1431 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80202Neighborhood:
Downtown / LoDo
MediterraneanPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.riojadenver.com/
- Phone: (303) 820-2282
- Hours of Operation:
Wednesday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm
Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 2:30pm
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
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 photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Rioja reviews from OpenTable diners
448 reviews since July 25, 2014
- Ambiance4.3Noise LevelModerate
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
- dissapointedVIPDined on 11/17/2014We 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:
- A Bit Disappointed!OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 11/17/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best Meal Ever....JuanSeVIPDined on 11/16/2014The 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- We had an amazing experience dining at Rioja!JuanaDined on 11/15/2014I 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent!DiningDinksVIPDined on 11/15/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lost its flairOpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 11/15/2014I'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.
- 1969paulVIPDined on 11/14/2014This place was highly recommended by family and it lived up to the hype. Will definitely consider this again when back in Denver.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- LaurenDined on 11/14/2014This 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A Little UnderwhemledforkknifebaseballwifeVIPDined on 11/10/2014We 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.
- TXCBDined on 11/9/2014We 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:
- Rioja'sBethDined on 11/9/2014Rioja'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:
- WonderfulOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/9/2014Always great service and a great menu. Exactly what you expect from an upscale place with a world class chef.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful ExperienceHookdOnDisDined on 11/9/2014The 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:
- Always FantasticJiggsMannDined on 11/8/2014Our 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:
- Energy and ElegancepaigeappleVIPDined on 11/7/2014What 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:
- Downtown DiamondpinkyaVIPDined on 11/5/2014A 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:
- Great experienceAW1985Dined on 11/2/2014Great 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:
- Exceptional Spotdining14VIPDined on 11/2/2014As always, this is the true dining experience, always consistent and absolutely first rate.Special Features:
- Will definitely returnOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 11/2/2014We 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:
- brunchOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 11/2/2014avoid the lamb omelet. not good at all. told the server and she said she'd tell the chef. nice
- food was greatnickDined on 11/2/2014as always, brunch at Rioja was great. love the service and the food is always outstanding.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- One of the best dinners I've had!LorieRDined on 11/1/2014Rioja 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DisappointedsuzyqVIPDined on 11/1/2014Looking 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Delicious food, impeccable service!YummlyDined on 10/31/2014What 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The bestFoodieDined on 10/30/2014Had not been to Rioja in about a year. I was dazzled by the delicious, beautifully presented food and perfect service.Special Features:
- Awesome as alwaysJMR1Dined on 10/30/2014Rioja 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent DinnerluvfinefoodDined on 10/30/2014Creative 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:
- Incredible Gem!OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 10/28/2014The presentation was spectacular and the food tasted as good at it looked!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- What a find!myexperienceDined on 10/27/2014We 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:
- Great mealjds2214Dined on 10/26/2014Had 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food, good peopleFoodieFromGoldenDined on 10/26/2014My 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Loved Rioja!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/25/2014Exceptional 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.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Rioja constant delivers!!!!bballyDined on 10/25/2014We 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:
- HappydinedenverDined on 10/25/2014Beautiful 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ImpressivethunderableDined on 10/25/2014This 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Perfect brunch everWeDineDined on 10/25/2014We 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:
- 10th Anniversary DinnerMishcaDined on 10/24/2014Our 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- PleaseHumanReviewerDined on 10/24/2014I heard a lot about Rioja and we finally made it. The food was very good as well as the service.Special Features:
- Did not keep it simple, stupid.ilikefoodDined on 10/24/2014Kitchen 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:
- SusieZVIPDined on 10/23/2014Highlight 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: