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Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.02mi
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  4. Distance: 0.16mi
  1. Distance: 0.02mi
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About 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.

1431 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80202
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Mediterranean, Fusion / Eclectic

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

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(303) 820-2282

Website:
http://www.riojadenver.com/

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.

Executive Chef:
Jennifer Jasinski

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine

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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.

Rioja Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.7

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.7

service

4.6

ambience

4.6

value

4.2

Noise

Moderate

92% would recommend it to a friend

Fit for Foodies (106)
Special Occasion (103)
Good for a Date (92)
See All
Creative Cuisine (84)
Good for Anniversaries (75)
Romantic (73)
Notable Wine List (58)
Pre/post Theatre (57)
Neighborhood Gem (45)
Worth the Drive (41)
Good for Birthdays (39)
Authentic (37)
Business Meals (33)
Local Ingredients (33)
Cozy (33)
Handcrafted Cocktails (31)
Hot Spot (30)
Seasonal (28)
Good Vegetarian Options (27)
Quiet Conversation (26)
Tasting Menu (26)
Fun (23)
Great for Brunch (22)
Bar Seating (19)
Great for Lunch (18)
Healthy (17)
Good for Groups (16)
Casual (15)
People Watching (14)
Sunday Lunch (13)
Tapas (13)
Happy Hour (12)
Organic (10)
Gluten Free Options (9)
Vibrant Bar Scene (8)
Comfort Food (7)
Late-night Find (7)
Afternoon Coffee (5)
Great for Outdoor Dining (5)
Paleo Friendly (5)
Quick Bite (4)
Vegan (4)
Great Beer (3)
Spicy (3)
Disabled Access (2)
Scenic View (2)
Kid-friendly (1)
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6864 reviews
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 (Denver)·Dined 3 days ago

Great dinner with great people.

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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Denver)·Dined 7 days ago

Every course of our meal was better than the last & that was hard to top. The wait staff was attentive & appeared at just the right moment- never ever interfering. Great restaurant as always!!

Tags: Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Seasonal, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Denver)·Dined on January 14, 2018

Rioja continues to be a winner. Good service and both Entrees and First Courses were excellent. Lamb was particularly tender and great flavor,

The Exec Chef was visiting a table and able to find that the Lamb was local from a farm outside Boulder.
Service was slow at first and then hit stride and very helpful. Was a very busy night.

Wine was a little steep for a Albarro Leirana i thought.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Sydney / NSW)·Dined on January 14, 2018

We dined here after seeing the King and I. The place is warm and inviting, the service was impeccable, and the food was beautifully plated and delicious! The bread selections were too hard to resist! My husband and I loved everything about this place!

Tags: Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on January 13, 2018

The staff were pleasant, attentive and engaging - the wine list impressive, and the food even more so

Tags: People Watching, Special Occasion, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Denver)·Dined on January 13, 2018

Food was delicious and beautifully presented. Service was prompt and friendly. Great ambiance as well

Tags: Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 13, 2018

I cannot say enough good things about our first experience dining at Rioja. The service was exceptionally professional and everyone at our table enjoyed their meals. Well priced, creative dishes and dessert is a must! Can't wait to return!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Happy Hour, Casual, Local Ingredients, Gluten Free Options, Good for Groups, Disabled Access, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on January 13, 2018

Innovative fine food!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on January 13, 2018

This is a nice little restaurant, nice ambience and courteous staff. The food is very pleasing to the eye. Colorful and detailed. Salads, drinks, appetizers, desserts were good and flavorful. The main course was a little bland though. We ordered the "braised beef cheeks spaetzle" and the "king salmon". Both plates were put together well. The salmon was a nice plate with vegetables all cooked okay. The Beef was a little faty for my taste, I know it is supposed to be marbled with fat but it was not to my taste. In addition, the item listed to have "wasabi arugula" which is to minic wasabi to taste. But I think the pickling process took the kick out of the wasabi flavor so it was nicely pickled vegetables . But no wasabi/horseradish taste that you associate with beef. Lastly the cappuccino was a little sad, tasted like "Caffè Americano" with foam. Overall it was a nice relaxing meal. I would go again, in hopes that other items from the menu would be more to my taste.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Quiet Conversation, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (New York Area)·Dined on January 11, 2018

Everybody in Denver told us to go there. And, it was great. I’m glad we went. The area where the restaurant is is special and, the ambience surrounding the area is fantastic. Overall, the restaurant itself is decent. It feels like it fits in the area although it is not the best feeling or looking restaurant in the neighborhood. It’s small and cramped and the look is a bit dated. But, it’s nice. The service is great. The food was really good. Everybody talked about the artichoke tortellini and the bacon appetizer. They were good… However, I understand they have been on the menu for 10 to 15 years and they are signature dishes that the reputation was made on… And, I can’t say that they have held up to the standard of time. They were good. I would have them again. But they are not James Beard good. For entrées we had the venison and Lamb. They were spectacular. It’s on my list for Denver favorites. Just be careful of the hype. It’s a really wonderful little restaurant. That’s what it is.

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food4
ambience3
service5
value4

 
·Dined on January 9, 2018

One of our meals was late to arrive to the table, the manager was all over it, he was very apologetic!
He comped that meal and several desserts and we felt it was very sincere.
Staff was amazing food was too !!!

Tags: Paleo Friendly, Special Occasion, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on January 8, 2018

I had the Braised Beef Cheeks Spaetzle and it was outstanding. The wine recommendation with the beef cheeks was spot on. I believe it was a Museum Reserva. This is my 4th time at this restaurant and I have not been disappointed yet.

Tags: Good for a Date, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on January 7, 2018

Delicious food and fun people! Glad I finally made it here! Worth every penny.

Tags: Bar Seating, Romantic, Hot Spot, Cozy, Fun
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on January 7, 2018

Rioja never disappoints. The food was amazing; we coursed out our dinner into 4 courses. We had the sommelier recommend a bottle of wine for us. We really appreciate that when we stated our budget his recommendation was within the budget and he didn't try and "upsell" us.

We really enjoyed ourselves.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on January 7, 2018

My husband and I split the "picnic" appetizer which was so delicious. That plate coupled with their complimentary bread was almost enough. I had the dinner sized artichoke pasta and my husband enjoyed the tender, juicy roasted chicken. He was served a full 1/2 bird so we ended up bringing home some left over chicken. The service was attentive and friendly. We were seated on the right side of the restaurant which has odd, harsh lighting. If you can choose, select the main dining room on the left (on the kitchen side). The ambiance is much more pleasing. Our table for two was stuck in the middle of the room and everyone had to walk closely by our table on their way to the restrooms. Definitely choose the left side of the restaurant.

Tags: Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Bar Seating, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on January 7, 2018

Our waitress Jessica was outstanding. Our food was cold. It is way over priced for what it is. The wine was good but that is about it. I will not be coming back and not sure if I would recommend it to anyone.

Tags: Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service5
value2

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on January 7, 2018

Salmon was average, but two pasta dishes and pork chop were excellent. Service was good but not attentive.

Tags: Casual, Authentic, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Denver)·Dined on January 6, 2018

Every bite was amazing! My boyfriend and I shared the oyster chowder, fresh bacon, artichoke tortellini, serrano octopus and the lemon tart! We basically licked our plates clean!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on January 6, 2018

Ordered the ribeye steak special which was average. It was over priced.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service5
value3

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on January 6, 2018

The artichoke and goat cheese tortellini is the best! The cocktails are delicious and the servers are friendly.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List, Casual, Romantic, Late-night Find, Good for Birthdays, Cozy, Seasonal, Worth the Drive, Bar Seating, Sunday Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Happy Hour, Local Ingredients, Great for Brunch, Neighborhood Gem, Authentic, Pre/post Theatre, Good for a Date, Tasting Menu, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on January 5, 2018

This place never disappoints and if they did, they would do everything to make it right. On this visit, I was unsure about the flavor of the goose special pasta. The server offered to bring me the dish and if I didn't like it, she said they would switch it out for the regular menu pasta. The special was delicious, so it wasn't an issue but it was great to be able to take a chance.

Tags: Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Portland)·Dined on January 3, 2018

We enjoyed our meal at Rioja. It came as a highly recommended restaurant from several severs around Denver and according to reviews. The food was good, but honestly not the best I've ever had. I don't even remember what I ate for dinner so it definitely didn't really stand out at me. The host was very friendly, and the busboy was also very helpful. Our actual server was very inattentive and we would go 10-15 minutes without seeing her sometimes, and we'd have to really try hard to get her attention in order to get more drinks or order anything else. It was okay but probably my least favorite dining experience I had all week in Denver.

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food4
ambience3
service2
value2

 
 (Denver)·Dined on January 3, 2018

Everything was top notch. Food was amazing and our waitress was one of the best I’ve had at any restaurant.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Denver)·Dined on January 3, 2018

it was our second time at Rioja
we really liked it the first time - this time, we had a hair on appetizer
we also sat next to kitchen and staff was using hands to mold ice cream scoops
kind of gross

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food2
ambience4
service2
value1

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 1, 2018

Main courses were bland. Everything else was great.

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food3
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Tucson)·Dined on January 1, 2018

Unbelievable service from Erin, Umby, Chad just to name a few! The chef came to the table! The food was absolutely phenomenal!! There are not enough words to express the experience we had!!

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on January 1, 2018

We've never been disappointed at Rioja. Great food, from apps to entrees, including chef tasting, bread... All reasonably priced. Jessica, our waitress, was very attentive.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on January 1, 2018

The food was delicious. Our server was very good. We will definitely go back. The only negative was the hostess who seated us. She was unnecessarily rude and instructive to us (four nicely dressed, very low key, kind, flexible people). She either needs to be fired or sent to charm school.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Denver)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Birthday celebration! Wonderful evening!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 31, 2017

The tortellini was to die for! All parties love their food

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies, Comfort Food, Tasting Menu, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on December 31, 2017

Food was delicious.

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 31, 2017

I went to Rioja for my birthday dinner with my boyfriend, and it was exquisite. The artichoke ravioli was divine, I should have got it as an entree (they gave me one ravioli as a special birthday treat.) The complimentary selection of diverse breads was very appreciated. Overall Rioja was excellent and I would recommend it for a special occasion or just an exceptional meal.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation, Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Birthdays, Seasonal, Tasting Menu, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 30, 2017

Top to bottom fantastic. Food, service, noise. You won't regret.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 30, 2017

So yummy and fun! Service was fantastic! The food had diverse ingredients that were surprisingly flavorable. The decor was calming and beautiful! The tortellini was the best I’ve ever had!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Scenic View, Worth the Drive, Romantic, Local Ingredients, Bar Seating, Great for Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays, Business Meals, Tasting Menu, Neighborhood Gem, Sunday Lunch, Fun, Cozy, Good for a Date, Authentic, Great for Brunch, Hot Spot, Tapas, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Groups
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on December 30, 2017

Everything was, as usual, excellent. Robin, our server, was super, the dinner was very good

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Austin)·Dined on December 30, 2017

we were very well treated and the food was excellent. Perfect for a celebration dinner.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List, Handcrafted Cocktails, Tasting Menu
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Denver)·Dined on December 30, 2017

THANK YOU for NO background music!!!!Although we are a family of music lovers, we prefer to choose our own genre and time. Most restaurant music is disappointing and only adds to the ambient noise, which can present a challenge for the hearing impaired.
After two evenings dining at Rioja, we have easily decided to make it our go to restaurant for any and every special occasion. We may even find it necessary to invent one or two. From the first time we set foot in this wonderful restaurant, we were hooked. We love the ambiance, the service and the fabulous food. The presentation is superb. Our wait staff could not have been more attentive. In particular, Bryce was a stand out. Not only attentive, helpful/knowledgeable when choosing our wine, he was also fun and personable.
We cannot find high enough praise for this excellent restaurant!
Bill and Pat S.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Late-night Find, Fun, Good Vegetarian Options, Organic, Romantic, Disabled Access, Comfort Food, Special Occasion, Seasonal
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on December 29, 2017

Really good food and wonderful environment! Really appreciate everything, from the cocktail to the desert.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Business Meals, Romantic, Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on December 29, 2017

Loved Riojas! Food, ambience, and service were outstanding. Highly recommend!

Tags: Good for a Date, Tasting Menu, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on December 29, 2017

Rioja one of our favorites as we can always count on quality food choices and wonderful specials to keep us coming back. Fabulous!

Tags: Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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