Best of Boulder 2021 – Retail


Black Cat Farms

1964 13th St., 303-444-5500
Silver: Munson Farms
Bronze: Aspen Moon Farm
Write-in: Kilt Farm

Black Cat Farm is central to the Boulder community. The Skokan family grows more than 250 heirloom and heritage cultivars at Black Cat Farm to supply their two restaurants in town, but also to host farm dinners, sell CSAs and run a booth at the Boulder County Farmers Market. Black Cat grows and mills its own grains, and raises a number of endangered pigs, chicken and geese, using zero hormones, GMOs or antibiotics. The Skokans teach, too: Check out the Black Cat website to see if there are classes available in animal husbandry, vegetable production or farm/restaurant integration.

Apex Massage & Recovery Lab

183 S. Taylor Ave., Unit 162, Louisville, 720-328-1790
Silver: Zinke Hair Studio
Bronze: Bolder Pilates

Apex Massage & Recovery Lab is on a mission to create a community of people that are educated and empowered to keep moving and doing what they love. And who’s behind Apex Massage & Recovery? Darcie Jones, with a background in personal training and massage therapy. Jones and her team can help you whether you need relief from a gardening injury or you’re training for a marathon. The Apex Recovery Lab offers the latest technology for injury prevention and recovery, like ​infrared saunas that offer a unique and effective way to reduce inflammation, pain and overall recovery time, by boosting your immune, cardiovascular and nervous system function.

Hazel’s Beverage World

1955 28th St., 303-447-1955
Silver: North Boulder Liquor
Bronze: Wyatt’s Wet Goods
Write-in: Gunbarrel Liquor

Who hasn’t stopped by Hazel’s Beverage World on a Friday night to stock up for an unforgettable weekend with friends and family? No matter how diverse your guests’ tastes are, Hazel’s has what everyone likes. Domestic beers, imported beers, craft beers, ciders, whiskey, bourbon, vodka, single-malt rye, gin, wines from France, Italy, Spain, Argentina… Hazel’s has your tonic water, margarita fixings, bloody mary mixes, coconut cream, Gatorade, soda… there are pretzels, potato chips, plastic cups, keg taps, Champagne stoppers… just go to Hazel’s. They have everything.

Taylor Moving and Storage

1275 Sherman Drive, 303-529-8532
Silver: Free Range Movers
Bronze: The Good Move
Write-in: Pink Dot Moving

Moving can be stressful. Moving can be back-breaking. Moving can be tiresome. But it doesn’t have to be. With a reputation for trustworthiness, superior service and satisfied customers, Taylor Moving and Storage is once again the Best of Boulder winner for moving company. Offering complete residential and commercial packing, moving and storage services, the professional movers at Taylor Moving can also do any necessary disassembly and reassembly and place everything in your home where you request it. This company has been a local favorite since first opening in 1997. That’s more than two decades.

Frascona Joiner Goodman & Greenstein P.C.

4750 Table Mesa Drive, 303-494-3000
Silver: Berg Hill Greenleaf & Ruscitti LLP
Bronze: Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg LLC

Frascona Joiner Goodman and Greenstein, P.C. handles a variety of legal issues including business, real estate, civil litigation, estate planning, divorce and family law, taxation, foreclosure, water law and more. The firm is made up of talented attorneys, experienced in the real-world practice of law and plain speak. The client’s needs and the cost of achieving those needs are taken into account throughout the legal process to ensure total client satisfaction. They provide high-quality legal services at reasonable rates and use cutting-edge technology to serve each client, making it our readers’ most trusted law firm.

St Julien Hotel & Spa

900 Walnut St., 720-406-9696
Silver: Hotel Boulderado
Bronze: The Colorado Chautauqua

The St Julien Hotel & Spa is luxurious, yet comfortable, centrally located and packed with things to do — from a world-class spa to live music on the terrace to great eats at Jill’s and drinks at the bar. It’s an ideal, classy place to refer visitors, and it’s so nice you might want to spend a staycation there. (And there’s no better time than the present to do that.)

Art Cleaners

Multiple locations
Silver: John’s Cleaners & Laundry
Bronze: Boulder Cleaners
Write-in: Pundry Dry Cleaning & Laundry

Every garment you bring to Art Cleaners goes through a thorough multi-step process. The team inspects and details garments, then professionally removes stains, dry cleans, wet cleans or hand cleans as appropriate to the garments’ classification, before pressing and hand-finishing them. Your garment is then inspected, packaged and returned. It’s seamless. For more than 15 years, Art Cleaners has been using the GreenEarth Cleaning System, which is good for your clothes, family and the environment. Bonus!

Boulder Mac Repair

2525 Broadway, 720-565-0449
Silver: Apple Store
Bronze: The Mac Shack
Write-in: Shawn’s Computer Repairs

There’s nothing worse than having one of your devices crap out on you. Or break when the kids throw the ball in the house. Or fritz out when you accidentally drop it in the toilet. Or succumb to the pull of gravity, cracking the screen. Or stop working when you spill your coffee on it during your 1 billionth Zoom call. But there’s also nothing better than knowing Boulder Mac Repair is there to help fix said devices. Whether you need to repair your iPhone, upgrade, buy or sell your Mac, recover data or even repair an old iPod, these folks have you covered. They can even come to your home. Isn’t that neat?

McGuckin Hardware

2525 Arapahoe Ave., Unit D1, 303-443-1822
Silver: Ace Hardware
Bronze: JAX Lafayette Farm & Ranch

We’re sad to say 2021 brought the passing of McGuckin cofounder Dave Hight at the age of 91. But the spirit of Dave lives on through every interaction at McGuckin Hardware, a Boulder institution since 1955. Hight joined his father-in-law Bill McGuckin in business just five years after the store opened in the city’s first shopping center. This family-owned and independent business outlasted big-box competitors like Sears and Montgomery Ward by supporting family-owned wholesalers around the state of Colorado. As such, McGuckin has a reputation for being much more than a hardware store — McGuckin supports the community. And that’s why our readers support McGuckin.

ARC Thrift Store

1349 E. South Boulder Road, Louisville, 303-666-8060
2151 Main St., Longmont, 720-453-1416

Silver: Common Threads
Bronze: Rags Consignments
Write-in: Apocalypse

Used clothing stores are great spots to find like-new clothing at bargain prices. Whether you’re looking to add to your wardrobe, need to find a unique piece, putting together a costume or just need something you can’t find in a traditional store, used clothing stores are the first place to look. When our readers are looking for used clothing, they turn to ARC Thrift Stores, which has a massive amount of used clothing coming in every day. From week to week, you’ll likely find something different each time you visit.

Nordstrom Rack

1601 29th St., 720-887-3588
Silver: Anthropologie
Bronze: REI
Write-in: Barbara & Company

Nordstrom Rack offers the style and luxury of Nordstrom at a fraction of the cost — that’s probably why our readers say it’s their favorite store for women’s clothing. Denim from Rag & Bone and Lucky will have you looking effortlessly cool during brunch with the squad, and a little black dress by Guess or bebe will set the tone for a night on the town. Nordy’s has you covered for work clothes, athletic gear, sleep wear and shoes — why go anywhere else?

Childish Things Consignment Boutique

3183 Walnut St., 303-442-2703
Silver: Once Upon a Child
Bronze: ARES Thrift Store

Children are full of surprises — like how fast they grow. No, seriously, didn’t you just buy those pants a week ago and they’re already looking a little too short on Junior? Geez, and they’re brand new. In a situation like this, our readers don’t stress, they just head to Childish Things Consignment Boutique, where they can sell their gently used children’s clothes, shoes, toys, even maternity gear. You can make a little money and take a check after your goods sell, or take in-store credit to get Junior a pair of pants that fits at a price that doesn’t hurt.

Boulder Book Store

1107 Pearl St., 303-447-2074
Silver: Barbed Wire Books
Bronze: The Bookworm
Write-in: The Read Queen

We may be in the digital age, but that doesn’t keep us from enjoying the feel of a real book in our hands and the smell of turning its pages. And when our readers want to get away from sitting behind their screens, they head to Boulder Book Store to get their next hardback, paperback, magazine or newspaper to hold. As Boulder’s largest independent bookstore, this place is 20,000 square feet, holding more than 100,000 titles over three floors. Be careful, you may get lost.

Breeze Thru

2025 Main St., Longmont, 720-491-3727
Silver: 95th Street Car Wash & Detail Center
Bronze: Speedy Sparkle Car Wash
Write-in: Gloss Wash & Detail

Cars get dirty. It’s a minor inconvenience to leasing or owning a car; we’re sure folks before the days of Henry Ford would be happy to make that trade-off, and they probably had to wash their horses all the same. Anyway, where were we? Right, the best car wash facility, which our readers say is Breeze Thru. Washes, waxes, rinses, polishes — Breeze Thru can have your car looking fine; really fine if you get the unlimited monthly wash pass.

Hurdle’s Jewelry

1402 Pearl St., 303-443-1084
Silver: Todd Reed
Bronze: Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery (permanently closed as of April 2021)
Write-in: Snyder Jewelers

Hurdle’s Jewelry carries quite a legacy in Boulder. Family-owned and -operated since 1947, Hurdle’s is a locally owned business, with an excellent selection that doesn’t include conflict diamonds. Can you say trifecta? Hurdle’s not only designs one-of-a-kind pieces for its customers, it also sells some of the top designer jewelry brands. It also has plenty of unique consignment and antique pieces, so you’re liable to walk away with something you didn’t even know existed before you stepped through the door. So if you’re feeling the need to add a little bling to your life or someone else’s, our readers say that Hurdle’s is the place to go.

King Soopers

2600 Table Mesa Drive, 303-499-4004 (Temporarily Closed)
1650 30th St., 303-443-9622

Silver: Whole Foods Market
Bronze: Lucky’s Market
Write-in: Nude Foods

King Soopers is a quintessential piece of most Colorado communities. You get to know the different stores around town, their layouts, the discounts… the staff. Sometimes you and the cashier chat about plans for the holidays, the deli manager knows exactly what kind of turkey you like, and there always seems to be an attendant in the parking lot ready to take your cart when you’ve finished loading groceries in the car. There’s comfort in the routine of going to your neighborhood King Soopers — it’s easy to take for granted. But in the face of so much tragedy this year, we know we’ll never take that comfort for granted again. Let us join our readers in saying thanks to all the King Soopers employees, at Table Mesa and all over Boulder (and the country… the world.) It’s been a tough year, and you folks got us through it. MVPs. 

Apex Massage & Recovery Lab

183 S. Taylor Ave., Unit 162, Louisville, 720-328-1790

Apex Massage and Wellness Lab opened its doors in Louisville in 2001 with a commitment to improving the health and performance of every client. Its staff is trained in a number of bodywork modalities, such as Swedish, deep tissue, sports, heated stone and prenatal massage, enabling the staff to cater to a number of specific needs. Keep an eye out for Apex at a new location in May, 3410 Frankfort Ave.


3101 28th St., 303-449-0516
Silver: Wildwood Guitars
Bronze: Lafayette Music
Write-in: Paradise Found Records & Music (formerly Bart’s Record Shop)

Woodsongs has been serving the Boulder County community since 1971, selling quality instruments, offering expert repair, and providing a variety of guitar and other stringed instrument lessons at Woodsongs Studios. You can shop online or check out the store for yourself. Regardless, our readers say this is the best music store in town, so check it out the next time the urge to pick or strum a little kicks in.

P.C.’s Pantry

2828 30th St., 303-245-9909
Silver: Only Natural Pet
Bronze: PetSmart
Write-in: Flatirons Natural Pet Market

Pets aren’t just additions to family, they are an integral part of our everyday lives. They are companions, friends, confidants. Pets make us laugh when we’re feeling blue and comfort us in our time of need. They can also be rascals, making messes, peeing on our stuff and eating our shoes. Regardless, a well-cared-for pet is a happy pet, so head over to P.C.’s Pantry for all your pet care needs. Your furry friends are welcomed into the store with a treat and the bakery even makes barkday cakes to celebrate every four-legged milestone.


1789 28th St., 303-583-9970
Silver: Neptune Mountaineering
Bronze: JAX Lafayette Outdoor Gear
Write-in: Montbell

REI is all about getting people outdoors, which is why it’s dedicated to providing the best gear, advice and rental equipment possible. And because REI has no shareholders, with every purchase you make, you are choosing to steward the outdoors, support sustainable business and help the fight for life outside. More than 70% of REI’s annual profits are invested back into the outdoor community through dividends to REI members, employee profit-sharing and retirement, and investments in nonprofits dedicated to the outdoors. That’s why it’s our readers’ favorite place to buy outdoor gear.

Grandrabbit’s Toy Shoppe

2525 Arapahoe Ave., 303-443-0780
Silver: Into the Wind
Bronze: GameStop
Write-in: Gamers Guild

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that toy stores really are for kids, especially when anything giant, inflatable or equipped with lightning speed becomes a part of the equation. But the truth is, toy stores are for kids, and the kids are what it’s all about. Grandrabbit’s Toy Shoppe offers a wide selection of collectables, educational and just plain joy-inducing toys, from arts and craft supplies to magic kits to train sets. Kids of all ages can come into Grandrabbit’s Toy Shoppe and find something they have to have, right now. Let the begging commence.

The Fitter

1303 Broadway, 303-442-4200
Silver: The Little Dog
Bronze: Mile High Pipe & Tobacco
Write-in: Rocketman Boulder

Locally owned by twin sisters, Bonnie and Betty, The Fitter has been serving University of Colorado students, locals and tourists for more than four decades. The Fitter specializes in beautiful glass hand pipes, water pipes and smoking accessories, with an emphasis on locally made glass and a wide assortment of products to fit your smoking needs. Got a glass pipe that’s a bit clogged up? The Fitter carries a wide selection of glass cleaners that should have you toking smoothly in no time. Roommate broke your bong? No problem. The Fitter’s got a fine selection of water pipes that’ll make you almost glad your roommate is clumsy.

Natural Grocers

2685 Pearl St., 303-402-1400
100 W. South Boulder Road, Lafayette, 303-926-1600
1745 N. Main St., Longmont, 303-684-8200

Silver: Sprouts Farmers Market
Bronze: Whole Foods Market
Write-in: Nude Foods

Here in Boulder County, we like our food clean, unprocessed and, above all, natural. And that’s literally the name of the game at Natural Grocers, our readers’ choice for the best natural foods store — and there are plenty to choose from in Boulder. Natural Grocers is an ideal place to do all your grocery shopping, but there’s plenty of unique, natural items for your kitchen, pantry and medicine cabinet. The choice to shop at Natural Grocers is a choice for your health.

Apex Massage & Recovery Lab

183 S. Taylor Ave., Unit 162, Louisville, 720-328-1790

Have you ever heard of Normatec Compression Boots? Now you have. This is just one of the many recovery offerings at the new Apex Massage and Recovery Lab. These folks help the community of active people educate themselves and each other on the latest technology and modalities to heal from and prevent injuries while recovering from activity faster and more effectively. Infrared saunas boost overall function, efficiency and recovery capability with the power of infrared. The deep tissue massages are intense, specific and effective. If you play hard, train hard and work hard, you need to recover hard.

Aspen Eyewear

2525 Arapahoe Ave., Suite E-23, 303-447-0210
Silver: Warby Parker
Bronze: Envision
Write-in: Frederic Ian Eyewear

Since 1985, Aspen Eyewear has helped improve Boulder’s vision through high-quality prescription glasses and contacts. With the largest selection of eyewear in Boulder and a staff of stellar doctors, you’ll get great eye care and stylish eyewear. No matter if you want to update your prescription glasses or get your eyes checked for the first time, Aspen Eyewear is our readers’ choice for the best optical store.

Full Cycle Bikes & Colorado Multisport

2355 30th St., 303-440-1002
Silver: University Bicycles
Bronze: Boulder Bicycle Works
Write-in: Redstone Cyclery

OK, we’ll admit it: We were a little sad to hear that beloved bike shop Full Cycle was moving out of its historic Downtown Boulder location after 15 years. But we were psyched to learn that when Full Cycle reopened on 30th Street, it would merge with triathlon-focused shop Colorado Multisport. Two local businesses combining their talents to better serve Boulder’s lust for adventure? Yes please, we approve. Oh, and The Tune-Up Taproom (our readers’ pick for Best Sports Bar 2020) will reopen in the new space, making this a perfect spot to end a bike ride or day of training with a cold brew.

Re/Max of Boulder

2425 Canyon Blvd., 303-449-7000
1320 Pearl St.

Silver: Colorado Landmark
Bronze: 8z Real Estate
Write-in: Spaces Real Estate

Buying and/or selling a house is a big deal. And, unfortunately, it can be a headache. Fortunately, however, the good folks at RE/MAX of Boulder are available to help regardless of whether you’re buying, selling or just looking. Your next home is right around the corner, and they’ll help you find it.


1789 28th St., 303-583-9970
Silver: Patagonia
Bronze: Nordstrom Rack
Write-in: Wallaroo

A life outdoors is a life well lived,” according to the ever popular REI. And probably most of Boulder County’s population. So it is no wonder why the folks of Boulder County have voted REI the best place to find men’s clothing. It has shoes. It has vests. It has pants and shirts. It has hats and belts, even underwear. Whether you’re looking for something to wear while you hike or climb, ski or snowboard, swim or travel, even work from home or at the office, REI has options for everyone.

Discount Tire

3215 28th St., 303-440-6811
740 Highway 287 North, Lafayette, 303-248-5680
379 S. Hover St., Longmont, 303-774-9869

Silver: Barnsley Tire Co.
Bronze: Big O Tires
Write-in: Les Schwab Tire Center

So, you need new tires, and maybe you’ve been putting it off for a while. It happens; we all do it. Well, hesitate no longer and head to any of the local Discount Tire locations, our readers’ choice for the best tire shop. Choose from a wide variety of makes, styles, performance attributes and prices. There’s a lot to consider, so let the good people at Discount Tire lead the way.

Hoshi Motors

2504 Spruce St., 303-449-6632
Silver: Super Rupair
Bronze: Fisher Honda/Acura
Write-in: Chan Foreign Car

Did you know that 71% of Boulder County residents drive a Subaru? That’s not true, but it sounds like it could be. Go for a short drive and you won’t be able to count all the Foresters, Outbacks and other Subaru models on two hands. Of course Subarus are renowned for their durability, but they do break down, and when that happens — or it happens to a Toyota, Honda or Acura — our readers take their cars to Hoshi Motors. Readers say they’re trustworthy, affordable and timely with their service.


1235 Pearl St., 303-449-5847
Silver: Jacque Michelle
Bronze: Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery (permanently closed as of April 2021)
Write-in: Thalken

When our readers are looking for a special gift, they head to Peppercorn, where they can find a selection of imports, top-of-the-line appliances, unique kitchen gadgets, gourmet and imported foods, and much more. You can’t find this stuff in a big-box store. Peppercorn has remained independently owned and operated since opening its doors more than 30 years ago. Combine that with a knowledgeable staff, and it’s no wonder our readers call it their favorite gift shop every year.

Flatirons Subaru

5995 Arapahoe Ave., 887-464-2714
Silver: Larry H. Miller Toyota Boulder
Bronze: Fisher Acura/Honda
Write-in: Sill-TerHar Motors

Buying a new car is a serious investment. It’s got to fit your lifestyle and needs, whether that’s AWD for those weekend mountain adventures or ample space for family road trips. And you want to trust your car dealer. That’s why our readers go to Flatirons Subaru, a family-owned and -operated business in Boulder since 1954. Use Flatirons’ website to peruse the available stock of cars, filtered to match your needs. Submit an offer, or text the staff at Flatirons to ask questions or set up a test drive.

Rising Tide Tattoo Emporium & Gallery

3193 Walnut St., 303-500-5046
Silver: Tribal Rites Tattoo & Piercing
Bronze: Bolder Ink
Write-in: Dreamhouse Tattoo

No longer relegated to the sailor life, tattooing is an artform in and of itself. As tattooing grows in popularity, finding the right artist to suit your unique needs is more important than ever. Our readers recommend the artists at Rising Tide Tattoo Emporium and Gallery. Founded in 2005 by Phill Bartell as a one-man shop on Pearl Street, the original shop was just for tattoos. But five years later, in 2010, Rising Tide Tattoo Emporium & Gallery opened, based on the idea that one space could bring together fine art and tattoo art; displaying quality work on both skin and canvas. So go ahead, check out the light-filled space, peruse portfolios and gallery art for sale, or make an appointment for custom work.

Pedestrian Shops

1425 Pearl St., 303-449-5260
2525 Arapahoe Ave., 303-449-7440

Silver: Boulder Running Company
Bronze: Two Sole Sisters
Write-in: Shoes & Brews

Boulder-born Pedestrian Shops turns 50 this year. If that’s not a sign of how beloved this shoe store is, we don’t know what is. Pedestrian Shops prides itself on offering “the world’s most comfortable brands of shoes,” plus impeccable customer service. Let your feet breathe a sigh of relief in a pair of Sorel’s, Eccos, Birkenstock, Keen or dozens of other renowned brands. As if that isn’t great enough, Pedestrian Shops is committed to reducing its carbon footprint in a variety of ways, from using recycled boxes for shipping to operating a 10kw solar array that generates half of its Pearl Street store’s energy needs.


2034 Arapahoe Ave., 303-444-0479
Silver: Best Buy
Bronze: Apple Store
Write-in: Absolute Vinyl Records & Studio

From dedicated home theaters, media rooms and whole-house audio/video distribution, ListenUp has more than three decades of experience in creating systems that are exactly right for every person’s desires, space and budget. This locally owned electronics store has the staff, resources and stock for every one of your entertainment needs.

Christy Sports

2000 30th St., 303-442-2493
Silver: Epic Mountain Gear
Bronze: Crystal Ski Shop

There’s nothing quite like ripping down the mountain on a powder day, whether skiing or snowboarding (no judgment here). But to really enjoy a really good winter day, you need really great gear. Our readers say to head to Christy Sports for all your ski and/or snowboard needs — from rentals to sales, backcountry to kids, outerwear, goggles and helmets. So don’t hesitate or wait for that next storm. As the saying goes, there’s no friends on a powder day so you want to be ready.

Guardian Storage

6439 Arapahoe Road, 303-440-8824
4900 Broadway, 303-443-2502
721 S. Emery St., Longmont, 720-378-4336

Silver: AAA Storage Containers
Bronze: Life Storage

Over the course of a life, you’ll accumulate some stuff. But sometimes you need a safe place to put that stuff, and our readers say Guardian Storage is the place to stash it. Guardian’s climate control units are great for delicate things, like paintings, upholstered furniture and stereo equipment. Interior units are great for big items like cars, boats, RVs and home appliances. And Guardian’s not just for personal use: With convenient, well-accessible locations across Boulder County, 24-hour security, conference rooms, free wi-fi, package-receiving services and more, Guardian Storage can even give you a hand up in running your business.

Flatirons Subaru

5995 Arapahoe Ave.,877-464-2714
Silver: Super Rupair
Bronze: Larry H. Miller Toyota Boulder
Write-in: Gebardt BMW

So we all can guess what kind of cars Flatirons Subaru is known for, right? Those adventure vehicles are perfect to keep us all going in Colorado’s four seasons, in the city, in the mountains, in the high deserts and even the eastern plains. But that’s not all Flatirons Subaru has to offer. They also are committed to sustainability and since 2018 have been working to keep hard-to-recycle trash out of landfills (5 million pieces of trash to be exact) So when you go to Flatirons Subaru to find your next Subaru Certified Pre-Owned vehicle, know you’re helping out the environment too.


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