Best Farmers' Market 2016 | Boulder Farmers' Market | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
Juliet Wittman

Unlike many of the markets that have sprouted up across the metro area, the Boulder Farmers' Market is true to its name, a place designed so that local farmers can sell their goods and customers can meet the people who produce their food. You can stop by a stall and ask the farmer why your tomatoes at home are dying or how he'd prepare his chard. You can discover new and interesting vegetables you'd never find in the store, buy amazing plants for your own garden, and learn just how that goat was raised. The market also boasts baked goods, coffee, honey, jams, breads, soaps and flowers, as well as a spot where you can sit and enjoy your treats — or just watch the passing parade. And the Boulder Farmers' Market continues to grow, with a popular offshoot in Longmont and, this summer, a market down at Denver's Union Station on Saturdays.

Readers' choice: South Pearl Street Farmers' Market

The most devout of farmers'-market devotees go into shock sometime around January every year, just when the snow seems the deepest and the likelihood of ever getting to browse fresh produce the old-fashioned way again feels irrevocably doomed. Four Seasons can't guarantee locally grown heirloom tomatoes or Western Slope peaches in the dead of winter, but it doesn't throw in the towel when the main harvest season has ended: Even in January, you can find Colorado-grown potatoes and onions in the bins, along with small-batch cheeses, raw milk, jams, baked goods and other handcrafted foods, as well as handmade artisan goods. With spring in the air, expect to find bedding plants and early vegetables in-store, and in the summertime, more vendors will spring up under tents outdoors to accommodate the full bounty of the prime growing season. Grab your shopping bag: Four Seasons is a year-round proposition.

7043 W. 38th Ave., Wheat Ridge
Matt LaBrier

Kind Love's reputation for stellar genetics has been well known since 2010, but until last year, only medical patients were able to experience the frosty, terpene-filled buds that are standard at the Glendale dispensary. Luckily for recreational tokers, Kind Love recently opened its doors to the 21-and-up crowd, and most of us haven't looked back. The pot shop's cuts of Alien Rock Candy, Brodello and White Fire OG made our strain reviewer's list of the 10 Best Strains of 2015 — and two of those were bought at different dispensaries and later discovered to be Kind Love wholesale flower. Aroma, potency and taste are all thoroughly covered in any one of the thirty-plus strains in the shop's library, leaving you with one helluva decision at the bud bar.

Despite the fact that legal marijuana is still in its infancy, incredibles has built up a lengthy list of awards for its candy bars, which include delicious varieties like Strawberry Crunch and Mikiba — a mixture of chia, quinoa and hemp, agave syrup, coconut oil, raspberries and mocha. The potent-edibles maker (most of its bars range from 100 to 300 milligrams of THC) also crafts seasonal goodies, like Pumpkin Spice and New Year's Pop Rocks. With methods that include in-house extraction for consistent hash oil, bubble hash and infused butter, and precise weight tolerances, which allow you to better regulate your intake, incredibles candy bars make for a great after-dinner snack or pre-plane-ride party favor.

Although Illuzion considers itself more of an art gallery than a head shop, the last time we checked, you could still smoke out of the $5,000 pieces of glass inside. Featuring the work of local and nationally recognized glass-blowers, who incorporate everything from nature to pop-culture icons to alien life into their art, Illuzion's gallery may inspire more browsing than buying. But there are still hundreds of less expensive, more traditional options for sale here.

Readers' choice: Purple Haze

Some juices taste great, while others are like licking a piece of bubblegum off the floor. How to know which ones you like? A stop by Mistery Vapor Bar can fix that: The laid-back, fourteen-seat vapor bar here gives customers the opportunity to taste-test anything from the huge selection — about forty right now, with more on the way all the time — and chat with like-minded vapers, as well as the friendly and knowledgeable staff, which is particularly devoted to helping beginners get their vape on. The selection of mods (clone and authentic) means finding just the right experience, and Mistery sells batteries, atomizers and oil tanks for pretty much every brand out there. Also, each day brings a different special — for instance, Tuesdays mean 20 percent off tanks, while Fridays bring $9.99 15ml bottles — and if you're looking for more interaction, the store sponsors vape nights at local bars and clubs (check the online calendar for more info). Can't make it to the shop? The online version of the store features all of their juices, as well as free shipping.

1355 Santa Fe Dr.
Readers' choice: RiNo Vapes
Lindsey Bartlett

Our publication is no stranger to L'Eagle: The dispensary has won numerous awards in our yearly top-ten lists and Best of Denver editions for its talent in the grow room. But the shop also claims one of the finest budtenders in town: Courtney Clark. A pot encyclopedia packaged in a bubbly, pint-sized sweetheart of a woman, Clark can talk shop with master growers or make nervous first-timers feel comfortable about strains and pot products they've never tried before. "I know quite a bit about cannabis, but I still ask Courtney what I should take home with me," says L'Eagle co-owner Amy Andrle. Clark's knowledge and love for her shop's products is hard to put a lid on as she describes Strawberry Cough or indica baklava bites, leaving you smarter — and smiling — on your way out.

Almost every dispensary in Colorado has some sort of promotion or daily deal that promises you a sweet price on eighths, grams of wax, pre-rolled joints and so on — but none of them have been as clever as the promo by the Grass Station and Oskar Blues. Shortly after the release of Oskar Blues' Pinner Session IPA — an IPA with a pot-inspired name, full hop flavor and less alcohol than usual — the Grass Station began offering one-cent pinner joints to customers who brought in an empty can of the beer, which just happened to have "Sip. Sip. Give." on its label. The pinner-for-a-Pinner deal didn't last long, but it will forever stay in our memory as yet another ingenious marketing strategy by the Longmont brewery.

Not that there aren't plenty of dispensaries in Denver that do a great job of making first-time pot shoppers feel comfortable (there are), but Good Chemistry's welcoming ways are tough to beat. Thanks to dimly lit boutique interiors that are hip — but not too hip — and employees who are happy to talk about strain genetics and personal experiences, few demographics would feel sketchy in either of its two locations. In fact, after reading through one of the strain-effects charts that Good Chemistry provides for shoppers' information, you're apt to feel much more comfortable than you did before you walked in. With symbols for words like "amplify," "relax," "relieve" and "sleep" next to each strain, the charts provide a more personalized — and detailed — shopping experience.

Scott Lentz

Everyone loves cheap weed, and if that cheap weed happens to be good, then all the better. Unfortunately for us, those two qualities don't usually go hand in hand at a dispensary. Lightshade is the exception to that rule. The Denver dispensary chain has found a nice balance of potent strains and low prices, with skunky cuts of Juicy Fruit, Orange Herijuana and Primus OG at $9 per gram and $30 per eighth — and those aren't daily specials or discounted strains. Every day and every strain will hold the same resin-glazed price tag — no coupon or positive Yelp review necessary.

Best Of Denver®

Best Of