Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
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.
Denver, CO 80202
Mediterranean, Fusion / Eclectic
Hours of Operation:
Wednesday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm
Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 2:30pm
Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm,
Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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.
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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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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