Denver suffers from a civic inferiority complex. For years, the rest of the country thought of us as little more than a stopping off point on the way to the ski slopes. Today, a booming economy, 300 days of sunshine per year, and proximity to those very same mountains have made the Mile-High City one of the country’s most desirable places to live.
But here in town, we haven’t seemed to get the message. Though the metro area accounts for the vast majority of their viewers and advertisers, our leading television stations promote themselves as “Colorado’s News Leader” or the “Spirit of Colorado.” Our newest sports teams — including those that build stadiums with local taxes and benefit from other city incentives — choose names like Colorado Rockies, Colorado Avalanche, or Colorado Rapids. Even the Broncos have removed the “D” from their helmets.
At the risk of sounding like the Chamber of Commerce (though perhaps it’s time somebody did), the Denver metro area is a terrific place to live. That became plainly evident when we sat down to compile our first-ever Top of the Town Awards.
Unlike other “Best Ofs” that honor just about anyone and everyone, we’ve kept ours to a relatively short list of categories. In many regards, that made our selection process harder (we’re still arguing among ourselves about deep-dish vs. thin-crust pizza), but we hope that it gives our Top of the Town Awards a bit more credibility and weight.
As the name suggests, the Editors’ Choice awards were selected by a team of 5280’s editors and writers. The Readers’ Choice awards were based on ballots published in the April/May issue, as well as on the magazine’s website (http://www.5280pub.com/). Even after weeding out several obvious attempts to stuff the ballot box, more than 200 ballots were cast.
Your choices were an interesting mix of old favorites (Beau Jo’s, Pete’s Kitchen, and John Elway) and new contenders (our editors gave Top Martini honors to the venerable Cruise Room; the readers said cheers to the two-year-old Purple Martini).
On the pages that follow, we offer the winners in 52 categories. Not every category has a corresponding Readers’ Choice. In some instances, no clear winner emerged from the balloting. In others, we exercised the editors’ prerogative of adding categories after the readers’ ballot was published.
Top Department Store
Editors' & Readers Choice: Nordstrom - Park Meadows Shopping Center,
I-25 and County Line Rd., 303-799-3400
Top Women's Wear
Editors' Choice: Harold's - Park Meadows Shopping Center,
I-25 and County Line Rd., 303-706-1407
Readers' Choice: Ann Taylor - Cherry Creek & Park Meadows Shopping Center.
Editors' & Readers' Choice: Moe's Broadway Bagels - 550 Grant St., 303-733-7331