We know what you're thinking. The world was a much simpler place when tequila came in only three varieties: yellow, clear and embalming fluid. But guess what, amigo? Now that tequila is hip, we've discovered that it comes in more varieties than there are colors in the big box of Crayolas. The best place to indulge in a liquid voyage of discovery is Aztec Sol, a cavernous, cement-floored bar at the edge of Highland, where Sol man Jose Lara serves a grande selection of 200-plus perception-shattering tequilas that will make you swear off Cuervo for good. The list includes wood-aged brands and boutique breeds that rival the best single-malt scotches. Looking to expand your drinking horizons south of the border? Here's the place.


We know what you're thinking. The world was a much simpler place when tequila came in only three varieties: yellow, clear and embalming fluid. But guess what, amigo? Now that tequila is hip, we've discovered that it comes in more varieties than there are colors in the big box of Crayolas. The best place to indulge in a liquid voyage of discovery is Aztec Sol, a cavernous, cement-floored bar at the edge of Highland, where Sol man Jose Lara serves a grande selection of 200-plus perception-shattering tequilas that will make you swear off Cuervo for good. The list includes wood-aged brands and boutique breeds that rival the best single-malt scotches. Looking to expand your drinking horizons south of the border? Here's the place.
While the very first day of 2003 saw the venerable Little Russian Cafe rolling up its carpets after two decades in Larimer Square, owner Eugene Valershteyn's newer Russian Cafe in Littleton is still going strong. It serves plenty of the simple fare that Valershteyn grew up with, but we really love this spot for its comprehensive list of chilled vodkas available by the shot. In addition to all of the usual high-octane suspects, both foreign and domestic, the Russian Cafe also stocks an impressive spread of artisan vodkas in flavors like black currant, lemon, pepper and cranberry.


While the very first day of 2003 saw the venerable Little Russian Cafe rolling up its carpets after two decades in Larimer Square, owner Eugene Valershteyn's newer Russian Cafe in Littleton is still going strong. It serves plenty of the simple fare that Valershteyn grew up with, but we really love this spot for its comprehensive list of chilled vodkas available by the shot. In addition to all of the usual high-octane suspects, both foreign and domestic, the Russian Cafe also stocks an impressive spread of artisan vodkas in flavors like black currant, lemon, pepper and cranberry.

Best Place to Get a Whiskey, Up, With No Bullshit

The Thin Man

Here's the straight skinny: When you arrive at the Thin Man, you may have this narrow bar to yourself. But sit awhile, and other people are bound to show up. We've found ourselves sharing the bar with bikers and think-tank types, drunken poets, the young and the restless, the old and the restless, and at least one professional bounty hunter on the mend. The one thing all these disparate characters had in common: a serious interest in just drinking. No one goes here for a fashion show; it's not a meat market, and no one cares what you just had pierced. But if you want to kill a couple of hours (and a few of those weaker brain cells) with some long-pour highballs and a little adult conversation, the Thin Man is where it's at.


Best Place to Get a Whiskey, Up, With No Bullshit

The Thin Man

The Thin Man
Danielle Lirette
Here's the straight skinny: When you arrive at the Thin Man, you may have this narrow bar to yourself. But sit awhile, and other people are bound to show up. We've found ourselves sharing the bar with bikers and think-tank types, drunken poets, the young and the restless, the old and the restless, and at least one professional bounty hunter on the mend. The one thing all these disparate characters had in common: a serious interest in just drinking. No one goes here for a fashion show; it's not a meat market, and no one cares what you just had pierced. But if you want to kill a couple of hours (and a few of those weaker brain cells) with some long-pour highballs and a little adult conversation, the Thin Man is where it's at.
We know: The world can be a scary place sometimes. And whether you're eating to

dull the pain of a broken heart, your vanishing 401K or just the sorry state of the world in general, Sam's No. 3 is sure to have something in the kitchen that'll fill you up right. The menu is the size of a dimestore romance novel, and it's filled with comforting chow from places as disparate as Coney Island and the Baja Strait. Sam's does chili dogs, breakfast burritos, mashed potatoes, fried chicken, sloppy burgers, root beer floats and Mile-Hi banana splits -- all cheap and deeply satisfying. Plus, they whip up a thick caramel milkshake so good you should be able to charge it to your health insurance as a form of therapy.

Sam's No. 3
Courtesy of Sam's No. 3
We know: The world can be a scary place sometimes. And whether you're eating to

dull the pain of a broken heart, your vanishing 401K or just the sorry state of the world in general, Sam's No. 3 is sure to have something in the kitchen that'll fill you up right. The menu is the size of a dimestore romance novel, and it's filled with comforting chow from places as disparate as Coney Island and the Baja Strait. Sam's does chili dogs, breakfast burritos, mashed potatoes, fried chicken, sloppy burgers, root beer floats and Mile-Hi banana splits -- all cheap and deeply satisfying. Plus, they whip up a thick caramel milkshake so good you should be able to charge it to your health insurance as a form of therapy.

From its little outpost in Five Points, Tom's serves up the most comforting lunches in town. Mom-style meatloaf, Dixie-fried catfish and thick slabs of various meats are accessorized with wholesome sides; the choice extras include jalapeño corn bread, banana pudding and sweet-potato pie. Tom's wonders draw loyal diners of every demographic, proof that down-home cooking is one of society's great cultural unifiers.


From its little outpost in Five Points, Tom's serves up the most comforting lunches in town. Mom-style meatloaf, Dixie-fried catfish and thick slabs of various meats are accessorized with wholesome sides; the choice extras include jalapeo corn bread, banana pudding and sweet-potato pie. Tom's wonders draw loyal diners of every demographic, proof that down-home cooking is one of society's great cultural unifiers.

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