From gourmet pizzerias and beer gardens to eclectic boutiques and Asian markets, our Mile High suburbs are overflowing with places worth discovering. We’ve pulled together an assortment of spots that embody the vibrant, appealingly quirky spirit of our city’s outlying areas.
Knowing ’Bout Growing
Admittedly, our thumbs could use some greening—which is why we’re planning a trip to Centennial’s award-winning Tagawa Gardens (www.tagawagardens.com). We’d be surprised if there was a gardening need that couldn’t be met within the center’s 3.5 acres of indoor greenhouse space. Need tips on pruning your rose bushes? Check. Innovative ways to xeriscape? Check. Patio furniture to go with your water garden? Check. We like perusing Tagawa’s helpful blog for detailed and seasonal tips on plant arrangements, porch pots, harvesting, and more before visiting the center. If you’re a hands-on kind of person, make sure to check the schedule of classes and webinars—perhaps “Herbs for Cold and Flu” or “Preparing Your Pond for Spring” is just what you need.
Pie in the Sky
Pizza isn’t one-size-fits-all—everyone has his own idea of what makes for a sublime slice—but lucky for us, the metro area has more than enough options to find the perfect fit. Here, a few standouts:
For the organically minded trendster: Lucky Pie (www.luckypiepizza.com) in Louisville offers all-natural, brick-oven pizza made with Colorado-grown flour and locally sourced ingredients like Hazel Dell mushrooms—not to mention a hearty selection of obscure craft beers like Steelhead Double IPA, Milk Stout on nitro, and Duchesse De Bourgogne Flemish Red on tap.
For the die-hard italian traditionalist: Virgilio’s Pizzeria Napoletana (www.virgiliospizzeria.com) in Belmar dishes out a real slice of Italy; owner Virgilio Urbano was born near Naples, Italy, and the grow-your-own-tomatoes technique came with his family when they immigrated. The Belmar spot was so successful that he opened a spacious Littleton location this past summer and added a wine list (www.virgiliospizzeriaandwinebar.com).
For the brooklyn transplant: Big Bill’s New York Pizza (www.bigbillsnypizza.com) does thin-crust, grease-drenched, foldable slices the way they’re done in the Big Apple—but in Centennial. No frills, no gourmet touches (although whole wheat and gluten-free crusts are now options). Just straight-up gooey cheese and sauce. Fuhgeddaboutit.