Rioja

★★★★☆
Experience the award-winning cuisine and rich ambiance that has made Rioja Spanish Tapas one of Houston's Premiere destination restaurants.
29.7366 -95.5897
Map and Directions to Rioja

713-249-1727

11920 Westheimer Rd J

Houston, TX

77077

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I had never heard of this restaurant before. We went there for a business lunch. What a surprise. The food is outstanding and the service was as well. They also have a very good wine list. I highly recommend!!!

5
★★★★★

I had never heard of this restaurant before. We went there for a business lunch. What a surprise. The food is outstanding and the service was as well. They also have a very good wine list. I highly recommend!!!

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Latest reviews from Citysearch.

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I spoke with the owner to place a catering order for 10 people for my father's birthday dinner. Over the phone I was told the price for the Paella Mixta (Valencia Saffron Rice, Prawns, Shrimp, Mussels, Calamari, chicken and home-made

6
★★★★★

I spoke with the owner to place a catering order for 10 people for my father's birthday dinner. Over the phone I was told the price for the Paella Mixta (Valencia Saffron Rice, Prawns, Shrimp, Mussels, Calamari, chicken and home-made

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I have been to Mi Luna, Tintos, and Andalucia in Houston and all have disappointed. Riojas is the best place for tapas in Houston. After spending a summer in Spain, this is the only place in Houston that I have tried that serves genuine Spanish cuisine. Great sangria too ?? not the water downed sangria they serve at the other places. Great place to celebrate with a large party, I had a table of 12 and the staff was very attentive and helpful

5
★★★★★

I have been to Mi Luna, Tintos, and Andalucia in Houston and all have disappointed. Riojas is the best place for tapas in Houston. After spending a summer in Spain, this is the only place in Houston that I have tried that serves genuine Spanish cuisine. Great sangria too ?? not the water downed sangria they serve at the other places. Great place to celebrate with a large party, I had a table of 12 and the staff was very attentive and helpful

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The lunch tapas selection is great! the wine selection incredible, and I have yet to experience brunch here. Check out pictures of the patio on Facebook-"Around the World in 80 Restaurants".
Great for families. Live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

4
★★★★☆

The lunch tapas selection is great! the wine selection incredible, and I have yet to experience brunch here. Check out pictures of the patio on Facebook-"Around the World in 80 Restaurants".
Great for families. Live music on Friday and Saturday nights.

Pros: Beautiful patio

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I received celebrity treatment from the moment I stepped into the door all the way until I left. Bravo! I had the brunch which was superb! I have never had such an elegant brunch as such a reasonable price. A bonus was the FREE bottomless mimosas and sangria. I was in heaven. I have never received such great service. The waitresses were a great team, and you could tell that they genuinely liked working there. They had a great family vibe, but still maintained prestige and elegance. This restaraunt deserves its 5 stars. I was blown away at the delicious food and its beautiful presentation. The owner of this establishment should be very proud. I can not say enough good things. I will be back, this time for dinner. Do not pass up this place! You will regret it. Everyone needs a getaway to Spain at reasonable prices (and without motion sickness!) This is it! It is my understanding that they do caterings as well. If there catering is anything like the dining experience, then count me in! This food would awe any critic and please any crowd. Rioja, wow.

5
★★★★★

I received celebrity treatment from the moment I stepped into the door all the way until I left. Bravo! I had the brunch which was superb! I have never had such an elegant brunch as such a reasonable price. A bonus was the FREE bottomless mimosas and sangria. I was in heaven. I have never received such great service. The waitresses were a great team, and you could tell that they genuinely liked working there. They had a great family vibe, but still maintained prestige and elegance. This restaraunt deserves its 5 stars. I was blown away at the delicious food and its beautiful presentation. The owner of this establishment should be very proud. I can not say enough good things. I will be back, this time for dinner. Do not pass up this place! You will regret it. Everyone needs a getaway to Spain at reasonable prices (and without motion sickness!) This is it! It is my understanding that they do caterings as well. If there catering is anything like the dining experience, then count me in! This food would awe any critic and please any crowd. Rioja, wow.

Pros: Awesome Food, Better Service! Spectacular Wine List

Cons: The parking.. if I was being nit-picky

.

Went on a Saturday night with my father. We shared 3 tapas and an entree, the paella. The food was really good, though the paella was a bit heavy on the chorizo. The house wine was only $15 per bottle and only $5 for takeout! I had both the white and the red and they were both great. My dad bought a mixed case!
It was a beautiful evening so we sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful patio. Check it out...

4
★★★★☆

Went on a Saturday night with my father. We shared 3 tapas and an entree, the paella. The food was really good, though the paella was a bit heavy on the chorizo. The house wine was only $15 per bottle and only $5 for takeout! I had both the white and the red and they were both great. My dad bought a mixed case!
It was a beautiful evening so we sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful patio. Check it out...

Pros: That house wine will keep you happy...for little money

Cons: The Paella had too much chorizo...but that's a small price..

.

I called same day for a party of 15, after some confusion with another restauarant.
The owner was attentive and helpful, and my wife and her friends had a great time.
The Tapas were delicious and they loved the atmosphere and attentive service.

I'm the wife and had a whale of a time!!! Myself and my friends.
We were in a lovely room off to ourselves which was probably just as well for everyone else as we were not quiet!! Although we did have a few other diners popping their heads in to say hello and try to join the party.
The tapas were yummy, varied and plentiful and the wine was excellent. Great place for a group but I noticed lots of smaller tables too so next time when we return it may be with a few less appetities.
Thank You very much for a wonderful 40th celebration. You all gave us a glorious meal in great atmosphere and made me feel quite quite fabulous!!

We'll be back soon!

5
★★★★★

I called same day for a party of 15, after some confusion with another restauarant.
The owner was attentive and helpful, and my wife and her friends had a great time.
The Tapas were delicious and they loved the atmosphere and attentive service.

I'm the wife and had a whale of a time!!! Myself and my friends.
We were in a lovely room off to ourselves which was probably just as well for everyone else as we were not quiet!! Although we did have a few other diners popping their heads in to say hello and try to join the party.
The tapas were yummy, varied and plentiful and the wine was excellent. Great place for a group but I noticed lots of smaller tables too so next time when we return it may be with a few less appetities.
Thank You very much for a wonderful 40th celebration. You all gave us a glorious meal in great atmosphere and made me feel quite quite fabulous!!

We'll be back soon!

Pros: great food and service

Cons: need another location in Cypress!!

.

I have eaten at some of the most renowned Spanish tapas restaurants throughout the United States and Spain. Rioja truly stands as one of the best tapas I have ever eaten at. Anyone who says otherwise does not know what good tapas food is. I stumbled upon Rioja while on a business trip in Houston. The food was so good I went back four times in one week! They serve an excellent breakfast on the weekend also! The pork tenderloin and grilled lamb off of their low carb menu is to die for. I can not forget to mention the INCREDIBLE Spanish wine list which is one of the best I've ever seen. I tried a vertical tasting with Zumaya Crianza and Reserva---Excellent! Even my ten year old son now craves Riojas' steak and Asparagus! Excellent food, great service and relaxing amotsphere. I wish I had a Rioja in my home town!

5
★★★★★

I have eaten at some of the most renowned Spanish tapas restaurants throughout the United States and Spain. Rioja truly stands as one of the best tapas I have ever eaten at. Anyone who says otherwise does not know what good tapas food is. I stumbled upon Rioja while on a business trip in Houston. The food was so good I went back four times in one week! They serve an excellent breakfast on the weekend also! The pork tenderloin and grilled lamb off of their low carb menu is to die for. I can not forget to mention the INCREDIBLE Spanish wine list which is one of the best I've ever seen. I tried a vertical tasting with Zumaya Crianza and Reserva---Excellent! Even my ten year old son now craves Riojas' steak and Asparagus! Excellent food, great service and relaxing amotsphere. I wish I had a Rioja in my home town!

Pros: excellent food and wine menu

Cons: sometimes hard to find parking space

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Crab Empanadas = Flavorless Grease
Custard/Creme Brulee = sugarwater with blowtorch
Paella = Rice -A -Roni with a bucket of seawater on top
Sangria =welch's grape juice with water and a splash of box wine

1
★☆☆☆☆

Crab Empanadas = Flavorless Grease
Custard/Creme Brulee = sugarwater with blowtorch
Paella = Rice -A -Roni with a bucket of seawater on top
Sangria =welch's grape juice with water and a splash of box wine

Pros: It made me laugh

Cons: Seafood Microwave Meals, Not Good

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:(

1
★☆☆☆☆

:(

Pros: None

Cons: Food

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After watching Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow travel through Spain, we had major cravings for tapas. So of to Rioja we went on a Friday night. We were greeted with a "Do you have a reservation?" Little mifffed, but I let it go. We were offered a drink and chose a sangria. After we were seated, it took a few minutes for the staff to bring a menu. We ordered a bottle of wine, an asparagus appetizer, the chorizo and something else I can't remember. The asparagus was CANNED (ie soft) asparagus topped with MAYONAISE. The chorizo was lukewarm, and definitly not homemade. In order words ... we were totally disappointed ! Don't plan on going back at all. Mi Luna certainly has better tapas, and I'm willing to put up with their non-existent parking.

1
★☆☆☆☆

After watching Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow travel through Spain, we had major cravings for tapas. So of to Rioja we went on a Friday night. We were greeted with a "Do you have a reservation?" Little mifffed, but I let it go. We were offered a drink and chose a sangria. After we were seated, it took a few minutes for the staff to bring a menu. We ordered a bottle of wine, an asparagus appetizer, the chorizo and something else I can't remember. The asparagus was CANNED (ie soft) asparagus topped with MAYONAISE. The chorizo was lukewarm, and definitly not homemade. In order words ... we were totally disappointed ! Don't plan on going back at all. Mi Luna certainly has better tapas, and I'm willing to put up with their non-existent parking.

.

Excellent Service, casual dress, great atmosphere. The gazpacho was really amazing; it was a great mixture of several fantastic flavors. The mushrooms cooked in garlic and red peppers were another really wonderful treat. The grilled Angus beef was a culinary delight, the knife went through the beef like butter and the taste was just astounding. This is a place I would definitely return to over and over again.

5
★★★★★

Excellent Service, casual dress, great atmosphere. The gazpacho was really amazing; it was a great mixture of several fantastic flavors. The mushrooms cooked in garlic and red peppers were another really wonderful treat. The grilled Angus beef was a culinary delight, the knife went through the beef like butter and the taste was just astounding. This is a place I would definitely return to over and over again.

Pros: Ambience, Service, Right Amount of Food,

Cons: None

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First Of All, Let me say that Rioja has the best service. Their waitstaff was friendly and attentive. Also, I was promptly seated. The wine list was extraordinary. I went on a Sunday, and they have brunch, BOTTOMLESS Sangria and Mimosas. I sat on the patio, which was well kept, quiet and clean. I ate the award winning paella. It was excellent. I indulged in a chocolate tart for desert. This is one of the most incredible restaraunt experiences that I have had in Houston (It was like dining in Spain!) I frequent 4 and 5 star restaraunts, and I am so impressed with this place in comparison to the other places I've had dinner. I am recommending it to all of my friends and family. You must go.

5
★★★★★

First Of All, Let me say that Rioja has the best service. Their waitstaff was friendly and attentive. Also, I was promptly seated. The wine list was extraordinary. I went on a Sunday, and they have brunch, BOTTOMLESS Sangria and Mimosas. I sat on the patio, which was well kept, quiet and clean. I ate the award winning paella. It was excellent. I indulged in a chocolate tart for desert. This is one of the most incredible restaraunt experiences that I have had in Houston (It was like dining in Spain!) I frequent 4 and 5 star restaraunts, and I am so impressed with this place in comparison to the other places I've had dinner. I am recommending it to all of my friends and family. You must go.

Pros: the brunch and mimosas were definately a bonus. The service was stellar. I got celebrity-like treatment.

Cons: They could have had a more extensive dessert menu.

.

Their seafood or mix paella is the worst paella I have purchased to go in my live. I took to the restaurant my own "paellera" and they placed in this just the cooked rice. They provided 2 more containers, one of them with steamed moussels, calamary and shrimps and the second once with pieces of fish and "chorizos" (sausages).
Finally, we have to mix all together in order to show something like a "paella" to our friends.

1
★☆☆☆☆

Their seafood or mix paella is the worst paella I have purchased to go in my live. I took to the restaurant my own "paellera" and they placed in this just the cooked rice. They provided 2 more containers, one of them with steamed moussels, calamary and shrimps and the second once with pieces of fish and "chorizos" (sausages).
Finally, we have to mix all together in order to show something like a "paella" to our friends.

.

Rioja is the first place that comes to my mind when I want authentic spaniard food. Rioja's is an all around great place to dine with a prime location, wonderful menu, friendly staff, great wine list, wonderful sangria,and who can forget the paella and tapas. TWO THUMBS WAY UP !!!

5
★★★★★

Rioja is the first place that comes to my mind when I want authentic spaniard food. Rioja's is an all around great place to dine with a prime location, wonderful menu, friendly staff, great wine list, wonderful sangria,and who can forget the paella and tapas. TWO THUMBS WAY UP !!!

.

This restaurant so charmed me on a first visit with some ladies who lunch this spring, that I returned 4 more times over the next few weeks with my husband who agrees it is a great place for tapas. I'm not a big fan of paella, and previously hadn't found a tapas restaurant in Houston that I would return to. I mean, boiled new potatoes topped with mayo and plates like that. Here at Rioja, I love the garlic soup with a poached egg, the really flavorful, fresh grilled sardines (which were deboned at the table for my husband, but not for us girls...I guess we looked capable), and the baguette topped with serrano ham and drizzled with good quality olive oil, which nearly gave me the vapors. I did, in fact, swoon the evening I ordered the grilled baby lamb chops. And then there was the lunch when I ordered the grilled sushi grade salmon from column 3, which was quickly grilled and served quite rightly as still sushi internally, and stifled a moan since I was in polite company. Choose 3 tapas from 3 columns at lunch for $13.95. Overall about 30 choices. With the complementary bread, you will not go hungry. Lunch at Rioja for my husband and I precludes dinner that day. Some dishes we were not so fond of include the camelized egg yolk dessert, which had little flavor and the cod stuffed piquililo peppers. Being anglophiles and cheese hounds we liked the cheese plate (offered as an appetizer), and the broiled goat cheese and Romesco dip. I haven't tried the french baguette sandwiches, because I can't get past the tapas. I will try again today and persist until I reach that goal. Meantime, Viva Spain!! Viva Rioja!

5
★★★★★

This restaurant so charmed me on a first visit with some ladies who lunch this spring, that I returned 4 more times over the next few weeks with my husband who agrees it is a great place for tapas. I'm not a big fan of paella, and previously hadn't found a tapas restaurant in Houston that I would return to. I mean, boiled new potatoes topped with mayo and plates like that. Here at Rioja, I love the garlic soup with a poached egg, the really flavorful, fresh grilled sardines (which were deboned at the table for my husband, but not for us girls...I guess we looked capable), and the baguette topped with serrano ham and drizzled with good quality olive oil, which nearly gave me the vapors. I did, in fact, swoon the evening I ordered the grilled baby lamb chops. And then there was the lunch when I ordered the grilled sushi grade salmon from column 3, which was quickly grilled and served quite rightly as still sushi internally, and stifled a moan since I was in polite company. Choose 3 tapas from 3 columns at lunch for $13.95. Overall about 30 choices. With the complementary bread, you will not go hungry. Lunch at Rioja for my husband and I precludes dinner that day. Some dishes we were not so fond of include the camelized egg yolk dessert, which had little flavor and the cod stuffed piquililo peppers. Being anglophiles and cheese hounds we liked the cheese plate (offered as an appetizer), and the broiled goat cheese and Romesco dip. I haven't tried the french baguette sandwiches, because I can't get past the tapas. I will try again today and persist until I reach that goal. Meantime, Viva Spain!! Viva Rioja!

Pros: Fresh, exciting combinations at value prices

Cons: Closed Saturday for Lunch - Boo!

.

Sunday seems to be the best day to go. For $26 a head, you each get your choice of any 3 tapas and an entree., as well as bottomless Mimosas or Sangria. The tapas were hardly "little bites" There were 4 of us, so we had a pretty good variety of tastes to sample. Though plenitful, the food was a bit bland for our taste. The service was very good, as was the ambiance and they kept the wine flowing.
The only negative was the waitress also tried to stick us with a 33% tip, but removed it when I complained. That left a sour taste on our tongues, Not to mention she got a smaller tip than she would have gotten without the funny business.

4
★★★★☆

Sunday seems to be the best day to go. For $26 a head, you each get your choice of any 3 tapas and an entree., as well as bottomless Mimosas or Sangria. The tapas were hardly "little bites" There were 4 of us, so we had a pretty good variety of tastes to sample. Though plenitful, the food was a bit bland for our taste. The service was very good, as was the ambiance and they kept the wine flowing.
The only negative was the waitress also tried to stick us with a 33% tip, but removed it when I complained. That left a sour taste on our tongues, Not to mention she got a smaller tip than she would have gotten without the funny business.

Pros: Sunday brunch is a great way to check out a variety of dishes.

Cons: They try to stick you with a 30% tip

.

We recently had a large birthday party (25+), and have to say it was a 5 star evening. Luis, co-owner/host, was very accommodating (they allowed us to bring our own B-cake, without a 'corking fee') and flexible. The wait staff was on que, once they got lined out and given expectations and the atmoshpere was appropriate. The band played salsa/latin rythms and provided a brief exibition of a flamenco dance. The food (tapas & paella) was very authentic and the beverage, sangria was refreshing. I would encourage anyone to explore this very nice flavor of Spanish culture.

5
★★★★★

We recently had a large birthday party (25+), and have to say it was a 5 star evening. Luis, co-owner/host, was very accommodating (they allowed us to bring our own B-cake, without a 'corking fee') and flexible. The wait staff was on que, once they got lined out and given expectations and the atmoshpere was appropriate. The band played salsa/latin rythms and provided a brief exibition of a flamenco dance. The food (tapas & paella) was very authentic and the beverage, sangria was refreshing. I would encourage anyone to explore this very nice flavor of Spanish culture.

Pros: Food, Service, Atmosphere

Cons: None that I can think of

.

I visited Rioja not sure what to expect, and I was happily surprised. The only tapa I did not like where the sardine tapas. I'm not a fan of sardine, but still gave it a try. I've been to Rioja for lunch with my daughter and for dinner with my husband, and we all loved the food. I had been to other tapas restaurants, but Rioja is so far the best tapas restaurant I have visited. We have tried a bit of everything, and just about all of it was good. The atmosphere is very pleasant. There is one desert I keep ordering at Rioja: the pears. Best wine pears I've had. I'm looking forward to attending a Flamenco night!

5
★★★★★

I visited Rioja not sure what to expect, and I was happily surprised. The only tapa I did not like where the sardine tapas. I'm not a fan of sardine, but still gave it a try. I've been to Rioja for lunch with my daughter and for dinner with my husband, and we all loved the food. I had been to other tapas restaurants, but Rioja is so far the best tapas restaurant I have visited. We have tried a bit of everything, and just about all of it was good. The atmosphere is very pleasant. There is one desert I keep ordering at Rioja: the pears. Best wine pears I've had. I'm looking forward to attending a Flamenco night!

.

I have heard wonderful things about Rioja's food and have not tried it, so I will not comment on it. However, my mother and I wished to reserve for a large bridal shower and were very rudely spoken to over the phone on three separate phone calls. We will not be using this place for any large or special event! What a shame.

3
★★★☆☆

I have heard wonderful things about Rioja's food and have not tried it, so I will not comment on it. However, my mother and I wished to reserve for a large bridal shower and were very rudely spoken to over the phone on three separate phone calls. We will not be using this place for any large or special event! What a shame.

.

I visited the restaurant with my family and at first the experience was good. The tapas were fine. We ordered sangria just to realize it was from a bottle rather than freshly prepared. Then came the bad part, they brought my son's steak before anybody else's food. It was undercooked. They took it back and fixed it. Then they brought my Bacalao a la Vasca. It was good but they still did not bring anybody else's food. Finally, they brought the two paellas we asked for. The shrimp on top was good but that was as far as it went. The rice was greasy and tasteless, the ingredients were badly prepared. Neither my wife nor my son-in-law could finish it up. Then we ordered 5 flans for dessert. I'm not exaggerating when I say it is the worst flan we have ever tried. Not to mention it was over-priced and under-sized. Neither one of us could finish it...not even my grandchildren. Finally, please pay attention to the check. They arbitrarily added a 30% tip hoping that we did not notice it. Obviously we brought it down to 18% and actually we over-tipped them for very poor service. Overall a bad experience. We do not recommend the restaurant.

2
★★☆☆☆

I visited the restaurant with my family and at first the experience was good. The tapas were fine. We ordered sangria just to realize it was from a bottle rather than freshly prepared. Then came the bad part, they brought my son's steak before anybody else's food. It was undercooked. They took it back and fixed it. Then they brought my Bacalao a la Vasca. It was good but they still did not bring anybody else's food. Finally, they brought the two paellas we asked for. The shrimp on top was good but that was as far as it went. The rice was greasy and tasteless, the ingredients were badly prepared. Neither my wife nor my son-in-law could finish it up. Then we ordered 5 flans for dessert. I'm not exaggerating when I say it is the worst flan we have ever tried. Not to mention it was over-priced and under-sized. Neither one of us could finish it...not even my grandchildren. Finally, please pay attention to the check. They arbitrarily added a 30% tip hoping that we did not notice it. Obviously we brought it down to 18% and actually we over-tipped them for very poor service. Overall a bad experience. We do not recommend the restaurant.

Pros: Some tapas were good.

Cons: Terrible service. Bad main course.

.

I'm from Spain and the paella was exquisite. When I opened the menu, I felt like I was back in Spain because of the food, the ambience and the service. I also tried the ham croquettes, which were excellent, as well. The service was rapid and efficient. The price was right. I will return to try different dishes that looked just as appetizing on our neighbor's tables.

4
★★★★☆

I'm from Spain and the paella was exquisite. When I opened the menu, I felt like I was back in Spain because of the food, the ambience and the service. I also tried the ham croquettes, which were excellent, as well. The service was rapid and efficient. The price was right. I will return to try different dishes that looked just as appetizing on our neighbor's tables.

Pros: Service, Ambience

Cons: Locale is small.

.

I took my girlfriend out here once because I had heard about this tapas restaurant before, and I was pleasantly surprised! The restaurant had a dim-lighted romantic feel to it to help wooo your date. They also included some live spanish music to help add to your overall experience. The tapas selection was large, but our waiter helped us pick some of the favorites at the restaurant. The food was tasty, but I think the tapas were on the more expensive side compared to other tapas places I have been to. Overall, I recommend coming here if you get a chance or if you live near Kirkwood and Westheimer (or don't mind making the drive out here). Afterwards, you can always take your date on down to Vino100 for some nice wine drinking.

5
★★★★★

I took my girlfriend out here once because I had heard about this tapas restaurant before, and I was pleasantly surprised! The restaurant had a dim-lighted romantic feel to it to help wooo your date. They also included some live spanish music to help add to your overall experience. The tapas selection was large, but our waiter helped us pick some of the favorites at the restaurant. The food was tasty, but I think the tapas were on the more expensive side compared to other tapas places I have been to. Overall, I recommend coming here if you get a chance or if you live near Kirkwood and Westheimer (or don't mind making the drive out here). Afterwards, you can always take your date on down to Vino100 for some nice wine drinking.

Pros: Great Tapas, Wonderful Ambiance, Live Music, Helpful Staff

Cons: Pricey for my taste... don't come here to get full (esp if you have a big appetite)

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although its a bit out of the way, it is such a wonderful tapas find in houston. the ambience is romantic, quaint, and cozy ... dimly-lit with a personal touch. love how there is live music crooning out in front of you as you dine. the quality of the tapas is excellent, very tasty and succulent! pair it with their decent list of red wines ... and you have a very enjoyable dining experience. i would come here more often if it wasn't so far up westheimer!*

5
★★★★★

although its a bit out of the way, it is such a wonderful tapas find in houston. the ambience is romantic, quaint, and cozy ... dimly-lit with a personal touch. love how there is live music crooning out in front of you as you dine. the quality of the tapas is excellent, very tasty and succulent! pair it with their decent list of red wines ... and you have a very enjoyable dining experience. i would come here more often if it wasn't so far up westheimer!*

Pros: good tapas, live music, ambience, romantic, cozy

Cons: location

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This is the best Spanish restaurant in Houston! We come often and the food is consistently delicious- we'll keep coming back for excellent tapas and sangria.
The owners have always been very good hosts and make it a big part of their job to make everyone feel at home.

5
★★★★★

This is the best Spanish restaurant in Houston! We come often and the food is consistently delicious- we'll keep coming back for excellent tapas and sangria.
The owners have always been very good hosts and make it a big part of their job to make everyone feel at home.

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Get ready to step into one of the best Tapas spots in the world! I don't know how they do it, but the food at Rioja tastes better than in Spain. It's like being in the Plaza Mayor in Madrid. ALmost brought tears to my wife and I. Lamb dishes are exquisit. over 40 tapas to choose from. We have gone over 15 times and every time we like Rioja more. PAELLA IS PERFECT! 100% authentic. Order a bunch if tapas, drink great inexpensive wine and enjoy a piece of Spain!

5
★★★★★

Get ready to step into one of the best Tapas spots in the world! I don't know how they do it, but the food at Rioja tastes better than in Spain. It's like being in the Plaza Mayor in Madrid. ALmost brought tears to my wife and I. Lamb dishes are exquisit. over 40 tapas to choose from. We have gone over 15 times and every time we like Rioja more. PAELLA IS PERFECT! 100% authentic. Order a bunch if tapas, drink great inexpensive wine and enjoy a piece of Spain!

Pros: Paella, Lamb, Food

.

Wow, what a Tapas joint! Have traveled extensively through Spain and Rioja is the best tapas ever. The paella was out of this world!!!! Must try the lamb chops, piquillo peppers, merluza a la vasca.... Wine list very reasonably priced.
If you don't understand Spanish cuisine or have an open mind, this may not be the place for you.

5
★★★★★

Wow, what a Tapas joint! Have traveled extensively through Spain and Rioja is the best tapas ever. The paella was out of this world!!!! Must try the lamb chops, piquillo peppers, merluza a la vasca.... Wine list very reasonably priced.
If you don't understand Spanish cuisine or have an open mind, this may not be the place for you.

Pros: Everything, Food, Wine

.

How can anyone have a negative review about this restaurant. I have gone over 10 times and the service and food are always increadible! I have gone on romantic dates with my wife and wiht large groups (+20). It is a fun environment in an upscale setting with world class Spanish Cuisine.
For those who are looking for a GREAT DEAL try out lunch at Rioja. You have a variety of 3 course options that include soft drinks or WINE for under $12. Plan to spend aroud $25 per person for dinner including wine. I wouldn't call that expensive!!!! The wine list has about 10 GREAT options for under $25!!!!!!

5
★★★★★

How can anyone have a negative review about this restaurant. I have gone over 10 times and the service and food are always increadible! I have gone on romantic dates with my wife and wiht large groups (+20). It is a fun environment in an upscale setting with world class Spanish Cuisine.
For those who are looking for a GREAT DEAL try out lunch at Rioja. You have a variety of 3 course options that include soft drinks or WINE for under $12. Plan to spend aroud $25 per person for dinner including wine. I wouldn't call that expensive!!!! The wine list has about 10 GREAT options for under $25!!!!!!

Pros: Paella, atmosphere, Lunch

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I have been a loyal follower of Rioja for the past 5 months and highly recommend the restaurant to anyone who is looking for authentic Spanish cuisine!!! BEST AUTHENTIC TAPAS IN TEXAS! You can truly enjoy the flovers of Spain prepared my master Chef Ignacio Fonseca who brings over 200 years worth of Spanish recipes directly from Cuenca, Spain.
I was so happy to learn that hey are now open for Lunch and Sundays!!!! You can actually get a table fairly easily at lunch or Sunday. Sundays they offer FREE MIMOSAS AND SANGRIA with any entree. BEST DEAL IN WEST HOUSTON! Their lunch menu features monster 12" Spanish baguette sandwiches or Menu del Dia which includes salad, entree with a side dessert and even a free GLASS OF HOUSE WINE!!! Wines start at $14 a bottle and the have more than 10 selections for under $26.

5
★★★★★

I have been a loyal follower of Rioja for the past 5 months and highly recommend the restaurant to anyone who is looking for authentic Spanish cuisine!!! BEST AUTHENTIC TAPAS IN TEXAS! You can truly enjoy the flovers of Spain prepared my master Chef Ignacio Fonseca who brings over 200 years worth of Spanish recipes directly from Cuenca, Spain.
I was so happy to learn that hey are now open for Lunch and Sundays!!!! You can actually get a table fairly easily at lunch or Sunday. Sundays they offer FREE MIMOSAS AND SANGRIA with any entree. BEST DEAL IN WEST HOUSTON! Their lunch menu features monster 12" Spanish baguette sandwiches or Menu del Dia which includes salad, entree with a side dessert and even a free GLASS OF HOUSE WINE!!! Wines start at $14 a bottle and the have more than 10 selections for under $26.

Pros: GREAT TAPAS, GREAT LUNCH, GREAT SUNDAYS

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Being from Spain I can honestly tell you this is Tapas at its best! The food takes me back to Madrid! The food is delicious. I spoke with the Chef and he makes usre the cuisine stays authentic to Spain. When you go keep an open mind and remember that it is nothing like Southamerican or Mexican cuisine. The ambiance is great and the wine list is exceptional.

Must try!

5
★★★★★

Being from Spain I can honestly tell you this is Tapas at its best! The food takes me back to Madrid! The food is delicious. I spoke with the Chef and he makes usre the cuisine stays authentic to Spain. When you go keep an open mind and remember that it is nothing like Southamerican or Mexican cuisine. The ambiance is great and the wine list is exceptional.

Must try!

Pros: Paella, Tapas, Sangria

.

Being from Spain I can honestly tell you this is Tapas at its best! The food takes me back to Madrid! The food is delicious. I spoke with the Chef and he makes usre the cuisine stays authentic to Spain. When you go keep an open mind and remember that it is nothing like Southamerican or Mexican cuisine. The ambiance is great and the wine list is exceptional.

Must try!

5
★★★★★

Being from Spain I can honestly tell you this is Tapas at its best! The food takes me back to Madrid! The food is delicious. I spoke with the Chef and he makes usre the cuisine stays authentic to Spain. When you go keep an open mind and remember that it is nothing like Southamerican or Mexican cuisine. The ambiance is great and the wine list is exceptional.

Must try!

Pros: Paella, Tapas, Sangria

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my husband and i tried their paella, and both agreed it tasted like chinese fried rice. i can go to any chinese fast food restaurant and buy the same fried rice (or maybe even better) for $5.00. paying $18 for the paella was not worth it. on top of that, our waiter was terrible. he didn't bother to take our drink order until we ordered our entrees.

2
★★☆☆☆

my husband and i tried their paella, and both agreed it tasted like chinese fried rice. i can go to any chinese fast food restaurant and buy the same fried rice (or maybe even better) for $5.00. paying $18 for the paella was not worth it. on top of that, our waiter was terrible. he didn't bother to take our drink order until we ordered our entrees.

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Shame on the people that gave this great restaurant bad reviews. They claim to have tried genuine paella in spain, well, I have too in Valencia, Madrid and Barcelona. This is the real thing people! You should try it. The salmon tapa is to die for. The chef Ignacio Fonseca is a genious. (and very friendly and attentive too). Go to Rioja. You won't regret it. I'm sure you'll become a regular.

5
★★★★★

Shame on the people that gave this great restaurant bad reviews. They claim to have tried genuine paella in spain, well, I have too in Valencia, Madrid and Barcelona. This is the real thing people! You should try it. The salmon tapa is to die for. The chef Ignacio Fonseca is a genious. (and very friendly and attentive too). Go to Rioja. You won't regret it. I'm sure you'll become a regular.

Pros: paella, wine, everything

Cons: none, none, none

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My husband and I decided to visit Rioja for my birthday dinner while in town from New York visiting family for the holidays. We had a table near the stage to enjoy the music, and our waiter, Jose, helped us along with wine and plate selections throughout the meal. The staff flawlessly stepped in to remove and replace plates as we finished each selection. We decided to try a dessert at the end of the meal, and Jose suggested a sherry that worked wonderfully with the sweet dessert.

We were encouraged to return on a Friday or Saturday night for the salsa/meringue dancing, and will do so on our next trip to Houston. A wonderful date night restaurant..the subdued lighting, music and attentive staff had every patron smiling and enjoying themselves. If you are looking for a great dining experience, I highly recommend trying Rioja!!

5
★★★★★

My husband and I decided to visit Rioja for my birthday dinner while in town from New York visiting family for the holidays. We had a table near the stage to enjoy the music, and our waiter, Jose, helped us along with wine and plate selections throughout the meal. The staff flawlessly stepped in to remove and replace plates as we finished each selection. We decided to try a dessert at the end of the meal, and Jose suggested a sherry that worked wonderfully with the sweet dessert.

We were encouraged to return on a Friday or Saturday night for the salsa/meringue dancing, and will do so on our next trip to Houston. A wonderful date night restaurant..the subdued lighting, music and attentive staff had every patron smiling and enjoying themselves. If you are looking for a great dining experience, I highly recommend trying Rioja!!

Pros: Great atmosphere, Flawless service, Romantic

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I have eaten at Tapas restaurants around the world, including segveral cities in Spain.
The Rioja Tapas Restaurant in western Houston is by far the best. The menu is unusually unigue, and the chef has included many of his own creations which are all
delicious. The Sangria from the bar is excellent. The service and ambience are relaxed and first rate. Perfect for special and occasions. The owner is a gracious host.

Mike Rabins

5
★★★★★

I have eaten at Tapas restaurants around the world, including segveral cities in Spain.
The Rioja Tapas Restaurant in western Houston is by far the best. The menu is unusually unigue, and the chef has included many of his own creations which are all
delicious. The Sangria from the bar is excellent. The service and ambience are relaxed and first rate. Perfect for special and occasions. The owner is a gracious host.

Mike Rabins

.

How can anyone have a negative review about this restaurant. I have gone over 10 times and the service and food are always increadible! I have gone on romantic dates with my wife and wiht large groups (+20). It is a fun environment in an upscale setting with world class Spanish Cuisine.
For those who are looking for a GREAT DEAL try out lunch at Rioja. You have a variety of 3 course options that include soft drinks or WINE for under $12. Plan to spend aroud $25 per person for dinner including wine. I wouldn't call that expensive!!!! The wine list has about 10 GREAT options for under $25!!!!!!

5
★★★★★

How can anyone have a negative review about this restaurant. I have gone over 10 times and the service and food are always increadible! I have gone on romantic dates with my wife and wiht large groups (+20). It is a fun environment in an upscale setting with world class Spanish Cuisine.
For those who are looking for a GREAT DEAL try out lunch at Rioja. You have a variety of 3 course options that include soft drinks or WINE for under $12. Plan to spend aroud $25 per person for dinner including wine. I wouldn't call that expensive!!!! The wine list has about 10 GREAT options for under $25!!!!!!

Pros: Paella, atmosphere, Lunch

.

I have been here many times and every time I come things keep getting better. Great authentic tapas, best paella I ever tried! Portions are larger than the avaerage tapas you get in Spain. Some of the staff has a strong accent, but it reminds me even more of my trips to Spain. Can't say enough about the food. It's fun, healthy and GOOD!

5
★★★★★

I have been here many times and every time I come things keep getting better. Great authentic tapas, best paella I ever tried! Portions are larger than the avaerage tapas you get in Spain. Some of the staff has a strong accent, but it reminds me even more of my trips to Spain. Can't say enough about the food. It's fun, healthy and GOOD!

Pros: TAPAS, LUNCH, SUNDAYS

Cons: None

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After reading some of the raving reviews i decided to check this place out for lunch. The TAPAS were pretty good but the PAELLA was really a dissapointment, even the frozen PAELLA you get in the supermarket is better (have lives in Europe for 10yrs). Its too dry and missing lots of ingredients... Ambiance and service were OK. Overall 2.5 over 5!!! Go there for TAPAS.

3
★★★☆☆

After reading some of the raving reviews i decided to check this place out for lunch. The TAPAS were pretty good but the PAELLA was really a dissapointment, even the frozen PAELLA you get in the supermarket is better (have lives in Europe for 10yrs). Its too dry and missing lots of ingredients... Ambiance and service were OK. Overall 2.5 over 5!!! Go there for TAPAS.

.

The service was so slow and no knowledge about there food.
The calamaris tapas hat no seasoning and were biiiig like and entree.
All the appetizers what we order was so tasteless and has absolute no compare with Spain in Europe.
We paid almost $70 and left hungry.

2
★★☆☆☆

The service was so slow and no knowledge about there food.
The calamaris tapas hat no seasoning and were biiiig like and entree.
All the appetizers what we order was so tasteless and has absolute no compare with Spain in Europe.
We paid almost $70 and left hungry.

Pros: Clean, Patio

Cons: Food, Service

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Some similarity from this restaurant to the Spaniard Cuisine is only SCI-FI.

The Paella is expensive and with BAD TASTE (Great Flavor to chlorine). The Tapas very Small, The Sangria is only ICE in an small cup for $5.
The service? I need to call the waiter 4-5 times for attention, and when come and say this, he shows a bad face

Definitely, 1 time, NOT MORE!!! not recommended. I have not explanation that they wins the BEST PAELLA in Houston, perhaps they are the only bidder, no?

1
★☆☆☆☆

Some similarity from this restaurant to the Spaniard Cuisine is only SCI-FI.

The Paella is expensive and with BAD TASTE (Great Flavor to chlorine). The Tapas very Small, The Sangria is only ICE in an small cup for $5.
The service? I need to call the waiter 4-5 times for attention, and when come and say this, he shows a bad face

Definitely, 1 time, NOT MORE!!! not recommended. I have not explanation that they wins the BEST PAELLA in Houston, perhaps they are the only bidder, no?

Pros: clean

Cons: service, price, plate size

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I went here for the first time based on the menu, reviews, and (supposedly) the "best paella in Houston" awards. The tapas were okay, although quite small portions even for tapas. The paella was definitely not what I would call "authentic" as they claim. A true paella is served in a paelleria, the wide pan it is cooked in. This was served on a plate! And the portion was miniscule - in good Spanish restaurants in New York, you would get 2-3x as much paella as they served here, with a lot more chorizo and seafood. It's almost as if the paella itself is a tapas. On the other hand, the service was very good.

3
★★★☆☆

I went here for the first time based on the menu, reviews, and (supposedly) the "best paella in Houston" awards. The tapas were okay, although quite small portions even for tapas. The paella was definitely not what I would call "authentic" as they claim. A true paella is served in a paelleria, the wide pan it is cooked in. This was served on a plate! And the portion was miniscule - in good Spanish restaurants in New York, you would get 2-3x as much paella as they served here, with a lot more chorizo and seafood. It's almost as if the paella itself is a tapas. On the other hand, the service was very good.

Pros: Good service, Nice decor

Cons: Not authentic paella

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On a recent trip to Houston (04July05) I read CitySearchs recommendation for Rioja and gave it a try. My friends and I are fans of Spanish Tapas, Sangria, and Paella, and the news that Rioja had won a Houston Paella competition meant it was the place to try. Unfortunately, the tapas were sad. They messed up Jamon Serrano, and Manchego cheese - with not a drizzle of olive oil on top, but a puddle? (why mess up a good thing with oil at all?). The service was friendly enough, but not very efficient - we had to ask for water four times before it came. Finally the Paella arrived - a bit too quickly for it to have possibly been prepared fresh - and it was a pan of old brown rice with some of the most malodorous seafood I have ever seen. Overall I recommend steering clear of Rioja.

1
★☆☆☆☆

On a recent trip to Houston (04July05) I read CitySearchs recommendation for Rioja and gave it a try. My friends and I are fans of Spanish Tapas, Sangria, and Paella, and the news that Rioja had won a Houston Paella competition meant it was the place to try. Unfortunately, the tapas were sad. They messed up Jamon Serrano, and Manchego cheese - with not a drizzle of olive oil on top, but a puddle? (why mess up a good thing with oil at all?). The service was friendly enough, but not very efficient - we had to ask for water four times before it came. Finally the Paella arrived - a bit too quickly for it to have possibly been prepared fresh - and it was a pan of old brown rice with some of the most malodorous seafood I have ever seen. Overall I recommend steering clear of Rioja.

Pros: Inexpensive

Cons: Food, Service

.

Having a bad experience at Mi Luna I came in expecting something similar but I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the tapas here. I recommend the calamari, anything with mussels, beef tenderloin skewers, and ofcourse the seafood paella. The paella is a bit small for the price though. I want to go back and sample other tapas I didn't order. If you go on sunday and order an entree you get bottomless mimosas/sangrias. Oh and the owner is really cool!

5
★★★★★

Having a bad experience at Mi Luna I came in expecting something similar but I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the tapas here. I recommend the calamari, anything with mussels, beef tenderloin skewers, and ofcourse the seafood paella. The paella is a bit small for the price though. I want to go back and sample other tapas I didn't order. If you go on sunday and order an entree you get bottomless mimosas/sangrias. Oh and the owner is really cool!

.

No more than ok. I went due to the comments and the rating of this restaurant. For a restaurant that is ranked this high on many categories did not find what I expected. Maybe the expectations were too high, but definetely not what I expected.

2
★★☆☆☆

No more than ok. I went due to the comments and the rating of this restaurant. For a restaurant that is ranked this high on many categories did not find what I expected. Maybe the expectations were too high, but definetely not what I expected.

.

Excellent food. Just like being in Spain. Definitely the best Spanish restaurant in the Houston Area. Compares to the top Spanish restaurants in the US.

5
★★★★★

Excellent food. Just like being in Spain. Definitely the best Spanish restaurant in the Houston Area. Compares to the top Spanish restaurants in the US.

Pros: food quality, service , ambiance

.

Patio seating, live music, fun family dining. Low carb items on the menu that are very tasty.

5
★★★★★

Patio seating, live music, fun family dining. Low carb items on the menu that are very tasty.

Pros: patio seating, low carb, music

.

Talk about a restaurant for a special date. We had a wonderful time: a quiet dinner in the casual corner of the restaurant, a bottle of fantastic unique wine, a series of small plates that warmed our souls, followed by dancing in the formal side where Spanish songs were playing for a lively crowd. The goat cheese with Romesco sauce makes me come back. The salmon pate and juicy lamb chops are such favorites of ours. We have not found a better wine list for Spanish wines even in New York. Some of their wine choices are so selective that can't be found anywhere. This restaurant is a treat every time, but this weekend it proved to be special for our special date.

5
★★★★★

Talk about a restaurant for a special date. We had a wonderful time: a quiet dinner in the casual corner of the restaurant, a bottle of fantastic unique wine, a series of small plates that warmed our souls, followed by dancing in the formal side where Spanish songs were playing for a lively crowd. The goat cheese with Romesco sauce makes me come back. The salmon pate and juicy lamb chops are such favorites of ours. We have not found a better wine list for Spanish wines even in New York. Some of their wine choices are so selective that can't be found anywhere. This restaurant is a treat every time, but this weekend it proved to be special for our special date.

Pros: delicious small plate, great wine list, good music

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4
★★★★☆

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Pros: rwerwerw, wrwer, werwer

Cons: werwe, rwrwe, rwrwrwrwrwr

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I've been here twice already and service and food continue to be great. They also have live music on certain days. There are two rooms -- one with the music and the other which is more casual. I prefer the nicer room. I sat in the casual room last night and they had music -- in addition to the live jazz-- which, in combo, just sound like noise. Next time I'll make rsvp for the nicer room!

5
★★★★★

I've been here twice already and service and food continue to be great. They also have live music on certain days. There are two rooms -- one with the music and the other which is more casual. I prefer the nicer room. I sat in the casual room last night and they had music -- in addition to the live jazz-- which, in combo, just sound like noise. Next time I'll make rsvp for the nicer room!

Pros: Tasty Tapas, Amazing Paella, Reasonable price

.

I almost hate to comment on just how wonderful this Spanish Tapas Restaurant is because it will get so crowded! Warm and inviting neighborhood atmosphere, with amazingly tasty and truly authentic Spanish dishes and Tapas. If you are looking for a new restaurant sure to become an old favorite, Rioja's is the place! Be sure and try their Calamari!

5
★★★★★

I almost hate to comment on just how wonderful this Spanish Tapas Restaurant is because it will get so crowded! Warm and inviting neighborhood atmosphere, with amazingly tasty and truly authentic Spanish dishes and Tapas. If you are looking for a new restaurant sure to become an old favorite, Rioja's is the place! Be sure and try their Calamari!

Editorial from

This snappy Spanish spot wows guests with authentic cuisine and memorable wines from Spain's greatest wine region. And the best news is that you don't need to wait for your paella to be prepared to order: it has already been started when…