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  • Best Free Service

    BusinessDecision

    If you’re trying to start a business and need to know how much women spend on shoes within a ten-block radius of your house, or if you’re just nosy, this is the database for you. BusinessDecision crunches vast arrays of census data and presents a range of demographic and economic profiles tailored to the research needs of small businesses —… More >>
  • Best Way to Spice Up the Kitchen Like It's 1899

    Margaret Husted Culinary Collection

    Martha Stewart not doing it for you? Rachael Ray lost her "yummo"? If so, turn back the culinary clock by taking a long, strange trip into the University of Denver's Margaret Husted Culinary Collection, one of the country's largest cookbook libraries, with 9,000 books and magazines, some dating back centuries. Here you'll find the ingredients for any gastronomic fancy, whether… More >>
  • Best New Store on Colfax Avenue

    Blue Sky Collective

    There used to be a typical antique mall jammed into this warehouse-like West Colfax building, but that was before Jen Schafer and her Blue Sky Books and Media took it over. Now it's a diamond in the rough: Essentially a community gathering place in progress, it's not only home to Schafer's sprawling used bookstore, which donates a percentage of all… More >>
  • Best Hole-in-the-Wall Comics Store

    Kilgore Used Books and Comics

    The local comix community is small but dedicated, and you could say the same of Kilgore's, the tiny used bookstore shoehorned into a space along 13th Avenue. Opened last summer by Capitol Hill Books veteran Luke Janes and his pal, Dan Stafford, Kilgore — named for the iconic Kurt Vonnegut character Kilgore Trout — fills a much-needed niche. Featuring a… More >>
  • Best Collection of Photography Books

    Camera Obscura Gallery - CLOSED

    So the photography nut on your gift list has asked for a stack of hardcover photo books by people with names like Lee Friedlander, Alfred Stieglitz and Annie Leibovitz. Don't know where to turn? Camera Obscura Gallery has plenty of fine art; in fact, the gallery and store claims to have the biggest selection of photography books in Colorado. Plus,… More >>
  • Best Literary Survivor on the Move

    Fahrenheit's Books

    We had doubts when one of the most enjoyable used bookstores on the Broadway scene headed a few blocks south last year, into a smaller space. But fear not. The stock isn't quite as wide-ranging as in the former locale, but Fahrenheit's remains one of the most eclectic, surprising and offbeat places to browse away an afternoon, whether you're hunting… More >>
  • Best Literary Survivor Staying Put

    The Hermitage Bookshop

    So if print is dead, how has Denver's most venerable antiquarian book dealer managed to hawk his fine leather wares — in upscale Cherry Creek digs, no less — for all these years? Opened in 1973, the Hermitage has survived the rise of amazon.com and the death of countless publishing houses, as well as a stint on one of the… More >>
  • Best Coin Dealer in Uncertain Times

    Dave's Gold & Silver Exchange

    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. In a perilous economy, lots of people look to precious metals and collectable coins, but there are plenty of weirdos in the field as well as professionals. We like Dave Eichenberger's shop because the folks there are friendly, well-versed in the eccentricities of coin collecting, never intimidating and eminently fair, both… More >>
  • Best Film/Video Transfer

    Home Video Studio

    Sooner or later, everyone has to deal with that pile of neglected memories in an outdated format gathering dust in the attic or garage. Whether it's a stack of fading VHS tapes from the 1980s, home movies from the 1950s or a mélange of slides and snapshots that span generations, Steve Dalbec's home studio, the local franchise of a national… More >>
  • Best Shop in Belmar

    Composition - CLOSED

    There's quite a bit of high-caliber retail at Belmar, but Jennifer Roberts's modern design boutique, Composition, rose above the rest thanks to its plethora of delightfully creative doodads — the sort of stuff that may not be essential to your existence but will surely make life a tiny bit more wonderful. Hankering for a four-lens camera? They've got it. A… More >>
  • Best Place to Write Your Wrongs

    Scribbles

    For many urbanites living in the wi-fi world, letter-writing may seem as quaint and useless as butter churning or mustache waxing. At Scribbles, you'll want to leave the soulless world of texting and emoticons at the door. The shop is filled with wedding invitations, stationery and artist-made greeting cards. The baby books are so awesome that many customers decide to… More >>
  • Best Do-It-Yourself Book by a Local

    Vintage Hairstyling Lauren Rennells

    Colorado hair stylist Lauren Rennells is a lady with a past, boasting an extensive career of styling for film and photography shoots, and it's in the past that she found the inspiration for Vintage Hairstyling, a picture-perfect manual on how to create retro looks, from pageboys and pompadours to victory rolls and finger waves. In spite of the vintage spin… More >>
  • Best Salon for Curly Hair

    Shapes Salon and Studio

    Sure, curly-haired girls can get a haircut at the same salons that their straight-haired friends patronize, but they risk the dreaded triangle hair (flat on top, poofy on the bottom) or the rounded, teased cut à la '80s hair-metal enthusiasts. Luckily for us curly girls, Denver has Shapes Salon and Studio, where the specialty is the Deva Curl method of… More >>
  • Best Green Manicures (With Wine)

    Sweet Life Nail Bar and Lounge

    We all have our favorite manicurists, but Sweet Life Nail Bar and Lounge has an edge, a gentle one, that just might change your mind. It starts with the toxin-free, long-lasting, many-colored Zoya products that owner Diane Bilello insists on using, which leaves the Stapleton salon virtually odorless, a novelty in and of itself. But then sink back on this:… More >>
  • Best Store in Cherry Creek

    Pekoe Sip House at Origins - CLOSED

    Origins you might already know: Showcasing natural cosmetics in a clean, light store with a grass, ash and concrete color scheme and a pleasant perfume, the operation also gives facials and chair massages, inviting customers to stop and set a while. To make it easier, there's a Pekoe Sip House tea counter within the spacious boutique, with rustic barnwood benches… More >>
  • Best Store on Old South Pearl Street

    Seven Cups - CLOSED

    Greg Fellman opened the local Seven Cups, a franchise based in Tucson, with a mission. After living in China, where his interest in tea blossomed, he hoped to introduce Denverites to the subtleties of fine Chinese teas by sharing his knowledge while offering an exclusive selection of quality, organically grown leaves. And he does it there every day, selling dozens… More >>
  • Best Tea Time in a Bike Shop

    Urbanistic Tea and Bike Shop

    It will discombobulate you at first to see tea strainers and bike locks hanging side by side, and the odor of rubber and grease isn't what you usually expect to mingle with the delicate scents of tea. But somehow it all works at Urbanistic Tea and Bike Shop, a little nook in Highlands Square that is run by the brother-sister… More >>
  • Best Proper Girl's Birthday Party

    Oak and Berries Tea Room

    Several years ago, tea-mistress extraordinaire Roxanne May ran the Oak & Berries at the Holiday Chalet Inn on East Colfax. She eventually turned in her tea bags for other ventures, though not for long: A loyal customer asked her to host a private tea in the Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys, which she did, and continues to do so… More >>
  • Best Teas

    Teatulia

    Denver-based Teatulia doesn't market a lot of teas: it offers a simple range of eight organic, pesticide-free leaves and blends direct from a sustainable Bangladesh tea garden. But all of them are grown naturally and packaged in biodegradable canisters. Teatulia also supports a Bangladeshi cooperative by feeding a portion of profits back into the community to establish cattle herds and… More >>
  • Best New Store on Broadway

    Sweet Action Ice Cream

    This hoppin' stretch of Broadway has been more than ripe for an ice cream store for a long time, and finally, Sweet Action, with its open-air storefront and funky flavors, delivers the goods. Creamery mavens Samantha Kopicko and Chia Basinger start with some fresh basics — milk and cream from Diamond D Natural Dairy and scintillating spices from Savory Spice… More >>
  • Best Discount for a Flash

    Le Bakery Sensual

    You know Le Bakery Sensual for its naked-lady cakes, giant penis icing designs and inappropriately hilarious desserts. But the erotic party shop and bakery also lets customers put their money where their mouths are: On Fridays, shoppers get 10 percent off their order if they flash the sales staff. Welcome to the naked city.… More >>
  • Best Shop at DIA

    New Belgium Hub

    Walk into the Greetings From Colorado shop on Concourse A, and you might walk out with a T-shirt manufactured in Haiti — boasting the wrong date for the founding of Denver. Wander over to Denver's Picture Show Popcorn, and you'll find neither a Denver-based movie (a rare commodity, admittedly) nor Colorado corn. For a true taste of this state before… More >>
  • Best Store on the 16th Street Mall

    Jerri's Tobacco Shop and Fine Wines

    Hidden behind the Hard Rock Cafe and in the shade of the Denver Pavilions, Jerri's Tobacco Shop isn't the kind of store you happen upon accidentally. It's a place you seek out because someone's brother recommended it or because a guy at the bar told you about it. Located downtown since 1955, when Jerry Goodman opened for business, the shop… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Whiskey and a Western

    Watson's Liquor and Grocery

    Stressful work environment? Bad breakup? Some days simply beg to be killed off with a bourbon, a beer and an old Western movie. Happily, you can get all three at Watson's, which has held down the corner of Ninth and Lincoln since the 1950s. The store started selling old Westerns — which are prominently on display above the counter —… More >>
  • Best Over-the-Counter Healer

    Bonnie's Balms of Wheat Ridge

    Made in a small kitchen in Wheat Ridge, Bonnie's line of natural salves and ointments are good for the aches and pains of an active life. They take the sting out of climbers' skinned knees and split thumbs, soothe sunburns and sore muscles and help repair cracked lips and feet. Tree resins, shea butter, arnica, comfrey root and Colorado sunflower… More >>
  • Best Zero-Waste Outlet

    Ellie's Eco Home Store - CLOSED

    What could be more Boulder than an eco-friendly department store? Ellie's covers all the bases: There are green building materials, compact fluorescent lightbulbs, recycled copy paper, non-toxic cleaners, organic cotton sheets, just about everything compostable (from paper plates to trash bags) and even electric scooters. The green mega-market, an offshoot of manufacturer Eco-Products, which has been making biodegradable items in… More >>
  • Best Home Tours

    Denver's Old House Society

    Older homes are typically loaded with character, and some people love nothing better than to stroll through a neighborhood and check out the architecture. For them, there Denver's Old House Society and its guided walking tours. The outings are hosted by Denver homeowners and designed by the nonprofit's boardmembers (who collectively have architectural, construction, historic preservation and zoning experience), and… More >>
  • Best Paint Store

    New Era Paint

    Laurie Hessemer has lived in a lot of places, but when she decided to mine her background in green building supplies, she chose Colorado. Paint, she reasoned, is an affordable home-improvement commodity, especially for people who decide to stay and fix up their homes instead of selling, and that's how she conceived of New Era, the only store in the… More >>
  • Best Indoor Flea Market

    Oh, So Charming Cottage

    Behind the quaint pink door of this, well, charming shop, you'll find an ongoing flea-full of quality antiques and vintage decor. But like any true flea market worth its dust, Oh, So Charming only opens its pink door for one weekend monthly, offering the same kind of changing selection you'd find on the street, under an umbrella, at one of… More >>
  • Best Thrift-Store Deal

    Safari Seconds

    We already like Safari Seconds enough to have raved about it here in 2006 and 2008, but the place, a dirt-cheap, refugee-run thrift store that helps African immigrants get on their feet, just keeps on giving. Since moving last summer to a more visible space on Broadway, the shop has hosted clothing giveaways every last Friday of the month, sometimes… More >>
  • Best Resale for Real Women

    Upscale Plus

    If you're going to be a big lady, why not just be one? With places like this to shop at, it's still easy to look like a million, and we're not talking pounds. At UpScale Plus, the focus is on quality consignments, which means you won't leave the store looking like you've thrown on a sack. Instead, expect used career… More >>
  • Best Resale for Haute Kids

    Couture Kids Consignment Boutique

    Couture Kids does sell stuff for boys from Wes & Willie and Quiksilver, but the overall effect of the place is overwhelmingly girl, favoring upscale duds, including hot styles from Juicy Couture and Guess, preppy outfits from Mini Boden, trendy layered looks from Little Mass, cute little dresses from Baby Lulu and so on. Owner Cailin Clements also stocks new… More >>
  • Best Fashion for Babies

    Rock the Cradle - CLOSED

    Forget pastels and frills: Brian and Melissa Ball of Rock the Cradle think that babies are cute all on their own and don't need any help from their clothes. Yet they also agree that even babies deserve to make a fashion statement — one that leans toward the same organic natural fabrics, edgy contemporary graphics and local and independent vendors… More >>
  • Best Store for a Coonskin Cap

    The Wizard's Chest

    The coonskin cap is an icon of American frontier history, and for many decades was a mainstay in any kid's toy chest. But you don't see them around much anymore, which can be a problem when you really need one — because there's simply no easy substitute. Thankfully, you can count on the Wizard's Chest, the Cherry Creek North toy… More >>
  • Best Fashion for Brats

    Babysitter's Nightmare

    Babysitter's Nightmare, a junior division of the longstanding goth and punk-wear shop FashioNation, does all it can to live up to its name, in screamin' black, red and leopard skin. But you do have to admit it's kinda cute, and the clothing tends to be well-made and clever. For girls, you can choose from zippered jumpers that go great with… More >>
  • Best Pet Boutique and Bar

    Mouthfuls

    Deb Dempsey and Tonya Payne have created a place where the eats are all natural, unprocessed and delish. New restaurant, you might ask? Not exactly: Mouthfuls is where Berkeley Park denizens and their pets try out a smorgasbord of doggie munchies, from hand-baked cookies and scrumptious training treats to bags of chow from makers like California Natural, Candidae and Nature's… More >>
  • Best Store on North Tennyson Street

    Clotheshorse Consignment Boutique

    This sister act, owned by Wendy and Sue Sjogren, is a veritable slice of resale heaven, stocked with a goldmine of beautiful bargains that change with every week and season, are chosen with care and are impeccably, immaculately clean. Cashmere? Piles of it. Coach? Buttery bags hanging from the rafters. High-end, unscuffed pumps? In the house. Scarves? Designer jeans? Business… More >>
  • Best Bridal Shop

    Anna BÉ

    Anna Bé is exactly what you always imagined a wedding-dress shop would look like: a charming boutique with exposed brick walls and four neat rows of simple, elegant designer dresses; one massive pedestal before a three-tiered mirror; and not another bride in sight. Adorable, never-pushy co-owner Anna is only concerned with you. She'll bring you and your friends champagne and… More >>
  • Best Boulder DIY Boutique

    Common Threads

    Common Threads is a combination high-end used-clothing consignment boutique, local-product gift shop and creative lab, where you can learn to repurpose your newly purchased secondhand rags or send your kid to a spring-break sewing camp. Designed also with a dual purpose — to serve at-risk girls from Boulder's AIM House with special programs and to cater to the public at… More >>
  • Best Store on Old South Gaylord Street

    Pome

    Pome is perennial winner in our book, so you'd think we'd have a hard time thinking of something new to say about it. But that's just the thing: Kate Feinsod's adorable home-away-from-home Pome is undergoing a move and a makeover, and we just have to crow about it. Opportunity knocked when the Art Pedlar, a longtime ceramic shop across the… More >>
  • Best Store on the Pearl Street Mall

    Two Sole Sisters

    Shoe aficionados and sisters Laurel and Lindsey Tate are into the whole foot, and they've decided that you don't have to sacrifice either comfort or style when choosing the right footwear. We like their shop partly because it is still independent on a stretch of the mall that's becoming less and less so, and because it features a truly cosmopolitan… More >>
  • Best Store in Downtown Littleton

    Pink Attic Cat

    Formerly called Mind Your Manor, Amy Doherty's vintage shop in Downtown Littleton will put you in mind of your grandma's attic, stuffed to the rafters as it is with pure treasure — Scrabble tiles, typewriter keys, bits of ribbon, old-fashioned postcards, tin toys — and bona fide antiques, from pretty flowered teacups to full-sized tables and wardrobes. In spring, there's… More >>
  • Best Store in Old Towne Arvada

    Lovely Boutique

    Lovely isn't the first of its kind in these parts and it won't be the last, but the vogue-ish, eco-centric boutique is certainly a sign of the times. The shop, which opened about a year ago in Olde Town by young entrepreneurs Emilie Oliver and Hallie Westall, features reasonably priced but trendsetting clothing made only from sustainable natural fabrics and… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy a Maxi Coat

    Nejashi Textiles and Gifts

    The maxis are coming, the maxis are coming! Maybe not, but if you do find yourself hiding your legs underneath one in the coming seasons, have you thought about what to wear over it? Truthfully, the ankle-length coats at this Ethiopian boutique that caters to Muslims would do just as well over a mini when the fall breezes start to… More >>
  • Best Milliner

    Go Go Chapeaux

    Hat-making is one of those old arts that, in the age of mass production and cookie-cutter style, are fast becoming lost. But that didn't stop milliner Erin Saboe from breaking the mold. Her impetus? Flat-out love. Saboe, who studied the milliner's craft at FIT in New York, loves hats and wants the world to know how wonderful a good one… More >>
  • Best Store on West 32nd Avenue

    Rejuvanest

    Though a small store, Rejuvanest feels as if it's got an endless variety of nooks and crannies each jammed with baby blankets and bibs, aromatic bath products and scented ironing water or hand-reupholstered chairs. But it's also bedtime central, whether you're aiming to feel sultry on your wedding night or ootsy-cutesy in your itsy-bitsy bathrobe when you're three months old.… More >>
  • Best Place to Shop Local

    Caboodle

    Caboodle isn't much to look at from the outside: The plain-looking storefront in an unlikely strip mall doesn't attract a lot of attention. But in a way, that matches owner Marlene Nuechterlein's intention to provide stay-at-home mompreneurs, local crafters and out-of-basement businesses an outlet where their locally made and often-recycled wares can be appreciated. Some standouts include Teatulia teas, all-natural… More >>
  • Best Masks

    ArtsMyths

    Fire eater, belly dancer and mask maker Tiffany Smyth is young in years, but her skills as a craftsperson seem as old as the Renaissance, which is a clear influence for her. And it's a potent combination of youth and wisdom that goes into creating the flights of fancy she builds from leather, feathers and beads — from the most… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Re-Ment Miniatures

    Talulah Jones

    What is Re-Ment? It's a Japanese phenomenon, a company that manufactures Puchi Petites plastic miniatures, which resemble those fake food models used by Japanese restaurants to entice customers, only in diminutive form. There are dozens of sets to choose from, including $5 blind boxes. But beware: Puchi Petites are seriously addictive, and you'll find that if you buy the Seafood… More >>
  • Best Anime Store

    Gimme Anime

    There's a lot to recommend about Gimme Anime, but integrity is the foremost reason to feed your cultish obsession for Japanese animation, comics, serial graphic novels and accessories there. Owners Roger Morse and Emily Morse-Lee run a strictly bootleg-free business and stand by the quality of the stock, both new and consigned, that they put on the shelves of their… More >>
  • Best Rockabilly and Cruising Gear

    West Side Sinners - CLOSED

    Erin Bolz of West Side Sinners definitely knows her niche: If you've got a pack of cigarettes rolled in your sleeve, have a Vargas-girl obsession and think Sam Phillips and Carl Perkins created the world, you're probably part of it. And to best serve you, her rockabilly lifestyle store's got everything the cruising crowd could possibly ask for, including hot-blooded… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Your Holes Drilled

    A & B Bowling Supply Co.

    Move over, Hollywood stars: At A & B Bowling Supply, the red carpet is reserved for practice bowls. The plush runner is not there to look good; it's laid out so bowlers can learn the proper handling of their balls. This is the place to go when you need custom drilling while you wait. Be sure to ask for Neil… More >>
  • Best Shop at Northfield/Stapleton

    Bass Pro Shop

    From I-70, Bass Pro Shop looks like a mirage — a giant funplex surrounded by a sea of boats in landlocked Denver. And given the lack of a Northfield exit off the interstate, it can feel like you're chasing a mirage when you try to actually reach this store. But once you locate the proper exit (Quebec Street) and wind… More >>
  • Best Ladies' Bike Accessory

    Betty Basket Liners

    Once Betty Basket Liners creator Tara Thomas Byrnes got her first cruiser bike, she couldn't wait to accessorize. So she sewed herself the first Betty Basket Liner, and damn if it wasn't as cute as a button! Marketing them was a no-brainer: Currently available online-only in a few patchwork combinations of cheery fabrics, the well-stitched, fully-lined bike accessories come in… More >>
  • Best Free LoDo Parking

    Wewatta Street behind Union Station

    LoDo's redevelopment continues at a staggering pace, but every new building means one less parking lot, and without them, finding a place to leave the car gets harder and more expensive. There's still one asphalt oasis among this wasteland of meters, however: Wewatta Street right behind Union Station. This stretch of two-hour free parking is hardly ever full, and it's… More >>
  • Best Way to Avoid Parking Tickets

    www.mymotormaid.com

    It's a bureaucratic slap in the face stuck under your windshield wiper. A stupid parking ticket for not moving your car on street-sweeping day — same as the one you got last month. But now those nefarious parking regulators have met their match, courtesy of www.mymotormaid.com. The online operation sends you monthly e-mail reminders to move your car the night… More >>
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