Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.02mi
  2. Distance: 0.07mi
  3. Distance: 0.07mi
  4. Distance: 0.16mi
  1. Distance: 0.02mi
  2. Distance: 0.07mi
  3. Distance: 0.07mi
  4. Distance: 0.16mi

There aren't a ton of compelling reasons to go downtown for dinner these days, but Rioja is still one of them.

We partner with The Infatuation to bring you their smart, helpful, trustworthy reviews of restaurants on OpenTable.

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.02mi
  2. Distance: 0.07mi
  3. Distance: 0.07mi
  4. Distance: 0.16mi
  1. Distance: 0.02mi
  2. Distance: 0.07mi
  3. Distance: 0.07mi
  4. Distance: 0.16mi

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
View Larger Map

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

Send a Gift Card

Buy now and send it instantly by email, or print a card to give in person.

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

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.6

ambience

4.6

value

4.2

Noise

Moderate

92% would recommend it to a friend

Fit for Foodies (124)
Good for a Date (106)
Special Occasion (89)
See All
Creative Cuisine (87)
Good for Anniversaries (76)
Romantic (68)
Notable Wine List (58)
Neighborhood Gem (52)
Good for Birthdays (48)
Pre/post Theatre (47)
Business Meals (39)
Local Ingredients (38)
Good Vegetarian Options (36)
Worth the Drive (36)
Hot Spot (34)
Authentic (31)
Cozy (31)
Handcrafted Cocktails (29)
Seasonal (28)
People Watching (27)
Healthy (25)
Fun (24)
Quiet Conversation (23)
Tasting Menu (21)
Great for Brunch (20)
Good for Groups (17)
Great for Outdoor Dining (17)
Tapas (16)
Great for Lunch (16)
Organic (14)
Vibrant Bar Scene (13)
Bar Seating (11)
Casual (11)
Gluten Free Options (9)
Sunday Lunch (7)
Happy Hour (6)
Late-night Find (6)
Quick Bite (5)
Vegan (4)
Spicy (3)
Afternoon Coffee (2)
Comfort Food (2)
Disabled Access (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Scenic View (2)
Kid-friendly (1)
Live Sports (1)
Sort by
S
6752 reviews
Loading Reviews ...

 
·Dined 2 days ago

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)

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (New England)·Dined 4 days ago

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.

Tags: Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service2
value3

vip
·Dined 4 days ago

The food was very disappointing. Stale taste of some ingredients and super spicy without warning, shrimp not cooked, fancy design but that's just about it...

Tags: Spicy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience4
service4
value1

vip
 (Denver)·Dined 4 days ago

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service1
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 5 days ago

Consistent delicious food served. Must go when in Denver. Try the goat cheese rolls. Had the four square vegetarian dish, beef cheeks spaetzle, sunchoke salad, and the roasted beet salad, and Yuzu tart. Would order all again.

Tags: Cozy, Local Ingredients
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Denver)·Dined 6 days ago

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service3
value1

 
 (Denver)·Dined 6 days ago

an absolutely fabulous restaurant in the heart of downtown. It is not to be missed if you want an outstanding Mediterranean oriented meal

Tags: Authentic, People Watching, Vibrant Bar Scene, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Denver)·Dined 6 days ago

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Denver)·Dined 6 days ago

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined 6 days ago

Very good food. If I could have given another half point overall I would have. There were some very tasty dishes. High level of service and good drink selection.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined 6 days ago

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.

Tags: Healthy, Spicy, Pre/post Theatre, Local Ingredients, Worth the Drive, Cozy, Seasonal, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service3
value4

 
·Dined 6 days ago

Great restaurant with excellent service and food. Wonderful place for a special event!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 18, 2017

Bad food, "ok service". I have to write 5O characters, dumb.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience3
service2
value1

 
 (Denver)·Dined on November 18, 2017

The artichoke torteloni was incredible! Everything was delicious, as always.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5

 
·Dined on November 18, 2017

The cocktails were delicious, the food was unique and scrumptious and the atmosphere was welcoming. Will definitely go back and recommend to friends.

Tags: Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on November 18, 2017

Erin, our server was great as always and makes you feel special. The manager on duty checked in as well. It is difficult to think of a better restaurant in Denver. Food, price, quality and service are always GREAT!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Special Occasion, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on November 18, 2017

The ambiance is amazing. The food outstanding. The staff is well trained and friendly. Our birthday celebration was a night to remember.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Great for Brunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 18, 2017

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.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 17, 2017

Food was expensive for what it was. Would not return or recommend.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service4
value2

 
·Dined on November 13, 2017

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!

Tags: Fun, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Though the food sounded delicious on the menu, the meal was remarkably bland. And the service on the patio was very slow. A couple was seated next to us and they gave up and went somewhere else. If I was doing it over, I'd do the same thing.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service2
value2

 
·Dined on November 12, 2017

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.

Tags: Hot Spot, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Restaurant was excellent for pre theater, within easy walking distance to dcpa. Food was excellent as was service and price. If u want a quieter option ask for the room next to the main dining area where the noisy bar is found.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on November 11, 2017

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.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, People Watching
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on November 11, 2017

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.

Tags: People Watching, Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gem, Good Vegetarian Options, Bar Seating, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (Denver)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Service and food is normally exceptional. This time our service was slow, Sometimes waiting up to 15 minutes to get another glass of wine. This was sad because we had brought another couple to Rioja for the first time after talking it up.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 10, 2017

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!

Tags: Good for a Date, Authentic, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on November 9, 2017

Consistently one of Denver's best spots. Lunch was terrific as usual. Cocktail was as advertised by waitress. Lamb burger perfectly cooked and just the right size for lunch. Rioja seems to get even better as it moves forward.

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

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on November 9, 2017

Amazing in every aspect!! We’ll definitely be back!

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

 
·Dined on November 8, 2017

Great food and good service with a good vibe. My vegetarian brother liked the four square vegetarian dish.

Tags: Hot Spot, Notable Wine List, People Watching, Good Vegetarian Options, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 8, 2017

Great restaurant...creative and delicious. Perhaps a bit guilty of over-ingrediented.

Tags: Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Denver)·Dined on November 8, 2017

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!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Tasting Menu, Fit for Foodies, Good Vegetarian Options
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on November 8, 2017

Another great dinner at Rioja! Innovative menu. I had the Sea Scallops. The Spanish wine by the glass was excellent--all 3 glasses! Always a great place to dine for a special occasion--in my case, La Boheme at the Ellie.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Denver)·Dined on November 6, 2017

Delicious meal and excellent service. We enjoyed the beet salad, venison, and artichoke ravioli.
Some of the best and beautifully presented food I've had in a long time.

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

vip
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 6, 2017

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!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 5, 2017

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!

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on November 5, 2017

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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Hawaii)·Dined on November 5, 2017

Food was excellent. We did the 7 course tasting menu with the wine pairing. I would highly recommend it. Service was unbeatable. Robyn explained all of the dishes very well and was friendly and helpful!

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

vip
 (Baltimore)·Dined on November 4, 2017

Delicious brunch. Loved the Bloody Mary !!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on November 4, 2017

The food was fantastic. Excellent service.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5

Report this review as inappropriate?

If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.