Rioja

4.7
7856 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 complement the cuisine.
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Private Dining

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Specials

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

We have a 48 hour cancellation policy. If you are within the cancellation policy, or completely no show for the reservation you will be charged $25 per person

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

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 7856 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
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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NH
Denver
1 review
Dined 8 hours ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great choice!

LM
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service at Rioja met all of our expectations! Excellent service, attention to detail and delicious food. Would definitely recommend!

E
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Ryan the counter chef was great. Tasting course was incredible and excellent value. One of the best meals I have had in Denver - ever!

DR
Charlotte
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best brunch in town! An explosion of flavors beginning with the bread plate and butter with sea salt, Eric's Doughnuts (doughnut does not do justice to what these amazing pastries actually are), the eggs in purgatory, made with goat cheese grits and tomato and olive ragu, a tequila spritz to sip throughout the meal that was absolute perfection.
The service was top notch, the atmosphere warm and the decor modern and chic.
This was hands down, the best brunch I have ever had! Run don't walk!

HG
Denver
17 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love Eric's donuts. He has high standards, too. If they aren't right, he will redo them. How many places do that? Summer gazpacho was great. Service, as always, was exceptional. Thanks, Karla. Always great to see you!

a
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Second time to Rioja and it did not disappoint. The food is spectacular. The service is attentive, friendly and professional. Will definitely be back!

B
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Would’ve given five stars except the hostess Was really not welcoming and spent all her time looking at the computer screen as opposed to acknowledging us.

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

Treating two other women from out of town to the best food in Denver, you didn’t disappoint!

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

Our server robin was in incredible, as was all the wait staff. The food is always world class. This place is so special and without compare.

f
Denver
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

After wanting to visit this restaurant because of it's reputation for some time now, I finally made it there with a few out-of-town guests. The reason for the 3 rating is the big disappointment with a couple of the dishes. Between 2 of us, we ordered the tuna tartar as an appetizer and there was maybe 1 tablespoon of tuna. AND, it was mixed with Panko breadcrumbs throughout, which completely took away from tasting the tuna. The waiter did take it off the bill. Secondly, we ordered the beef tenderloin for the entree. The food was excellent but it was 4 slices of filet which left us still hungry after dinner, it couldn't have been more than 4 - 5 ounces. We did split another appetizer which was fine. I will say the ambience was really beautiful, the service was excellent and the bread tray was a lovely touch. Maybe we just got unlucky with the one dish but when you have high expectations and are paying high prices, you expect a lot.

AW
Los Angeles
15 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

The menu excited me, however some items fell very short.

Peach Flatbread- Delicious, however it was more of a pizza than flatbread, I was expecting it to come out a little more elevated looking, but who cares it was delicious.

Artichoke Tortellini- I was expecting SO much more from this. I mean truffles, artichokes, cheese and pasta, what could be better?! The broth it came in had ZERO taste, seemed like they didn't even add salt to it. The truffles were fried or baked (couldn't tell) and completely ruined, the texture was awful and they had zero taste. The tortellini were cooked well but again, just didn't taste like much, I could barely taste artichoke and they were almost sour. Really disappointed.

Halibut- mine was unfortunately overcooked and really dry. The savior could've been eating it in one bite with the "ratatouille" it was served with, however the fancy preparation of the veggies made it impossible to eat in one bite, it was just awkward and did not work together. The squash blossom was overly friend and ruined the integrity of the food. I didn't enjoy.

Lamb- overall really could. Cooked well and the couscous was really good with the lamb, created the perfect bite. A really nice portion for the price too which I appreciate.

Passion fruit Cannoli- AMAZING, I would come back just for this.

PIstachio fancier- the honeydew basil sorbet was one of the coolest most delicious things I've tasted in a while. However the cake with the pieces of honeydew was a weird flavor combination for me that I wasn't crazy about. Maybe it had too much honeydew, not sure just didn't work for me.

I LOVE the free bread they come around with, if they have lavender sourdough, GET IT. Best bread I have ever had.

Service was great, location is great and they have a good drink menu for cocktails, wine, and non alcoholic drinks too!

CG
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Very mediocre especially for the price. Didn't feel very welcomed by the staff either. Took twenty minutes to get a drink order in the first place and it was way overpriced for what was served.

CM
Denver
19 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

I wanted a 6pm pre-theatre reservation but was told only 5:15 available. We got there at 5:15 and tables were wide open for the entire time we were there.
Charcuterie plate enjoyable. Peach ravioli very sparse and disappointing.

OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Small portion sizes, limited options, had to wait long for the food to come

J
Denver
26 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had not been to Rioja for several years, but we are sorry that we waited so long to go back. The food was wonderful and the service was first rate, attentive but not smothering. We’ll be back.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

the beignets are 9ne of the best desserts I've had In my life

KM
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Was overall not impressed with this restaurant. First of all, when we arrived with a reservation, others were seated first even though we arrived first. Then, we were seated all the way in the back corner and took over 15 min for the waitress to acknowledge us. For spending the money we did, the food came out cold and our waitress would act annoyed every time she came by us. We were from out of town so I was really hoping for an enjoyable Denver dinner but if anything I left feeling ripped off for what we spent. Very disappointing.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Exceptional service, relaxed atmosphere, inspired menu. Wonderful selection of breads.

b
Denver
25 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Menu Outstanding. Staff could smile more to the clients. Food at Rioja is an art form.

L
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is true dining. We had a fantastic experience.

TH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service team is exceptionally good and it clearly stands out. From the waiter, to the servers who bring your dishes, bread and drinks, they are all very well trained. The food was great. The desserts were also exceptionally good.

BP
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Polished execution and delivery with interesting and provocative tastes.

BJ
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great evening. Great food, service and atmosphere.

OT
Denver
7 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Amazing food! Every item on the plate came from the Golden Farmer's market today (except the scallops)! Great wine and service!

OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Truly awesome. Joey D. Is the best! Phenomenal food and service!!!

K
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Atmosphere was lovely. We sat out side on the patio. Our server was so helpful, efficient and friendly. The halibut was one of the best meals I have ever had. It was our birthdays we were celebrating and the we were given a lovely dessert with candles and a birthday card hand signed by the entire staff.
I will always make a point to dine at Rioja when I am in Denver.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Make the reservation! You won’t be disappointment.

PB
Denver
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Never disappointed at Rioja. Menu does not get stale with new items all the time rotating in with favorites. Still the best bread served on the side in town. Had a dessert that was truly good. An updated twist on beignets.

LM
Montreal
4 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was fantastic!

PL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and excellent service. Highly recommend the lamb and duck breast. Waiter was extremely friendly and helpful. Will definitely go back.

BT
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Great food and hard working staff. I think it was a bit ridiculous it took nearly 30 minutes to get a glass of water and a menu upon seating, but it was a great way to celebrate my partner's 29th birthday. I'd go again and hopefully get better service.

BT
Denver
6 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another fantastic meal at Rioja! Started with a new Halibut app that was amazing! Great blend of flavors and the brandade...oh so good. Oh, and the gazpacho was phenomenal!! Had both the tortellini and the gnocchi- both fantastic. For entrees, both lamb and duck were sensational. For dessert we tried the cheesecake and the brûléed corn pudding. Love the cherries and tarragon with the pudding and the chocolate pasta with the cheesecake was awesome! Place was packed on a Tuesday! Go early!! Go often!! Ohohoh!! Their breads! Om gosh-the lavender and the olive bread especially. Soooo good.

OT
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 3

Portions incredibly small, even for a 4 star restaurant. Beef Medallions were raw, not rare. Cocktails were outstanding.

MC
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was terrific! Really impressed with the quality. Will definitely be going back!

M
San Francisco
129 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very creative and innovative dining. Loved the avocado/Hawaiian crab appetizer. Savory lamb loin too! Enjoyed the cannoli dessert.

KW
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

To be honest the only rating here to be trusted is the service. We never saw our server even though we had reservations. So after 15 minutes we left. To be far the manager did call me the next to apologize. I had written a negative review on Facebook. I am only reviewing here because Open Table requested it

LJ
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely quiet laid back brunch on a hot summer Sunday afternoon. Food is always very delicious and service is consistently great. This place is one of our top 5 favorite Denver restaurants and will always keep us coming back for brunch and dinner! Thanks for always giving us a marvelous time!

BH
Denver
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We hadn't visited Rioja for awhile but some suburban friends wanted to meet downtown, so we thought of this restaurant. It's in a great location on Larimer Square and there's reasonable valet parking and also a parking garage in back of the restaurant on Market St (it's cheaper to use the valet parking). Everything was top quality, as usual, and the service was attentive but not intrusive. The menu is pricey and, if you're looking for a big plate of stuff, this isn't the restaurant for that, however, we felt that the portions were just right (maybe the cheese platter could have been more full). The restaurant is top notch without being stuffy. Rioja is a good choice not only for special occasions but also for those times you want to be made to feel special.

OT
Anchorage
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The resultant is great, but I wish they had more vegan/vegetarian options.

LT
Denver
5 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely amazing!

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