When it comes to picking the best in Boulder, nothing beats going straight to the source.

That's why instead of telling you, our readers, which businesses, events and people we think rate highest, we asked those of you who live, shop and spend your days here to weigh in -- and tell your peers what's tops in Boulder.

It's not rocket science, but it works, and it's why we keep coming back to that formula year after year, polling the Colorado Daily's loyal readers to find out they love about Boulder.

Whether it's picking the top local music act, deciding on the best place to buy new tires or figuring out who makes the best Italian food in town, we figure our readers have got Boulder covered.

So please take a moment to flip through these pages to see just what your fellow Colorado Daily readers think rates as CU & Boulder's Best 2010.

And for those of you who voted: Thanks, as always, for your input -- we couldn't do this without you.



BEST OF RETAIL

 

BEST ART GALLERY

Art & Soul

1615 Pearl St.

303-544-5803

artandsoulboulder.com

Art & Soul Gallery, located on the east end of the Pearl Street Mall, provides art enthusiasts with a collection of fine art, crafts and jewelry.

Local artists are featured in many of the collections, which run the gamut from oil on canvas to sculptures.

The gallery even displays one-of-a-kind jewelry trunk shows as well as colorful and unique sculptures -- some made with reclaimed materials.

Owner Debbie Klein boasts the "soul" of the youthful and distinctive gallery by filling it with her love of funky things.

RUNNER-UP

Smith Klein Gallery

1116 Pearl St.

303-444-7200

smithklein.com

 

 

BEST ART SUPPLY STORE

Guiry's

2404 Pearl St.

303-444-3800

guirys.com

Guiry's began as a "paper cleaning" company in downtown Denver in 1899. Now, seven stores later, the art supply store supplies everything needed for everything artistic.

Guiry's carries everything from basic supplies such as paints, inks, brushes, canvas, paper, portfolios and easels to clay, scrapbooking, printmaking, drafting supplies and airbrush supplies.

The professionals in the paint department can even create a paint color to match anything for you, while carrying the highest-quality paints.

The store also carries interior design supplies such as window coverings, wallpapers and fabrics.

RUNNER-UP

Meininger

1135 N. Broadway

303-444-3063

meininger.com

 

 

BEST BANK

Elevations Credit Union

4760 Baseline Road; 1669 Euclid Ave.; 2960 Diagonal Highway; 607 S. Broadway; 2300 55th St.; 125 Broadway

303-443-4672

elevationscu.com

There's nothing worse than having a lack of ATMs around town and having to constantly pay fees to withdraw money.

Luckily, Elevations Credit Union offers banking for Boulder and Broomfield counties, with six locations around town -- including a convenient one in the University Memorial Center on the University of Colorado campus.

The credit union's Web site says they are striving to find better ways to serve the needs of the band's customers and the needs of the local community.

RUNNER-UP

Wells Fargo

Multiple locations

303-442-0355

wellsfargo.com

 

 

BEST BARBER SHOP

Floyd's 99 Barbershop

2790 Pearl St.

303-442-2279

floydsbarbershop.com

With the blaring music, the hip atmosphere, the music posters plastering the wall and the mod stylists with funky hair, you're sure to walk out of Floyd's 99 Barbershop looking good.

The shop offers walk-ins or you can call ahead and get on the waiting list.

Brothers Paul, Rob and Bill O'Brien opened the first Floyd's in downtown Denver, and, since, the store has expanded to almost 50 locations all across the nation.

Affordable services include cuts, massage shampoo, blow dry and style, face or head shave and color services.

RUNNER-UP

Al's Barber Shop

1219 Pennsylvania Ave.

303-442-8832

 

 

BEST BEDDING/MATTRESS STORE

Verlo Mattress Factory

3080 Valmont Road

303-447-1154

verlo.com

Since we spend one of the biggest portions of our days in bed, it is important to have a comfortable, supportive mattress.

Verlo Mattress Factory prides itself in making custom comfort mattresses for each and every customer.

The "made just for you" philosophy involves a craftsman who works with each customer to discover personal preferences and sleep-support needs, then the mattress is made right in the factory on Valmont Road.

Verlo being locally owned, operated and built is what gives customers the edge on personal attention, assistance and affordability.

RUNNER-UP

Denver Mattress

1945 28th St.

303-413-1314

denvermattress.com

 

 

BEST BOOK STORE

Boulder Book Store

1107 Pearl St.

303-447-2074

boulderbookstore.com

Boulder Book Store is the largest independent store of its kind in town. The three floors of more than 100,000 titles, plus music and DVDs, offers more than 20,000 square feet of just what the bibliophile needs.

The store often hosts readings from local and national authors, various events, poetry open mics and book clubs. Famed Beat poet Allen Ginsberg even frequented the store for readings when he lived in Boulder.

The knowledgeable and friendly staff is always ready and willing to help -- even offering picks and recommendations of up-and-coming authors.

RUNNER-UP

Barnes & Noble

2999 Pearl St.

303-444-1066

barnesandnoble.com

 

 

BEST INDEPENDENT BUSINESS

Boulder Book Store

1107 Pearl St.

303-447-2074

boulderbookstore.com

RUNNER-UP

McGukin Hardware

2525 Arapahoe Ave.

303-443-1822

mcguckin.com

 

 

BEST CAMERA SHOP/PHOTO DEVELOPER

Mike's Camera

2500 Pearl St.

303-443-1715

mikescamera.com

Photographs, one of life's most prized and powerful treasures, are meant to be left in the hands of the best.

To amateurs and professionals alike, Mike's Camera has been providing top-notch service and professional help to Colorado since 1967. With the highest-quality film processing equipment, the pictures always come out with superior color and quality.

Mike's also sells digital cameras and camcorders, darkroom equipment and software, as well as offering repair services.

The additional advantages of photography classes, seminars, workshops and one-on-one personal consultations makes Mike's the best camera shop in town.

RUNNER-UP

Jones General Store and Camera Center

1370 College Ave.

303-443-4420

 

 

BEST CAR DEALER

Pollard Jeep

2360 30th St.

303-447-8187

boulderjeep.com

Purchasing a car can be almost like a full-time job.

With more than 40 years of service in Boulder, Pollard Jeep strives to always go the extra mile with superior customer service.

Pollard Jeep offers new and certified pre-owned Jeeps, of most models.

The family owned and operated business prides itself on developing long-term relationships with customers, which is why the dealership has many loyal lifetime clients.

RUNNER-UP

Flatirons Subaru and Acura

5995 Arapahoe Ave.

303-443-0114

flatironsimports.com

 

 

BEST CAR REPAIR SHOP

Hoshi Motors

2504 Spruce St.

303-449-6632

hoshimotors.net

Putting miles upon miles on that vehicle that treks through all the great Colorado adventures needs to have a little servicing love every now and then.

But sometimes finding a good, honest and competent mechanic can prove difficult.

This is why many great mechanics rely on word of mouth -- a top trait to have as a car repair shop.

Locally owned and operated Hoshi Motors has been servicing cars in Boulder for more than 20 years and does very little advertising because the customer referrals are so strong.

The shop specializes in the maintenance and repair of Hondas, Acuras, Subarus and Toyotas.

RUNNER-UP

Flatirons Subaru and Acura

5995 Arapahoe Ave.

303-443-0114

flatironsimports.com

 

 

BEST CAR WASH

The Puddle

3100 28th St.

303-442-5450

puddlecarwash.com

In Colorado, it snows on your vehicle one day, kicks up sludge all over it the next and then has the car basking in 60-degree sun the third day.

It's sometimes hard to keep that pride and joy clean with the unpredictable weather here, but the Puddle is a full service car wash, detail and dent shop that will help with the task.

The car wash offers dozens of services from a basic exterior wash and hand dry up to a big thunder wash, complete with vinyl protectant inside and out.

The Puddle also offers complete detailing from paint restoration to wax and cleaning and conditioning vinyl and leather.

RUNNER-UP

Details Plus

4747 Pearl St.

303-435-9365

detailsplusauto.com

 

 

BEST COMPUTER STORE

Apple Store

1755 29th St.

303-479-9451

apple.com

The Apple Store is more than just a computer store.

Customers are offered one-on-one help from the store professionals in setting up their computers, learning the basics and even receiving help with personal projects.

The store even offers free workshops to help boost your skills or learning about switching from a PC to a Mac.

Browse the store, learn about the iPhone or test the technology behind the brand new iPad.

RUNNER-UP

Best Buy

1740 30th St.

303-938-2889

bestbuy.com

 

 

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE

Pompadours Hair Salon

1320 Pearl St.

303-938-8015

pompadours.com

Going through life with a great hairstyle is a coveted goal, but sometimes it takes jumping from stylist to stylist until the perfect match is found.

Not only does the Aveda concept salon employ highly trained and experienced stylists, but Pompadours also prides itself in customer service.

The salon takes pride in providing the most modern styles and techniques in color, cuts and makeup.

Pompadours' staff goes out of their way to make the customer's experience pleasant.

RUNNER-UP

McGuckin Hardware

2525 Arapahoe Ave.

303-443-1822

mcguckin.com

 

 

BEST DRY CLEANERS

Art Cleaners

1715 15th St., 2570 Baseline Road; 3980 Broadway; 1501 Lee Hill Road; 4800 Baseline Road

303-440-8600; 303-499-7030; 303-443-0158; 303-447-8700; 303-494-2709

artcleaners.com

A bad nightmare is taking that important piece of clothing to the cleaners and having it ruined.

Luckily, Art Cleaners, a full-service dry cleaner, has been serving Boulder with the finest in professionalism since 1921.

Art cleans everything from clothes and rugs to leather, suede, drapes and blinds. Laundry and alteration services also are provided.

Additionally, the cleaners even preserves wedding gowns, offers shoe repair and do garment restoration.

The environmentally friendly dry cleaner is also a select Green Earth provider.

RUNNER-UP

John's Cleaners

3325 28th St.; 4800 Baseline Road

303-444-2877; 303-499-5554

johnsdrycleaners.com

 

 

BEST FLORIST

Sturtz & Copeland

2851 Valmont Road

303-442-6663

sturtzandcopeland.com

If you're adding a splash of color to your walkway or putting a smile on someone's face with a spring bouquet, Sturtz & Copeland has just what you're looking for.

The locally owned and operated shop can offer tips about "avant gardening" or help organize your centerpieces for that special occasion. It truly is one-stop shopping for all your floral needs.

As their Web site states, "Flowers can express a message that goes beyond words," and after browsing their broad portfolio or visiting their fabulous facility you'll find the right arrangement to send your message.

RUNNER-UP (tie)

Art of the Flower

1140 13th St.

303-447-2260

artoftheflower.com

RUNNER-UP (tie)

Boulder Blooms

2935 Baseline Road

303-494-5678

boulderblooms.com

 

 

BEST FURNITURE STORE (tie)

Concepts Furniture

1890 30th St.

303-443-6900

conceptsfurniture.com

If it's designer furniture that you've always dreamed of but couldn't afford, Concepts Furniture has the perfect pieces to fit your style and budget.

From sleek sofas that fit any space to traditional wooden dressers that provide extra storage and classic décor, the locally owned Concepts Furniture has a wide range -- from eclectic to formal pieces -- to spruce up any room in your home.

So stop by one of Concepts' two locations to design the perfect armchair to fill that empty space or browse their Web site for a wide selection of affordable items.

HW Home

1941 Pearl St.

303-545-0320

hwhome.com

For that exotic and interesting addition to your design, visit locally owned HW Home for pieces that set your home apart.

Furniture chains can be frustrating and dull, but HW Home provides that personal shopping experience that can help you create the atmosphere that fits your style. Along with an incredible selection of one-of-a-kind accessories and furniture, HW Home also provides design services to help you fit that perfect piece into your collection.

Color consultants, architectural services and custom in-home services will help you master your ideal design whether it's in one room or throughout your entire house.

RUNNER-UP

American Furniture Warehouse

9410 Wadsworth Parkway, Broomfield

303-422-3385

afwonline.com

 

 

BEST GROCERY

Whole Foods

2905 Pearl St., 2584 Baseline Road, 1651 Broadway

303-545-6611

wholefoodsmarket.com

After being labeled the happiest and healthiest city in the U.S., Boulder can't just shop at any grocery store -- it has to be the best, and Whole Foods offers the freshest, most organic selection of groceries to help Boulderites maintain their high standards.

With a large range of foods and supplements to stock your kitchen, Whole Foods carries a lineup of various ingredients to serve the perfect party dish or please your pallet while eating in.

The Pearl Street deli offers delicious smoothies, vegetable juice, pastas and salads that are sure to hit the spot when you don't have time to prepare them yourself.

Visit their Web site to find current sales and a list of events.

RUNNER-UP

Sunflower Farmers Market

2525 Arapahoe Ave., 2585 Central Ave.

303-449-0777

sfmarkets.com

 

 

BEST GROW SHOP

Boulder Hydroponics & Organic Center

1630 N. 63rd St.

303-415-0045

bhocenter.com

Locally owned and operated Boulder Hydroponics has the knowledge and experience to answer your questions about hydroponics and organic supplies for your growing needs.

Since opening in 1995, the store has expanded from a small 200-square-foot space to its current 3,500-square-foot location -- the largest store in the state -- and further expansion is expected in the future.

For all the information you could ever want about climate control, nutrients, pest control or lighting, visit the Web site or one of the two stores located in Boulder and Denver.

RUNNER-UP

Way to Grow

6395 Gunpark Drive

303-473-4769

waytogrow.net

 

 

BEST HAIR SALON

Pompadours Hair Salon

1320 Pearl St.

303-938-8015

pompadours.com

Pompadours Hair Salon offers cutting-edge, modern hairstyles that will present your best features and express your personal taste.

The advanced stylists are sure to please with exceptional experience and professional services that will never leave you wanting more, whether it's a new look or a touch up you're after.

The AVEDA salon provides a wide range of services from color to styles to up-dos for that special day. Bridal services, makeup application and facial waxing also are available.

RUNNER-UP

Rumours Hair Studio

1886 30th St.

303-444-7797

 

 

BEST HARDWARE STORE

McGuckin Hardware

2525 Arapahoe Ave.

303-443-1822

mcguckin.com

McGuckin Hardware likely has contributed to a good number of the renovations, lawns, home improvements and do-it-yourself jobs in Boulder, and with friendly faces around every corner isle to help, it's no wonder why so many Boulderites take advantage of the store's amenities.

Changing your light bulbs to energy efficient CFLs? Maybe you're planning a total remodel? Either way, McGuckin's is the place for you. The helpful staff will sift through isles of merchandise to find exactly what you need.

Don't know what you need? They can help with that, too.

RUNNER-UP

Ace Hardware

2486 Baseline Road

303-443-1616

acehardware.com

 

 

BEST HOUSEWARES/KITCHEN STORE

Peppercorn

1235 Pearl St.

303-449-5847

peppercorn.com

Whether you're Martha Stewart in the kitchen or burning your toast again, Peppercorn has the supplies to get your juices flowing in the kitchen.

The Pearl Street Mall shop is eye candy from first glance, and once you enter the front door, you'll never want to leave. Brightly colored pots and pans, dishes and oven mitts will add some flare to any blah kitchen décor -- and they might even inspire some spicy, inventive dishes.

A wide range of ingredients from spices to mixes will help you reinvent those everyday dishes, and with cookbooks galore, you'll never be short of some new family dinner ideas.

RUNNER-UP

McGuckin Hardware

2525 Arapahoe Ave

303-443-1822

mcguckin.com

 

 

BEST JEWELRY STORE

Hurdle's Jewelry

1402 Pearl St.

303-443-1084

hurdlesjewelry.com

Family owned and operated since 1947, Hurdle's Jewelry offers a stunning selection of diamond and gem jewelry to satisfy your chic and elegant taste.

Handmade platinum rings from Paris and a three pearl drop necklace are just the beginning. Your eyes will twinkle as you peruse the sparkling selection of watches, gold and silver chains and classic sapphires -- and don't forget to browse the crystal, estate jewelry and china found throughout the Pearl Street store.

RUNNER-UP (tie)

Cronin Jewelers

1235 Alpine Ave.

303-440-4222

croninjewelers.com

RUNNER-UP (tie)

Walters & Hogsett

2425 Canyon Blvd.

303-449-2626

waltersandhogsett.com

 

 

BEST LIQUOR STORE

Liquor Mart

1750 15th St.

303-449-3374

liquormart.com

Thousands of bottles decorate the endless shelves of Boulder's Liquor Mart, making it nearly impossible for customers to choose only one.

But lucky for you, the friendly staff can help narrow your search or point you in the right direction to find a flavorful wine to complement your dinner party or an interesting new suggestion to change up your routine.

Buying bulk will save you money at Liquor Mart, but reasonable prices make it easy to select a case or find that affordable single -- that is if you can escape with only what you came for.

The wide selection and helpful service make Liquor Mart a must for both connoisseurs and average Joes.

RUNNER-UP

Ace Wine & Spirits

2315 Pearl St.

303-444-9910



BEST MARTIAL ARTS STUDIO

Boulder Quest Center

1501 Lee Hill Road

303-440-3647

boulderquest.com

Boulder Quest Center's modern martial-arts training is perfect for spicing up your workout routine or learning self-defense.

Meditation, belly dancing and martial arts are among the many options offered at Boulder Quest Center, which has something for all ages. The experienced instructors are helpful in developing not only your physical strength, but mental strength as well.

Stop by the new studio today to try a class free or check out the schedule and class descriptions online.

RUNNER-UP

Easton Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

1750 30th St.

303-938-1275

eastonbjj.com

 

 

BEST MEN'S CLOTHING STORE

Weekends

1200 Pearl St.

303-444-4231

weekendsboulder.com

The prime selection at Weekends makes it easy for guys to find a sleek, dress-casual look that suits their style without venturing into a crowded mall and sifting through endless racks of dress shirts and khakis.

Located at the corner of Pearl Street and Broadway, Weekends provides only the most stylish selection of designer attire, taking the stress out of finding the perfect ensemble. Cole Haan, Masons and Seven Jeans labels are only a few of the popular brands that fill the quaint shop.

So if it's a no-fuss shopping trip ending with an outfit that looks tailored for you, Weekends has what you're looking for.

RUNNER-UP

The Regiment Shops

2425 Canyon Blvd.

303-443-2713

theregimentshops.com

 

 

BEST MEN'S SHOE STORE

Pedestrian Shops

1425 Pearl St., 2525 Arapahoe Ave.

303-449-5260

comfortableshoes.com

Whether it's hiking boots, casual and comfy or a more dressy style of shoe you're searching for, Pedestrian Shops has your footwear covered.

With two convenient locations in Boulder, you're sure to find what you're looking for to satisfy your pedestrian needs. Boots, clogs, finger shoes and Vegan styles can be found throughout the store, leaving nothing in footwear to the imagination.

Birkenstocks, Merrells, Eccos and Crocs are among the endless brands found at both locations -- or purchase online and receive free shipping.

RUNNER-UP

Nordstrom

21 W. Flatiron Circle, Broomfield

720-887-0333

nordstrom.com

 

 

BEST MORTGAGE COMPANY

Bank of Commerce Mortgage

1637 Pearl St.

303-544-0600

bankofcommercemortgage.com

Top-producing loan officers from Bank of Commerce Mortgage offer support during an unstable market, and with 15 years of industry experience, it's a partnership you want to be in.

Honesty, integrity and market knowledge are among the characteristics Bank of Commerce Mortgage holds dear, making them reliable and accountable to their customers.

So if you're looking for FHA, VA, FNMA, Jumbo or Reverse Mortgages, stop by the Pearl Street location or visit the firm's Web site for more information about how you can benefit from a great lender.

RUNNER-UP

Premier Mortgage

1844 Folsom St.

303-449-8855

pmglending.com

 

 

BEST OIL CHANGE

Grease Monkey

2710 Baseline Road, 2405 28th St.

303-444-9303

greasemonkeyintl.com

It's anything but an ordinary oil change at Grease Monkey -- it's regular maintenance that keeps your car running.

During a routine oil change at Grease Monkey, a professional mechanic will check your oil filter, air filter, breather element and PCV valve, fluids and tire pressure, among other things. Not to mention a free interior vacuum that keeps your car clean and fresh between maintenance.

So stop by one of Grease Monkey's two Boulder locations today to give your car the care it deserves.

RUNNER-UP

Jiffy Lube

1788 30th St.

303-447-8040

enitorcolorado.jiffylube.com

 

 

BEST OUTDOOR FURNITURE

Fruehauf's

1665 33rd St.

303-449-9551

fruehaufs.com

Dreaming of a backyard oasis or maybe a place to host cookouts with friends and family? Whatever your perfect outdoor atmosphere, Fruehauf's can turn your yard into an escape.

Water fixtures, outdoor kitchens and furniture are only part of the Fruehauf's experience. But if it's not a total remodel you're after, check out the outdoor accessories and gifts to add sizzle to your patio with a chiminea or light up a friend's with candles and lamps.

With more than 2 acres of space, it's a showroom you have to see to believe.

RUNNER-UP

Christy Sports

2000 30th St.

877-754-7627

christysports.com

 

 

BEST PET PRODUCT

PetSmart

1850 30th St, 1850 30th St.

303-939-9033

petsmart.com

No matter the species of pet you have, PetSmart has everything you need to care for your furry, or not-so-furry, friend.

The chain caters to dogs, cats, reptiles, birds and fish, carrying supplies that are sure to please your pet -- and with great prices, they're keeping human needs in mind, too. Don't forget to get a free Pet Perks card to save a few extra bucks.

Shopping the wide variety of toys, food, treats and homes for your pet can be daunting. What to buy? Will they like this toy or snub it like the last?

At PetSmart it's and easy fix -- just take your pet along. The friendly staff will help you find what you're looking for and give your pets the attention they crave.

RUNNER-UP

Whole Pets

2835 Pearl St.

303-444-4733

wholepets.com

 

 

BEST REAL ESTATE COMPANY

RE/MAX of Boulder

2425 Canyon Blvd.

303-449-7000

boulderco.com

Boulder is constantly ranked among best places to live in the U.S. for its healthy lifestyles and abundance of outdoor activities, but the real estate market can be tough to navigate in a town with such high demand.

But don't fear, RE/MAX of Boulder offers local real estate expertise combined with national experience to help you find the perfect place to call home. No matter what's on your wish list -- from mountain views, proximity to downtown or open floor plans -- RE/MAX of Boulder can find what you're looking for.

Call a RE/MAX agent today to start your search and get one step closer to your dream home.

RUNNER-UP

Wright Kingdom Real Estate

4875 Pearl East Circle

303-541-1902

wkre.com

 

 

BEST RECORD/CD STORE

Albums on the Hill

1128 13th St.

303-447-0159

albumsonthehill.com

Music is not the only thing this shop brings to Boulder -- it's culture that's salvaged in this locally owned and operated music shop.

The smell of vinyl and the boom of music fill the store and create a vibe unlike any chain record store or the music section of the local Walmart. If you have a true passion for music or just want to take a trip into the lives of those obsessed with the power of melody, Albums on the Hill can give you the heart of a music junkie -- if even for a moment.

Andy Schneidkraut has owned Albums on the Hill for 22 years, surviving the economic recession and development of iTunes and the online music age. The shop stands as one of the last remaining music stores in Boulder and refuses to compromise its musical integrity.

RUNNER-UP

Target

2800 Pearl St.

303- 449-3400

target.com

 

 

BEST SECOND HAND STORE (tie)

Rags to Riches

3129 28th St

303-440-5758

iloverags.com

Prints, shoes, accessories, oh my.

This consignment shop provides high-quality, brand-name clothes and accessories at rock-bottom prices. It's like shopping in your best friend's closet, only you don't have to return the clothes when you're done.

It's the perfect way to update your wardrobe every season without going broke. Or maybe you're looking for a special piece for a night on the town. Rags to Riches has a huge selection of current trends that can spruce up your closet without breaking the bank.

And if you're looking to make a few bucks or just make room in your closet, they'll take your extras and you'll take cash from every sale.

Savers

695 S. Broadway

303-499-6979

savers.com

Knickknacks, trinkets and accessories fill the walls of the local Savers, where the name says it all.

No matter what you're looking for -- home décor, appliances, clothes, almost anything you can image -- Savers can provide at an affordable price. This consignment store puts to work the saying "one man's trash is another man's treasure."

So if you're looking for something specific or just browsing on a Sunday afternoon, check out Savers for affordable options to decorate your life. And don't forget your odds and ends -- you never know who might find gold in your leftovers.

RUNNER-UP

Humane Society Thrift Store

5320 Arapahoe Ave.

303-415-0685

boulderhumane.org

 

 

BEST TIRE STORE

Discount Tire

3215 28th St.

303-440-6811

discounttire.com

From snow chains to all-terrain tires, you'll find everything to help your vehicle handle the rough roads of Colorado.

Discount Tire offers wheels, tires, chains and maintenance for your automobile -- and all for a great price. Maintaining your tires can extend the life of your vehicle, and while Colorado snow, ice, elevation and rough terrain can take a toll on your tires, Discount Tire is there to keep you rolling.

Visit their Web site to get the best price on the tires will suit your needs.

RUNNER-UP

Barnsley Tire

2535 Pearl St.

303-443-3553

 

 

BEST WOMEN'S CLOTHING

Anthropologie

1805 29th St.

303-449-4575

anthropologie.com

Looking for a trendy outfit to work from day to night? Anthropologie has the looks to provide a chic daytime casual look that can transform into a sophisticated evening elegance.

The combination of airy material and earthy neutrals makes Anthropologie style adaptable to any taste. Adding a unique twist to your wardrobe basics, mixing textures and accessories, your personal style will be enhanced by the store's interesting looks.

Twisted tanks, flowing skirts, and flats and bags to accentuate any outfit make Anthropologie the place to find your fashion niche.

RUNNER-UP

Savvy

1114 Pearl St.

303-440-3989

savvyonpearl.com

 

 

BEST WOMEN'S SHOE STORE

Two Sole Sisters

1703 Pearl St.

303-442-0404

twosolesisters.com

Old Hollywood glamour with a splash of sparkle and classic taste.

It's not just the store, but the shoes at Two Sole Sisters that make you feel like a movie star.

With a list of brands a mile long and a unique variety of sexy, stylish and feminine shoes, it's more like therapy than shopping with the sisters of the locally owned shop Two Sole Sisters.

So stop by and slip on a pair of classic heels or fabulous flats that will transform your image from the inside out. And don't forget your credit card, because you're bound to find something you can't live without -- even if you're not looking.

RUNNER-UP

Pedestrian Shops

1425 Pearl St., 2525 Arapahoe Ave.

303-449-5260

comfortableshoes.com


 


BEST OF FOOD & DRINK


BEST ASIAN FOOD

Chez Thuy

2655 28th St.

303-442-1700

www.chezthuycom

Boulder loves its Asian food, and this year it voted Chez Thuy as best Asian restaurant.

Chez Thuy features fine Vietnamese cuisine, and serves up tasty lunches and dinners that can be eaten in or taken out.

Specialties of the house include large soup bowls, appetizer rolls, grilled entrees and Vietnamese salad-style noodle bowls. Chez Thuy also serves up Vietnamese coffee and Thai teas.

Boulder loves this restaurant because it offers a separate vegetarian menu -- and the meals also can be ordered to be vegan.

RUNNER-UP

Thai Avenue

1310 College Ave.

303-443-1737

 

 

BEST BAGEL

Moe' s Broadway Bagel

3075 Arapahoe Ave.; 2650 Broadway

303-442-4427; 303-444-3252

moesbagel.com

Who doesn't love a hot Moe's bagel that's fresh out of the oven?

Moe's serves up a wide variety of East Coast-style bagels that are perfected by just the right schmer of cream cheese.

The eatery also features New York style pizza, sandwiches and subs that are made to order, plus fresh salads and beverages.

Also, you can eat in or take your bagels to go. If you're like most Boulderites, you'll be taking a lot of bagels home.

RUNNER-UP

Einstein Bros Bagels

2400 Baseline Road; 1693 28th St.

303-543-1525; 720-565-0413

einsteinbros.com

 

 

BEST BAKERY

Spruce Confections

767 Pearl St.; 4684 N. Broadway

303-449-6773; 303-449-5819

Spruce Confections is the place where Boulderites go when they want to have something sweet and indulgent.

The local bakery is based out of Boulder and it serves up luscious cakes, cookies and scones. The scone flavors change daily, and they're usually the first sweet treat to sell out at the eatery.

Spruce Confections also features a variety of hearty homemade soups, salads and sandwiches.

Boulder also loves the laid-back ambience and friendly service at Spruce Confections.

RUNNER-UP

Boulder Baked

1911 Broadway

303-444-4999

boulderbaked.com

 

 

BEST BREW PUB

Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery

1535 Pearl St.

303-546-0886

mountainsunpub.com

Downtown Boulder's Mountain Sun Pub is the place to go when locals look for good beer, food and music.

The mellow pub offers a wide variety of homebrewed beers that rank as top-quality brews. The pub also comes up with very cool name for its beers.

Anyone for a Colorado Kind Ale, Illusion Dweller I.P.A. or Hogback Doppelback?

The Mountain Sun serves up tasty eats that range from burgers to burritos. This food goes very well with a homemade brew.

The pub also offers free live music every Sunday. The bands run from bluegrass to funk, and the Mountain Sun is always packed with live music fans.

RUNNER-UP

Walnut Brewery

1123 Walnut St.

303-447-1345

walnutbrewery.com

 

 

BEST BEER SELECTION

Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery

1535 Pearl St.

303-546-0886

mountainsunpub.com

RUNNER-UP

Old Chicago

1102 Pearl St.

303-443-5031

oldchicago.com

 

 

BEST BREAKFAST

Lucile's

2124 14th St.

303-442-4743

luciles.com

Lucile's is synonymous with breakfast in Boulder.

The restaurant has been serving up food since 1980, and locals love to sit back and enjoy Lucile's homey atmosphere.

Lucile's goal has been to create the nation's premier brunch restaurant, so the downtown establishment serves up lots of tasty egg dishes, pancake and waffle dishes.

The menu features New Orleans favorites and organic dishes that feature ingredients fresh from Lucile's organic farm in nearby Niwot.

One look at Lucile's tasty menu, and you'll want to eat brunch here every day of the week.

RUNNER-UP

Walnut Cafe

3073 Walnut St.; 673 S. Broadway

303-447-2315; 720-304-8118

walnutcafe.com

 

 

BEST CLASSY BAR

The Kitchen Upstairs

1039 Pearl St.

303-544-5973

thekitchencafe.com

Boulderites head over to The Kitchen Upstairs to enjoy a classy bar atmosphere.

The upstairs area of the Kitchen features a cozy atmosphere and great drink specials. The bar also offers tasting hours during the week.

The Kitchen Upstairs boasts more than 750 labels of wine and more than 50 varieties of beer. The selections range from Colorado to international choices of libations. Locals also love the fact that wine can be purchased by the glass, so they can sample a wide variety of vintages.

The bar also serves up tasty food that ranges from wood fire pizzas to gourmet snacks.

RUNNER-UP

28th St. Tavern

2690 28th St.

303-990-9975

28thtavern.com

 

 

BEST COFFEE HOUSE

Vic's Coffee

2680 Broadway; 4770 Table Mesa Drive

303-440-8209; 303-494-1884

Boulderites head over to Vic's when they want to get coffee, meet up with friends or sit back and read the papers.

The local cafés are known for serving up coffee drinks the way the customers like them. The cafes also features tasty pastries and scones to make your mornings a little brighter. The cafés are proud to be known for their coffee, service and staff.

One of Vic's biggest draws is the camaraderie of the customers. Regular groups meet and hang out at the cafés to catch up and discuss whatever's on their minds.

RUNNER-UP

The Laughing Goat Coffee House

1709 Pearl St.

303-440-4628

thelaughinggoat.com

 


BEST DELI/SANDWICH SHOP

Snarf's

2128 Pearl St.; 5340 Arapahoe Ave.;1087 14th St.

303-444-7766; 303-444-3404; 303-444-7714

eatsnarfs.com

Snarf's sandwich shops keep growing by leaps and bounds. According to the chain's Web site, the franchise is now getting ready to expand to Chicago.

Everyone seems to love Snarf's world famous toasted sandwiches, specialty sandwiches and salads. The shop evens serves up Snarflettes for the kids.

Some of the house specialties include the prime rib and provolone, eggplant parmesan and the corned beef sandwiches.

And Snarf's lets locals fax in their orders.

RUNNER-UP

Half Fast Subs on the Hill

1215 13th St.

303-449-0404

halfastsubs.com

 

 

BEST DIVE BAR

Sundown Saloon

1136 Pearl St.

303-449-4987

It's sometimes hard to miss the Sundown Saloon's underground entrance on the Pearl Street Mall, but locals in the know like to soak up the club's very laid-back ambience.

OK, it is a dive bar, but the Sundance Saloon's the best place to throw back a couple of PBRs, chalk up your cue and indulge in a friendly game of pool with students and locals. Plus, there are plenty of pool tables in the underground club -- which is why it also was voted best place to play pool in Boulder.

RUNNER-UP

Outback Saloon

3141 28th St.

303-444-0081

outbacksaloon.com

 

 

BEST DESSERT

Boulder Baked

1911 Broadway

303-444-4999

boulderbaked.com

Where does Boulder go for sweet, late night munchies?

Boulder Baked!

The bakery creates sweet treats using family recipes, and the company only uses the finest ingredients in its goodies.

Boulder Baked whips up delicious cupcakes, pies, brownies, fruit pizzas, sundaes, cookie ice cream sandwiches, homestyle cakes and cheesecakes.

Plus, you can order up these treats until 2 a.m. for delivery --or do pick-up orders until 3 a.m.

RUNNER-UP

The Cheesecake Factory

1401 Pearl St.

303-546-0222

thecheesecakefactory.com

 

 

BEST ELEGANT DINING

Frasca Food and Wine

1738 Pearl St.

303-442-6966

frascafoodandwine.com

Boulderites head to Frasca when they want to experience an evening of fine dining.

The local restaurant is the winner of the coveted James Beard Foundation Award, and Frasca lives up to its solid reputation as one of Boulder's -- and Colorado's -- most elegant restaurants.

Frasca features the cuisine of Friuli, Italy, and carries on the region's rustic elegance. The restaurant's menu changes with the seasons, and the food's sophisticated flavors are accented by the use of local produce.

The non-bustle environs of Boulder's East Pearl Street adds a relaxed ambience to the Frasca dining experience.

RUNNER-UP

The Kitchen

1039 Pearl St.

303-544-5973

thekitchencafe.com

 

 

BEST FAST FOOD

Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard

2050 26th St.

303-449-5185

goodtimesburgers.com

Who doesn't love a Good Times burger?

The national chain is one of Boulder's favorite fast food joints, because it serves up juicy burgers and chicken sandwiches that you can order the way you like them.

Locals also love Good Times' tasty French fries and its wide-variety of custard desserts. Good Times changes it custard menu with the seasons and comes up with some very original flavors.

Plus, you can leave this place and still have change in your pocket.

RUNNER-UP

Chipotle Mexican Grill

919 Pearl St.; 1650 28th St.

303-544-9383; 720-406-0500

chipotle.com

 

 

BEST HAMBURGER

Larkburger

2525 Arapahoe Ave.

303-444-1487

larkburger.com

Boulderites love their burgers, but they also like to think healthy.

That's why they head over to Larkburger, so they can satisfy their need for a good, healthy burger.

Larkburger cooks up burgers featuring black angus beef. The eatery uses all natural ingredients, fires up its fries using pure canola oil and uses biodegradable cup and salad containers.

The menu features the Larkburger, truffle burger, turkey burger, tuna burger and a vegetarian burger. The classy burger joint also serves up fries, salads and the "Five Dollar Shake."

RUNNER-UP

Dark Horse

2922 Baseline Road

303-442-8162

dadrkhorsebar.com

 

 

BEST HAPPY HOUR

The Mediterranean Restaurant

1002 Walnut St.

303-444-5335

themedboulder.com

Things in Boulder come and go, but the Med has always been a favorite happy hour gathering place.

Locals like to wind down in the bar area or the dining room, and the Med's happy hour is one of the best places to network and catch up with friends.

The Med also serves up some great happy hour tapas and snacks. Locals are known to head over just to indulge in the restaurant's famed Pizza Margherita.

The Med's happy hour food prices are pretty amazing, so small plates only run $2 to $3.

That's why Boulderites are happy about going to the Med.

RUNNER-UP

Boulder Cafe

1247 Pearl St.

303-444-4884

 

 

BEST ICE CREAM

Glacier

1350 College Ave.; 3313 28th St.; 4760 Baseline Road

303-442-4400; 303-440-6542; 303-499-4760

glacierhomemadeicecream.com

Boulderites love ice cream, and they head over to Glacier Homemade Ice Cream to get the real deal.

Glacier uses pure ingredients to make its product,. Locals can either purchase the sweet treats at various store locations or get it to go. The stores can also make up milkshakes, malts and sundaes.

The ice cream franchise is always coming up with new flavors for its ice cream, gelato, sorbets and low-fat yogurts. These days, Glacier features more than 500 flavors.

The top ice cream picks now include Coffee Caramel Crunch, Death By Chocolate, Pralines & Cream and Chocolate Peanut Butter.

How quick can we get there?

RUNNER-UP

Boulder Ice Cream

303-494-0366

bouldericecream.com

 

 

BEST INDIAN/NEPALESE

Sherpa's Adventurers Restaurant & Bar

825 Walnut St.

303-440-7151

sherpaascent.com/restaurant.htm

Sherpa's is located off the Pearl Street Mall, and the Nepalese restaurant provides a nice escape from the bustle of downtown Boulder.

Locals love Sherpa's authentic recipes and fresh ingredients. The food is heart-healthy and the menu offers a wide variety of dishes.

Sherpa's serves up appetizers, nann (breads), Napalese and Indian entrees -- plus dishes that hail from Tibet. The menu even offers a mini-American menu for less adventurous palettes.

Some specialties of the house include the Tibetan dumplings, the appetizer platter sample plate, curries, vegetable dishes, the Tandori chicken and the chili spicy meals. Sherpa's also serves up Indian ice cream and rice pudding for dessert.

RUNNER-UP

The Taj Restaurant

2630 Baseline Road

303-494-5216

tajcolorado.com

 

 

BEST ITALIAN

Pasta Jay's

1001 Pearl St.

303-444-5800

pastajays.com

Pasta Jay's has been providing Boulder with tasty Italian food for the past two decades.

The downtown restaurant is a fun place to relax and hang out with friends and family -- and eat some great Italian food.

Some top entrees at Pasta Jay's include the homemade manicotti and ravioli, and Chicken Parmesan. The restaurant offers nightly specials that range from Monday's World Famous Spaghetti Night to Wednesday's Lasagna Night.

Pasta Jay's also serves up mouth-watering pizzas like Jay's Roman Orgy. Plus, these prices won't make you bankrupt.

And, don't forget about dessert: The Italian restaurant features Tiramisu, the Lemencello Tartuffo and a Grasshopper Pie.

Yum!

RUNNER-UP

Il Pastaio

3075B Arapahoe Ave.

303-447-9572

ilpastaioboulder.com

 

 

BEST JUICE BAR

Rush

1207 13th St., 4593 N. Broadway

303-546-9666, 303-442-7874

natural-rush.com

There's a difference between a real smoothie and sugared-up juice-ish drinks, and Rush makes that distinction by not adding sugar -- that includes sherbet -- to their multitude of all-natural smoothies.

Rush's bowls are another fave fare. Loaded with fruit and granola and topped off with yummies such as graham crackers, honey and peanut butter, healthy-hippie-crunchy sounds tasty.

And since Rush pledges pure, natural foods, health nuts need not fret over the menu choices. Win.

RUNNER-UP

Jamba Juice

University Memorial Center, 1669 Euclid Ave.; 1695 29th St., Suite 1256; 3053 Arapahoe Ave.; 3325 28th St. (Safeway)

303-449-5245, 720-565-0407, 303-247-1170, 303-938-1271

jambajuice.com

 

 

BEST LATE NIGHT FOOD

Cosmo's Pizza

1325 Broadway; 659 30th St.

303-447-1133; 303-447-3278

cosmospizza.com

Yes, Cosmo's Pizza is delish any time -- but isn't there something extra tasty about it at midnight?

Maybe that's the spicy ranch dip talking. Or the $2.75 slices that are so big they're spilling off the plate. Or the fact that you waited in line for those slices when you should've been finishing that mid-term paper (busted!).

Eat in at either location; both are open until 2:30 a.m. every night.

RUNNER-UP

The Attic

949 Walnut St.

303-415-1300

 

 

BEST PIZZA

Cosmo's Pizza

1325 Broadway; 659 30th St.

303-447-1133; 303-447-3278

cosmospizza.com

RUNNER-UP

Abo's Pizza

1110 13th St.; 637 S. Broadway; 2761 Iris Ave.

303-443-3199; 303-494-1274; 303-443-1921

abospizza.com



BEST MARGARITA

Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant

1101 Walnut St.

303-444-3690

riograndemexican.com

The Rio has a reputation as the place in town to go for margs -- and it's deserved.

Whether you go for a classic on the rocks or a sweet Blue Agave, you can't go wrong. Unfortunately, you can have too much of a good thing, so there's a three-marg limit at the Rio. (Don't worry, they're huge.)

Also: It's easy to offset your drinks with dinner at the Rio. This could be overboard on mango, but perhaps a mango margarita with the mahi mahi tacos and mango salsa?

RUNNER-UP

Zolo Grill

2525 Arapahoe Ave.

303-449-0444

zologrill.com

 

 

BEST MEXICAN FOOD

Efrain's II

1630 63rd St., #10

303-440-4045

efrainsrestaurant.com

The authentic dishes and cozy atmosphere at Efrain's make it a perennial favorite among the in-the-know in Boulder.

Efrain's is off the beaten downtown path, so it feels like a local secret. The sopapillas alone are worth the drive. But try a dish with their pulled chicken and a margarita just to be sure.

With generous portions at reasonable prices -- and a sweat-inducing chile verde -- Efrain's is a no-brainer.

RUNNER-UP

Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant

1101 Walnut St.

303-444-3690

riograndemexican.com

 

 

BEST NEW BAR

28th Street Tavern

2690 28th St.

303-990-9975

28thtavern.com

There's something for everyone at 28th Street Tavern. With a slew of high-def televisions and free WiFi, it's the newest hotspot in town for catching a game.

But it's also a great place to play a game: darts, pool, foosball or poker on Tuesdays and Thursdays (winner drinks on the house), or trivia on Wednesdays.

Not into games? Swill local brews (Avery's, anyone?) and groove to the local bands the Tavern brings in every weekend. See? Something for everyone.

RUNNER-UP

Bitter Bar

835 Walnut St.

303-442-3050

happynoodlehouse.com

 

 

BEST NEW RESTAURANT

Salt

1047 Pearl St.

303-444-7258

saltboulderbistro.com

Salt's love for local -- local food, local artists -- made it an instant local favorite when it opened in the space Tom's Tavern once occupied.

The menu is refreshingly clever. Salt pairs unexpected sides -- red-beet risotto, grilled pears -- with staples like pork chops and roast chicken. Equally surprising sauces and garnishes, such as Paonia cider syrup, add flair that floats your eyes upward and lids down in delight.

Salt is white hot, so expect a line. Pick a pre-Prohibition cocktail, like the Colorado-whiskey infused Rattle Snake, and wait. It's oh-so worth it.

RUNNER-UP

Elephant Hut

2500 30th St., Suite 101

303-284-0308

elephanthut.com

 

 

BEST OUTDOOR DINING

The Mediterranean Restaurant

1002 Walnut St.

303-444-5335

themedboulder.com

Does it get better than tapas and sangria on the Med's patio on a spring evening? Well, summer and fall are nice, too, so don't let the season stop you from enjoying a warm night with friends (plenty of large tables) at the Med.

If the wrought-iron gates and hand-painted tiles don't make you feel like you're actually on the Mediterranean, the menu will: tapas from falafel to baba ghanouj, nicoise salad, spanakopita and puttanesca, there's no doubt where the inspiration came from.

And yes, we're health-crazed here in Boulder. But if you don't try the datiles -- bacon-wrapped dates -- you're missing out incredibly tasty tapas.

RUNNER-UP

West End Tavern

926 Pearl St.

303-444-3535

thewestendtavern.com

 

 

BEST OUTDOOR FOOD

West End Tavern

926 Pearl St.

303-444-3535

thewestendtavern.com

West End's fare is pub-gone-upscale, but not beyond a burger -- and they're some of the best in town, courtesy of local ranch Colorado's Best Beef.

But what goes best with the view of the Flatirons from West End Tavern's rooftop deck? The This-n-That salad: arugula, avocado and cucumber slaw? Or the mahi-mahi fish and chips?

If the dinner menu presents tough choices, the extensive bourbon menu will leave you scratching your head -- except that the knowledgeable staff and West End's mixologist are experts at ushering you into the right drink.

West End's deck is open year-round.

RUNNER-UP

Farmer's Market

13th Street between Canyon Boulevard and Arapahoe Avenue

303-910-2236

boulderfarmers.org

 

 

BEST SEAFOOD

Jax Fish House

928 Pearl St.

303-444-1811

jaxfishhouseboulder.com

Not only does Jax serve up unbelievably fresh seafood in our landlocked state, it has the freshest menu. The chefs keep you guessing: One night the special is Asian-inspired and wasabi-infused, the next, you're gnashing a colorful jambalaya. And it always strikes the right note.

What's more, Jax has a unique happy hour -- dollar oysters, $3 shrimp, strawberry lemonade (this is an adult beverage -- we are talking happy hour) and more.

With laid-back atmosphere and a wait staff that's always on top of their game, Jax is perfect if your daydreams are seaside.

RUNNER-UP

The Mediterranean Restaurant

1002 Walnut St.

303-444-5335

themedboulder.com

 

 

BEST SPORTS BAR

Lazy Dog Sports Bar and Grill

1346 Pearl St.

303-440-3355

thelazydog.com

Sports fans have been gathering at the Lazy Dog for the last decade. It's the classic place to watch the Buffs. Or anyone else playing on the bar's big screens, for that matter.

Lazy Dog's rooftop deck is a great place to chill and throw back their beer of the day and famous chicken wings (careful how spicy you order them -- they won't disappoint) or fried green beans.

Live music on weekends and the game room downstairs mean there's always something going on at the Lazy Dog.

RUNNER-UP

28th Street Tavern

2690 28th St.

303-990-9975

28thtavern.com

 

 

BEST SUSHI

Hapa Sushi

1117 Pearl St.; 1220 Pennsylvania Ave.

303-473-4730; 303-447-9883

hapasushi.com

Hapa's edgy naming conventions -- magic mushrooms appear on the menu ahead of the foreplay and climax rolls -- make ordering lunch or dinner more exciting, but they're not all talk and no action.

Not that the multiple orgasm roll actually...well, you get the drift. Let's just say each bite of this smoked salmon, crab and cream cheese roll is, er, quite pleasurable.

As a bonus, you get to enjoy your multiple orgasm (roll) with a sake cocktail in a chic modern setting. Was it good for you?

RUNNER-UP

Sushi Zanmai

1221 Spruce St.

303-440-0733

sushizanmai.com

 

 

BEST VEGETARIAN

Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant

2010 16th St.

303-442-1485

leafvegetarianrestaurant.com

Leaf's peaceful atmosphere might make you want to utter an OM. But their vegan enchiladas are more likely to make you say OMG.

The artful presentation is just as creative as their dishes, all inspired by seasonal ingredients and global cuisine. The $24 three-course prix-fixe makes it easy to try a few.

Don't forget to pair one of their environmentally-friendly wines with your meal -- Leaf has a full bar.

RUNNER-UP

Elephant Hut

2500 30th St., Suite 101

303-284-0308

elephanthut.com

 

 

BEST WINE SELECTION

Frasca Food and Wine

1738 Pearl St.

303-442-6966

frascafoodandwine.com

If you've been to Italy, you understand why the Friuli, Italy-inspired Frasca keeps more than 200 varieties of wine in its cellar. A meal without vino is sacrilege.

Daunted by the 'round-the-world choices? Don't be. Frasca's wait staff knows how to pair your preferences with your meal, and in the evening, there's always a sommelier on hand to guide the most discerning tastes to the right bottle. Grazie.

RUNNER-UP

Liquor Mart

1750 15th St.

303-449-3374

liquormart.com


 


BEST OF ENTERTAINMENT & FITNESS

 

BEST MUSIC VENUE

Boulder Theater

2032 14th St.

303-786-7030

bouldertheater.com

The Boulder Theater is Boulder's favorite venue to check out live concerts, movies and special events.

The local venue scores big with locals when it comes to booking national and local acts. The theater has brought in everybody from Ziggy Marley to Pretty Lights, and fans enjoy seeing the shows from every angle of the multi-layered nightclub.

The Boulder Theater also offers a prime sound system and a lighting set-up that carefully punctuates every note of the concerts. Locals also like checking out the free DJ nights at the venue's adjacent George's Pub and Grill.

The theater's also gaining note for hosting movie festivals. This year's Boulder International Film Festival featured actor Alec Baldwin. The venue also hosts Boulder's "etown" tapings, and this year the local environmental show brought acts such as Moby and Cake to the venue.

RUNNER-UP

Fox Theatre

1135 13 St.

303-443-3399

foxtheatre.com

 

 

BEST LOCAL MUSIC GROUP

3OH!3

3oh3music.com

3OH!3 is one of Colorado's favorite acts, so it's no surprise that the electro group walked off with this year's honors.

The Boulder-based duo has come with a clever blend of electro, hip-hop and pop sounds. 3OH!3 added a very animated live show to the mix, and it wasn't long before the band was signed to a major record deal.

3OH!3's already recorded the hit tune "Starstrukk" with the aid of Katy Perry, appeared on Ke$ha's hit single "Blah Blah Blah" and been nominated for MTV's Woodie Awards.

The band's music is now featured on the soundtrack to Tim Burton's new "Alice in Wonderland" movie, and 3OH!3's been working on a brand new CD.

RUNNER-UP

FACE

facevocalband.com

 

 

BEST MUSIC FESTIVAL

Rocky Mountain Folks Festival

500 W. Main St., Lyons

303-823-0848

bluegrass.com

Nothing beats a summer day at Planet Bluegrass' Lyons ranch, as you sit back and listen to the acoustic sounds of the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival.

The site's music stage is located in a beautiful outdoor setting, and every year the promoters come up with better acts to draw in the crowds.

Locals sit down on the grounds and watch the shows or browse all the food and craft stalls that line the concert area. The fest also offers camping and nearby hiking.

This year's Folks Festival takes place Aug. 13 through 15 and it features Ani DiFranco, The Swell Season and Jenny Lewis.

RUNNER-UP

Mile High Music Festival

6000 Victory Way, Commerce City

720-224-9200

milehighmusicfestival.com

 

 

BEST POOL TABLES

Sundown Saloon

1136 Pearl St.

303-449-4987

Locals have voted the Sundance Saloon as the best place to play pool in Boulder.

It's sometimes hard to miss the saloon's underground entrance on the Pearl Street Mall, but locals in the know like to soak up the club's very laid-back ambience.

OK, it is a dive bar, but the Sundance Saloon's the best place to throw back a couple of PBRs, chalk up your cue and indulge in a friendly game of pool with students and locals.

Plus, there are plenty of pool tables in the underground club.

RUNNER-UP

The Walrus Saloon

1911 11th St.

303-443-9902

 

 

BEST STUDENT ORGANIZATION

Delta Delta Delta

1025 15th St.

303-443-7469

bouldertridelta.org

Locals have voted the sorority Delta Delta Delta as their favorite student organization.

That's because the Tri Delts are well known on campus and in Boulder for their social activities and philanthropic work,

The sorority is known for its Greek Week and Homecoming activities, bi-yearly formals and its participation in the Powder Puff flag football tournament.

The group also gives back to the community, and the Tri Deltas have made contributions to St. Jude's and the Denver Children's Hospital.

RUNNER-UP

CU Program Council

Located in CU's University Memorial Center

303-492-7704

programcouncil.com

 

 

BEST BIKE SHOP

University Bicycles

839 Pearl St.

303-444-4196

ubikes.com

Walk into U Bikes and you just sense it. The sexy, sleek lines of a new road frame; the gleaming mountain bike that awaits a tear in full-on gnar; the rhythm of freewheels clicking under a mechanic's care: by all indications, you're in cycling heaven.

Aesthetics aside, University Bikes gives you plenty of other reasons to love the shop, like the huge selection of bikes, clothes and accessories, and the shop's finely tuned bike-fitting service.

Best yet, their service department is super efficient and helpful. If you buy from U Bikes, the shop's expert mechanics will check out your bike on the spot any time you roll it up to the stands inside. Plus, if you have to leave your bike there, they do their best to get it back to you the next day.

RUNNER-UP

Full Cycle

1795 Pearl St.; 1211 13th St.

303-440-1002; 303-440-7771

fullcyclebikes.com

 

 

BEST OUTDOOR GEAR STORE

REI

1789 28th St.

303-583-9970

rei.com/stores/44

When it comes to outdoor gear, REI has pretty much everything under the sun. Or rain, snow or other conditions, and for every sport. If they don't have it, you can order it to your house or the store.

REI's a national name, but the company's community roots run deep. The store's community center is a hub for local nonprofits groups' meetings, inspiring shows by local athletes and instruction in everything from wildflower identification to bike tuning.

What more could a sports-obsessed Boulderite ask for?

RUNNER-UP

Neptune Mountaineering

633 S. Broadway

303-499-8866

neptunemountaineering.com

 

 

BEST PLACE TO WORK OUT

RallySport

2727 29th St.

303-449-4800

rallysportboulder.com

For fitness freaks, RallySport is the place where everybody knows your name. Really -- when you walk in the door, when you go to a spin class, when you run into trainers in the weight room, it seems like the entire staff knows you and is happy to see you.

Hmm, those exercise-induced endorphins must be effective...

Aside from the friendly staff and fantastic class selection, RallySport also makes it more fun by blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors. The views are great, and the heated outdoor pool transforms chilly workouts into a summer swim.

RUNNER-UP

24 Hour Fitness

2900 Iris Ave.

303-209-9274

24hourfitness.com

 

 

BEST RUNNING AND HIKING TRAIL

Mt. Sanitas

Trailhead: Just west of Fourth Street on Mapleton Avenue

bouldercolorado.gov

A steep climb to the summit, a mellow valley trail, shade and sun alike -- what doesn't Mt. Sanitas offer hikers and trail runners?

The trail system's proximity to downtown makes it an easy escape for a lunch run or an after-work hike, and going to the top is a worthy workout. (Don't think so? Run laps on the loop.) And dog lovers can bring Fido.

Don't forget to enjoy the views, both east to town and west to the high country, along the way. Perfect.

RUNNER-UP

Mesa Trail

Trailhead: Chautauqua Park, west Baseline Road

bouldercolorado.gov

 

 

BEST RUNNING STORE

Boulder Running Company

2775 Pearl St.

303-786-1738

boulderrunningcompany.com

You may think you're testing the patience of your salesperson at Boulder Running Company as you're trying on your fifth pair of shoes. Then you notice the guy next to you is on pair 15, and his salesperson is still smiling, too.

The staff even seems happy to analyze your gait on their video-rigged treadmills for the 15th time. These people are really into running.

And it doesn't matter what kind of runner you are, or even whether you're a runner. Boulder Running Company has minimalist shoes, trail running shoes, sprinting shoes, walking shoes, even flip-flops. The one unifying factor you can count on? Quality.

RUNNER-UP

Fleet Feet

2624 Broadway

303-939-8000

fleetfeetboulder.com

 

 

BEST SKI AND SNOWBOARD SHOP

Boulder Ski Deals

2525 Arapahoe Ave.

303-938-8799

boulderskideals.com

If you can't find it at Boulder Ski Deals...well it's cliché, but true. Over the years, the shop has gained a deserved rep as the place that has everything you need to ski or ride, at a fair price -- whether you're buying or renting or taking advantage of their junior trade-in program.

(P.S., at this time of the year, you can catch some amazing deals.)

Boulder Ski Deals also does fast, quality tuning work, and when it's time to go in for new skis, boots or a board, the store's staff shows its obvious addiction to snowsports -- otherwise why would they take so much time to dial you in with the right gear?

RUNNER-UP

Christy Sports

2000 30th St.

303-442-2493

christysports.com

 

 

BEST SKI RESORT

Eldora Mountain Resort

West of Nederland

303-440-8700

eldora.com

It's the closest ski area to town, and it's the closest to our hearts. Eldora is our local hill, and we love it.

Fortunately, it loves us back and caters to Boulder's every whim. Want to race after work or school in the winter? Eldora hosts a nighttime race series for downhill and Nordic skiers, riders and snowshoers. Want your kids to rip at age 4? Eldora's ski school is huge, and chances are good your friends already go, anyway.

Oh, and did we mention the short drive and lack of Interstate 70 traffic? More shredding time, and that's what it's all about.

RUNNER-UP

Vail

877-204-7881

vail.com

 

 

BEST SPA

Essentiels Spa

2660 Canyon Blvd.

303-440-0711

halcyondayssalonsandspas.com/Essentiels_Spa.asp

Sip on cucumber or orange water near the cascading waterfall or relax in the steam room. Indulge those digits with a mani and pedi.

Essentiels Spa pampers Boulder with everything from massages, body treatments and facials to lash tinting, hair removal and make-up artistry.

The spa is equipped with an international team of experts who pride themselves in beauty and wellness therapy.

Services are offered for both men and women.

RUNNER-UP

St. Julien Hotel & Spa

900 Walnut St.

720-406-9696

stjulien.com

 

 

BEST TANNING SALON

Tans To Go

1842 30th St.

303-444-7600

tanstogo.com

If there's a need to darken that pasty skin year-round, Tans To Go has got you covered.

The tanning salon has super beds and regular beds for tanning sessions up to 20 minutes and ultrabronze beds for longer sessions of up to 25 minutes.

The salon also offers a 9-minute stand up session as well as consistent airbrush tanning.

Hop in on a lunch break and get that deep island look, even when there's three feet of snow on the ground.

Tans To Go also has Tahitian Tan products for purchase, including a variety of lotions, moisturizers, airbrush tanning accessories and sunblock to keep that skin supple.

RUNNER-UP

Sol Tans

1221 Pennsylvania Ave.

303-449-8267

 

 

BEST YOGA/PILATES

CorePower Yoga

645 27th Way; 3280 28th St,

303-497-9642; 303-440-3930

corepoweryoga.com

The stresses of everyday life can be put at ease by working the mind, body and soul.

CorePower Yoga offers a vast variety of yoga classes with top-notch teachers that suit everyone from beginners to the intermediate.

Classes are offered all day in the north and south Boulder locations, including Hot Power Fusion, Yoga Sculpt, Yin Yoga and Hot Yoga. CorePower even offers a nutrition program with tools to help you make the best healthy decisions.

If you've hit a plateau in your practice, the boot camp or yoga retreats can help whip you back into shape.

RUNNER-UP

RallySport

2727 29th St.

303-449-4800

rallysportboulder.com

 

 

BEST EYE CARE PROVIDER

Dr. Liz Erley

3301 30th St.

303-443-4311

winkoptical.net

Doctor visits of any variety can be daunting.

But Dr. Liz Early, at Wink Optical, makes it a point to ease clients and walk them through every phase of the eye exam.

Early has been practicing eye care in Boulder for 10 years and was president of her class at Illinois College of Optometry for all four years of her doctoral program.

Her 14 years of practice total helps with the personalized assessments for each client.

RUNNER-UP

Dr. Jeffrey Holland

1310 College Ave.

303-444-3092

collegeopticalboulder.com

 

 

BEST OPTICAL STORE

Wink Optical

3301 30th St.

303-443-4311

winkoptical.net

When it comes to crystal clear vision, Wink Optical takes things seriously.

Wink is the only eye care provider in Boulder to invest in the most advanced digital equipment in the industry. The opticians believe there is nothing more important than provide optimum vision care with personalized and individual assessments.

Wink offers some exclusive designer frames and hard-to-find lines, with brands such as Alain Mikli, Salt, Face a Face, Mykita, Lunor, Fleye, Lindberg and BeauSoleil.

Make your glasses the best accessory.

RUNNER-UP

Aspen Eyewear

2525 Arapahoe Ave.

303-447-0210

aspeneyewear.com

 

 

BEST NATURAL FOOD STORES

Whole Foods

2905 Pearl St.; 2584 Baseline Road; 1651 Broadway

303-545-6611; 303-499-7636; 303-442-0909

wholefoodsmarket.com

A place where customers can get groceries, a gourmet meal, a smoothie and toiletries -- natural and organic, at that -- is what makes for Boulder's best natural food store.

Whole Foods, with its three locations, has always prided itself in stocking, selling and making the highest-quality natural and organic products available.

With a hot food bar, salad bar, fresh meat and seafood, hot soup, premade dinners and a bakery, a stop at Whole Foods every night could guarantee a life out of the kitchen.

Offering Earth-friendly and green products such as toilet paper, household cleaners, soaps and vitamin supplements, Whole Foods also can put your mind at ease while contributing to a green world.

RUNNER-UP

Vitamin Cottage

2355 30th St.

303-402-1400

vitamincottage.com

 

 

BEST MASSAGE CLINIC

Massage Specialists

1640 Broadway

303-938-0388

massagespecialists.com

On the Massage Specialists' Web site, the slogan reads: "Massage is more than just about feeling good. It's a powerful tool for health maintenance."

The health professionals pride themselves in not only treating muscle stress and injuries, but are on hand to try to minimize stress, help avoid injury and assess the situation to treat the customer with the most effective treatment.

The certified therapists have specific training in everything from deep tissue, sports massage, chair massage orthopedic, neuromuscular and myofascial techniques, shiatsu and Swedish.

RUNNER-UP

Massage Envy

1650 28th St., Suite 1228

303-447-3689

massageenvy.com



BEST ALTERNATIVE CAREGIVER

The Village Green Society

2043 16th St.

720-746-9064

thevillagegreensociety.com

The Village Green Society is Boulder's first boutique Medical Marijuana Dispensary and Healing Arts Center.

The shop offers medical marijuana patients a comfortable atmosphere with a knowledgeable staff to consult the patients with the best fit of therapeutic care.

Various products from sativa to indica-sativa hybrids such as NYC Diesel and Super Silver Haze to indica buds like Northern Lights #5 and hashish.

Aside from medical marijuana, the Village Green Society offers massage, acupuncture, yoga and chiropractic care.

RUNNER-UP

People's Choice Wellness Center

peopleschoicewellnesscenter.com

 

 

BEST PET BOARDING/GROOMING

Cottonwood Kennels

7275 Valmont Road

303-442-2602

cottonwoodkennels.com

Leaving the pets for vacation is stressful. Since they are members of the family, it's often difficult trusting in the best care for the furry creatures.

At Cottonwood Kennels, tucked away on a small farm just east of Boulder, the pets can have their own little vacation in the country.

From just a single day to a couple weeks, dogs get a full range of activities -- from playgroups for social dogs, private yards to walks in the pastures -- and even can be groomed.

The cats have a big, sunny bay window to bask in, equipped with a cat tree, a cave and plants inside for the kitty to explore.

Small animals such as bunnies, birds and ferrets are welcome as well.

RUNNER-UP

PetSmart

1850 30th St.

303-939-9033

petsmart.com

 

 

BEST VETERINARY CLINIC

Alpine Animal Hospital

3210 Valmont Road

303-443-9661

alpinehospitalforanimals.com

Alpine Animal Hospital has been providing Boulder with high-quality veterinary care since 1963 with the most modern equipment.

The hospital also offers breakthrough technologies such as laser therapy, which can alleviate chronic pain, help with rehabilitation and speeds up the healing process; bicom resonance therapy, which is a computer-controlled therapy that stimulates self-healing and strengthens the body's defenses; and DNA testing to determine what your mixed-breed dog may be.

Alpine offers typical examinations, surgery, dentistry, radiology, chemotherapy, alternative therapy and even acupuncture and behavior consultation.

RUNNER-UP

Gunbarrel Veterinary Clinic

4636 55th St.

303-530-2500

gunbarrelvet.com