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
The restaurant is in a great location. The food was good minis the raw potatoes on 2 dishes and the raw beans on one dish. The appetizer was soaked in truffle oil which is no good. In the bathroom the return air vent was covered in so much dust that someone wrote clean me on it see picture.
We had a Valentine dinner date before seeing a show at the Denver Performing Arts, and everything turned out perfect. We were seated and immediately asked by our waiter about timing, etc., and the courses came out in time to meet our schedule. The signature Artichoke Ravioli's were outstanding, and we also very much enjoyed the seared tuna special and lamb loin main courses. Deserts are a treat here and we had several. As a wine person, I especially appreciated the large selection of wines from Spain and Portugal. Definitely coming back! Thanks Chef!
Our visit overall was great. The food stands up to reputation and the wine pairings with the tasting menu were on point. The offering of four different types of bread is a nice touch, although I would recommend to hold back on the quantity you select, because we were definitely full by the end of the tasting menu and having enjoyed some of the bread. The descriptors that came with the food were excellent and descriptions of the wines were well enough. The only component that I wouldn't give five stars was service and is because the hostess seemed distracted and unapproachable and our server took about fifteen minutes to get our first drink order in. From there, the service improved and corrected for the poor start.
This was a truly great experience, from the service to the food. Not a step was missed on service, and the food was amazing. I had the salmon and it was amazing. Cooked mid rare and tasted amazing. The beet salad was great, and my wife’s pasta was a perfectLy cooked. The dessert really shined. There is a reason Rioja is a Denver classic.
Rioja never fails. Even after having eaten there 15-20 times, we are still amazed how the food just always impresses and is as good as ever (can't say better than ever because it is always that good). To change things up, we recently went for the prix fixe offering which had some of the most incredible combinations of flavors and unique methods of preparation we could have imagined - so creative and so good. Dinner at Rioja is just a can't miss evening.
A very solid option for a bit of European flair....mainly from Spain. Would highly recommend to couples or small groups going to a nearby show. The Valet parking is a big plus as parking can be difficult.
The only suggestion is the bread was cold and would have better warm.
Feasting like royalty at Rioja! We had our special Valentine's day dinner here and it was a phenomenal treat for the foodies we are and the best gift. We came from out of town and this was an exceptional foodie adventure!
I adored the picnic appetizer--fantastic charcuterie meats, flatbread crackers, and goat cheese toasted and olives. They also included spicy chorizo, so it was too hot for me but my husband liked it. There was a green salad and a orange marmalade palates cleanser. We shared the small plates of the Pork belly bacon with cardamom sauce. Imagine a delicious pork meat they roast for a day with an Indian curry-like sauce. I loved the flavors and it was unique because pork belly is typically fried when you eat it. This was more like brisket and the sauce reminded me of Indian style recipes. We also ordered the small portion of home made spaetzle pasta with beef cheeks, and an anise seasoning. Normally I wouldn't know if that combo works but I loved the unique flavors. We also shared the entree Octopus wrapped with serano ham. It was divine, salty, tender and delicious. We chose a wonderful Tempranillo wine, recommendation from the waiter. Oh and the bread basket had wonderful goat cheese biscuits that were amazing with the salted butter!! I loved our meal and I wish we lived nearby. We walked from a downtown hotel so parking was not an issue. I truly loved my dinner and the artistic presentation of the food!
We returned to Rioja one year later, our dinner with the same friends last time was very good. We were all very satisfied this time, everything we tried was really good, from interesting appetizers to deserts. Highly recommended restaurant, much better food than the prices would have you expect.
The good: service was great and the restaurant was nicely decorated. There was valet, so that's a plus in Larimer Square. They have a great wine menu and an interesting cocktail menu.
The bad: restaurant was very loud at 8pm, we had to shout a lot in conversation so that was annoying after awhile. I was aware of the prices heading in, but I expected the food to be stellar at $30-$40 per entree. It's not that the food was bad, it was very good. However there are several restaurants in Denver where the food is of equal quality but $5-$10 less per entree, so relatively speaking, it felt like a bit of a rip-off.
Overall: not bad but I wouldn't go out of my way to dine here again
I love food. I love good food and I love feeling like I got my money’s worth. Everything was fine. But I didn’t leave wowed. We sat at the bar. Had cocktails and a quick dinner before a show. I had two cocktails, the basilica and the pomegranate martini. They were made well but I have no idea what drove the $14 cost for each one. For dinner, I had the artichoke tortelloni. They tasted great. Seasoned well, delicious broth. The serving was 4 or 5 of them. I know they are laborious to make but not sure what drove the $20 price on this dish either. I’ll probably try Rioja one more time to see if I missed something. First trip = not worth the price.
My family and I had a late lunch on Super Bowl Sunday. Rioja was a great diversion, as we are not big sports fans! Your staff actually had to change our reservation to an earlier time and, as a result, we received appetizers and desert at no charge. We a really appreciate that! The drinks and food were exceptional. Your servers were courteous and knowledgeable. Overall, it was s great experience and we will come back and refer you as well!
Came here with my husband for a date night. The food was amazing. Staff very friendly and food came out quickly. Atmosphere was fun and lively but not too loud. Fire alarms did go off at the end of dinner, but no one panicked. We left before it ended but things seemed in control. Would definitely come here again.
I have been hearing about Rioja from my friend for a while. This is her favorite restaurant. We took her here for her 50th birthday. For the price, the portion was very small, like 2 bite size. The Gabe's Chronic Chicken Sandwich was one of my favorite because it was a regular size sandwich. You will not walk away feeling full at this place. Had to fill up on bread. The atmosphere was nice.
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