Best Old-School Barbershop 2013 | Leetsdale Barbers | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

You'll find Dave, Paul, Howard and Ryan lined up behind their barber's chairs the same way every day at Leetsdale Barbers, and if you've been in before, one, if not all, of them will remember your name. Sit back and relax: These guys are trained craftsmen, and they'll take the time to do the job right, whether it's a traditional cut, a beard trim or a tonic-covered scalp massage. And the time will fly by, since hanging here is as comforting as chilling in a friend's living room. You can watch the game on a little TV or join in the frequent conversations between the crew — dressed in ties and button-down shirts — and the customers. Those conversations can cover everything from sports to wives and girlfriends to current events. If you're getting your hair cut at Leetsdale Barbers, you're doing it right.

The Denver Pavilions might be an outdoor mall, but it has a sophisticated indoor vibe and an urban appeal that most of the others can't match. A lower-16th Street Mall cornerstone, its creative blend of high-profile anchor stores like H&M and Barnes & Noble, crowd-pleasing restaurants like Maggiano's and the Hard Rock Cafe, nightlife spots, downtown's only real movie theater and a shot of indie blood from unique small businesses — I Heart Denver and Rosie's, to name a couple — satisfies the needs of out-of-town visitors and work-week regulars alike. The Pavilions also makes an effort to bring a sense of community downtown by hosting craft and art fairs, live music and other promotions: Watch for the latest, a four-day art market called Artstir, to debut this Memorial Day weekend.

Claire Duncombe

In Peru, when you're hunting for sweets for your sweet, chances are you'll bring home a floaty meringue-topped custard called Suspiro de Limeña — it translates to "the sigh of a woman" — or maybe a box of rich pioninos, rolled caramel cakes filled with dulce de leche. Not headed for Lima anytime soon? Drop by Marjorie Silva's Azucar Bakery, where rich flan and other traditional desserts of her native country sit side by side with the chocolate and red-velvet cakes you expect to find in an American bakery.

Frosted, sprinkle-dusted cupcakes aren't the only delights lurking in the case at this retro, pink-and-black bakery on East Colfax Avenue. Individual pies, roughly the size of a muffin cup, are sold daily, and not just in a few flavors like apple and cherry. Strawberry-rhubarb, peach-rhubarb and jumble berry are three of the biggest sellers, but we like the banana cream, too, with a buttery graham-cracker crust, a thin layer of bananas, and swirls of caramel-drizzled whipped cream. Too many pie shops around town require advance orders and only sell whole pies; we applaud the variety and appreciate the way the Shoppe allows us to indulge an urge for pie without, well, overindulging.

Best Place to Buy and Sell Used Outdoor Wear

The Sports Mine

Brand-name outdoor clothing and gear is expensive, so if you partake in our state's vast resources in this area, your budget can take a beating. To ease the pain, head to the Sports Mine in Golden, a consignment shop that will buy your old sleeping bags, backpacks, hiking boots, yoga pants, bathing suits, jerseys and other gear — and then sell them to someone who will continue to make use of them. For sellers, they're very selective in what they take on consignment, but that's what makes it a great place to buy as well.

Global tastes at ridiculously low prices is what Arash International Market offers Denverites in search of exotic breads, olives, cheeses, pastries and fresh goat meat — straight from the deli cooler. The store was started more than twenty years ago after Mehran Diba, his wife and their son fled the Iranian Revolution to make new lives for themselves in Colorado, and Arash carries a good selection of Persian foods and ingredients (along with a smattering of Russian, Asian and American items) that are sure to pair well with halal-butchered roasted goat.

As Colorado's rugby capital, Glendale — home of Infinity Park, the state's only rugby-centric outdoor coliseum — works hard to build a rough-and-tumble community image to match the sport's ruffian attitude. Luckily, there's O'Brien Rugby to lend that image a kick in the rear. O'Brien, which is also the sole merchandiser of official Glendale Raptors uniforms and gear, began by running the park's memorabilia-laden "Shopping Maul" (yup, it's a rugby thing); now the same merchandise and more can also be purchased just a few steps from the stadium — at O'Brien's storefront — or online. O'Brien's motto? "Blood-resistant apparel for all your rugby needs." Call for an appointment.

For more than fifteen years, the Thrifty Stick Boardshop has remained the shop for skaters, snowboarders and boutique fashionistas who want to stay on top of their game and look good doing it. Holding charity events and local contests, and generally finding any reason to take the in-house boxes, rails and ramps out to the parking lot, Thrifty Stick has firmly embedded itself in the extreme-sports culture in Denver. Owner Kendra Rostvedt has relocated a few times in the decade-and-a-half lifespan of her shop, but she's always kept the doors open and the boards ready.

Best Place to Recycle TVs, Computers and Everything Else

Eco-Cycle CHaRM

Most go-to donation centers won't take your old TV or desktop computer anymore: no one wants them, and it's hard to find a place to recycle. After all, TVs and computers each contain three to eight pounds of lead along with other toxic materials such as cadmium and mercury. Which is why we're happy to pay a small-to-medium-sized fee to recycle our electronics at Eco-Cycle CHaRM, a nonprofit — partially funded by the City of Boulder — that disposes of them domestically, in an environmentally friendly fashion. And you can make the place a one-stop shlep by bringing your old cell phones, copiers, stereo components and blow dryers, not to mention yard signs, kiddie pools, bubble wrap and cooking oil. Check the website for all of the items they take and the fee. And then feel free to upgrade to that new flat-screen you've been eyeing.

The Neat Market Vegan Shop-Up pops up monthly at HoodLAB, adjacent to the Nooch Vegan Market in RiNo. Hosted by the vegan advocacy group Plants & Animals Denver, which also throws the monthly vegan dinner event called Chomp!, Neat is the by-product of an aggressive campaign to raise awareness of the charms of a plant-based diet. And rest assured, this campaign isn't shoving anything in anyone's face. The market's tables are laden with homegrown, handmade and lovingly arranged small-batch foodstuffs both hot and cold, baked goods, cheeses and healthy snacks, and it's not uncommon to find vegan-friendly food trucks and a ready-made community of like-minded thinkers investigating the possibilities of meatless cuisine. Even if you're not ready to chuck all animal products off your table, this is food that looks and tastes good, and you're bound to be back for more.

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