The 16th Street Mall may be considered a “tourist trap” by some Denverites, but other residents regularly head to this mile-long strip through the heart of downtown, dodging petition carriers and out-of-towners gathering by every Free Mall Ride stop to shop and enjoy the sights. Although souvenir stores seem to dominate shopping options on the malls, there are other places worth your while — and cash. Here are our ten favorite stores on the 16th Street Mall, in reverse alphabetical order, with the exception of the 2016 Best of Denver winner at the top of the list.
10. Tattered Cover
1628 16th Street
The Tattered Cover occupies a historic building at the edge of the 16th Street Mall in LoDo, offering a cozy getaway from the downtown madness for book lovers. It's a great spot to buy a gift for the folks you left back in Omaha, or you can curl up with a latte and a good book or magazine in the coffee shop. Check the Tattered Cover event calendar for news of events at the LoDo store, as well as other locations.
912 16th Street
Tourist trap? Yes, but this shop happens to be the only spot on the 16th Street Mall where you can pick up officially licensed sports gear. Even if you’re not from out of town, there may come a time when you score last-minute Rockies tickets and you need to dress the part before meeting up with everyone for happy hour at the other end of the mall. Keep this store in mind for last-minute Father’s Day gifts, as well.
8. Santa Fe Cookie Company
303 16th Street #12 A
The Santa Fe Cookie Company is a hidden gem — but open only from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For over thirty years Debbie Kuehn — better known as the “Cookie Lady” — has been preparing fresh batches of cookies for patrons and leaving them on the counter, relying entirely on a “trust” system. She's been in her current spot on 16th Street since 2008, offering mall-goers the best deal in town.
7. Rockmount Ranch Wear
1626 Wazee Street
Rockmount Ranch Wear is a must-stop for locals and visitors alike. The family-owned outfit started out as a wholesale business that revolutionized Western wear, starting with the first snap buttons; Rockmount has since expanded to offering retail in a renovated LoDo warehouse full of clothes for men, women and children, as well as such accessories as belts, buckles, bolo ties and jewelry. Celebrities like Robert Plant, Blake Shelton and Bob Dylan all have sung the praises of Rockmount Ranch Wear over the years; it's definitely worth a visit just to see the photos of these legends.
6. Rosey’s Boutique
500 16th Street
Fashionistas looking for “outrageous” accessories shouldn't miss Rosey’s Boutique in the Denver Pavilions. Owner Rosey Shaw prides herself on being able to find the perfect accessory to match any customer’s sense of style, and she also offers complete outfits. A trip up the escalators to the second floor of the Pavilions takes you to a shop filled with exclusive boutique lines from around the world.
Keep reading for five more stores on the 16th Street Mall.
5. Jerri’s Tobacco Shop and Fine Wines
500 16th Street
Located in the pocket of the Denver Pavilions and across from a Hot Topic is Denver’s largest selection of top-notch smokes and fine wines. Although Jerri’s Tobacco Shop and Fine Wines has moved locations over the years, the family-owned business has been selling cigars and cigarettes downtown since 1955. After a long day of shopping on 16th Street Mall, Jerri’s Tobacco Shop and Fine Wines is the perfect last stop.
500 16th Street
Where else can you find a box of gummy bears and a giant inflatable pizza raft in the same shop? The irritatingly spelled IT'SUGAR, a link in a national chain that made itself at home in the Denver Pavilions, is the perfect spot to stock up on affordable, retro and bulk candy not available in the movie theater on the upper level. A sugar high also makes any shopping experience more tolerable.
500 16th Street
The Denver Pavilions have really upped downtown's shopping ante lately, and H&M is a superstar. Yes, it's a chain, but one with prices and fashion choices that are hard to beat.
401 16th Street
It's worth a stop in Euflora just to see out-of-towners exploring the wonders of legalized marijuana. But this isn't just any dispensary: Step off the mall and down the stairs and you enter a sleek spot that looks like an Apple store, loaded with tablets and high-tech ways to consume cannabis. It's not the cheapest, but seeing Texans loaded with Hard Rock leftovers and marveling at marijuana is priceless.
1. I Heart Denver
500 16th Street
Shopping local can be hard not just on the 16th Street Mall, but around town in general. That's why we love I Heart Denver, the Best Store on the 16th Street Mall in the Best of Denver 2016. The store supports more than 160 local artists, designers and design-focused businesses, creating everything from “Keep Denver Beard” T-shirts to “I Heart Den” beer koozies. A great place to buy anything from a quick souvenir to a stunning wedding present, the I Heart Denver store isn't just the best shop on the mall, but one of the best in all of Denver. (There's a second I Heart Denver in Southwest Plaza giving you a run for your money.)
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