McGuckin Hardware art department employees

Arts & Crafts Supplies 

MCGUCKIN HARDWARE 2525 Arapahoe Ave., Suite D1, 303-443-1822 

Second Place: Michaels Third Place: Meininger’s Fine Art Fourth Place: Jo-Ann’s Fabric and Craft Fifth Place: Guirys

Pinterest got you powered up to make your own giant wall art? Feeling the need to scrapbook a keepsake for your mom? Got a kid-worthy finger-painting urge? When the urge to get artsy and craftsy takes you over, check the many aisles at McGuckin Hardware. You’ll find a stock of paint to handle your project if it’s as big as a house and enough paper to make your own phonebook if you ever really give up on Facebook.

And power tools. Because sometimes, high-quality arts call for power tools.

Shoe Store 

PEDESTRIAN SHOPS 1425 Pearl St., 303-449-5260 Village Shopping Center on Arapahoe, 303-449-7440 

Second Place: Boulder Running Company Third Place: Two Sole Sisters Fourth Place: Brown’s Shoe Fit Co. Fifth Place: Shoe Fly

If it’s true that good shoes take you good places, then oh, the places you will go after a visit to Pedestrian Shops. Their mission is to make the world more comfortable by selling extremely comfortable shoes for men and women — and they try to do good by the planet while they’re at it. They recycle shoe boxes to ship Internet orders when possible, operate a 10-kilowatt solar array and hold biyearly shoe drives for those in need. So drop in and shop world-class brands like Birkenstock, Merrel and Keen and feel good about supporting a stellar community business.

Law Firm 

GARD & BOND, LLC 2541 Spruce St., 303-449-3040 

Second Place: Berg Hill Greenleaf & Ruscitti LLP Third Place: Hassan Cables Law Firm Fourth Place: Hartney Law LLC/Holland & Hart LLP/Hutchison Black and Cook LLC (Tie)

Where are you going to look if you need to find a good attorney? According to our winners in this category, Gard & Bond, the best way to find their firm is word-of-mouth. That’s right, they say that all of their clients come word-of-mouth, which is an impressive claim that speaks highly of these good folks. So if you find yourself in need of a great attorney, give Gard & Bond a call and tell them you heard about them from thousands of BW readers. Now that’s a big mouth.

Stereo / Electronics 

BEST BUY 1740 30th St., 303-938-2889 

Second Place: ListenUp Third Place: Apple Store Fourth Place: Car Toys Fifth Place: Crescendo Fine Audio

The stereo shop has changed in recent years. As music distribution turns digital and Apple earbuds become ubiquitous, the need for a good stereo and electronics shop seems to have diminished. But that’s not quite true. In fact, a good electronics store is necessary now more than ever so that we can retain the gift of high-quality audio and visual equipment. Our readers say the best place to get electronics is Best Buy, likely because of their wide selection and accommodating staff. With locations nationwide, Best Buy can keep prices low and bring in inventory other places can’t.

Real Estate Group 

RE/MAX OF BOULDER INC. 2425 Canyon Blvd., Suite 110, 303-449- 7000 (and other locations in Boulder County) 

Second Place: 8z Real Estate Third Place: Wright Kingdom Real Estate Fourth Place: Colorado Landmark, Realtors Fifth Place: Pedal to Properties

Buying a house is a very grown-up decision, one that not everyone is ready for.

It can easily regress you back to childhood where you just want someone to hold your hand and get you a juice box. When the time finally comes, you want a realtor that will be as helpful and supportive as a parent. Our readers’ first choice, ReMax of Boulder, is there to help you by providing people you can trust and who will help you get exactly what you want. With friendly and knowledgeable realtors, you’ll surely avoid a temper tantrum-level panic attack.

Bath & Body Shop 

LUSH 1312 Pearl St., 303-444-5874 

Second Place: Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary Third Place: Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy Fourth Place: Bath & Body Works Fifth Place: Sephora

You know what rocks? Bunnies. Bunnies are the best. Take a look at (If you’ve got a time machine and are spending a lot of time in 2007, of course) and what dominates? Bunnies. OK, maybe they’re tied with kittens and puppies, and we don’t know what else, because we don’t look at that website or websites like Anyway. Bunnies are the best, and because we love them, we love Lush, which uses fresh ingredients (just like our many farm-to-table restaurants) to make cosmetics without testing on animals, like bunnies. So hop on over for bath bombs and body butters that’ll make your skin and your heart feel good.

New Business 

BOULDER HOME THEATER COMPANY 4878 Dakota Blvd., 720-201-1905 

Second Place: Joy Collective Third Place: Voss Art & Home Fourth Place: vpk by Maharishi Ayurveda Fifth Place: Blackbelly Market

There’s nothing like the magic of a movie, but sometimes going to the movies can be a little bit of a drag. It’s gotten pretty pricey, and why is that guy two rows behind you commenting like the characters can hear him? Wouldn’t it be great to have your own theater? If it seems far-fetched, think again. Boulder Home Theater Company can set you up with a custom home theater system that means you can bring the magic of the movies right to your home. Invite friends over and watch Game of Thrones or have the best Super Bowl party ever. With more than 15 years of experience in the custom audio-video industry, Boulder Home Theater Co. won’t disappoint.

Optical Store 

ASPEN EYEWEAR 2525 Arapahoe Ave, Unit E-23, 303-447-0210 %u2028 

Second Place: Envision Boulder Third Place: Boulder Vision Center Fourth Place: College Optical Fifth Place: Wink Optical

Getting new glasses and contacts can be pretty stressful, but not when you head to Aspen Eyewear. These folks have been running this family-owned business for three generations, so they know a thing or two — which our readers have made clear by voting for Aspen Eyewear as Best Optical Store year after year. Most prescriptions are filled in one to three days, but this is no sacrifice for quality. This is your vision we’re talking about, so Aspen Eyewear promises to spend more than an hour preparing your eyewear. They’ll manage repairs that other stores won’t, and they have the only on-site custom lens-finishing lab in Boulder. There’s an independent optometrist located in the store to provide eye exams. It’s an all-in-one package at Aspen Eyewear.

Tattoo / Piercing Parlor 

BOLDER INK 2735 Iris Ave., 303-444-7380 

Second Place: Tribal Rites Tattoo and Piercing Third Place: Rising Tide Tattoo Fourth Place: Claw and Talon Tattoo Fifth Place: K&K Piercing & Jewelry

Getting a tattoo or a piercing requires a lot of trust. You’re handing over the reins to your body, hoping the tattoo artist will perfectly capture the essence of the meaningful tattoo you’ve spent years considering. When you’re looking for that person you can trust, you might pick our readers’ choice for the best tattoo/piercing parlor, Bolder Ink. Since 1994, Bolder Ink has been providing talented, experienced professionals who you can put your confidence in. No surprises, only exactly what you want. And that moment when you look in the mirror and see your vision realized, you’ll know it was all worth it.

Computer — Repair 

APPLE STORE 1755 29th St., 720-479-9451 

Second Place: Boulder Mac Repair Third Place: The Mac Shack Fourth Place: Boulder PC Fifth Place: iSupportU

Some day, many decades from now, people will gather around digital fireplaces and tell stories about days when a computer didn’t have enough artificial intelligence to fix itself after you dropped it and cracked the screen, spilled a beer on it and fried out the keyboard, or bingewatched too many DVDs in a row and melted down whatever it is inside there that melts down when the drive overloads. But until then, there’s the Apple Store, where the geniusesin-residence do their best to repair what’s broken so you can get back to your surfing and binge-watching and Skyping with that best friend who just won’t break down and move to the people’s Republick.

Computer — Retail 

APPLE STORE 1755 29th St., 720-479-9451 

Second Place: Best Buy Third Place: Costco Wholesale Fourth Place: The Mac Shack Fifth Place: CU Book Store

When Apple created its plan for taking over the world, we’re pretty sure that Boulder was chosen as the original test market. Babies in this town play with iRattles, dogs chew on iKongs and old people limp along on their iWalkers. OK, they don’t really, but they would if they could. People here, including our readers, are definitely into all things Apple and are, no doubt, already in the queue for iWatches and iCars and anything else the company decides to throw our way. Boulder loves its Apple Store and so do we.

Ski/Snowboard Shop 

BOULDER SKI DEALS 2525 Arapahoe Road, 303-938-8799 

Second Place: Christy Sports Third Place: Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) Fourth Place: Larry’s Bootfitting Fifth Place: Crystal Ski Shop

Ah, the siren song of snow, falling in powdery pillows and coating all that’s green with white goodness. Whether you’re making Colorado your home or just passing through, if it’s between December and April, you’ll want to take part in the local tradition of strapping boards to your feet and slipping around on the slopes. Boulder Ski Deals has been gearing people up to slide down the snow since, as they say, “before the dawn of the single plank” and giving them great — if the name didn’t give it away — deals on that gear. Fear not snowboarders, they’ve got snowboard deals, too.

Auto Dealer — New 

FLATIRONS SUBARU 5995 Arapahoe Ave., 888-559-1567 

Second Place: Larry H. Miller Toyota Boulder Third Place: Fisher Honda Kia Fourth Place: Audi Boulder Fifth Place: Gebhardt BMW

Look around in any parking lot or check the auto logos at any intersection and it all becomes clear — this is a Subaru town. Nothing proves the point more than watching Subaru owners wander aimlessly through parking lots pressing their key fobs to find their ride because there are something like 20 blue Outbacks, a dozen silver Foresters and a sea of black Imprezas stacked like cord wood in every lot. This explains why our readers think Flatirons Subaru is the best place to buy a new car. That’s to say that if it’s the best place to buy a Subaru, then it’s the best place to buy a car. But we can attest that the good folks at Flatirons are great to work with and always take good care of their customers as well.

Adult Merchandise 

MAYBEE BY FASCINATIONS 3135 28th St., 303-442-7309 %u2028 

Second Place: Pleasures

MayBee by Fascinations takes the taboo out of shopping for intimacy products by creating a bright environment with wide aisles and a welcoming staff — because shopping for such fun things should be… well, fun. So whether you’re looking for a risqué outfit, some sensual bath products or a special toy to spice up your relationship, MayBee has what you’re looking for — and you won’t feel like a total creeper while you’re shopping for it.

Green Business 

OCEAN FIRST DIVERS 3015 Bluff St., 303-444-7243 %u2028 

Second Place: Green Ride Boulder Third Place: Eco-Cycle Fourth Place: Momentum Fifth Place: Alfalfa’s Market

Graham Casden, owner of Ocean First Divers, wanted to build conservation and sustainability into his business because a robust, healthy marine environment is central to the diving industry. They became the first carbon neutral dive shop in the world by deriving their energy from wind power and adopting a carbon-offset program. They offset all dive travel by investing in renewable energies through the purchase of carbon and forestry credits. Recently, they have installed solar photovotalic and thermal systems, variable speed pool pumps, high-efficiency boilers and a regenerative heat exchanger. They created the Green Star Award to certify other dive businesses in sustainability and environmental practices, and teamed up with Sustainable Travel International to create the Dive Center Standard that helps businesses manage their impacts and reduce waste.

Recreational Dispensary 

THE FARM 2801 Iris Ave., 303-440-1323 

Second Place: Terrapin Care Station Third Place: Karing Kind Fourth Place: Herbal Wellness Fifth Place: Helping Hands Herbals/ The Bud Dispensary

The Farm opened its doors in 2009 to the medical marijuana community. But with the passage of Amendment 64 in 2012, The Farm threw those doors wider open, making it possible for everyone on Earth over the age of 21 to celebrate the end of cannabis prohibition by making a purchase of high quality cannabis flower, extracts and edibles. The Farm staff is extremely knowledgeable and can guide you to just the right product or the perfect accessory for consuming your new found freedom.

Moving Company 

TAYLOR MOVING AND STORAGE 4949 N. Broadway, Suite 110, 303-443-4885 

Second Place: Two Men and a Truck Third Place: Boulder Valley Transfer Fourth Place: A Boulder Moving Co. Fifth Place: Flatirons Moving and Storage

Have you seen those television shows where people give away everything to move into a tiny house that’s 100 square feet with just enough room for two coffee cups and two spoons but no coffee maker? It would be so easy to move if all you owned were two coffee cups and two spoons… But, you probably own two and another eight. So when it comes time to pack it all up and move from one not-so-tiny house to another, you’ll probably want some extra hands. Call Taylor Moving and Storage when that time inevitably comes. They’re experienced and locally owned and operated, so they know how to heave your heaviest things and deliver them carefully to your next destination.


STURTZ & COPELAND 2851 Valmont Road, 303-442-6663 

Second Place: Fiori Flowers Third Place: Boulder Blooms Fourth Place: Lafayette Florist Fifth Place: Boulder Gardens

Nothing says “I’m the best ever” like getting the best ever flowers for someone you love. At Sturtz & Copeland, whether your needs would best be met by a flower box full of pansies, seeds for spring planting or a bouquet to wish “get well” or “be happy,” you’ll find it. If you’re in a do-it-yourself kind of spirit, they also have classes to learn floral design or container gardening. Which is like the best way to tell yourself, “You’re the best ever.”

Auto Dealer — Used 

FLATIRONS IMPORTS 5995 Arapahoe Ave., 888-650-6108 

Second Place: Blue Spruce Auto Sales Third Place: Green Eyed Motors Fourth Place: Smooth Motors

We’ve all been there. Whether your 1997 Accord broke down finally or you’re buying your high schooler his or her first car and want something reliable, inexpensive and able to be dinged, the used car is an important fixture in American society. Our readers say when it’s time to go get one, the best place to do so is Flatirons Imports. With a wide selection of makes and models, competitive pricing and payment options, Flatirons Imports provides the cars we need to get around town and up into the mountains. Our readers say you can be sure of the quality you’ll get in a used automobile from Flatirons Imports.

Auto Detailing 

PUDDLE CARWASH 3100 28th St., 303-447-9274 

Second Place: Boulder Auto Detail Third Place: Buffs Car Wash Fourth Place: Alpine Auto Detailing Fifth Place: The Works Automotive Detailing and Paint Correction

Boulder cars can take a lot of abuse — weather, mountains, animal hair, dirty shoes, sweaty people and, unfortunately, the list goes on. We live life to the fullest, and our cars can sometimes fail to keep up. If your car needs a facelift inside and outside, our readers head over to Puddle Carwash for the car-equivalent of a day spa. Since 1973, the people over at Puddle Carwash have been taking excellent care of their customers, offering a variety of services for whatever your ride is in need of. At affordable prices, they’ll get your car ready to star in the inevitable Fast and Furious sequel.

Auto Service/Repair 

SUPER RUPAIR 1309 Yarmouth Ave., 303-442-6508 %u2028 

Second Place: Hoshi Motors Third Place: The Boulder Bump Shop Fourth Place: Chan Foreign Car Fifth Place: Independent Motors

If you live in Boulder, chances are you like to play in the mountains, and if you play in the mountains, you’re going to need a car that can get you up and down the mountain in any kind of weather. For safe mountain play, many Boulderites choose to drive Subarus. So when your beloved Subaru needs a little maintenance, you want folks who know a Subaru inside and out, like the folks at Super Rupair. Not only do they only repair Subarus, they are independently owned and operated — a truly Boulder business. They offer an 18-month/18,000- mile guarantee on repairs, so what do you have to lose? If your ’roo is in need of a little love, our readers say Super Rupair is the place to go.

Kitchen Supplies 

PEPPERCORN 1235 Pearl St., 303-449-5847 

Second Place: McGuckin Hardware Third Place: Sur La Table Fourth Place: Bed Bath and Beyond Fifth Place: Savory Spice Shop

Some of the very best eye candy on Pearl Street is in the store windows of the Peppercorn, where kitchen gadgets, pots, pans, cookbooks and cheery dishtowels greet passersby with just hints of the culinary wonderland inside. Whether you’re dreaming of sauciers or skillets, madeleine pans or quiche dishes, ramekins or pie tins, or tastes of Colorado like locally made hot sauces, tapenades, popcorn, chocolate or bread, you’ll find everything you need to make those dreams come true at Peppercorn.

Grocery Store 

WHOLE FOODS MARKET 2905 Pearl St., 303-5454-6611 2584 W. Baseline Road, 303-499-7636 1275 Alpine Ave., 303-443-1354 (and other around Boulder County) 

Second Place: King Soopers Third Place: Lucky’s Market Fourth Place: Sprouts Farmers Market Fifth Place: Alfalfa’s Market

Grocery shopping is a necessary chore that can be such a drag. Thankfully, a trip to Whole Foods can be a relaxing experience in itself. No wonder our readers voted it the best grocery store. Walking into a Whole Foods Markets feels familiar and hospitable. The shelves are stocked with products that will enhance a healthy lifestyle, and the staff can answer any question you have about which vitamins to take or which veggies to put in your green smoothie. You walk out with a desire to conquer the world, or at least with socially conscious products that aren’t trying to kill you or the environment.

Solar Systems 

NAMASTE SOLAR 4571 Broadway St., 303-447-0300 

Second Place: Flatiron Solar Third Place: Custom Solar Fourth Place: Independent Power Systems Fifth Place: Lighthouse Solar

It’s time. You know what we’re talking about. It’s time to do something meaningful to make sure good old planet Earth is still around for your grandkids. Whether it’s Xcel or a municipal electric company providing your TV’s juice, both options are way too reliant on natural gas, or worse, to make electricity. So take matters into your own hands and add a system of solar energy generation to your home. Our readers like Namaste Solar the best while Mother Earth insists she’s just fine with any of our winners.

Tire Shop 

DISCOUNT TIRE 3215 28th St., Boulder, 303-440-6811 %u2028 740 Highway 287, Lafayette, 303-248-5080 379 S. Hover St., Longmont, 303-774-9869 

Second Place: Barnsley Tire Co. Third Place: Big O Tires Fourth Place: Lousiville Tire and Auto Care Fifth Place: Firestone Complete Auto Care

If tires are like shoes for your car, and a great pair of shoes can take you great places, then logically, a great pair of tires can take you great places. And our readers think there’s no better place to get a great set of tires than Discount Tire. Offering a huge selection of name brand tires as well as house brand tires, Discount Tires can get your car suited up and read to go new places in no time for less money. So don’t wait until your car’s tires are dangerously slick — go on over to one of Discount Tire’s three Boulder County locations and grab a new set without having to refinance your house.

Natural Foods 

WHOLE FOODS MARKET 1275 Alpine Ave., 303-443-1354 2905 Pearl St., 303-545-6611 2584 W. Baseline Road, 303-499-7636 303 Marshall Road, Superior, 720-274-1415 

Second Place: Vitamin Cottage by Natural Grocers Third Place: Alfalfa’s Market Fourth Place: Sprouts Farmers Market Fifth Place: Lucky’s Market

The competition for best natural food seller in Boulder has to be the most heated. With a consumer base that cares deeply about where their food comes from, the natural foods market is healthy in Boulder County. Our voters say the best place to get those natural foods is at Whole Foods. With locations all around Boulder County, it sells a wide variety of fresh produce, legumes, meats, cheeses and more at low prices that don’t sacrife quality. And with a full food bar and specialized kiosks, you can eat an entire meal at Whole Foods and feel pretty good after it.

Pet Store 

PC’S PANTRY FOR DOGS AND CATS, INC. 2828 30th St., 303-245-9909 

Second Place: PetSmart Third Place: Humane Society of Boulder Valley Fourth Place: Whole Pets Natural Pet Food & Supplies Fifth Place: Only Natural Pet

Somewhere along the way, pets became family members deserving of the same level of love and attention we show to our kids or Grandma. We’re not saying that’s good or bad, just that it’s the new pet reality. However, we do have it from a knowledgeable source that pets think this new family status is awesome. Right, boy? So if you love that critter like family, there is no better place to find all the things you need to keep your pet happy, healthy and entertained than PC’s Pantry for Dogs and Cats. Now if they only had something for Grandma.


GAMESTOP 2760 Canyon Blvd., 303-440-1282 965 S. Hover St., Suite A2, Longmont, 303- 651-9877 545 W. South Boulder Road, Suite 154, Lafayette, 303-7192 

Second Place: The Video Station Third Place: Game Force Boulder Fourth Place: Karliquin’s Game Knight

Video games are the future. That’s what they said in, like, 1986 and that has proven to be true. Video games have taken over American culture — from Xbox to Playstation to Wii, the future of gaming is in good hands and very promising. Our readers say they like to go to GameStop to buy their games and consoles. With a wide variety of merchandise, low prices, knowledgeable staff and more, GameStop has become the gold standard for video game sellers. This category also includes Video and DVD sales, and so stop by the Video Station, our second place winner, to stock up.


DENVER MATTRESS COMPANY 1445 28th St., 303-413-1314 %u2028 

Second Place: Urban Mattress Third Place: Verlo Mattress Factory Fourth Place: Boulder Furniture and Mattress Fifth Place: Mattress Firm

Mattresses are one of those things you just don’t think about until you’re tossing and turning and bemoaning the spring that keeps jabbing you in the back. Suddenly, your mattress feels like the most important thing you own, and you desperately need a new one. If you’ve got 99 problems and a mattress is one, head down to Denver Mattress Company (one is located conveniently here in Boulder on 28th Street), where, by the end of your experience, you’ll have 98 problems and an awesome mattress. Denver Mattress Company makes their own mattresses and sells them in their own stores, avoiding the middleman and keeping costs down.

Hydroponic Store 

WAY TO GROW 6395 Gunpark Drive, 303-473-4796 

Second Place: One Love Garden Supply Third Place: Boulder Hydroponic & Organic Center Fourth Place: GrowLife Hydroponics Fifth Place: Victory Hydro Gardening

Hydroponics are the future. As the need to grow and produce plants and crops sustainably continues to increase, hydroponics serve a valuable role. But it’s not easy to get into hydroponics — at least, it seems a bit daunting — and so it’s good to have a place like Way to Grow to help educate and supply the process. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, Way to Grow has everything you need and a knowledgeable, friendly staff to boot, to get you on your hydroponic way. With affordable prices, too, it’s easy to get started or to increase your grow.

Hot Tub/Jacuzzi 

MOUNTAIN MIST SPAS 1240-4 Ken Pratt Blvd., Longmont, 303-772-1125 

Second Place: Mr. Pool Third Place: Heat Wave Stove & Spa Fourth Place: International Hot Tubs Fifth Place: Quality Pool and Spas 2013 survey of British households found that 10 percent, or some 2.6 million houses

A had a hot tub. That’s probably a gross overestimate, hot tub retailers told the British reporter who followed up on the survey, but in any case, there seems to be an increased interest in having a warm place to soak your aches away. There’s even a television show to explore Britain’s relationship to hot tubs, creatively entitled, Hot Tub Britain. No kidding.

Too bad exporting from the scenic showroom of Mountain Mist is tough to do in foggy England. If there were a run on hot tubs, saunas, grills or gazebos, Mountain Mist Spas would keep them well-supplied.

Pipe Shop 

MILE HIGH PIPE AND TOBACCO 1144 Pearl St., 303-443-7473 

Second Place: The Fitter Third Place: Buddha’s and Goudha’s Fourth Place: Freaky’s Smoke Shoppe & Tattoo Fifth Place: Little Dog Pipe and Tobacco

With the legalization of marijuana, there were many changes in the industries of Colorado. Certainly buoyed were cannabis growers and sellers, but so were the folks who sell the materials through which to smoke marijuana. Our readers say the best pipe shop in town is Mile High Pipe and Tobacco on Pearl Street. With a wide variety of paraphernalia and a knowledgeable, helpful staff, Mile High Pipes is the place to go when you need a tool to get you high, according to our readers. With equipment for any price range, you can stop by and see what works for you.

Tobacco Shop 

SMOKER FRIENDLY 1620 30th St., 303-449-7089 179 W. South Boulder Road, Lafayette, 303-665-7870 301 Martin, Longmont, 303-772-2323 

Second Place: Mile High Pipe and Tobacco Third Place: Johnny’s Cigar Bar Fourth Place: Little Dog Fifth Place: The Fitter

So you’ve found the six square feet of space in the city of Boulder where folks are still allowed to light up? You can stock up on all your smoking supplies to face an at times unfriendly world for smokers at Smoker Friendly.


TODD REED 2015 Pearl St., 303-442-6280 %u2028 

Second Place: Hurdle’s Jewelry Third Place: Walters & Hogsett Fine Jewelers Fourth Place: Angie Starr Jewelry Fifth Place: Starfish

The use of jewelry dates back tens of thousands of years when Africans perforated the shells of sea snails to make crude necklaces and bracelets. Later, bones, teeth, dried berries and stone were strung together with animal sinew. These pieces were unique, and why would we ever want jewelry to be any other way? Todd Reed has been making jewelry in some fashion since he was 10 years old, and now as an adult, he believes in every piece of jewelry having its own “story.” No two pieces are alike. So drop by the Todd Reed studio on Pearl Street and pick up something truly special for you or a loved one.


ATLAS FLOORING 4920 28th St., 303-442-3221 %u2028 

Second Place: Carpet Exchange Third Place: Go Green Flooring Fourth Place: Boulder Stove & Flooring Fifth Place: McDonald Carpet One Floor & Home

After 52 years serving the Front Range, it’s easy to see why Atlas Flooring is our readers’ favorite place to go for all of their flooring needs. From carpet to tile to wood flooring, as well as cabinetry and countertops, Atlas can provide the products and advice to get you on your way to the house of your dreams. And don’t worry if you’re not prepared to do the job yourself — Atlas will provide you with names of independent contractors who can get the job done right.

Toy Store 

GRANDRABBIT’S TOY SHOPPE 2525 Arapahoe Ave., 303-443-0780 

Second Place: Into The Wind Third Place: GameStop Fourth Place: Time Warp Comics Fifth Place: Karliquin’s Game Knight

Since 1977, Grandrabbit’s Toy Shoppe has been doing far more than selling toys. As “foundress” Lynn Milot says on the Shoppe’s website, “I have come to believe that if we would truly make all children — of all national and ethnic origins, creeds and needs — a global priority, that the staggering challenges we face as human beings could be more easily resolved. The motivation for profit at any cost fails to recognize the human and environmental impacts of business decisions. That is why, over 30 years later, our goals remain the same: To be an evolving business organization that benefits everyone involved.”

We can’t add anything to that. Make your dollars count by shopping at this year’s best toy store.

Outdoor Gear 

RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT INC. (REI) 1789 28th St., 303-583-9970 

Second Place: Neptune Mountaineering Third Place: Jax Mercantile Fourth Place: Boulder Ski Deals Fifth Place: Boulder Running Company

They say that time spent outdoors helps children steer away from obesity, attention disorders and depression, and they say that we all have an inner child. So do the math. Keep that inner kid happy, healthy and ready to focus by taking it outdoors to play a lot. We recommend boats, bikes, hikes, skis and whatever else strikes your fancy from the toy box that is REI.


MUNSON FARMS Valmont Road and N. 75th Street, 303-442- 5330 %u2028 

Second Place: Cure Organic Farm Third Place: Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy Fourth Place: Isabelle Farm Fifth Place: Red Wagon Organic

Munson Farms is a Boulder classic, going strong since 1979. Many folks around Boulder know Munson for their family-favorite pumpkin patch each fall or the Christmas trees they start selling in November, but perhaps it’s Bob Munson’s sweet corn that Munson Farms is best known for. He sells it right off the stalk each day. Head on down the to the farm on the corner of Valmont and 75th if you’re in the mood for a good story from Bob — visitors are often welcomed in for a tour and a helping of hospitality.


AMERICAN FURNITURE WAREHOUSE 10550 Jake Jabs Blvd., Firestone, 303-684- 2400 

Second Place: Clutter Consignment Third Place: Arhaus Fourth Place: No Place Like Home New & Used Furniture Fifth Place: Woodley’s Fine Furniture

Is it all those lions and tigers in the ads or could it be we just can’t get enough of local TV commercial legend Jake Jabs? Whatever it is, it’s sure working for Jabs’ American Furniture Warehouse. Not only are the AFW stores the biggest around, our readers tell us that these stores are their favorite. So if it’s time to replace that old couch you’ve been hiding under a bedspread for years or if the stuffing in your favorite chair has managed to miraculously vanish in that mysterious flat area shaped like your derrière, wander on over to AFW, and they’ll be happy to help you find a new one.

Clothing Store — Men’s 

RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT INC. (REI) 1789 28th St., 303-583-9970 

Second Place: Nordstrom Rack Third Place: Patagonia Outdoor Clothing & Gear Fourth Place: Men’s Wearhouse Fifth Place: Buffalo Exchange

The clothes make the man. That’s what they say at least. A good suit or a comfortable hoodie can put a man at ease, give him confidence or allow him to broadcast to the world: “I’m not fully sure who Che Guevara is, but I think I do. And I think I like him.” Our readers, ever the outdoorsy type, say Recreational Equipment Inc., or REI, is the place to go for men’s clothing. With a variety of pullovers, pants, jackets, shoes and boots, watches, sunglasses and those pants that zip off just under the knees, REI is our voters’ choice for the clothier of local men.


MIKE’S CAMERA 2500 Pearl St., 303-443-1715 

Second Place: Costco Wholesale Third Place: Photo Craft Imaging Fourth Place: Target Fifth Place: Memories to Digital 

few years ago, before new fangled cell phones and apps like Instagram and Snapchat, people put time and effort into crafting the right image. They used the fancy cameras and sought out advice from the best. Luckily the people over at Mike’s Camera are keeping the art of photography alive, and our readers voted them the best for help with cameras, video and photofinishing. They can help you with anything you need to capture those gorgeous Boulder landscapes or family milestones. Head on over if you want to make more important photography decisions than choosing between which filter makes you look more tan.

Clothing Store — Children’s 

CHILDISH THINGS BOUTIQUE 3183 Walnut St., 303-442-2703 

Second Place: Rocky Mountain Kids Third Place: Gymboree Fourth Place: Poppy Fifth Place: Gap Kids

You can’t make ’em stop no matter how hard you try. They just keep growing and growing. This would be fine if we lived in a world where our kids just ran around naked, but we don’t, which means that we have to buy a new batch of kid’s clothes every few weeks or months (depending on the intensity of that latest growth streak). Since we can’t make them stop, we might as well make them happy and our readers say the best place to do that with kid’s clothes is at Childish Things Boutique.

Independent Business 

CURATING THE COOL 409 S. Public Road, Lafayette, 888-828-2181 

Second Place: Green Ride Boulder Third Place: Umba Creative Co-Op Fourth Place: McGuckin Hardware Fifth Place: Alpine Auto Detailing

When your business is called Curating the Cool, chances are pretty high that you are just damn cool. These folks, located in Old Town Lafayette, specialize in new and vintage art, gifts, clothing, collectibles, small furniture and home goods. In only two years, Curating the Cool has racked up a number of awards, including Best Gift Shop, Best Home Goods, Best Independent Business, Best Furniture Store in Lafayette and Best Art Gallery in Lafayette in Boulder Weekly’s Best of Boulder and Best of Boulder — East County. You can shop their goods online, but we recommend heading into the store for proper vintage browsing. There’s nothing like finding that perfect thing that you didn’t even know you needed.

Dry Cleaners 

ART CLEANERS 1715 15th St., 303-440-8600 2570 W. Baseline Road, 303-499-7030 3980 N. Broadway St., 303-443-0158 (and other locations around Boulder County) 

Second Place: Boulder Cleaners Third Place: John’s Dry Cleaners Fourth Place: Environmental Cleaners Fifth Place: Dependable Cleaners

Why are some of the best clothes dry clean only? That tag can scare off the weak-willed who worry that someone will ruin their nicest clothing. But that snappy suit just needs some tender love and care from people who know what they’re doing. Don’t fret any longer. Our readers head to Art Cleaners for all their dry cleaning necessities. Not only do they care about making you look good, they also use green practices to lighten their impact on the environment. Stop in with your stained clothes and watch Art Cleaners make the stains magically disappear and breathe new life into your wardrobe.


BOULDER BOOK STORE 1107 Pearl St., 303-447-2074 

Second Place: Barnes & Noble Booksellers Third Place: The Bookworm Fourth Place: Trident Booksellers and Café Fifth Place: The Book Cellar

It seemed, for a while there, like the bookstore was going the way of the video store and of dinosaurs. That is, extinction was imminent. But out of those dark times emerged a new kind of bookstore; one that caters to an individual community and provides the valuable service that is selling the written word. No Boulder bookseller was voted higher than Boulder Book Store. The iconic bookstore on the Pearl Street Mall has the perfect mix of bestsellers, rare finds, bookstore doodads, charm and staff knowhow. It also hosts readings and events regularly, so stop by and meet the authors and icons that wrote the books on the shelf at Boulder Book Store.


CHRISTINA’S LUXURIES 2425 Canyon Blvd., Suite 100, 303-443-2421 

Second Place: Victoria’s Secret Third Place: MayBee by Fascinations

When it comes time to shop for something as intimate as lingerie, it’s good to have a shop like Christina’s Luxuries in town. Whether you’re looking for something sexy for a special night or something comfortable to sit on the couch and watch What Not To Wear for four hours in, Christina’s Luxuries has you covered. With a friendly and supportive staff, Christina’s will help you pick out a perfect piece for the right price. Christina’s also has a number of dresses, casual wear and bathing suits to complement the vast selection of lingerie. Christina’s staff is also trained to help you find the right size and cut for your body.

Costume Shop 

THE RITZ COSTUMES AND CLOTHING 959 Walnut St., 303-443-2850 

Second Place: Theatrical Costumes, Etc. & Trendy Boutique Third Place: Candy’s Vintage Clothing & Costumes Fourth Place: Goldmine Vintage

It doesn’t need to be Halloween to dress up. You’ll get a lot fewer looks on Halloween, but our area’s costume shops would make you believe that putting on a new skin is a way to experience another side of life, or just have a night of fun. Our readers say The Ritz Costumes and Clothing on Walnut is the place to go for such a transformation. With a wide variety of wigs, clothing, makeup and accessories, you can create any look by going to the folks at The Ritz. Next time you feel the itch to go out and just be someone, or something, else, stop by The Ritz for a voter-approved experience.

Clothing Store — Women’s 

ANTHROPOLOGIE 1805 29th St., 303-449-4575 %u2028 

Second Place: Nordstrom Rack Third Place: Starr’s Clothing Co. Fourth Place: Urban Outfitters Fifth Place: Athleta

Where big chains are concerned, Anthropologie stands out for its commitment to remaining more “boutique” than chain. Anthropologie knows how to sell style, from women’s clothing to accessories, gifts and home décor. But more than style, they sell highquality products that stand the test of time. So whether you’re looking for that perfect spring dress, a pair of heels, a fresh perfume or some new throw pillows for your extra chic apartment, Anthropologie can set you up in style. And don’t forget to check that sale rack for some great deals on must-have pieces that can spice up your wardrobe.

Bicycle Shop 

UNIVERSITY BICYCLES 839 Pearl St., 303-444-4196 

Second Place: Full Cycle Third Place: Boulder Cycle Sport Fourth Place: Bicycle Village Fifth Place: Community Cycles

They made it. University Bicycles has been at the center of Boulder’s two-wheel universe for 30 years, three decades, since Grover Cleveland was president. Yep, we lied about that last one, but the other two were true. You have to be a great business to stick around this long,so it’s no surprise that our readers tell us that University Bicycles is their favorite bike shop in town. Congrats on winning this competitive category once again. And we know you’re trying to figure it out so we’ll just go ahead and tell you: Ronald Reagan.

CD/Record Store 

BART’S MUSIC SHACK 1625 Folsom St., 303-444-1760 

Second Place: Albums on the Hill Third Place: Absolute Vinyl

The reason record shops, like bookstores, can and do and should have an irreplaceable place in our hearts is the sense of a world full of possibility, enclosed in the square walls of a storefront. Each album cover is a new chance for an encounter with a song that shapes a moment. For music that will become the backdrop for an era and forever function as a time machine to transport us back to those times. Music can carry us through the toughest of moments, can be the thing we talk to when no one else can listen. At Bart’s Music Shack, explore those endless possibilities, ask questions, find new beginnings and seek out the soundtrack to new lifetimes.

Clothing Store — Used 

BUFFALO EXCHANGE 1813 Pearl St., 303-938-1924 

Second Place: Rags Consignments Third Place: Common Threads Fourth Place: ARC Thrift Store Fifth Place: Goodwill

Macklemore was right. Who wants to pay $50 for a T-shirt that everyone else is wearing?

Boulderites are unique, and like our beer, food and music, we don’t like mass-produced mush. We like items that suit our personalities — something with a past and endless future possibilities, and our readers chose Buffalo Exchange as the best place to find those pieces. Everything in their store feels truly unique and still looks good as new. Buffalo Exchange is the place to spend an afternoon digging through racks and shelves to find those perfect pieces to perfectly complement any outfit. You’ll find those stand out pieces, and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.


MCGUCKIN HARDWARE 2525 Arapahoe Ave., Suite D1, 303-443- 1822 %u2028 

Second Place: Home Depot Third Place: Jax Home & Ranch Fourth Place: Table Mesa Hardware Fifth Place: Ace Hardware 

A recent article on gave a fascinating glimpse into Caelan Reed how McGuckin Hardware has outlasted larger competitors and become an institution in Boulder. Institution might even be a bit of an understatement. It’s been around since 1955 when Bill McGuckin opened the store in the city’s first shopping center, and it 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. It has remained a Boulder-only store, despite offers to expand the store to other cities. And you don’t just go to McGuckin to get your parts and pieces; you go there to bat ideas around with the employees. With a reputation like McGuckin’s, it’s no wonder our readers vote them best hardware again and again.

Gift Shop 

PEPPERCORN 1235 Pearl St., 303-449-5847 

Second Place: Bliss Third Place: Jacque Michelle Fourth Place: Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery Fifth Place: Art Mart

Have you ever just been walking around Pearl Street a week before the holidays looking for something, anything, to give to someone who you genuinely care about but for whom you just cannot think of anything to buy? Inevitably, you end up in Peppercorn, the depot for exciting and unique gifts. It has a variety of culinary tools, ingredients, books, cookware and knick-knacks from other lifestyles that are sure to please even the toughest person to buy for. That’s why Peppercorn was voted best gift shop in Boulder. With affordable prices and a friendly staff, you’ll be able to navigate through the vast gift shop to find whatever it is you need.


ST JULIEN HOTEL & SPA 900 Walnut St., 1-877-303-0900 

Second Place: Hotel Boulderado Third Place: Chautauqua Fourth Place: Boulder Marriot Fifth Place: Millennium Harvest House Boulder

Some things in life aren’t fair. For instance, why should getting to stay in a world-class hotel and spa in Boulder be reserved only for people who don’t live here? We say it’s time to rebel. It’s time for locals to book a few nights in Boulder’s most impressive and luxuriant hotel, which just happens to be, according to our readers, the St Julien Hotel & Spa. If you haven’t taken the time to quickly tour this place, visited the spa, turned out for the live music or tried the cuisine, we suggest you do so now, before those out-of-towners get it all to themselves.


HAZEL’S BEVERAGE WORLD 1955 28th St., 303-447-1955 

Second Place: Liquor Mart Third Place: Superior Liquors Fourth Place: North Boulder Liquor Fifth Place: Boulder Wine and Spirits

If done right, a liquor store can feel like a toy store for adults — with endless possibilities of fun to be had. And Hazel’s Beverage World is doing it right by taking shopping for liquor, beer and wine to the next level. They’ve thought of every detail to make shopping as convenient as possible for the customer. You won’t find cramped corners, flickering lighting or a bare selection. Hazel’s is bright, spacious and fully stocked with adult beverages and happy employees. So stop in and find your new signature beverage.

Music Store 

ROBB’S BOULDER MUSIC 2691 30th St., 303-443-8448 

Second Place: Woodsong’s Third Place: The Boulder Drum Shop Fourth Place: Wildwood Music Fifth Place: Lafayette Music

Want to make a joyful noise … or play heavy metal? If music is calling your name, we suggest you head on over to Robb’s Boulder Music. Our readers tell us that this place has a great selection of guitars from Martins to Fenders to a zillion other brands. Robb’s also carries percussion and keyboards along with amps and everything else you need to outfit yourself or the entire band. And did we mention that all the folks at Robb’s are both kind and knowledgeable? Well, they are.