Rioja

4.7
7151 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mediterranean
Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
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
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Mediterranean, Fusion / Eclectic
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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
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Phone number
(303) 820-2282
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Jennifer Jasinski
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Neighborhood
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Parking details
Valet available on Larimer Square each night of the week for dinner and during weekday lunch from Wednesday to Friday. A parking garage is located directly behind the restaurant on Market Street. Parking is complimentary in the garage on the weekends for Brunch with validation ticket. Street parking is available throughout Larimer Square.
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Gift Card
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Private Dining

The culinary prowess of James Beard award winner Jennifer Jasinski is highlighted at every meal served by the talented Rioja staff. A Mediterranean menu with local, seasonal influences is served in semi-private or restaurant-wide events from 20 to 150 handled with Rioja’s award-winning expertise.

View Private Dining Details

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 7151 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
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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3.0Dined 4 days ago

Very original dishes, with very interesting combinations. Very tasty! We had pork belly, tomato soup with mussels, octopus and gnocchi. Can recommend them all.

The only negatives were found in the very high noise level - particularly if you're unlucky enough to sit next to a group of heavy drinkers.

Also sad to say the bathrooms are unisex - meaning my wife had to deal with a rest room that had been visited by lots of nearsighted men. They could at least have seat covers. Airport restrooms had these beat.

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2.0Dined 4 days ago

Disappointing food. Rioja salad too salty, tomato gnocchi inedible and the usually fabulous artichoke tortellini en brodo was tasteless and dull both tortellini and brodo. Sorry to see Rioja slip so low!!

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

Rioja is always good. My favorite restaurant in Denver!

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5.0Dined on June 18, 2018

Absolutley phenomenal experience with the tasting and wine pairing. Foie Gras was the best I’ve ever had!

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5.0Dined on June 17, 2018

This is one of my very favorite restaurants. I have been going here for 10+ years and it has been incredible always. Love this place!

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5.0Dined on June 17, 2018

The chicken, duck and pork chop were all excellent. The pizza we ordered for an app was a bit disappointing as were the biscuits, which seemed a bit stale and tasteless. Overall a very good experience!

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5.0Dined on June 17, 2018

Great wine selection, good portion sizes and polite and professional staff. It is a little loud but not a big deal.

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5.0Dined on June 17, 2018

I have been coming to this restaurant since it opened. Every time the service and food is perfect making for a wonderful dining experience. This time was for my birthday and as usual everything was perfect and then - wait staff handed me a birthday card that much of the staff had signed. Makes one feel just a little bit special. Great evening. And thank you!

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5.0Dined on June 16, 2018

Loved it!!!!!!!!!

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1.0Dined on June 15, 2018

Freezing cold inside -so uncomfortable. We will never return.

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5.0Dined on June 12, 2018

Exquisite food topped by very helpful and attentive staff made the whole evening memorable. The appetizer called "The picnic" is a definite do not miss.......so beautifully presented as well as tasty.

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4.0Dined on June 9, 2018

This was my second time there. The food is good but the ambience is not so good. I'm personally not a fan of table seating. Too crowded and noisey. For the price I want quiet, reserved atmosphere.

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2018

The food and drinks were excellent. Service was Great!

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2018

We always love spending special occasions at Rioja! The service, the bread, the food...it is all outstanding!

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2018

This is our go to place for special occasion things or when we went to be sure food is tops

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5.0Dined on June 9, 2018

impeccable service
great presentation
quality food

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5.0Dined on June 7, 2018

Excellent food as always. Service not quite up to par this time, which is unusual. Love the creative menu.

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5.0Dined on June 6, 2018

Excellent experience beginning to end. Knowledgeable server and all around friendly staff. We enjoyed a shared beet salad to begin and then my wife had perfectly prepared scallops while I went for the octopus. Both were outstanding. We love Rioja as a special treat before going to the theater. This visit did not disappoint.

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5.0Dined on June 6, 2018

The service was excellent

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3.0Dined on June 5, 2018

I've been to Rioja many times...This time service was "off"....Waited 24-30 minutes for drinks....
food came at odd times.....waitress was great...noticed we were vegetarian and had kitchen redo our pizza without meat base....this wasn't my best experience at Rioja...

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3.0Dined on June 4, 2018

We travel around the country to experience the fairs of high end restaurants. My complaint of Rioja is my complaint of Denver, they are too laid back. Tasting menus are supposed to be showcasing the chefs talents, presented and explained. That didn't really happen. The dishes were not explained, the wine pairings were not explained. With reservations two months in advance we were initially seated at the worst table in the house. In a 7 course meal there was little that was exceptional, and most seemed to be full entree items rather than small tastes. As if volume could compensate for quality. When you spent almost $300 for a meal for two, you expect a memorable experience. That is not what we received.

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5.0Dined on June 4, 2018

Wow! Always impressed. Try thing you you had an bad experience with at other restaurants. This one get them right. The pasta is always a fabulous choice!

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4.0Dined on June 4, 2018

Food is always great but I was a little disappointed in the Serrano ham octopus dish I had this time. It was a little on the dry side. Also don’t like that our table was so close to the table next to us that we could all hear each other’s conversations.

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5.0Dined on June 3, 2018

Wow! What a great meal! Service was superior, food was amazing. Can’t wait to visit again.

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5.0Dined on June 3, 2018

Rioja never disappoints. Lots of good choices on the brunch menu and in the bread basket. I loved the goat cheese and rosemary biscuits and the plate of soft scrambled eggs with arugula, capers, and smoked salmon roulades. The service was wonderful, as always.

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5.0Dined on June 3, 2018

Great food!

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3.0Dined on June 3, 2018

Service was very very slow, 30 minutes for drinks, hour for food....not worth the money. Food was great but the service was the slowest service I have ever had. There are more bussers and food runners than servers. Fix that.

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4.0Dined on June 3, 2018

Delicious!

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5.0Dined on June 2, 2018

One of my favorite places to dine! I like to take visiting friends and relatives here and show them downtown.

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5.0Dined on June 2, 2018

My husband and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary at Rioja. The service was excellent and the food was incredibly delicious. We loved our whole experience at this restaurant. Can’t wait to go back!

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4.0Dined on June 2, 2018

Excellent food that seems to have increased in price a good deal since my last visit a couple years ago. Chicken dish magnificent and huge portion (but it was so good I ate it all anyway!). Staff very helpful in making accommodation for lactose intolerance. Overall, an excellent choice for a good, but not inexpensive meal. Only downside was that it became very loud - so a bit hard for those of us with some hearing loss -- hard to converse across the table. Wish we had arranged to sit outside where it is quieter.

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4.0Dined on June 2, 2018

Overall it was a great meal.

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5.0Dined on June 1, 2018

I can’t get enough of this place. It’s truly one of the only places in this town that leaves me talking about the food for days. A must is the tempura nairagi. I won best dish at the table with this one. What a combination of flavors! Bravo team Rioja, bravo.

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1.0Dined on June 1, 2018

Lousy Service from the get go. Slow waitress getting our drinks and food. When the gentleman came around to hand out bread I politely said no thank you to which he gave back some attitude. Then he came back again and asked us if we wanted bread. Terrible Sangria. There is an hour and a half table reserved time in which 50 minutes is spent waiting for food. Did not enjoy my octopus and my date didn’t even finish her soup. Spending $100 for a terrible meal is not my preference on spending a date night.

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4.0Dined on June 1, 2018

We had a wonderful dinner at Rioja's. My husband loves very tasty food made with fresh ingredients and Rioja's didn't disappoint. The selections and service were all very good. If you're looking for high quality food, try Rioja's with one exception. Be aware that portions are small for the prices you pay.

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5.0Dined on May 30, 2018

Jess gave us outstanding service tonight. She guided us through our culinary experience in the best way possible. The food was amazing! The service was great and the experience overall was great!!!

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5.0Dined on May 30, 2018

Just as wonderful on my second visit. I was there about 3 years ago and everything about it was outstanding. Unfortunately I don't live anywhere close to Denver or I would be a regular.

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5.0Dined on May 30, 2018

Amazing. I have eaten here once before, years ago, and it’s as good as ever. Did the 5 course tasting, and every course was delicious. Incredible cocktail list, wine list, bread basket...I will eat at Rioja every time I come to Denver. Oh, favorite dish off the night was the pork belly which was delicious, but the curried garbanzo Bean purée and brodo it was served with was the best thing I have eaten all year.

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5.0Dined on May 28, 2018

Great food as always. A little snug and cozy with your neighbors in the two top tables.

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5.0Dined on May 27, 2018

The food was delicious as expected. Scallops were an unbelievable experience! Great fun!

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