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Rioja

Mediterranean Restaurant, New American Restaurant, and Spanish Restaurant$$$$
LoDo, Denver
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9.1/10
310
ratings
124 Tips and reviews
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  • artichoke tortellini
  • fresh bacon
  • larimer square
  • romantic
  • desserts
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  • Zach K.
    Zach KotelAugust 22, 2013
    Easily one of the best restaurants in Denver & right on the historic & lively Larimer Square. The Blackberry Old Fashioned is excellent and the menu changes with some frequency and is always delicious
    Upvoted Feb 21
  • Tom T.
    Tom TobiassenJuly 28, 2013
    Greek salad. Very nice. Highly recommend for that special evening on Larimer Square. The background noise level is very high, and not so great for intimate conversation. $125 / couple w wine +tip
  • M M.
    M MoOctober 30, 2016
    One of my favorite Denver restaurants. Excellent menu (diverse and seasonal), wonderful team, nice atmosphere. They also do a great brunch! Reservations are a must.
  • Nick F.
    Nick FormosoAugust 10, 2014
    Hands down my favourite restaurant in Denver!!! Great for dinner but they also have a fantastic breakfast/brunch menu. Try their house "bacon" for one of the best pork dishes ever, and their donuts!
  • Eater
    EaterApril 16, 2012
    Chef Jasinski has transformed Larimer Sq. w/ her restaurants, & it all started with Rioja. This Mediterranean gem is a Denver staple, & Jasinski is constantly keeping her menu fresh. [Eater 38 Member] Read more
  • Denver Westword
    Denver WestwordAugust 5, 2014
    Rioja opened in late 2004 to unprecedented fanfare -- fawned over by the press, loved up on the foodie message boards, packed from the start almost every night of the week. Read more
  • Jeremy O.
    Jeremy OAugust 9, 2013
    The bread basket is yummy. Order the bacon to start - if multiple people in your party they can split the order so everyone gets their own dish. Friendly courteous servers who are very knowledgeable.
  • John P.
    John PalmerMarch 24, 2013
    Holy hell this place is amazing. Try as many menu items as you can; menu changes more than 20 times per year and is sometimes completely rebuilt around a single ingredient. A complete delight.
  • Tara S.
    Tara StaffordJuly 8, 2013
    Try the fresh bacon, artichoke tortellini, beignets and raspberry spuma....you will not be disappointed! Make a reservation and request outside seating for the amazing ambiance of larimer square.
  • Tami P.
    Tami PitaroMay 26, 2013
    If you're not sure on the wine or meal let the team recommend something for you. The entire presentation and selection was so amazing and we just sat back and enjoyed it all.
  • Mike R.
    Mike RowanOctober 26, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Started with the fresh mozz & endives app (perfection) then had a pasta dish entree made of two different entrees (yes, they do this). Artichoke & goat cheese tortellini & sweet potato gnocchi
  • Casey S.
    Casey StutzmanSeptember 9, 2013
    Brilliant all the way around. Food, preparation, pairings, presentation, service & atmosphere. A wonderful dining experience, I thank chefs for sharing their artistic gifts with us
  • Abhishek
    AbhishekFebruary 14
    My favorite was the artichoke tortellini. Tried a number is appetizers to go with it and loved each one! Select anything in the menu and you will love it.
  • Patrick D.
    Patrick DavisDecember 31, 2012
    Easily the best restaurant in LoDo. Blackberry whisky sour, artichoke tortelloni is to die for, try the rosemary cheddar biscuit, beignets, I could go on forever...
  • Tessa A.
    Tessa AmantiadoNovember 6, 2012
    Chicken, (bacon, scallion & golden raisin) bread pudding, and sautéed kale. A huge plate with the sauce holing everything together!!
  • Shelby
    ShelbyJune 13, 2013
    Make sure you ask for Jessie. The patio is fantastic. The artichoke tortellini and raspberry spumo are life changing. Oh and make sure you start with the picnic!
  • Sairam R.
    Sairam RajagopalJanuary 15, 2013
    Best service - really really courteous staff. Best of all though - the food . Lookout for the seasonal specials, the pappardelle is legen-wait for it- dary!
  • Jane P.
    Jane PoretskyDecember 2, 2016
    I despise flowers in food but the sourdough/lavender bread here broke the curse! Also loved the porcini pasta with roasted chestnuts- so seasonal and unique!
  • Curt B.
    Curt BloomDecember 6, 2015
    Try the bacon with brown sugar, unbelievable omelette, donut appetizer, great Bloody Mary, this place is a must!
  • Anthony
    AnthonyJanuary 6, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    Brunch menu has changed as of Jan 2013...try the Chicken Latkes. Great service, fabulous food as always!
  • Todd W.
    Todd WeisrockJuly 20, 2015
    One of my favorite restaurants in the world. Fantastic service, creative drinks and impeccable food, every time. The gnocchi is amazing!
  • Ryan T.
    Ryan TauerNovember 21, 2015
    Great date atmosphere. Honestly there is better food for the same (high) price, but good. Great cocktails.
  • Lindsay J.
    Lindsay JDecember 4, 2012
    We did the tasting menu and left very happy and very full. :) The artichoke tortellini with the truffle broth was out of this world delicious!
  • Sach N.
    Sach NSeptember 22, 2013
    We came for brunch and split the breakfast sandwich and the artichoke tortellini. Both we're amazing, and I can't decide which one was better.
  • Lance L.
    Lance LacoffApril 24, 2015
    Bacon/Pork Belly, Raclette, amazing artichoke tortelloni, Colorado wagyu short rib, peanut butter semifreddo dessert. Great service too
  • David E.
    David EldridgeJune 24, 2013
    If you are gluten sensitive or celiac, they sometimes have a crispy vegetable plate to substitute. If not, pretend that you are, it's great!
  • Kate
    KateJune 22, 2015
    So good! Excellent service with delicious food. Loved the avocado citrus salad
  • Prixie S.
    Prixie SantiagoMarch 9, 2016
    Ths artichoke tortellini is a must... Perfection melting in your mouth... Indescribable...I'm still having dreams about it!
  • Tim S.
    Tim StaleyJune 21, 2013
    Everything was amazing. The fresh bacon and artichoke tortellini are a must. And the service was outstanding.
  • Evgeny T.
    Evgeny TchebotarevOctober 8, 2013
    This place is beyond exceptional. My taste buds are having an orgasm. Get a cuke rocks cocktail if you are into gin&tonic.
  • Lorraine S.
    Lorraine SMay 8, 2012
    I found the food OK. However service & ambience was great. Loved the special "bread tray" & the homemade mints leaves!
  • CITY GRIT
    CITY GRITAugust 5, 2014
    Jennifer Jasenski is one of the best chefs in the country. Definitely go for the tasting menu with paired wines!
  • Brieana K.
    Brieana KennedySeptember 21, 2011
    Elegant restaurant with a revolving seasonal menu! A must for a romantic dinner! Get the smores for dessert!
  • michael d.
    michael deveroDecember 20, 2016
    Fantastic restaurant. The artichoke tortellini is a must have here and the dessert is good too
  • Summer B.
    Summer BorowskiMarch 2, 2014
    Awesome cocktails and delicious artichoke tortellini!
  • Alex C.
    Alex CorreaJune 19, 2011
    The artichoke tortellini are amazing! Get extra bread to dip in the sauce an make sure to get the dinner size
  • Andrew B.
    Andrew BSeptember 16, 2013
    Ii will fly back to Denver to have the Fig and goat cheese beignet wrapped in lemon pastry with fig reduction
  • Lisa L.
    Lisa LewtonJuly 6, 2013
    Great food and reasonable considering the service, variety, and flavor of our food. Loved it.
  • Diane J.
    Diane JocsonDecember 12, 2010
    Probably the best handmade mozzarella I've ever had. Order if you love yourself some fantastic pesto sauce and sundried tomatoes
  • Dan S.
    Dan ShawOctober 16, 2016
    Cavatelli Porcini - Unique. Amazing. Delicious. 🌈
  • Tessa A.
    Tessa AmantiadoNovember 6, 2012
    Octopus, fried lemon rind and fresh made pasta
  • Pete W.
    Pete WungAugust 11, 2011
    Great restaurant. Try the tasting menu, but order an extra portion of the bacon. It is incredible.
  • Shivi S.
    Shivi SehgalSeptember 27, 2015
    Salmon was great.. Loved the use of caramelized veges
  • Natalie
    NatalieJune 28, 2015
    Their artichoke ravioli is amazing. The gnocchi was decent but not the best I've ever had.
  • Andy S.
    Andy SFebruary 22, 2014
    Woah, the artichoke tortelloni is unbelievable. Ask for more bread to soak it all up!
  • Salvatore Davide
    Salvatore DavideApril 18, 2014
    Really nice place in downtown Denver. Delicious dishes and very kind service
  • Samantha J.
    Samantha JohnstonJune 29, 2011
    Do not skip the artichoke pasta. It is dynamite. We also had the lamb and halibut. You won't be disappointed.
  • John H.
    John HaberlandOctober 14, 2013
    Decent but: 1) yes a variety of bread, but it's served cold, so what's the point?, 2) while the flavors were good, food was lukewarm and 3) stay away from the crab appetizer, not a good texture.
  • Yanet G.
    Yanet GarciaMay 13, 2015
    Everything was good here, had the fresh bacon and the picnic both were good. Of the main courses the best was the chicken. I wouldn't repeat this restaurant just because they don't have enough variety
  • Kimberly H.
    Kimberly HigginsAugust 1, 2011
    Everything here is amazing - must try the goat cheese and fig beignets for dessert!!
  • da3mon m.
    da3mon mccormickJuly 9, 2015
    people are right about the artichoke tortellini. get lavender sourdough with it.
  • Gaurav
    GauravNovember 5, 2012
    Loved the chocolate caramel napoleon. Rich, heavy and delicious.
  • Jon S.
    Jon SolomonSeptember 19, 2011
    Try the baby heirloom tomato with red and yellow watermelon salad. Delicious!
  • Daisy N.
    Daisy NguyenAugust 14, 2011
    Artichoke Tortellini is orgasmic! We also had the King Salmon-best salmon dinner EVER.
  • Jeff R.
    Jeff RagoJanuary 6, 2011
    The hummus roulade sandwich is ridiculous. My mouth is dancing to the medley of all those delicious flavors.
  • Valerie A.
    Valerie AlbaneseMay 27, 2013
    Two words: fresh bacon. That's all you need to know.
  • Tyler B.
    Tyler BurgettJuly 1, 2016
    Excellent brunch, get some donuts to share.
  • Kim D.
    Kim DangerOctober 25, 2010
    The artichoke tortelloni was fabulous. Definitely add this restaurant to your to-do list while in Denver.
  • Erica E.
    Erica EllisMarch 28, 2011
    You must get the beignets for dessert... they are melt in your mouth goodness.
  • Jamie R.
    Jamie RosemergyJanuary 29, 2010
    Consider the tasting menu -- not as expensive as you might expect, and the opportunity to try so many different flavors makes it well worth it
  • Für Immer
    Für ImmerMay 19, 2011
    Order the appetizer portion of all four pasta dishes for lunch. Bam!
  • Joe K.
    Joe KearneyFebruary 13, 2013
    Try the scallops, gnocchi, and lamb...all excellent!
  • Tessa A.
    Tessa AmantiadoNovember 6, 2012
    Endive, bufala and mango..a perfect combination :)
  • Brooke Lynn
    Brooke LynnDecember 30, 2011
    One of the best red sangrias in Denver... I have a top 10 for inquiring minds.
  • ♚©Ⅱ®∆§ ©.
    Best food intown....great desserts as well!
  • Sam H.
    Sam HopkinsJuly 19, 2014
    Awesome lamb burger! Fantastic staff, too!
  • Alex A.
    Alex AulisiJune 9, 2010
    The artichoke tortelloni is indescribably good. Get a half order as a starter if you want something else as your entree.
  • BestOf
    BestOfSeptember 9, 2011
    Winner of Best Local Cookbook 2011. See more of the best at http://bestof.voiceplaces.com/denver Read more
  • BestOf
    BestOfSeptember 8, 2011
    Winner of Best Free Bread 2011. See more of the best at http://bestof.voiceplaces.com/denver Read more
  • Bhavik P.
    Bhavik PatelApril 11, 2013
    Vegetarian for square is great!
  • Alexandra G.
    Alexandra GibsonMay 18, 2010
    The Colorado lamb 2-ways is to die for. Order a naughtini to start...just because you shouldn't!
  • Katherine
    KatherineJanuary 31, 2013
    Cauliflower tahini soup is incredible.
  • Chris G.
    Chris GrundemannAugust 29, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    There are full size bathrooms downstairs in addition to the two upstairs
  • Chefs Feed
    Chefs FeedAugust 22, 2014
    Max MacKissock, chef of The Squeaky Bean, eats here on his nights off. He loves the Fresh bacon. Read more
  • Andrea E.
    Andrea EhresmanSeptember 16, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Best chicken entree I've ever had! You won't be disappointed!
  • Tessa A.
    Tessa AmantiadoNovember 6, 2012
    Pork belly consumme...amazing
  • Jordy W.
    Jordy WaxAugust 7, 2014
    You MUST get the fresh bacon.
  • Esteban C.
    Esteban CelisSeptember 30, 2013
    Fresh Bacon! You have to try it!
  • Greg W.
    Greg WittenJune 18, 2015
    Lamb burger on the lunch menu is a must!
  • E.J. M.
    E.J. MDecember 29, 2010
    I have to echo other people's enthusiasm for the artichoke tortellini. It's great, especially if you like truffles/mushrooms.
  • The Gray Area Blog
    The Gray Area BlogOctober 24, 2011
    Artichoke Tortellini! Perfection that melts in your mouth.
  • Buddy T.
    Buddy TeasterFebruary 26, 2011
    Sunday brunch was fantastic. Everything terrific.
  • Abdulrhman A.
    Most of the food has bacon 👎
  • Natalie H.
    Natalie HMay 25, 2015
    Dinner was fantastic and the service was amazing
  • marianne m.
    marianne myersAugust 31, 2010
    Been here 10+ times
    Don't miss their weekend brunch. Order the donuts to start.
  • Jordan K.
    Jordan KolencOctober 9, 2011
    Pork croquettes with poached eggs. Awesome brunch.
  • Lindsay K.
    Lindsay K.September 16, 2013
    Basil gnocchi was absolutely incredible.
  • Danielle R.
    Danielle RaybuckDecember 4, 2011
    Half order artichoke pasta! Boo-ya good
  • Vicky C.
    Vicky C.February 20, 2011
    Got the pear ravioli. Did not like. Greatly dissappointed in the new menu. would wants to eat fried bone marrow? Not me! It oozed out of the fried crust. Yuck!
  • Cyndi B.
    Cyndi BrownJuly 30, 2013
    Ask for Nikko! He is the bomb!
  • DefeatAQ
    DefeatAQOctober 25, 2011
    The artichoke tortellini is a must
  • Denver Westword
    Denver WestwordApril 13, 2011
    Voted Best Local Cookbook in Westword's Best of Denver 2011!
  • Denver Westword
    Denver WestwordApril 11, 2011
    Voted Best Free Bread in Westword's Best of Denver 2011!
  • Denver Westword
    Denver WestwordDecember 6, 2010
    Winner of Westword's Best of Denver 2010 - Best Expense-Account Dinner!
  • Jaci V.
    Jaci VezinaAugust 9, 2014
    Romantic belated birthday dinner date!!
  • Raquel B.
    Raquel BeteshNovember 21, 2012
    Such creative food presentation
  • Hyatt Regency Denver
    Hyatt Regency DenverNovember 27, 2009
    Great restaurant in the heart of Larimer Square and always leaves you satisfied
  • Anthony
    AnthonySeptember 4, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    For brunch get the duck and eggs.....
  • Kate C.
    Kate CollinsFebruary 20, 2011
    I specifically came here for the filet mingon. They failed to update their website so I was greeted with a changed menu and no filet. Ruined my entire night. Do not come here.
  • Christopher G.
    Christopher GibsonApril 30, 2012
    The Bacon is amazing!
  • Isabelle C.
    Isabelle CambrelengAugust 16, 2012
    Une cuisine fine et inventive. Probablement la meilleure adresse de Denver. Un parfum de méditerranée dans le Colorado. Vos papilles vous diront merci ;-)
  • Alexandre C.
    Alexandre CambrelengAugust 16, 2012
    C'est bon, c'est fin, mais allez quand même manger McDonald après si vous ne voulez pas mourir de faim durant la nuit!
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