple times a year. Jennifer has such a great staff and just extraordinary food! We decided to just make things into appetizer plates and try about 6 different offerings. It was well worth doing! The service was just impeccable and the offerings all hit the table with great presentation and wonderful flavors........
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Happydinedenver
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    Beautiful setting, top rate service, and exceptionally well prepared food. Even fairly reasonably priced, for the quality of the food service.wonderful place for a special event (ours was a birthday dinner)or just a romantic dinner out. Consistently one of the top restaurants in Denver for overall experience and quality, Friday, and freshness of the food.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Impressive
    thunderable
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    This would be a great romantic destination, though I just went with a buddy before the John Denver/John Fielder show at the Buell. Everything was first-rate, and I would definitely go back. After a bad experience at Bonnano's Osteria Marco a few doors down, I wasn't sure I wanted to dine in Larimer Square again, but Rioja is definitely one of the very best restaurants I've been to in Denver. The waiter was helpful and knowledgeable, the ambiance was nice, and the food was terrific. What's not to like?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect brunch ever
    WeDine
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    We enjoyed the finest homemade lemony filled doughnuts with fresh blueberry sauce...they we're so perfectly made and memorable. The mimosas were so good with fresh orange juice...and the sauce on their breakfast sandwich was also unforgettable. Honestly, the food was just well made and super fresh. We sat outside in the intimate patio along the main street. It was sunny so their umbrellas provided just the right shade. We will return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 10th Anniversary Dinner
    Mishca
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Our experience was nothing short of wonderful. My husband and I celebrated our 10th anniversary with my parents. The food was sublime! We met the chef and he was as charming as the restaurant. If anyone is looking for a fabulous night this is the place to go!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Please
    HumanReviewer
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    I heard a lot about Rioja and we finally made it. The food was very good as well as the service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Did not keep it simple, stupid.
    ilikefood
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Kitchen seemed calm, but the FOH was anxious, harried, and flustered (backwards, no?) We felt a bit bothered every few seconds, and it seemed like they did not communicate well with each other or read our table well. Our first server was EXCELLENT, but unfortunately, another abrasive and abrupt server bogarted us. It was really awkward, and the second server did not give us an opportunity to ask about the service, nor did she acknowledge that we had obviously already been greeted, had water, wine menu, etc. The food was prepared perfectly, but it was too fanciful. Being fancy doesn't elevate the food for me. Ultimately, the dishes came across as a chef trying too hard to impress. It was not bad, but it wasn't remarkable either.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, notable wine list, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • SusieZVIP
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    Highlight of our lunch was the artichoke torteloni -deliscious and very flavorful. House breads were good, wine choice excellent. The lamburger was perfectly cooked, but the smokey cheese overwhelmed the dish.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet