1431 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80202Neighborhood:
Downtown / LoDo
MediterraneanPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.riojadenver.com/
- Phone: 3038202282
- 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
446 reviews since July 2, 2014
- Ambiance4.3Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (349)special occasion (270)romantic (151)hot spot (139)notable wine list (131)neighborhood gem (121)great for outdoor dining (63)good for groups (56)great for brunch (46)great for lunch (45)vibrant bar scene (32)late-night find (14)scenic view (5)kid-friendly (2)Show More
- Good food, good peopleOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined 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.
- ImpressiveOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined 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 everOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined 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:
- 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:
- Great FoodFinzDined on 10/22/2014I was in town from Boston and a friend recommended this place. I went with two other friends we are all foodies and we loved this place. The wine list was great and the service was fun and attentive. The flatbread clam pizza appetizer was amazing. The lamb tartar was out of this world. Pork Belly appetizer was also great.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great tasting food, not my style!supermarioDined on 10/22/2014This restaurant is touted as the best in Denver, but I found it very noisy at first, better when some parties left. The tables were packed in close, so you were able to hear everybody's conversation.Special Features:
- We Will Be BackbobbiDined on 10/21/2014Although our reservation was not until 8:00 p.m., we showed up early as our evening event did not last as long as we thought. We explained we were early and would understand if we could not be seated. Although the place was packed, they graciously seated us and we had a wonderful evening. We had great service, delicious food and decided we should check out some of the chef's other restaurants, and hope to do that soon. The only one we have been to previously is Bistro Vendome and it remains a favorite place, especially pre and post theater events.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very Satisfied!FoodielovaVIPDined on 10/21/2014We loved the service here, everyone is super nice and friendly but most importantly authentic and real. The food was excellent, very creative and made with care. The chef signature artichoke tortelloni was superb, and being a vegetarian I especially appreciated chef's vision to create delicious vegetarian options that are both creative and delicious. We will definitely be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- May be the best meal I've ever had!budgetfoodieDined on 10/20/2014We looked up Rioja based on watching some cooking shows where Jennifer (the owner chef) competed. We were unprepared for how unbelievably good the food was. There is a reason she won the James Beard award (the only one ever won in the region) and her food speaks for itself. I will be back every time I am in Denver for business that is a promise. If you haven't yet had the pleasure of eating here, do yourself a flavor favor! I can't speak highly enough about how good the service was either, sharp and polite with great knowledge and recommendations. We had three people and a $100 bottle of wine, 3 appetizers, 3 meals and 3 deserts for around $300. Unbelievable! I will be trying her other 3 restaurants in Denver as well. WOW!!!Special Features:
- Overrated "Hot Spot"OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/18/2014I so wanted this to be a great experience. I was celebrating a birthday and read many great reviews. I found the food average at best with several disasters with flavors and textures that just didn't seem to blend well. Restaurant was very loud and the ambiance was uninspiring. Waiter was unattentive and never returned when he said "let me set this down, I'll be right back". We will not return.
- Food and noiseduchessDined on 10/17/2014Food was excellent, but served in such a chaotic environment that it was difficult to really enjoy it.Special Features:
- Great food and serviceRjSmDined on 10/17/2014Friendly, attentive, and informative servers. Highly recommend the Berkshire pork chop and Colorado Lamb variations. Would skip the Grilled Spanish Octopus.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not Spanish, Still GoodSarckVIPDined on 10/16/2014I must not have read the review and assumed it was Spanish tapas. It wasn't--Rioja is inventive Mediterranean. And despite my craving for Spanish, it was excellent. From the unlimited gourmet bread to the friendly service and varies and tasty menu we ate well and had a good time. It was pricey, so it's a great place to take clients or family.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- I had mile high hopes.......thisisntmyfirstrodeoDined on 10/15/2014My wife and I decided to try Rioja, as our dinner destination mainly because of its past James Beard Award and the reviews online. I had the beet infused gnocchi for a starter. It was a very small portion but the flavor was excellent. For dinner we had the Artichoke Tortellini and the Lamb in three variations. Again the portions were very small, and the temperature of both dishes was luke warm. My lamb tartar was pasty and under seasoned. The grilled lamb was delicious, but the braised lamb was fatty. My wife's tortellini was "just ok" The establishment was very noisy. Including desert and tip the check was $100. I am not apposed to paying $30+ for an entree, but my expectation is that I be given good food in a satisfying portion
- Great eveningGreyHawkDined on 10/13/2014We had a great dining experience and will return. Unique menu. Good wine. Great service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/12/2014Great service and great food. They make a special night even better.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- First timeTastebuddersDined on 10/12/2014This was for our anniversary so we thought something different vs the typical dinner -loved it! We went for brunch, service was great food was even better - make sure you order the doughnuts. Made fresh for each order they arrived warm with lemon & raspberry filling...non traditional eggs Benedict perfect. Assortment of fresh bread with each meal. Will diffidently go backSpecial Features:
- recomend to impressroadelfDined on 10/11/2014When we want to impress friends this is the place. It is the most consistently wonderful restaurant we know of.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 10/11/2014Great spot for drinks and appetizers. Skip it for a full meal though.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Missed the MarkOpenTable Diner Since 2010VIPDined on 10/11/2014Fame often has big drawbacks and they were very evident at our dinner on a busy Saturday night. We were seated and served water promptly, but then left for a very long time before being able to order anything else. This was the theme for the evening. Service was dreadfully slow and inattentive, we waited endlessly for bread, drinks, entrees. We were set to order dessert, but the waiter took so long to return that we lost our appetite for it. My husband had a cappuccino, which was served luke-warm and watery. Our friend ordered an after dinner drink, which was served very short. Our meal lasted almost three hours, but was not a leisurely presented experience.
- Always great!ShellyDined on 10/11/2014Always an eclectic & enjoyable menu. Miss the marinated olives (now available on the bar menu), but the olive & goat cheese plate is fabulous, as well!Special Features:
- Amazing!joanDined on 10/11/2014We chose Rioja for a special occasion dinner, and we were thrilled. The service was perfect, not snooty. The food was outstanding - halibut, chicken, and the vegetarian sampler. We will definitely be back!Special Features:
- DelightfulTPTechieDined on 10/10/2014Wonderful dining experience. Almost endless bread service. Artichoke tortelloni was the best pasta I've ever eaten. Everything was perfectly cooked. Service was just right--not too much, not too little. And the sugar-crusted spearmint leaf at the end was a delightful surprise. So glad I got to eat here while in Denver.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent date night restaurantOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/10/2014The food was delicious down to the very last piece which was sugar coated mint leaves on the tip plate. I do not think you can go wrong with any of the items on the menu. The only comment I would have is that the portions were a little smaller from some of the other higher end restaurants I have been to in Denver. Everything was delicious, I just wish I had more to taste.Special Features:
- Best in DenverBdogDined on 10/10/2014Rioja remains one of my favorite dinner spots in the city. Food quality always superb!!Special Features:
- Outstanding Dining ExperienceRussellDined on 10/8/2014Rioja was exceptional in all respects. The food was superb, and the service was outstanding. I would highly recommend for any occasionSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- BirthdayStraightUp3Dined on 10/6/2014Our son was in from Chicago for his mom's birthday, so she chose Rioja. He's a foodie, had the octapus, and enjoyed it all, as did she her halibut. We shared the artichoke tortelloni as an appetizer, and it was awesome. The breads are a special treat, the service was just right, and we enjoyed everything totally at leisure.Special Features:
- VERY DISAPPOINTINGJankossVIPDined on 10/5/2014I have dined here many times and always had a wonderful experience -- good food and perfect service. Not this time. It stated with the water. He brought water for two of us, the third was in the powder room and we didn't know if she wanted sparkling or regular. He never came to the table to ask, another person brought water to her. He finally returned to take our order and brought our bread. After our meals were served we never saw him again, and there was a problem with one of the orders. The next person to come to our table, after we had finished our meals, was a woman who I thought was the manager, but later learned she is an owner, We were under the impression tshe would comep a dessert to make up for the problem. Didn't happenSpecial Features:
- Great service, amazing food.OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/5/2014My husband and I dined at Roja for our 14th anniversary Sunday brunch. Everything was wonderful. Great service from a good waiter who knew the details about the food he was serving, providing us with a very fine dining experience, without being snobby or rude. Excellent food. We will definitely go back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great service matched to great foodOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 10/4/2014I had a reservation for 5 people at 9:15pm on Sat night. Service was tremendous, our waitress knew the menu and her recommendations were on point. Food was excellent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very, very goodJessicaDined on 10/4/2014We went to Rioja (our favorite for special dinners) for brunch, and had a breakfast sandwich and the latke plate. The breakfast sandwich is amazing - rich and satisfying, with a perfect balance of savory, salty, spicy, crispy, creamy, a touch of sweet... and pretty inexpensive (~$12 I think?) compared to high-end brunches around the same location. Now a small nit-pick... I'll admit this is the first time I've had even one item that was less than brilliant at Rioja, but the latkes themselves were a little on the oily/soft side. Everything else about the latke breakfast dish was delicious, though. The service is always perfect there... warm and friendly, knowledgeable, attentive but not intrusive, perfectly timed. Overall, excellent!Special Features:
- Local favorite!Particular1Dined on 10/3/2014Local favorite and great choice for family visiting from out of town. Have always had superb service and excellent meals. Noise level can be a bit difficult to talk over, so if looking for a quiet moment choose a table outside or in a corner booth. LOVE IT!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great FoodJuliaThompsonDined on 10/3/2014The seared scallop special on a bed of pureed celery was fantastic, as was the artichoke tortelloni. Members of our party enjoyed the flatbread sandwich and the beignets. An added plus, is that the coffee was great. Always an important way to end a meal.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ExpensiveOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 10/2/2014The appetizer cheese plate was ridiculous , I felt like we were on Saturday night Live doing a skit! 3 big guys 1 girl staring at a big square plate with dabs of different cheeses, nothing to spread it on or eat it with. The whole cheese plate was probably a total of 4 tablespoons! It was hilarious . The pork chop was very good, the dessert was not too great, we ordered the ice cream which choice was ,orange, lime, and maple all on a cookie. What kinda place has no chocolate ice cream?? It was about 400.00 for 4 of us. Overrated and expensive, I would not go backSpecial Features:
- TuckDined on 10/2/2014We had a friend in from DC. The whole experience knocked his socks off. We are looking forward to our next visit.Special Features: