Azucar Bakery
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.

The Shoppe

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.

Arash International Market

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.

Neat Market

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.

Dave Krieger got his start as a print journalist; he was best known in these parts as a daily sports columnist. So when he started co-hosting KOA's afternoon-drive show with longtimer Dave Logan, listeners may have wondered if his low-key style would wear well. Wonder no more: Krieger brings an uncommon intelligence to sports chat of every stripe, and when events dictate a turn toward straight news, he makes the transition seamlessly. As a bonus, his blog posts for the KOA website are typically better than a lot of what passes for quality sportswriting in daily newspapers these days.

The Prom Dress Exchange was created more than a decade ago as a prom-dress drive serving just a few high-school students. But a few years ago, Laura Bauer became president of the organization and has since turned it into a full-fledged nonprofit that reaches hundreds of kids. Bauer and fellow volunteers spend the year collecting and storing gently used prom gowns and accessories, many of them donated, in preparation for a one-day blowout of affordable formalwear each March; they also collect jackets, slacks, belts and shoes for the boys. With just $10 and a student ID, prom-goers can score a full outfit for the big night, plus on-site tailoring. Sounds like a reason to dance!

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