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  • Rioja

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Rioja Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.riojadenver.com
  • Phone: (303) 820-2282
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch:

    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: Mediterranean, Fusion / Eclectic
  • 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.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "The food was great and would go here again just for that, but the service was horrible which made for a disappointing night."
    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!"
    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."
    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"
    Dined on 8/25/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 8/24/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 8/22/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "The experience at Rioja was everything we expected it to be and more! The food and service were outstanding - can't wait to return!"
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "Turns out it is a view of the pastry chef, and they are not interactive."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "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."
    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!"
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "I mostly go to Rioja for the Gabe's Chronic Chicken sandwich. It is very unusual and flavorful!"
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "Food is excellent, the wine was excellent, service was great. Love their biscuits too!"
    Dined on 8/13/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "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!"
    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!"
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "We had a great dinner earlier in the year and our recent brunch was no less brilliant!"
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "Fantastic and friendly service, great food and wonderful wine. We will definitely return."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Fantastic in every way. Food service and ambiance were perfect."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "All of the food my partner and I had was beautifully presented and delicious, but I prefer quieter restaurants."
    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."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "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!!"
    Dined on 8/4/2014
  • "The food was ordinary and overpriced. The wine list was only fair and also overrated. The reception was confused. All waiters were terrific."
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "We chose Rioja to celebrate our daughter's 40th birthday. As usual everything was fantastic..service, wine and food!!"
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "On a Saturday evening my family and I came to Riojas to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We were seated promptly by our reservation time and despite having two boys with us (ages 8 and 6) they made no attempt to 'hide' the children off in a corner somewhere. In fact as the staff presented themselves while each course and their delicious selection of breads was offered, they made a point of suggesting items they thought would appeal to a younger palate. The food was excellent from appetizer through dessert. Portions were adequate and filling. Most of all, the service was attentive and very gracious. The staff is well trained and operate well as a team. I highly recommend coming here for YOUR special occasion as surely we will."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "We had a dinner at Rioja and it met all expectations and then some. The recipes were very creative and true discoveries. We had ceviche in four south American countries, but the halibut ceviche recipe was completely unusual and delicious, a real gourmet gem. Grilled octopus that was on special was perfectly paired with sides and a very fresh take on one of our favorite dishes. If we visit Denver again we will definitely look to come back."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Second visit. Early dinner, uncrowded, relaxed. Barbara made Perfect Rob Roys perfectly. Neil was great waiter all evening. Relaxed. Not rushed. Food good, not great as last visit. Steve the manager stopped by to chat, much appreciated. We like Rioja, makes us feel at home. We will return."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "First time here for me & my 3 friends. We all loved the food, location, & service. We would all definitely recommend eating here."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Our group of 4 came here specifically for food and a bottle of the Black Tears Malbec. Everything was fantastic!"
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "We were seated promptly. Out wait staff made us feel comfortable. We were not rushed. We both drank Lavender Rocks. Refreshing. The assortment of breads were tasty. For appetizers, my wife ordered the ceviche. I ordered a small plate size of the beet gnocchi. We enjoyed them both. For main dishes, she ordered the lamb. I enjoyed the "off menu" sea bass. My wife drank a Tempranillo. I drank a cab franc. For dessert, my wife had the chocolate Carmel torte. I enjoyed the bengiegts complemented with a ruby port."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "Fine food in a Colorado casual atmosphere. Not pretentious, but lively. "Picnic" appetizer of meat, cheese, olives etc was fabulous As were entrees."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "Rioja can always be counted on in its food presentation, execution and variety to be outstanding. We know when we choose to dine here, our evening will be fantastic!"
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "Superb food from the white bean soup, the pasta appetizer, and then the shrimp for main course. The preparation is fantastic. Just what one would expect from Rioja. The service also deserves accolades--the white tablecloth, water glass always filled (sparkling or still), after each course dishes removed only after all had finished eating, table crumbed, and Karla was professional and oh so pleasant. K.C."
    Dined on 7/31/2014