Best Store at DIA 2019 | Topo Designs | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

Unless you have an unfortunate suitcase blowout going through security at Denver International Airport, you're probably not perusing the wares at the airport's luggage shops — where are you going to store another bag, anyway? But the options at Topo Designs are worth an extra stop...and maybe that extra baggage fee. At its store on Concourse A, this local gear-maker sells a variety of color-blocked backpacks, duffels and travel kits, plus jackets, quick-dry apparel and accessories. You'll find a large collection of items that will inspire you to better organize your packing job, and even if you're not looking for a full suitcase overhaul, the luggage is so enticing and functional that you might trade up on the spot.

Readers' Choice: Tattered Cover

Not too long ago, the section of Broadway known as Antique Row was crowded with one store after another filled with vintage and well-loved items of every description. Today many of these shops are gone, but the Antique Broker remains — and all by itself, it manages to encompass the range of offerings on view in the old days. Some parts of the outlet showcase big pieces, and we do mean big: Don't be surprised to find an entire bar from an old saloon here. Others, meanwhile, spotlight curios, knicknacks and forgotten products from the past century (or more) of pop culture. Stop by and explore before the Antique Broker disappears, too.

Readers' Choice: Peak Dispensary

From its elegant setup — that barrel ceiling belies its origins as a hardware store — to the exotic packaged items and spanking-fresh sustainable seafood, there's a lot to love at the Marczyk Fine Foods on Colfax. "I feel like I'm a kid in a candy store when I walk in," says one fan. But unlike candy, most of the things you buy here will be good for you, from pre-made foods (even better with chef Jamey Fader now overseeing culinary innovation) to the in-house baked goods and organic dairy (butter flights!). The wine store next door offers a small but choice selection, and there's a small patio for enjoying your impulse buys on a sunny day. When the Marczyk crew opened its second store in 2011, this stretch of Colfax wasn't the hotspot it is today; the market's conscientious approach and community events have helped get the area cooking.

Readers' Choice: Argonaut Liquor

Denver residents have been getting in hot water at Lake Steam Baths for nearly a century. When the business started in 1927, it catered to what was then a predominantly Jewish population; today everyone from hipsters to Russian émigrés come through the doors for massage therapy, an exfoliating scrub, foot-bath detox, a dip in the whirlpool or a sense-searing visit to the hot room. As development begins to flood this stretch of Colfax, Lake Steam Baths remains an island of wi-fi-free relaxation.

Kenneth Hamblin III

Bulls-eye! For decades, we were teased by the promise of a Target store coming to downtown Denver any day. After a very, very long wait, the chain finally hit the spot in 2018, when a Target opened right on the 16th Street Mall. This is a special urban Target — smaller than the suburban stores, but still boasting a pharmacy as well as a respectable supply of housewares, clothing, paper goods, souvenirs and more snack items than you could ever need. It's a great place to stock up during lunch, and an excellent spot for wasting time if you're waiting for a deep-dish pie from Giordano's, which opened right next door last summer.

Readers' Choice: Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory

Adam Steininger

Want to turn back the pages on Denver development? Return to a time before multi-story projects started popping up in Cherry Creek and Amazon could (unironically) open a bookstore there? Step back in time at the Hermitage Bookshop, grab a seat and start perusing the past. Established over 45 years ago, this charming shop is filled with hard-to-find volumes (which the friendly staff will help you locate), literary first editions, guides devoted to hunting and fishing, and Western Americana, including maps that document just how far we've come...for good or bad.

Readers' Choice: Orvis

Danielle Lirette

Amy and Doug Yetman began honing their skills in the flea-market biz with the Horseshoe Craft and Flea Market, which first popped up in a Berkeley neighborhood parking lot in 2010. As other hip flea markets came and went, they managed to stay people-friendly and stick to their original mission of being the place for "lucky finds," picking up numerous Best of Denver awards in the process. Now they're preparing for their tenth season, continuing to stretch in both size and location, and this year will involve the biggest change of all: a move to Mile High Stadium's spacious Lot G, where the first market of 2019 will open over Mother's Day weekend with 200 vendors over two days. Go and get lucky!

Readers' Choice: Mile High Flea Market

Tucked behind storefronts along South Sheridan Boulevard is a veritable gold mine of secondhand clothing, shoes, furniture and decor. Mile High Thrift is a bare-bones spot; there are no dressing rooms, and sales are cash-only. But the clothing — organized by style and then by color — is a good mix of newer trends and vintage items, restocked often enough that it doesn't seem picked over. The shoe section is neat, with deep racks, and the furniture appears curated rather than just thrown off the back of someone's truck. Get there early, grab a shopping cart and start hunting.

Readers' Choice: Arc Thrift Store

Rags wheels and deals in gently used better and designer brands at its Boulder and Cherry Creek North locations, but what happens to the perfectly good fashions that hang on the racks too long at those upscale resale shops? They get a second chance. Everything in the roomy Rags Consignment Warehouse is marked down by 20 percent, making for easy pickin's on a budget.

Sandy's Closet swears by quality, stocking its racks with barely worn, better-brand clothing at prices that look attractive whether you're looking to dress up or down. The inventory includes jewelry, accessories, bags, shoes and a cheaper-than-cheap one-dollar bin for impulse buyers. Ease your conscience as you fill up a sack or two with the knowledge that proceeds from sales benefit special-needs and intellectually disabled children.

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