Highlands Mommies: Their picks for best food, shops, yoga studios in northwest Denver

Much fuss has been made about the Highlands Mommies' relationships to local businesses, as is evident in the comments on our cover story, "The Mommies." Here's a juicy one:

The Highland Mommies are run by a self-possessed cadre of mean girls who finally have a voice after what surely were unfulfilled high school years. The comment about the Highland Mommies being bullies is true. ... Feeling big because you can 'ruin' a small business or individual trying to make a living is nothing to be proud of.

But are the Mommies trying to hurt local businesses, or help them?

The Mommies say it's the latter, though they admit that there was a time when their reputation wasn't stellar. "We had a bad rap," explains Mommies managing director Laverne Herrera-Hay. "They used to say, 'Oh, you don't want to make the Highlands Mommies mad because they'll make your business go under.'

"And that's not true. That's the last thing we want, is to see any business in our community go under. Because they're owned by people who live in this neighborhood. So we've worked on that, and I think it's gotten a lot better."

In fact, the Mommies held their own "Best Of" contest last year for Highlands businesses (not unlike the "Best Of" awards given out by a certain venerable local publication). They announced the winners last February. Here's the Mommies' blue-ribbon list:

Favorite Mexican Restaurant Tacos Jalisco

Most Authentic Mexican Restaurant Taqueria Patzcuaro

Favorite Italian Restaurant Parisi

Favorite Asian Restaurant Thai Basil

Favorite Delivery Pasquini's

Most Kid-Friendly Restaurant Pasquini's

Favorite Date-Night Restaurant Duo

Favorite Dessert Happy Cakes

Coolest Bar Root Down

Best Patio Cafe Caliente (renamed Highlands Cork and Coffee)

Favorite Cafe Common Grounds

Favorite Breakfast DJ's Berkeley Cafe

Favorite Ice Cream Red Trolley

Favorite BBQ Big Hoss

Favorite Burger Billy's Inn

Most Addictive Pizza Parisi

Favorite New Restaurant Ernie's Bar & Pizza

Favorite Liquor Store Mondo Vino

Favorite Grown-Up Clothing Store Dragonfly

Favorite Kids Clothing Store Real Baby

Favorite Consignment Shop Clotheshorse

Favorite Book Shop The Bookery Nook

Favorite Pet Supply Store Mouthfuls

Favorite Spa Indulgences Day Spa

Favorite Hair Salon Rebelle by Tootsies

Favorite Nail/Wax Tootsies

Favorite Exercise Class or Gym SoulFire Fitness

Favorite Yoga Spiral Yoga

Favorite Class to Take with Your Kids Music Together

So, Mommy haters, do you agree with their picks? Tell us in the comments!

More from our Follow That Story archive: "Highlands Mommies: A list of the best quotes that didn't make it into the cover story."