Rockmount Ranch Wear
Yes, we know that Rockmount Ranchwear has been making serious clothes for decades. Cowboys didn't just snap up those Western shirts with the snap buttons invented by founder Jack A. Weil because they wanted to look good (although they did); the shirts were comfortable, too. And for more than fifty years, the wholesale business kept Rockmount hopping. But a half-dozen years ago, this longtime family business decided to let everyone in on the secret, opening their LoDo building to retail trade and remodeling the ground-floor space into the coolest-looking store in town. In the process, Rockmount created Denver's single must-stop shop for souvenirs. Japanese tourists, British rock stars and conventioneers from Omaha alike all flock to Rockmount to pick up a tie or scarf with real Western art, a pair of cowboy boots, a hat, a shirt — or all of them, several times over. But you don't need to be a visitor to like Rockmount; this is how the West was worn.
Where The Buffalo Roam
For such a lively pedestrian strip, the 16th Street Mall has a paucity of shopping opportunities. This mile-long stretch is just one bad souvenir store after another, with the black-velvet monotony broken only by a couple of empty storefronts and chain discount operations. Still, you can't return home empty-handed — so your best bet for a quick Colorado gift is Where the Buffalo Roam. This store carries all the usual T-shirts and shot glasses and gilded aspen-leaf keychains, but it also boasts a worthy selection of University of Colorado paraphernalia. And who wouldn't appreciate a bright-orange hat courtesy of the Denver County Jail?
Northfield Stapleton
J.C. Penney might not be the first stop for fashionistas looking for the latest clothing trends, but the new Sephora inside the Northfield J.C. Penney is a great spot to pick up designer cosmetics and fragrances. While the selection is more limited than what you'll find in Sephora's stand-alone stores at FlatIron Crossing and Park Meadows, this location is the only one with a Denver address, and it's just as generous with free samples as the other outlets. Bare Escentuals, Philosophy, Juicy Couture — all can be had in the handy little spot, along with the good quality and affordably priced Sephora brand.
The pet project of Japanophiles Janene Hurst and Andrew Novick, Gimme Gimme Pillow Toast is no doubt the region's premier purveyor of kawaii, which is short for "weird Japanese pop-culture cute stuff," and caters to anyone entranced by that punked-out mix-and-mismatch Harajuku/gothic Lolita fashion sense. A hard-to-find cubbyhole on the artsy backside of Lakewood's Belmar Center, GGPT is your go-to source for OH! Mikey mannequin dramas, half-and-half stuffed panda/rabbit dolls, totally tweenish Brace Face T-shirts, Gloomy Bear keychains, manga comics, chocolate-tipped Pocky treats and Hello Panda cream-filled cookies, devil monkey buttons and kung fu-fightin' Bruce Lee candles (among other things). If you want it, come and get it.
The Container Store
When the Container Store announced that it would open a branch in Cherry Creek, we swear we heard a gigantic thud as thousands of urban neat freaks hit the floor and kowtowed to the gods in unison. For anyone who loves plastic storage boxes in dozens of sizes, kitchen gadgets galore, gift wrap and all its accoutrements, tiny compartments filled with even tinier compartments, sortable laundry bags and rainbow-colored plastic clothes hangers, there's no better place to while away a Sunday afternoon, walking softly and pushing a big cart. Spring cleaning, anyone?
Cafe Paprika
Courtesy Cafe Paprika Facebook
Cowtown-ish downtown Golden became a lot more exotic with the unveiling of Paprika. A belly-dance studio and a boutique, the place is one continuous magic carpet ride of slinky, jingly stuff, including reversible sari silk wrap skirts, voluminous harem pants, Gypsy gear and sparkly Rajasthani mirror belts, as well as a thousand and one nights' worth of djembes, doumbeks and sexy shakers, bells and gongs for keeping the beat.
Rheinlander Bakery
Tradition runs deep at Ed and Maro Dimmer's Olde Town bakery, which has been an Arvada mainstay since their folks, Jakob and Katharina, opened it more than forty years ago. Along with the everyday, though hardly mundane, fare of butter-laden Bienenstich layered cookie pastries, iced linzer tarts, sticky buns, coffeecakes and rough-hewn homemade strudels stuffed with fruit and cheese, Rheinlander offers hot cross buns in spring and really shines during the holidays, when the siblings trot out a full arsenal of marzipan-laced stollens, nut-filled Polish potica rolls, springerle and pfeffernusse cookies and spiced lebkuchen gingerbread. Guten appetit!
Park Meadows Shopping Center
When Robert Redford expanded the face of his Sundance catalogue phenomenon, where do you suppose he decided to open the flagship store? That's right: Sundance fits our so-called Colorado lifestyle like a well-worn blue suede glove. Now we can shop for the rustic hand-crafted items, inspirational Jes MaHarry jewelry, earthy artisan shoes and laid-back clothing, vintage-look and recycled furniture, iron bedsteads and more at Park Meadows Shopping Center. Pack up yer saddlebags and mosey on in.
Chocoholics will eat anything that masquerades as the stuff: Hershey bars, M&M's, the dust at the bottom of the Cocoa Puffs box. But connoisseurs pick and choose on a whole different level, a sublime level where only chocolateries like Wen Chocolates make the A-list. Here's why it does: Artisan chocolatier William Poole starts his small-batch truffles with a base of fine, additive-free Guittard chocolate and cream. Then he fearlessly tosses in a pinch of paprika or chili powder, an infusion of black tea or a wicked dollop of bourbon, a hint of rosemary or chamomile, floral scents, whatever, rolls his old black magic into a mouthful and dusts the final product in an iridescent cloak of violet pearl dust or diaphanous edible gold. You won't say "when" at Wen.

Best Store on Boulder's Pearl Street Mall

Common Era

Common Era
Boulder's Common Era store is a veritable gold mine of low-priced hipster threads, from technicolor jeans to frilly sequined tops to wide pleather belts and dangerously tall boots. Owner Debra Mazur's vision is of a cheap, ever-changing inventory that you can't find anywhere else in Colorado, so she buys exclusively from small East and West Coast manufacturers that specialize in limited clothing runs, which means that the unbelievable turquoise pants you came across this week probably won't be there next week. Best of all, Mazur and her sales staff make all their jewelry by hand, giving Common Era the feel of a "fashion think tank." And last summer, Mazur opened a second store at 1543 Platte Street in Denver, which means that shoppers here have an outpost nearby.

Best Of Denver®

Best Of