Shopping & Services

  • Best Free Service


    How best to keep tabs on the inevitable road closures and accidents in winter? You could wade through ads on commercial radio in hopes of catching a traffic update. Or you could whip out your phone and check the Colorado Department of Transportation's Twitter account, where the agency posts regular updates on interstate and surface road closures throughout the business… More >>
  • Best All-Organic Beauty Shop

    Vert Beauty

    A one-stop shop for all-organic personal care, Vert Beauty knows that a happy customer is a conscious one. Opened just a few months ago, the Highland shop has already cornered the market on a long-awaited necessity: all-organic, cruelty-free, responsibly sourced bath and beauty products for men, women and children. From fragrances for the home and body to moisturizers, sunscreens, skin… More >>
  • Best Free Medical Advice

    Speak to a Nurse Hotline

    In the age of so-called affordable care, we like the idea of checking with a nurse about what the doctor is or isn't telling us. Centura offers one of several nurse hotlines in the area. Unlike Denver Health's round-the-clock operation, the Speak to a Nurse Hotline is available just twelve hours a day, but if you're calling during business hours,… More >>
  • Best DIY Legal Resource

    Denver Courts Self-Help Centers

    Early this year, Denver County Court opened a Civil Self Help Center in the City and County Building, staffed by a bilingual attorney, to assist the beleaguered in navigating the forms and processes for self-representation in small-claims matters, protection orders, evictions and more (but no legal advice allowed). Add to that the self-help centers for probate, domestic relations and juvenile… More >>
  • Best Instant Information

    ASK US! Online Chat Service, DPL

    You say "po-tay-to," I say "po-tah-to": Do you ever get into this type of spat with your search engine? Now, thanks to the Denver Public Library, there are live librarians at your fingertips, via the library's ASK US! 24-hour chat service. All you need is your computer and questions that need answering, and they'll expertly guide you through the process… More >>
  • Best Government Commitment to Serving Everybody

    Services for Persons With Disabilities

    Over the years, the Denver Public Library has added an impressive array of adaptive technologies to assist the visually or hearing impaired and others, from equipment that magnifies reading materials and computer screens to a printer that produces text documents in Braille and scanners that convert print to spoken words. Best of all, much of the new equipment can be… More >>
  • Best Hope for IV Drug Users

    Harm Reduction Action Center

    The Harm Reduction Action Center served injection drug users long before syringe exchanges were legal by providing them not only with clean rigs to help them protect themselves and others against disease, but also with education and classes about how to break free of their addiction. Because of this, the organization has built trust with a population that is skeptical… More >>
  • Best Way to Find Free Condoms

    The Internet is great for lots of things, obvi. But did you know it can also help you avoid STDs and baby-making?, a website backed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, uses Google Maps to plot all the places in Denver (and several other cities around the country) that give out free condoms. Just enter your… More >>
  • Best Name for a Tattoo Shop

    Kitchens' Ink Tattoo & Art Gallery

    The idea of a stranger digging ink-soaked needles into your skin for hours at a time can be scary, so you have to find comfort where you can when getting a tattoo. Kitchens' Ink provides this comfort through its name, which nods to the coziest room in the house. "It's where everybody hangs out. I liked how personable it is… More >>
  • Best Selection of Body Jewelry

    Sol Tribe Tattoo & Body Piercing

    From steel studs to shell plugs, Sol Tribe is the place to fill your body-modification needs. The shop carries a seemingly endless selection of body jewelry in all shapes, sizes and materials, including gold, silver, bone, glass, wood, stone, shell and stainless steel. But staffers don't just sell the hardware; they install it, too. Owned by Alicia Cardenas and Kevin… More >>
  • Best Name for a Hair Salon

    Hair and Now

    We've been collecting salon names around the globe, but aren't about to split hairs. For pure existential panache, it's hard to beat Hair and Now — which is very much in the now in Aurora's Fairways Shopping Center.… More >>
  • Best Name for a Marijuana Dispensary

    Trenchtown MMC

    Dispensaries with music-related names just make us happy. That's why we've had two Grateful Dead-themed winners in the past and why we're going with Trenchtown, a Bob Marley-inspired shop, this year. As the wise Rastaman once said, "One good thing about music — when it hits you, you feel no pain." Unless, of course, you're smoking poorly grown weed, in… More >>
  • Best Dispensary Name for a Non-Marijuana-Related Business

    Colorado Joint Replacement Center

    The Colorado Joint Replacement Center sounds like a stoner's dream, but the orthopedic surgery center near the University of Denver is talking about a whole different kind of joint.… More >>
  • Best MMJ Dispensary for Patient Perks

    The Herbal Cure

    Medical marijuana patients designate dispensaries as their primary caregivers in exchange for the right to grow six of their own plants, and it's nice to get something in return. The Herbal Center does right by its patients, who get at least 10 percent off retail pricing on herb, edibles and concentrates as well as a $225 cap on ounces. The… More >>
  • Best Edibles


    While some edibles companies have been busted in recent months for selling pot-infused foods with little to no actual pot in them, Incredibles chocolate bars always pack the full punch advertised on their packaging. The bars contain a range of THC concentrates, including icewater hash and CO2-extracted oil. What the Lakewood company doesn't use is alcohol- or butane-based extractions —… More >>
  • Best Mind-Altering Edibles That Don't Contain THC

    The Chocolate Therapist

    Chocolate guru Julie Pech gave talks on the health benefits of chocolate for years before finally opening her own gourmet chocolate-and-coffee shop in downtown Littleton. And the Chocolate Therapist has been such a hit that she's now moving into franchising. You can count on the chocolates and toffee to be handcrafted in small batches on the premises, without artificial flavorings… More >>
  • Best Concentrate Company

    Top Shelf Extracts

    Of all the concentrates we sampled last year from medical dispensaries, one batch of shatter stood out as the strongest, most flavorful of them all — which shouldn't be surprising, since it came from one of the oldest and most widespread concentrate companies, Top Shelf Extracts. The amber chunk of Kandy Kush was very clear, very clean and very tasty.… More >>
  • Best Hot Budtender — Male

    Zac Maas - CLOSED

    If you looked up the definition of "masculinity" in an ancient Viking text written by a drunkard, it would most likely describe the steaming chunk of man-meat that is Zac "Bear Man" Maas. His rugged good looks do him well as a budtender at the Releaf Center, where the eligible bachelor woos the ladies day in and day out with… More >>
  • Best Hot Budtender — Female

    Chanel Wing

    While some people would say that "hotness" is purely on the outside, we find that true beauty comes in the form of intelligence, knowledge and compassion. The good news is that Chanel Wing fits both descriptions. The dark, cat-eyed Wing gave us a detailed rundown of nearly every strain on her shelves during our visit to Lush last year, and… More >>
  • Best Pre-Mountains Medical Marijuana Pit Stop

    Rocky Mountain Organic Medicine

    If you're a stoner skier or boarder, you've probably done this at least once: walked out the door and left your bag of herb sitting on the counter next to a freshly poured travel cup of coffee and your season lift pass. You can replace the pass and get more coffee at the base of the mountain, but that herb?… More >>
  • Best TV Commercial

    Mile High Pipe & Tobacco

    Rules established by the Colorado legislature generally prevent marijuana stores from advertising on TV, and most broadcast stations are being ultra-cautious about considering such business, regardless of the time of day. But Mile High Pipe & Tobacco has found a way to share its highly potent message on late-night cable without causing the city's social fabric to fray. Recent sassy… More >>
  • Best Podcast

    These Things Matter

    The premise of These Things Matter is simple: Denver-centric celebs join hosts Taylor Gonda and Kevin O'Brien to talk about something or someone in popular culture that changed their life. Gonda and O'Brien steer conversations in unexpected directions, as well-known folks such as OpenAir DJ Alisha Sweeney and comedian Adam Cayton-Holland join in with personal anecdotes about topics like Weezer,… More >>
  • Best Radio Talk-Show Host

    Gloria Neal

    Listeners can usually guess what talk-radio hosts are going to say by which station employs them: Yakkers at conservative outlets will hit the typical right-wing buttons, just as those on liberal broadcasts can be relied on to promote left-of-center talking points. But while Gloria Neal is currently employed at a progressive-dial spot, her wide range of experience on radio and… More >>
  • Best TV Anchor

    Jim Benemann

    Once upon a time, Jim Benemann was a new kid on the Denver TV-news scene. But after briefly leaving the market, he returned to fill the CBS4 anchor chair in 2003, and in the decade-plus since, he's grown into his role, providing much-needed gravitas when the subject is serious, but shifting easily into avuncular mode once the mood lightens. Unlike… More >>
  • Best TV Newscast


    Back in the days when Denver was a two-newspaper town, 7News was the odd station out — the only one of the traditional big-three network outlets that didn't have a content-sharing agreement with a Denver daily. As such, the station developed a scrappy, chip-on-its-shoulder attitude that's still part of its culture today, even though, in a notable role reversal, it's… More >>
  • Best TV Weathercaster

    Becky Ditchfield

    Whereas too many TV stations are boys' clubs when it comes to weathercasters, 9News is the opposite, with longtime star Kathy Sabine supplemented by a supporting cast that includes Belen De Leon and Danielle Grant (plus token guy Marty Coniglio). As a result, Becky Ditchfield sometimes gets overlooked. But she's been a steady presence since joining the station in 2007,… More >>
  • Best Hair on a TV Personality — Female

    Corey Rose

    How did Corey Rose ever decide to go into TV news? Her glamorous look makes her seem more like a model, a spokeswoman, or one of those actresses who always seem to travel with their own personal wind machine. Her flowing locks, which appear to encompass all the colors of the follicle rainbow without looking bizarre, are so lush and… More >>
  • Best Hair on a TV Personality — Male

    Justin Joseph

    One of the busiest reporters on the local scene, Justin Joseph keeps most of his hair close-cropped — so it doesn't start going wild when he's doing a live shot in gale-force winds, for instance. But lest you think he's too square, he rocks a cheeky peak up top to let you know he's hip, he's happening, and he isn't… More >>
  • Best New Face on a Colorado Icon

    Shotgun Willie's

    For three decades, Shotgun Willie's was housed in an unflashy little building next to the Glendale Target parking lot, entertaining the masses as only Shotgun Willie's can. But in 2013, the owners of the gentleman's club decided to replace the droopy old digs with firmer ones. Set back from the street, the new building is bigger and fancier but still… More >>
  • Best Handcrafted Signs

    Kevin Hennessy

    You might not know his name, but you've seen Kevin Hennessy's hand-painted work both inside and outside of City, O' City, Nooch Vegan Market and Cafe Europa. In fact, his high-style handwriting is everywhere, proving that commerce-oriented art doesn't have to be a graphic-designed mess. From the simple restroom signage at Adrift Tiki Bar to the vertical announcement of Ironwood's… More >>
  • Best Way to Score a Ride in a Famous Car

    Colorado Movie Cars

    Wanna take a spin in the Ghostbusters Ecto-1? How about Scooby-Doo's Mystery Machine? When Colorado Movie Cars hosts its annual haunted-house tour/fundraiser, you and your friends get a VIP ride and extra-special treatment at four of the area's scariest haunts, followed by a cruise around the city that will having strangers snapping pictures on every street corner. And while you… More >>
  • Best Family-Friendly Parties

    Kalina Ross Productions

    Named one of Westword's 100 Colorado Creatives, Kalina Ross is a superstar at making everyone a part of her parties. A former partner in Urban Cipher, a group supporting entrepreneurial activities through events featuring local small businesses, Ross branched out on her own for the holiday season with the Night Fair Before Christmas, an all-ages music-, art- and merchant-oriented winter… More >>
  • Best Place to Take Kids on a Rainy Day

    ROCK'n & JAM'n

    It's never cold and rainy at ROCK'n & JAM'n, which means that parents and kiddos can enjoy the indoor climbing gyms virtually anytime. For those ages five to eighteen, programs range from parent-child bonding classes to competitive climbing courses. Whatever you choose, it's all about technique — something that helps youngsters develop fine and gross motor skills while building confidence.… More >>
  • Best Toddler Class for Hipsters

    Rocky Mountain Aardvarks

    Janet Casson, a New York expat, has brought her unique, Brooklyn-bred music classes to Denver. Instead of just teaching kids how to play music, she focuses her Rocky Mountain Aardvarks classes on showing them how to love it. In the process, youngsters — and their parents — learn new ways to express themselves.… More >>
  • Best Playground

    Adventure Playground at Sandstone Ranch

    Designed by landscape architect Kerry White, this custom adventure playground delivers one of the most unique and eclectic diversions around. The theme is grounded in nature; even manufactured equipment is wholly designed with the goal of giving children control over their play experience via fun features like a boulder labyrinth, a climbing wall leading to a whimsical treehouse, and a… More >>
  • Best Cup of Coffee for Do-Gooders

    Global Goods and Coffee Shop

    Give a little, get a lot: That's the thinking behind Arvada's Global Goods and Coffee Shop, where the coffee is fair-trade and merchandise sales benefit the nonprofit Global Refuge International, an organization providing aid to victims of war, disease and disaster in undeveloped nations. Along with the java, Global Goods offers an ever-changing selection of Burmese and Ugandan craft goods,… More >>
  • Best Fair-Trade Imports


    Housed in an old South Broadway Denver Square, incaZteca develops business relationships with artisans in Mexico, Guatemala and Peru to bring beautiful handwoven items, tooled leather accessories, alpaca rugs, embroidered bags, carved gourds, beaded jewelry and folk art galore to its shelves. The woven alpaca hats and scarves are reason enough to visit the shop, but anyone who wants a… More >>
  • Best Oddball Collectibles

    Aurora's Family Pharmacy

    Going to the neighborhood drugstore is already practically a thing of the past; even rarer is the experience you'll find at the Family Pharmacy, where you can buy a bottled soda from an old-fashioned red-enamel Coca-Cola cooler and stock up on Beanie Babies, Precious Moments figurines and whatever other high shlock your heart desires. The shop is a working pharmacy,… More >>
  • Best High-Hipster Gallery and Gift Shop

    Super Ordinary Gallery + Retail Space

    In every venture they've taken on, it seems that Tran and Josh Wills have tried to combine their many interests — fashion, design, art and lifestyle — into a well-displayed gestalt of what's ultimately cool in modern times. But this new incarnation of Super Ordinary, located in hipster marketplace the Source, is that model's most sophisticated manifestation. Partnering with Bryan… More >>
  • Best Highbrow Junk and Eclectica

    Curating the Cool

    Our favorite stores share one thing in common — that they are not common in the least, and Curating the Cool might be the most unusual of them all. That's because the (obviously) curated consignment shop and dumpster-diver's paradise is the ultimate curiosity shop, a mash-up of new and old, including original artwork, oddities, clothing, homemade preserves and body scrubs,… More >>
  • Best New Flea Market

    Valverde Bazaar Outdoor Market

    Antiques dealer Eron Johnson had spring fever early last year, and the Valverde Bazaar was the serendipitous result, a gathering of a select group of creative friends — and their creative friends — for an outdoor market like no other in the metro area. Modeled after London's Portobello Road, where, Johnson recalls, "you never knew what you'd see in the… More >>
  • Best Thrift Store

    ARC Thrift Store

    The best thrift stores are geographically removed from the gaggles of hipsters who peck otherwise decent shops into oblivion, and the ARC Thrift Store on Cortez is just such a place. Here you'll sift through endless racks of well-organized clothes, much of it fashionable; neatly arranged furniture; shelves of books you might actually want to read; and row after deep… More >>
  • Best Store for Everyone

    Cedar & Hyde Mercantile

    The wayback model at Cedar & Hyde is the general store, which was once the hub of every whistle-stop, where folks went to buy everything from barrel pickles and lengths of muslin to big-city bonnets and sacks of flour. But nothing's outdated at this shop, which sisters Christie and Poss Lambert call a "modern-day mercantile." The Lamberts start by catering… More >>
  • Best Store on Colfax

    Twist & Shout

    The record store isn't dead — it's alive and well, and Twist & Shout has the legacy to prove it. This Denver institution has moved around the city a few times since its 1988 birth, but several key elements remain — notably, a dedication to stocking shelves with rare and radio-friendly cuts, and a healthy selection of music-related books and… More >>
  • Best Store on Broadway

    Fancy Tiger

    While their iconic craft and clothing stores didn't singlehandedly bring the bustle back to Broadway, Matthew Brown and jaime Jennings's Fancy Tiger mini-empire certainly led the way. The couple saw the potential of the Baker shopping district and ran with it, and both stores have grown comfortably into the rhythm of the street. Brown's clothing-and-accesories boutique exudes a hipsterish elegance… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Shopping District

    South Broadway

    Part of South Broadway's appeal is its length: Cut up into one distinct shopping oasis after another, all the way south to Englewood, it's an urban silk road of industry and quirky businesses that one could easily spend a full week exploring from end to end. Baker is a jewel box of singular shops — Lowbrow, Fancy Tiger, Buffalo Exchange,… More >>
  • Best Store on the 16th Street Mall

    Tattered Cover

    The Tattered Cover started a new chapter this year when it gave up a floor in LoDo and moved most of its offices to the Colfax location. But there's still plenty to love in this store, a true oasis on the edge of the 16th Street Mall. The setting alone — a turn-of-the-last-century warehouse building with high ceilings, big windows… More >>
  • Best Store on 13th Avenue

    Kilgore Books & Comics

    A Capitol Hill staple, Kilgore offers a fabulous, neighborhood-friendly selection of used books for the best prices. The titles are hand-picked by owners Luke Janes and Dan Stafford, who specialize in offbeat fiction by the likes of Kerouac, Bukowski, Vonnegut and Palahniuk, as well as a wide range of tomes on philosophy, the occult, metaphysics and science fiction. Kilgore is… More >>
  • Best Store on the Pearl Street Mall

    Boulder Book Store

    Year after year, the Boulder Book Store stands out as a must-stop shop for anyone meandering the Pearl Street Mall. An intriguing layout makes browsers feel like they're in an old library, while the endless selection — books line every wall, table and empty space — could waylay a shopper for hours. There's just something about climbing the shop's steep,… More >>
  • Best Modern Home Shop in Boulder

    LON Little Shop

    Shop owners no longer merchandise their shelves; they curate them. And Lon McGowen of Boulder's LON Little Shop might just be the most particular curator of them all. He's got a knack for making a tiny closet of a space look somehow airy, using a cocktail of spare, smart design and a handpicked selection of perfect items to make it… More >>
  • Best Maker Supply

    The Concoctory

    What is a maker? It's a relevant question in these times, when everyone wants to be a creative and has access to the tools — from a basic laptop to a sewing machine — to do it. The Concoctory was concocted to help define the art of making, and it does so in a variety of ways — beginning with… More >>
  • Best Recycled Art Supplies


    There is so much stuff in the world that doesn't rot away overnight. The planet is overflowing with it, and landfills can't hold any more. But Spacecraft, which calls itself a "creative reuse store," has found a niche in rescuing at least a tiny portion of usable junk for upcycling by crafters and artists. Think of it as a craft-supply… More >>
  • Best Environmentally Correct House Paint

    Casa Verde Paint

    We gave Laurie Hessemer an award five years ago, when she ran New Era Paint in Lakewood; now she's back with Casa Verde, a paint emporium that's 100 percent environmentally responsible, a plus in these health-conscious times. Specializing in green building products that ensure safer homes for families, Casa Verde stocks only predominantly VOC-free, non-toxic house paints in a rainbow… More >>
  • Best Place to Furnish the Upcycled Home


    A lamp made from a stack of old books. A suitcase repurposed as a side table. A vintage TV upcycled as another, with a glass case for storage. These are just a few of the ways Kristine Hatanaka of Stina fancies up her vintage finds for a second life. Other pieces she simply refinishes or sells as is, and the… More >>
  • Best Feel-Good Home Improvement Store

    Go Green Warehouse

    Go Green Warehouse is a home handyperson's dream, neatly packed with new, secondhand and reclaimed building materials, tools and appliances. The home-improvement store also offers gently used furniture at a nice price and everything the do-it-yourselfer might need for an indoor or outdoor beautification project. But it isn't just Go Green's emphasis on recycling that makes it special; the renovation… More >>
  • Best Fabric Shop for Quilters


    You've gotta have a niche to keep your business alive in this mean old retail world, and Treelotta's is quilting, but not that old-lady quilting of yesteryear. On the heels of the crafting renaissance, quilting's become hip, not stolid, and Treelotta's got the modern printed fabrics, along with the know-how, to bring the craft full circle into the 21st century.… More >>
  • Best Monsters

    A Monster to Love

    It's not that everyone in the world really needs a monster to love, but the story of this father-and-sons cottage business seals the deal. Ray Tollison and his twin boys, Ben and Sam, have teamed up to cut, stuff and sew up their own line of adorable fabric-and-felt monsters, and they do so with intent: For every Monster to Love… More >>
  • Best Colorado T-Shirts


    "Friends. Mountains. Love. Radness." That's the credo of Adam Sikorski's Coloradical, which he started as a line of Colorado-centric hand-stenciled T-shirts four years ago, and a recurring theme in his Coloradical merchandise, which more often than not includes images of snowcapped peaks, sunshine and the joys of living in the woods. In those few short years, as he's added new… More >>
  • Best Colorado Hats

    Colorado Beanies

    The rollout of the state's brand-new "brand" last year, frequently mistaken for a triangular green hazmat sign, has made us all appreciate the continuing surge in popularity of the Colorado state flag and its simple elegance. And what better way to wrap yourself — or at least your noggin — in the flag than with a well-knit beanie, handmade right… More >>
  • Best Colorado Everything

    I Heart Denver

    Samuel Schimek's I Heart Denver perennially makes our Best of Denver list because Schimek rocks a retail model like no other, merchandising all-Colorado-made goods like art on the wall — which, at IHD, it often is. The artists and designers represented on the shop's shelves receive a generous 70 percent profit from sales of their work, and locals and out-of-towners… More >>
  • Best Unexpected Shoe Shop

    Starlet Shoe Closet

    Starlet the boutique has been a part of the Highlands Square landscape for years, and the more recent South Broadway edition has become a Baker staple. But the Highland store's Shoe Closet, a space within the space that has its own entrance, is still a novelty that hasn't worn off, stocking its hidden shelves seasonally with the cutest secret kicks… More >>
  • Best Vintage Boutique

    Niche Market

    Located next door to the craft boutique Rakun, Niche has become exactly what its name implies, bringing a fun mix of vintage clothing and furniture, knickknacks and more to the teeming gallery district on Santa Fe Drive. And along with the old, Niche weaves in a thread of the new and near-new, such as patterned winter beanies repurposed from sweaters… More >>
  • Best Resale Boutique


    SecondLove is everything Goodwill is not: NOT picked over, NOT dowdy, NOT worn out and NOT out of style. But like your neighborhood thrift store, this Highland resale shop, which is run by sisters, caters to everyone — men, women and kids — and carries not only clothing, but home goods and vintage furniture. The difference is that it's lovingly,… More >>
  • Best Boutique for the Colorado Lifestyle

    32nd West

    As a Coloradan, sometimes you need to define both the mountain yin and urban yang of our lifestyle, which is exactly what 32nd West strives to do. A cousin of Evergreen's Boone Mountain Sports, this shop interweaves the active and the urban as suits its citified location, offering chic city wear alongside sturdy backpacks, sunglasses and classy, comfy boots for… More >>
  • Best Resale Boutique Expansion

    Common Threads

    We took note when Boulder's Common Threads resale boutique opened a Denver annex a few years ago. But early this year, the upscale recycler took advantage of a vacancy next door to expand. That means that Common Threads can now also expand its already stellar easy-urban clothing racks to include the athletic wear and outdoor apparel that Coloradans are always… More >>
  • Best Services by a Resale Boutique

    Zoe's Chic Resale Boutique

    Customer service is a distinguishing factor in the success of any boutique, and at Zoe's, it's clearly understood, because along with the West Wash Park shop's racks of high-end reruns, there's a personal touch you won't get just anyplace. The perks at Zoe's, the brainchild of mother-daughter Zoe and Harper Mance, include estate-liquidation services, closet consultations and a personal-shopping option,… More >>
  • Best New Menswear


    If you're going to rock a look, men, you might as well do it right. Steadbrook, located in the hipster heart of the South Broadway shopping district, is your go-to when it comes to polishing yourself up, 21st-century style. What's good about it? Skinny pants, button-down shirts in subtle prints, earthy shoes, down-with-it headwear, masculine cosmetics and excellent man bags,… More >>
  • Best Used Menswear

    Found Above Ground

    Downtown Louisville is a sweet drag to explore anytime, but the recent debut of Found Above Ground, the menswear companion to the street's longstanding women's basement resale shop, Found Underground, makes it just that much sweeter, because, hell, yeah, men like to shop, too. Well, some of them. And even the naysayers who order their chinos twice a year from… More >>
  • Best Collision of Couture and Art


    Highland's Goldyn boutique has carved out an unusual niche since it opened a few years back, bringing up-and-coming and established designers to Colorado through its high-profile trunk shows. But what really sets the couture hub apart from the commercial pack is its thought-out collaborations with local artists. Photographer Kristen Hatgi-Sink has designed store windows for the shop, which has also… More >>
  • Best Fashion-Supporting Space

    Fashion Design Center Denver

    Branding itself as the "revolutionary garment district" of Denver, Fashion Design Center Denver may only be a few months old, but the concept was a long time in the making. Westword's 2014 fashion MasterMind Lisa Ramfjord Elstun has long been an active participant in the local couture scene, but she saw the need for a place where up-and-coming designers could… More >>
  • Best Small-Business Empire

    Pandora/Soul Haus

    The hip boutiques that now proliferate on South Broadway and all over town clearly learned a few lessons from Stephanie Shearer and Chris Bacorn, who opened the Capitol Hill boutique Pandora an incredible twenty years ago, and its man-centric companion, Soul Haus, five years after that. Their formula of fashion, handcrafted jewelry, locally sourced vendors, retro cool and an appreciation… More >>
  • Best Pop-Up Store

    Denver Fashion Truck

    Have truck, will travel: Adrian and Desiree Gallegos-Barragan first took to the roads in their plaid-painted Denver Fashion Truck last spring, driven by a stick-to-it spirit and a sense of adventure. Since then, the boutique-on-wheels has become a drive-up presence in trendy neighborhoods and at special events all over town. What makes the truck so darn great? Curation, for one… More >>
  • Best Holiday Craft Show

    Holiday Mancraft

    Stu and Nicky Alden of the Ink Lounge, an Overland screen-printing and design shop, threw their first Holiday Mancraft in 2011 as an alternative to the female-centric craft markets they'd participated in as both vendors and customers. In doing so, they tapped a whole new holiday clientele — guys who love to swill a little beer while shopping and are… More >>
  • Best Indoor Mall

    Cherry Creek Shopping Center

    When it opened in 1990, Cherry Creek Shopping Center looked like any other suburban mall — except that it was planted firmly in the city. Now, nearly 25 years later, the place has transformed itself into an ever-evolving mecca for shoppers from around the world, offering everything from Anthropologie to Z Gallerie. It has all the normal trappings of an… More >>
  • Best Outdoor Mall

    Aspen Grove Lifestyle Center

    Lo, the eternal question in a snowy state as to whether shoppers like outdoor merchants or enclosed malls. Part of the answer can perhaps be found at Aspen Grove, which has been successfully running with its open-air atmosphere for more than a decade. The center includes a diverse selection of shops in a sprawling space directly across from the light… More >>
  • Best Store at DIA

    Kazoo & Company

    After more than thirty years, it was a blow to both the young and the young at heart when Kazoo & Company finally closed its doors in Cherry Creek. But the store's legacy lives on both online, where you can still buy hundreds of toys that are both entertaining and educational, and at Denver International Airport, where an offshoot of… More >>
  • Best Unexpected Store at DIA


    Forget to grab a gift for your big or little sports fan? Stop by Elway's, the fourth outpost of the popular steakhouse, which opened last year on the B Concourse at DIA, and your spirits will soar: The restaurant sells hats and shirts, not to mention steak seasoning, all adorned with the Elway's logo and guaranteed to send the forgotten… More >>
  • Best Place for a Chem-Free Mani

    Base Coat Modern Nail Salon x Gallery

    Safe manicures in a posh but inviting joint are Base Coat's specialty. This modern take on the classic nail salon is unique for many reasons, but its big draw is an emphasis on safe, healthy alternatives to conventional manicure products. Base Coat uses all-natural cuticle oil, lotions and scrubs made by local eco-conscious beauty company R.L. Linden; acrylic nails and… More >>
  • Best Kink Shop

    The Crypt

    Denver has seen many sex shops come and go, but one of the mainstays of the kink and leather scene has been the Crypt. Once you're past the bondage gear, though, you'll discover a treasure trove of sex toys, lubes, condoms and safer sex gear for the wild — or mild — side.… More >>
  • Best Store for Witchy Goods and Services

    Herbs & Arts

    Expert and novice witches, nondenominational spiritual types and folks just looking to load up on incense and essential oils can count on Herbs & Arts for the best selection of otherworldly tools and supplies, as well as the guidance of a staff dedicated to the many realms of ritual. Established in 1993, Herbs & Arts presents a welcoming environment and… More >>
  • Best Magic Store

    Mago's Magic Shoppe

    There's something magical in the air in the Golden Triangle, ever since Matt Jaramillo, aka magician Max Mago, and artist/collector Kristine Hipps opened Mago's Magic Shoppe. For one thing, locals no longer have to ask themselves, "Where can I find myself a magic wand, trick deck and no-tear toilet paper in this town?" Check, check and check. Mago's also offers… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Gardening Store

    City Floral Garden Center

    Whether your thumb is as green as the Emerald City or you want to learn how to plant your first seed, take a trip to City Floral, Denver's oldest working greenhouse. Other greenhouses smell like Monsanto; when you walk into City Floral, you breathe sweet, fertile air perfumed by a jungle of indoor and outdoor plants nourished by the sun… More >>
  • Best Liquor Store

    Argonaut Wine & Liquor

    It's big, it's bold, and for nearly fifty years, this family owned establishment has been both a neighborhood staple and a regional destination for anyone and everyone, from the guys looking for the cheapest fifth available or a 24-pack of party beers, to party planners who need five cases of reasonably priced cabernet, to wine, spirits and beer geeks seeking… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Liquor Store

    Little's Wine and Spirits

    On your way to a blow-out bash? Dinner soiree? Wedding? Funeral? Tupperware party? There's a liquor store — sometimes dozens — in every neighborhood to fill your box or brown paper bag with spirits, suds or syrah. But for a liquor store that delivers superior service, deep knowledge, fair price points and a wonderfully curated selection, the deceptively small Little's… More >>
  • Best Wine Shop

    Mr. B's Wine and Spirits

    When you're counting up Denver's liquid assets, Mr. B's should be at the top of the list. Over the past two decades, Ballpark residents have changed from winos to wine connoisseurs, and brothers Scott and Jared Blauweiss's shop has something for every taste and price point. Although Mr. B's has a full liquor license, the wine selection is particularly good… More >>
  • Best Bakery

    The Denver Bread Company

    Founded nearly twenty years ago, the Denver Bread Company still wows with its array of chewy-crusted European-style loaves. Even if you arrive late and the racks are mostly empty, there's a lingering smell from the ovens to tell you that what's happening here is the real deal. The best remains the boule, a slightly sour, crusty round loaf with petal-like… More >>
  • Best Farmers' Market

    Boulder Farmers' Market

    Unlike many of the markets that have sprouted up across the metro area, the Boulder Farmers' Market is truly a farmers' market, a place set up so that local farmers can sell their goods and customers can meet the people who produce their food. You can stop by a stall and ask the farmer why your raspberries at home are… More >>
  • Best Farmers' Market Vendor

    Wild Alaska Salmon

    Every year, Matt Aboussie goes to Alaska's Bristol Bay — the world's largest sockeye-salmon run — to fish for salmon, and then sells the delicious, omega-3 laden fish at the Boulder Farmers' Market: flash-frozen, hand-cut, boneless, skin-on fillets; smoked salmon flavored with peppercorns or dill; a fine silky lox. Aboussie is almost always manning the stall, and if you stop… More >>
  • Best Cheese Market With Baby Goats

    Broken Shovels Farm

    At Broken Shovels, there's no hiding where artisanal cheeses ultimately come from. Andrea Martin's working goat farm is the backdrop for her weekly Sunday on-farm markets, where tours of the goat pens and sheds go hoof-to-hoof with the merchandise — creamy, beautifully crafted kheer-flavored yogurt, Ethiopian spiced logs, Camembert rounds and cognac Banons wrapped in grape leaves, that Martin makes… More >>