Rioja

4.7
7486 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Mediterranean
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.
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Private Dining

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Specials

Sweet and Savory Chocolate Happy Hour!

This month we are featuring all things chocolate! From sweet classics to inventive savory applications, paired with chocolate friendly wines and beers and an exclusive chocolate cocktail. You're gonna want to set aside your New Year's resolutions for this Happy Hour!

Terms and Conditions:

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: January 3, 2019

Ends: March 1, 2019

Availability: Mon-Fri 4:00PM-6:00PM

Get Your Prix Theater Fixe!

Come join us between 5:00pm and 6:00pm for a special 3 course prix fixe menu complete with your choice of appetizer, entree and dessert! Guaranteed to have you in and out in just an hour, this is the perfect way to have the complete Rioja experience before your next play, concert, or symphony.

Terms and Conditions:

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: November 26, 2018

Ends: November 27, 2117

Availability: Daily 5:00PM-6:00PM

What Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
8.3

There aren't a ton of compelling reasons to go downtown for dinner these days, but Rioja is still one of them.

Ratings 8.0-8.5:The best way to think about restaurants in the low to mid 8′s is that these are the places you would absolutely go back to, anytime. These restaurants are ones that you want to bring a friend to, just so they can also experience the duck carnitas, or burger, or whatever dish the place is known for.
What 7486 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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OT
Denver
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional service! We waited for our table and grabbed a drink at the bar - the staff was so friendly and the drinks were delicious ! Our entrees were simply incredible! (Highly recommend the wagyu beef !) the ambiance and decor was BEAUTIFUL!

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n
Denver
5 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 1

I don't consider myself to be "high maintenance", just someone who's been to excellent restaurants and can also cook a decent meal--Rioja delivered mediocre food and service: we got there about 15 minutes early for a reservation and they made us wait until it was "our appointed time" even though there we several empty 2-person tables before and after we sat down; the waiter didn't bring the little amuse bouche, ever; and actually rolled his eyes when I informed him the wine was warm (wine should be 45 to 50 deg C and not room temperature, Rioja "Sommelier"); I asked for the Wagyu steak to be prepared to medium doneness--it arrived bloody and luke-warm as though they were protecting me from myself and serving what they thought I should have ordered. For the money this should have been at least a better-than-average experience--it was not.

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Z
Denver
8 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Wasn’t flawless, but the food and service were good.

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RD
Denver
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A very nice experience. Great food, great service, comfortable atmosphere. Given the quality of their food and service, Rioja could choose to show a snooty restaurant face. But they don't. They are friendly with everyone who comes in their door. Much appreciated.

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Seattle
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Superb in every way. Staff is spot on attentive without hovering. Creative yet approachable menu items. If I was a local, I’d be a regular.

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WB
Denver
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was excellent. Wait staff was knowledgeable and attentive. Every dish was fantastic and the desert was amazing. Highly recommended.

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OT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We met a friend that was in town for a short time, we spent a lot of time catching up, the service was great, we never felt pressured. The food was top notch, the wine list extensive the staff very knowledgeable and although we didn’t have a cocktail each one on the menu looked inspired.

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JY
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Only thing I believe is missing from Rioja is more vegan friendly options. Everything else is 5 star all day

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p
Denver
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed another great visit to Rioja on Valentine's Day this year. And although my date and I gave our server a hard time with our dry sense of humor, we still received great service and had amazing food.

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OT
Denver
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It took a very long time for our waitress to come get our order. So finally, I said “we are ready… “ And from that point things went well. Food was delicious, we were not rushed, we had out-of-town family with us and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

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OT
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Valentines dinner with my wife of 30 years.

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FD
Denver
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is still my favorite restaurant! I love it all! Jen and Beth are amazing!

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D
Denver
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Attentive staff! Impeccable presentation of the food and loved how Teresa explained each dish. Every bite of the lamb and wagyu beef was delicious! We had a wonderful experience!

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t
Denver
7 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding service and meal to celebrate my wife's birthday. We requested and a mix of the artichoke tortellini and ricotta gnocchi. All were excellent. For entrees, we really enjoyed the scallops and wagyu steak, both prepared at chef's recommendation. Before dessert, beignets for her and peanut butter chocolate torte for me, my wife received a card wishing her happy birthday from the Rioja staff. Just a perfect night all around with perfect portions of excellent food. Cannot wait to return to sample more of the handmade pasta.

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BT
Dallas
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food and service my favorite restaurant in Denver

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MA
Denver
12 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

very interesting menu. all the items we ordered were great and tasted wondeful. We would come back again!

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JC
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Expensive but very good food and experience. Service and food were both great!

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OT
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service and great food

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RJ
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was amazing! The only thing that would have made it better was if the bread was warm.

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J
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went to Rioja for my 5 year anniversary, hit some traffic and had to push back our reservation twice. The staff happily accommodated us. The food was excellent and unique. Keep your chef! We were highly impressed with everything and we had an excellent anniversary. Great job everyone!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Staff and food were fabulous

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p
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service outstanding meals

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c
Denver
12 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner at Rioja is always a treat. If you are lucky enough to have Robin look after you, she is a true professional. She knows the wine list well and can always steer you in the right direction with looking to pair something delicious with your meal. The food is outstanding. Not a bad dish on the menu. We had the Rioja Picnic, the Artichoke Tortelloni, and the Scallops. The only thing that keeps us from dining at Rioja more is forgetting to book a reservation far enough in advance!

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San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our whole meal was amazing! The service was friendly and attentive, and the food was outstanding. We were in town for the weekend and this was easily the highlight of the trip. I highly recommend the kanpachi tiradito, I don’t normally even eat fish but this was absolutely delicious!

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L
Denver
14 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A favorite! We love Rioja, just wish we could afford to go more often!

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AV
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

It wasn’t bad, food was mediocre for the price. The customer service was PERFECT! Ambience was romantic and comfortable. We ate off of the Prix Fixe menu, and we expected the grouper which they didn’t have. The dessert was the best part.

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c
Denver
85 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Jennifer and her team run a first class operation in every aspect of Rioja. It is comfortable but classy, delicious and innovative, but not fussy or overdone. It is among our “go to” special places” in Denver.

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T
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

The service was wonderful! The food was mostly good. One of our entrees wasn't very hot and the cannoli tasted mostly like the alcohol that was in it. Definitely willing to try again though.

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LM
Denver
26 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food (flavors and presentation), nice service, beautiful decor!

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DM
Denver
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The food and service was excellent however it is hard to have a conversation due to the noise level. Next time I will insist on a booth. If management could install some noise limiting material it would be great. Wonderful restaurant however.

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TC
Denver
28 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A great meal before Elton John concert.
A perfect evening!

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b
Denver
11 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent Service - Attention to every detail was evident. They did a nice job accommodating our pre-concert dinner. Thorough wine selection and great cocktails. Highly recommend RIoja for any occasion

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DJ
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my wife's favorite restaurant. We had dinner there for her birthday and everything lived up to her expectations and confirmed why she loves Rioja.

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H
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We always love Rioja and this night was no different. Our server(s) made sure we got to our show on time and still had a leisurely dinner. The scallop dish was delicious and we appreciated the suggestions from the server. We will be back again!

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BB
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent quality of dishes, imaginative, delicious! Service is exceptional. My only comment is that the table of 4 too close to us was very loud and annoying. Overall, excellent, and I continue to place this restaurant very high on my list.

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c
Denver
38 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing service and food. Never disappoints!

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great date spot

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LB
Denver
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So good! All the dishes we tried were delicious and unique. Excellent service. A bit on the pricey side but well worth it.

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San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food &service

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FC
Denver
55 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a fantastic place! We ate the cheese appetizer, lamb and scallop entrees, and ice cream for dessert. It was all delicious. As a gluten free person, I was impressed they offered something while my partner had bread. The cocktails were good, complex flavors that were well balanced, but overpriced for the Denver market. Next time I would skip to make the meal more affordable, despite the fact that they were using techniques other bars aren't. Service was perfect.

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