Rioja

4.7
7311 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
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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Cross street
15th St; Larimer St
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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.
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, 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

Specials

This Month's Happy Hour Feature is France!

This month at Rioja we are taking you on a trip through France! Come join us for unique and captivating french wines, alongside innovative and delicious classic French dishes. Available in the bar, lounge and patio Monday through Friday from 4pm-6pm.

Terms and Conditions:

Valid For: 1 - 20 people

Starts: November 3, 2018

Ends: December 1, 2018

Availability: Mon-Fri 4:00PM-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 7311 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
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 7 hours ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every dish was inspired and the service was impeccable!

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

Food was way salty, scallops in particular.
The tuna was tasteless.
The Japanese eggplant was mostly batter and actual eggplant was hard to identify.
Expensive mistake.

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1
Denver
23 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Rioja has always been our favorite place but this last experience left us wondering what has changed. The portions of food has gotten very small & we are not large eaters. We ordered a FULL order of the gnocci to share among 4 for an appetizer & it was so small that I can't imagine that anyone would have enjoyed it as their main dish. Literally we each got a tablespoon of it. The special I got consisted of 3 small pieces of ahi tuna, that was delicious & 2 scallops which was also small & I was still hungry. It will be awhile before we go back.

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

Wow wow wow! Amazing all around. We will be back for more.

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HC
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Rioja is one of the best restaurants in Denver. I had brunch here on a Sunday and ordered glaze donuts along with the Rioja Benedict. They were both creative and unique in how they were plated and presented. One bite in and it will blow your senses away.

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D
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Food was delicious and service was great! We will definitely be visiting again!

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food, perfectly timed, gracious server.

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OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 2food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing, great service. If you were a bird, the portions would be adequate.
Expensive!

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DK
Greensboro
3 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent lamb entree and the wine list is very different than most fine dining places with a focus on Spanish and Portuguese wines. Good for a date night.

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SS
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was great and the service is impeccable

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AR
Denver
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So delish! We had the cheese plate as a starter, followed by the ricotta pasta & shared the steak entree. Dessert was fig & goat cheese beignets - like warm Fig Newton’s for grownups. Every single item was fabulous. Oh - except for the champagne. Don’t bother with any bubbly.

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great and free dessert for our daughter’s birthday was nice as well. They gave us a card signed by all the staff for our anniversary, but no gift card or a discount for next visit. That would’ve been a cherry on top of what was a great dining experience.

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful experience—truly unique. We will certainly be “repeat offenders.”

It was quite warm in the dining room, but hey, it was cold outside—what do you expect.

Thanks again!

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OT
San Antonio
11 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We're in Denver for 8 days. After dining at Rioja on our previous visit to Denver, I made sure to book dinner there twice during our trip. We will, again, have the same plan for any future visits to Denver!

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JS
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Awesome Flavorful foods
Slow food service
Bussing the tables and drink
servers awesome
Serving size much too small
All were polite
Table for two was tiny!

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IS
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 2

We had great expectations given other reviews and pricing but the food was underwhelming to say the least. I had the beans salad and the Grouper and the salad was nothing special, the grouper was a little dry and on a bed of pine nuts, which was just odd and not very tasty. We tried it but will likely not go back.

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RP
Memphis
8 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

The wagyu beef was very disappointing. It was chewy and tough. The other courses were fine but far from superb. I would probably give them a second chance if I’m in the area again because other reviews have been better thank mine. Maybe this was not a typical experience. The waiter was fantastic and the atmosphere was upbeat and fun. Service was definitely above average.

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JB
1 review
Dined on October 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Flavors were tremendous and the Manhattan was fantastic.

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MH
Chicago
8 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Exceptional meal. I ordered the tasting menu and added the octopus and the wine pairing. All of the courses were great and the price was very reasonable given the food. I highly recommend this restaurant to all.

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TM
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The patio has some street noise, inside may be quieter. Great food. High end. $$

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NW
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always it was wonderful from the food to the service. Our favorite

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food. Love that there are appetizer portions of certain dishes and half glasses of wine to make perfect pairings.

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L
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

Food was expensive and subpar. Nothing stood out. Tried very pasta and the Wagyu. Servers were nice but slow. Hosts were great.

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CJ
Denver
20 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had another great dinner at Rioja. We have been there many times and have never been disappointed

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SF
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and service

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TH
Denver
18 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a great place for pre-theater. Service was great and the food was innovative and delicious. I had the lamb and my husband had the gnocchi paella. We were both very pleased with our meals.

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LS
Baton Rouge
5 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Larimer street is beautiful at night with the twinkle lights and has a great vibe. The restaurant has great energy and is lovely. Service was perfect. We started with win which was delicious but a little pricey at $18 a glass. For dinner I had the Grouper and my husband had the Pork Tenderloin. The presentation was beautiful and the flavors were incredible. One of the best meals I’ve had, however, the portions are teeny. Like really. Really. Teeny. I always need to box up my leftovers and I ate every bite with none to spare. The men at our table enjoyed their food but left unfulfilled. If you ordered an appetizer, salad, entree, and dessert you would be fine, but short of that you will leave hungry. And if you did order all Four courses, it would cost you a pretty penny! Our meal of two glasses of wine and 2 entrees was $100.
All in all I would definitely return but I would have appetizers elsewhere before.

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LG
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, drinks, and overall experience. Perfect portions.

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OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I wish I could remember our server’s name, but she was amazing. Very knowledgeable, super friendly, and helpful with our requests. My girlfriend is vegan, which I noted in the reservation. The chef prepared an entire vegan course for her that was outstanding.

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e
Denver
4 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every bite was delicious. The grouper was the best I've ever had. This is my favorite Denver restaurant!

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S
Denver
6 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent every time. The classic dishes remain and the new ones blend in perfectly.

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OT
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Really disappointed that we had to pay for our complimentary anniversary dessert. The service was not the best either.. our waitress forgot multiple things we ordered. The waygu bavette steak and the yuzu lemon tart were delicious, but the milk-poached break striploin was not. Overall I won't be coming back here for a dinner date or for the food. I'll only come back here for the yuzu lemon tart.

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a
Denver
7 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service, great fun!
Our group of 6 thoroughly enjoyed our time at Rioja. We loved the food and service. We had the pork belly, the picnic, pineapple pepperoni flat bread, and cheese plate for appetizers. A couple people ordered the Waygu beef for dinner, someone ordered the lobster pasta, someone ordered the veal, another person ordered the squash pasta, and I ordered the artichoke tortellini. Everyone LOVED their meals. We all had a specialty cocktail and they were all delicious. Rioja hits the mark! A must try in Denver.

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LW
Denver
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing meal! Every dish was excellent. My husband is a very picky eater and he loved everything.

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A
Denver
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 2

We have dined at Rioja for many years, especially before a concert. It has become way too expensive, especially the wine list, and is no longer a good value for the dining experience. Unfortunately, we will not be back!

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l
Denver
16 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent experience - food was great and creative, wait staff and service were terrific, attentive

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SG
Seattle
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved everything about Rioja. From the pretty decor and comfy velvet chairs, to the fresh bread brought around in baskets throughout the meal. The food was creative and delicious. I will definitely come back when visiting Denver.

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S
Denver
6 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service and food was outstanding. Excited to go back!

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MI
San Diego
22 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Good food and service at a decent price.

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AS
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a great experience of great food, wine and service.
Will go with my eyes closed next time if I have to.

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