Top of the Town

We scoured the city to come up with nearly 200 deserving winners that make Denver such a killer place to live.
July 2008
Additional reporting by: Georgia Benjou, Daniel Brogan, Elena Brown, Patrick Doyle, Julie Dugdale, Amanda M. Faison, Natasha Gardner, Luc Hatlestad, Kazia Jankowski, Lindsey B. Koehler, Carol W. Maybach, Cara McDonald, Brian Melton, Robert Sanchez, Geoff Van Dyke, and Anne Vickman Photography by Bryce Boyer, Brendan Harrington, Claudia López, and Matthew Staver

Click here to read our Web-only compilation of Top of the Town All-Stars, the most frequent winners since 1997.

The tastiest taquerías, the sweetest shops, the sharpest stylists... Every year we give you our list of the absolute best stuff in Denver. It's a culmination of 12 months of research—sampling, taste-testing, shopping, and guinea-pigging our way across this entire city in search of the best. As always, we also get input from you; more than 63,044 individual votes were cast on our online ballot this year (nice work!). We do all of this for one reason, dear reader: to keep you in the know—to get you dialed in on Denver. So the next time you're absolutely craving some chicken masala (page 109), or need the name of a good tailor (page 122), or are on the hunt for that perfect throw pillow (page 127), you'll know exactly what to do. And with 200 winners, this just might be our best Top of the Town yet. So read on. Thank us later.

Frequently Asked Questions

Lots of people wonder how Top of the Town really works. Here, we answer some of your most common questions.

How does 5280 choose the Top of the Town winners?
Generally, each of the categories (spa, sushi, etc.) has two winners: the readers' and editors' choices. Readers' choice winners are picked democratically—whichever takes the most votes from our online ballot wins. The editors pick winners based on 12 months of research. During this process we pay for all meals and services, and we do our research anonymously.

Don't your advertisers automatically win?
Absolutely not. Top of the Town results are entirely based on your ballots and our research; there is no connection between advertisers and winners. Period. While some winners may later choose to advertise or happen to be advertisers, it is in no way a requirement. Sure, we could make a few folks happy by "selling" winners, but in the long run we'd lose a lot more than we'd gain—like our integrity and our credibility with you, the reader.

How can I vote?
Easy. Go to www.5280.com, create an account, and cast your ballot. We'll have the ballot online in February and March, so stay tuned next year.

For some of your categories, I've noticed there is only an editors' choice—no readers' choice. Why is that?
In some categories, the readers didn't come to a consensus. In those instances, we publish only the editors' choice.

I have a business that deserves an award. How can I win?
Tell your customers to get online and vote for you next year. (Remember: The ballot goes online in February.) And to help you spread the word to your customers, we'll post a Top of the Town "tool kit" on our website during that time, with downloadable marketing material and links to our site and ballot.