Editor’s Choice

Top Place To Buy Houseplants

The Plant Room

Photo by Daniel Brenner

“Follow me to the plant room.” That’s the phrase Victor Sosa-Meza found himself uttering again and again when he began selling houseplants out of his parents’ spare bedroom six years ago. At the time, it was a way to de-stress from his corporate day job, but Sosa-Meza quickly discovered that giving plant newbies personalized advice could become a full-time career. In 2020, he moved out of his parents’ home and into his first brick-and-mortar location, in Jefferson Park. Sosa-Meza gives detailed care instructions for every plant and even replies to panicked, “Why is my prayer plant dying?” Instagram messages. (Hint: You’re probably overwatering.) But the Plant Room isn’t just for newbies. Sosa-Meza makes frequent trips to Florida, a hub for rare plants, to snag silvery Philodendron hastatum and other varieties that are difficult to find in the Centennial State. Acclaim among collectors catapulted him to a new, bigger location just down the street from his original spot earlier this year. —Angela Ufheil

Top Home Accessories/Furniture

South Platte Trading Co.

Jessica Larson knows what a conversation piece looks like. As a buyer for South Platte Trading Co., a Furniture Row concept that opened just before the pandemic, her job is to travel the world to find wares that will spark discussion in your living room. Unlike Denver-based Furniture Row’s other brands, which generally sell mass-produced items, South Platte Trading Co. is a one-off outpost specializing in pieces Larson describes as “fun, unique, vintage, reclaimed, often one-of-a-kind global finds” that expand the aesthetic breadth of the company.

Walking the floor of the north Denver showroom with Larson is a special treat, because she’s intimately familiar with the origin stories of her purchases. For one example, there are the accent chairs, covered using the centuries-old tradition of kantha, an art form born in the Bengal region of India in which rags are stitched together to create larger sheets of cloth. For these brightly colored chairs (pictured below; $469) from Jodhpur, embroiderers sewed together pieces of recycled saris.

Photo courtesy of South Platte Trading Co.

Getting such treasures to the Mile High City has become an adventure of its own. Although Larson had enough international contacts and relationships to keep product flowing in when she wasn’t able to travel abroad because of COVID-19, importing items has become exponentially more challenging. “It used to take us about 45 days to get something in from India or Vietnam,” says Larson, who has trips to Europe and Asia planned for later this year. “Now, it’s anyone’s guess with labor shortages and ports backed up.”

Fortunately, the 18,000-square-foot Bannock Street location isn’t exactly short on inventory, and Larson says things are still arriving, just more slowly. “Items move to people’s homes pretty quickly once they get here,” Larson says. “I come to the store sometimes, and I get sad that one of my pieces is gone. But at least I know they’re going to good homes.” —Lindsey B. King

Editor’s Choice: Pick A Side

People’s styles are as unique as their fingerprints, which makes selecting one Top of the Town winner in certain shopping categories extremely difficult—so we chose two.

Local Women’s Boutique

Streetwear – C.R. Lee Designs

Although she started her label in 2013, designer Crystal Renee Lee didn’t begin racking up orders until launching her Tomboi collection in 2019. The combination of high fashion and streetwear has become so sought-after during the pandemic—when comfort became essential—that each new line keeps selling out, and in March, Lee opened her first storefront on Broadway. —Joce Blake

Old-school – The Vintage Label

Co-founder Carolyn Carrington scours the country to fill her upscale vintage shop, traveling between private clients and estate houses to find unique pieces from ageless brands, such as Gucci, Dior, and Prada. If you can’t make it to the LoDo store, which opened in March, Carrington is eager to meet customers at their homes or offices, providing a bygone level of customer service. —Spencer Campbell


Sneakers – All Access Kickss

There’s no better local place to step up your shoe game than at All Access Kickss, which had to move to a bigger LoDo location in November 2021 after outgrowing its original store in less than a year. The new spot carries everything from high-profile new releases to Adidas named after Towelie, the perpetually stoned South Park character. —SC

Bling – Sarah O. Jewelry

The boho chic brand  recently opened a second location in LoDo’s Dairy Block, and founder Sarah Ortega has remodeled her original Tennyson location, creating more space for design consultations and a larger showroom. The expansion came just in time for Sarah O.’s latest collection, which will launch this month: rings featuring rare stones, such as Montana sapphires, that Ortega has spent years hunting down. —Philip Clapham

Jonas Conn-Parent/Courtesy of Steadbrook

Local Men’s Boutique

City – Steadbrook

This 11-year-old Five Points boutique offers a mélange of contemporary brands, such as Rick Owens, Stüssy, Timex, and Our Legacy (pictured). But it’s the community it fosters that makes Steadbrook a gem: When the store isn’t serving the likes of rappers Jack Harlow, Trippie Redd, and Slow Thai, it’s organizing clothing drives to benefit Denver’s Samaritan House Homeless Shelter. —JB

Outdoors – Acme Fine Goods

If you’re looking for the standard Patagonia uniform, don’t bother making the drive to Louisville to visit Eric Reed’s three-year-old men’s shop. Reed, a former sales rep for Denver-based Topo Designs, stocks mainly outdoor brands of quiet quality—think: Amundsen fleeces, Filson button-downs, and Red Wing heritage boots—for the man who doesn’t need a label, just high-quality threads that make him look good. —SC

Reader’s Choice

Local Jewelry Designer

John Atencio

multiple locations

Fine Jewelry

Sarah O. Jewelry

4301 Tennyson St., 720-502-3229
1825 Blake St., Suite 120 (inside the Dairy Block), 720-708-2947

Home Accessories/Furniture

Rare Finds Warehouse

6500 E. Stapleton Drive South, Suite A, 303-990-9311
8575 S. Quebec St., Highlands Ranch, 303-237-4470


Element Knife Company

2501 Dallas St., Suite 104B (inside Stanley Marketplace), Aurora, 303-460-4628

Place To Buy Houseplants

The Wardian

6400 W. 20th Ave., Lakewood, 720-688-1146

Baby/Kids’ Boutique

Wish Gifts

750 S. University Blvd., 303-722-2900
5014 E. Hampden Ave., 720-502-6081

Local Women’s Boutique

Nora’s Retro

1509 S. Pearl St., 303-388-7999

Local Men’s Boutique

Berkeley Supply

4317 Tennyson St., 720-445-6818

Wedding Gowns

Lovely Bride

2636 Walnut St., Suite 100, 720-452-1192


Wish Gifts

750 S. University Blvd., 303-722-2900
5014 E. Hampden Ave., 720-502-6081


W Boutique

5014 E. Hampden Ave., 720-476-4990

Place To Buy Books

Tattered Cover Book Store

multiple locations

Eco-Friendly Products

Wagon Coffee Roasters

2122 S. Lafayette St., 303-929-3325