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
Overall my experience was very pleasant. The service was top notch and we enjoyed ourselves.
I ordered 3 appetizers and 3 entrees (shared).
The chicken entree was very very good, the ravioli/tortellini was good but I wasn’t very impressed with the other 4 items we ordered. (Pork belly, salad, salmon, and I can’t even remember the other appetizer)
Rioja was nice to accommodate our dinner time change. The food was superb. It took quite a while to get our water, and to have our dinner ordered. The gentleman serving the assortment of bread stopped by but couldn't serve us since the food order hadn't been placed yet! Our server had a little bit of an attitude which didn't help. All in all, great food, location and atmosphere, but the serving staff (at least some of them) may need a little refresher course regarding service.
I love this restaurant and the food was amazing as ever. Unfortunately, the night was ruined by the waitress. She was in a hurry to turn the table and when my wife ordered her second drink, the waitress walked by and threw the drink in the table. The drink was not what my wife ordered but we had to wait to flag down the waitress. The waitress did replace the drink but again dropped the drink on the table and quickly walked away before making sure the drink was correct. The drink was wrong again and we hadn't to flag down the waitress again. This time the waitress argued with my wife about it was the same drink that she ordered the first time. My wife politely told her that she orders this drink every time she goes out and that the first drink was perfect but the next two were wrong. Again the waitress rudely told her she was wrong. Even if my wife was (but she wasn't) the waitress should not have argued and embarrassed my wife this way. It was a wonderful dinner ruined by a waitress who shouldn't have her job.
Kicking off the holiday season. This is my first complaint ever about a restaurant. I experienced trouble with changing the number of people in my party from 3 to 5. Long story. Rioja offered us a table in the bar area. It was really tight but we made it work. The waiter dropped forks into my tortellini and the broth spilled all over the table and 2 of us. He picked the forks out but didn’t offer to replace the dish. At this price point, I expect more. Your bad Rioja.
The good: artichoke tortelloni was delicious. Rioja picnic was very good as well. Pork belly bacon was tasty, but a little more seared would have made it perfect. Good ambiance and lighting.
The not so good: entrees were so-so. I ordered the king salmon, and the fingerling potatoes were so undercooked they were inedible. For the price, that is a dish that should have been amazing. Service was decent but not memorable.
Thank you so much for one of the best experiences I have had in a very long time. Very accommodating. even though we were late due to traffic and a little poor planning. The staff from the entry all of the way to the back WERE AMAZING! This was a VERY special occasion for my Very special lady on her Birthday, the service the food the kind gestures that made this one night to remember forever! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making V’s birthday so special.
The food was incredible and the server very kind and professional. The only issue was that they were obviously trying to rush us. We got there 25 minutes early and they seated us right away (5:35 pm for 6) and kept trying to take away our appetizer before we were done to give us the entree. Out by 6:50. This is not a place for a nice quiet leisurely dinner, but the food is outstanding.
I've been to Rioja 5-6 times, but not in the past two years. Each time has been great. However this most recent visit was off. Not that my memory is perfect, but the menu seemed stale, with too many repeat items from two years ago. The staff, service, ambiance all were great as always, but I was really impressed by the food this time.
Took my wife here for her birthday. Food was outstanding, and was well paced between courses. Service was impeccable. I mentioned in the reservation that we were dining to celebrate my wife’s birthday and the staff brought her dessert with a candle and a signed card from the entire crew. Probably the best overall dining experience we have had 8+ years in Denver. Highly recommended for a special occasion!
I took my girlfriend to Rioja for our two-year anniversary and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. The service was quick, efficient, and kind and the mood was perfect. The food was absolutely fantastic. There isn't a person I would not recommend this restaurant to. Wonderful.
Extremely accommodating. We requested a romantic table, and we when arrived, we were sat at a two-top in the center aisle...not romantic. When I asked for a change, the hostess was beyond kind. She swiftly moved us and was very genuine in her desire to seat us in a comfortable space. Due to the switch, we ended up waiting a bit to get our drink order, but after that, we had decent service. The food was outstanding - top notch cuisine! Thanks you, Rioja for making our anniversary special.
I surprised myself and ordered an all veg menu. First, I had a “little wild mushroom thing” (Can’t remember what it was called.) Delicious, but there was only 1 wild mushroom. Tasty, but a little disappointing. Then I had 4 vegetarian dishes as an entree. Loved 3 of them-all colorful and full of texture.-accept one. The beans in one dish had a weird texture that was unappealing to me, and it seemed as though they had been doused them with spaghetti sauce. Dessert was one of the most beautiful and delectable things I have seen ==light and dark chocolate mousse, with touches of caramel, and a bit of l dolce de leche ice cream. Neeed I say more?/ Overall a lovely meal.
Fantastic anniversary dinner! We started with the bacon appetizer and artichoke tortelloni as an app as well. Both amazing. For main dishes we had the serrano wrapped octopus and scallops. Great as well. The flavor combinations and presentation of every dish were superb. Service was excellent too. Finished with the Rocky Road dessert. Mmmmmm. Awesome evening out!
Rioja is without question one of the very top restaurants in Denver. If you want to enjoy LoDo (Lower Downtown) and enjoy eclectic food and great wine, this is the place. The food is consistently excellent, the service professional and attentive. It is five star in every area but price; you can enjoy a very reasonable dinner (our entrees were in the $20 range). Exceptional and reasonable wine list.
Do not miss Rioja!
Enjoyed the tasting menu and was quite blown away. Tried foods that are not my favorites (beets & fois gras), but the preparation made them quite tasty and enjoyable. Wine selections were well paired. Very attentive service staff and manager. Liked this so much I had to come back for another meal two nights later. Did not do tasting menu and was equally impressed. By far one of the best dining experiences in Denver!
I took a few friends visiting from out of town to Rioja for Sunday brunch and it was AMAZING! The staff was so kind and attentive-- always filling water, coming around with bread, etc. My friends got brunch cocktails which were great, and the food was amazing. The starter rioghnuts are delicious doughnuts with berries that I would absolutely recommend. Then we all got different items from the brunch menu-- I had the Rioja benedict, which comes with a delicious biscuit, perfectly cooked poached eggs, crispy bacon and fresh spinach and tomato, not to mention an amazing parmesan sauce. My other friends got the omelette of the day and the hangover cure, both were great. Overall, the vibe here is wonderful, the brunch menu was SUPER affordable for such a nice place, and the food was amazing. I'll definitely return!
Have been to Rioja several times, it has been my go to spot for nice dinners or special occasions. However, we have seen a drop off in both the quality of food and service since the chef moved on to focus on a new restaurant.
This visit overall was fine but was certainly not what we’ve come to expect from Rioja. Two of four entrees were served cold and had to be returned. Another entree (the octopus) was just over room temperature, chewy and bitter. Overall, the meal was ok. Service was average and slow for Rioja, which didn’t help.
Rioja was the best restaurant in town, but based on this visit, I’m not sure you can say that any longer.
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