Facebook   Twitter   Instagram
Current Issue   Archive   Donate and Support    

Best of the West: Readers’ Choice Shopping


Bike Shop (E. County)
Bike N Hike, Longmont
Thirty years of bicycle-peddling experience sets this Longmont storefront apart, assuring you’ll get the right bike for you. Plus, the staff makes sure that after the sale is done, your bike still gets you from A to B and back again.

Bike Shop (Boulder)
University Bicycles
This iconic Boulder shop offers performance bikes to buy or rent. Aside from the expected accoutrements, they also offer trips, tours and clinics for riders of all ages and abilities. They can throw this award in the back with the others!

Ski Shop (Boulder & E. County)

Christy Sports, various locations
This has been a company of skiers, by skiers and for skiers for more than 50 years. They’re the largest specialty ski and snowboard retailer and snowsport service specialist in the Rocky Mountain region.
Shoe Store (E. County)
Brown’s Shoe Fit, Longmont
Offering exceptional service and loads of selection, Brown’s is a must-shop in downtown Longmont. Here, you’ll find the best-fitting shoes and a crew that know their soles. It’s how East County struts.

Shoe Store (Boulder)
Pedestrian Shop
This shop is a celebration of the Colorado lifestyle: lots of walking, hiking and running. Get outfitted here for your next adventure.

Eyewear (E. County)
Eye Care Center, Longmont
It’s kind of like one-stop shopping for eyecare: not only do they carry a good selection of frames, their doctors can care for your eyes’ every want and need.
Eyewear (Boulder)

Wink Optical
Find a look as distinctive as you are by searching the elite selection of frames available at Wink. Plus, you’ll find the best service in the county.

Jewelry (E. County)
Eric Olson, Lafayette
Eric Olson is an artist, and his wearable art is a balance of elegance and organic beauty. And in many ways, it truly reflects the Colorado landscape and lifestyle.

Jewelry (Boulder)

Walters and Hogsett
Approaching its 25th year (most marriages don’t even last that long), Walters & Hogsett is almost as locally beloved as the Flatirons. What’s the secret? Beautifully crafted pieces and an expert staff.

Fashion Boutique for Women (E. County)
Vie Vie Luxe, Louisville
It may be small but it’s mighty. This charming Louisville shop is packed full of great finds: gorgeous jackets, fun jewelry and luscious leather bags.

Fashion Boutique for Women (Boulder)
You just feel a bit more feminine, strong and sexy the moment you step into Chelsea. It just oozes with style. From killer shoes to flowing dresses, this is where Boulder shops for everyday beauty.

Second-hand Clothing (E. County)
Orange Door, Longmont
The hip little Orange Door has a long history; even though, it’s brand new. The upscale consignment shop on Main Street Longmont is the result of decades of retail experience, and it shows.

Second-hand Clothing (Boulder)
Rags Consignment
We love shopping at Rags because it does not feel like we are thrifting (that’s the verb, to thrift). Their stock does not feel second hand, and in return we don’t feel like we are buying second rate.

Old Town (E. County)
There’s this great balance of quaint charm and modern splendor in Old Town—and because of the cool cafes, beautiful shops, popular restaurants and bars, it’s hard to resist the allure.

Shopping District (E. County)
Downtown Longmont, Longmont
Woah! An upset! Longmont pulls in front to take the win! From Brown’s to Adorn to Encore, it’s really no surprise that locals dig the retail scene in Longmont, and we’re glad to see some competition.

Shopping District (Boulder)

Pearl Street Mall
What would Boulder be without the Pearl Street Mall? Let’s not even imagine the Republic minus its prized retail and cultural spot, its award-winning restaurants, its hot boutiques and hopping bars. I curse the thought!

Bookstore (E. County)

Borders Bookstore, various locations
We get it, there’s not too many locally owned bookstores to peruse anymore. Plus, Borders is pretty tempting: shelf after shelf after shelf of books, music and movies. You have to admit, they’ve got game.

Bookstore (Boulder)
Boulder Bookstore
Boulder Bookstore not only keeps bookcases stocked, it brings in tons of writers. And if there’s one thing better than reading a book, it’s listening to someone else read a book.

Home Décor (E. County)
Encore, Longmont
When you are redecorating your home or just thinking about decorating your home, Encore offers a burst of inspiration with a blend of sophisticated unique décor and funky home accessories made by local venders. From candles to vases to knick-knacks, they’ll make your home as cool as you want. It’s also perfect for gifts.

Home Décor (Boulder)
HW Home
What’s the neatest part of HW? The owners scour the globe to see what’s hip in global décor and bring the international perspective to you.

Furnishings (E. County)
Woodley’s, Longmont
Woodley’s has crafted a solid reputation—almost as solid as the beautiful hardwood furniture built right here in their Longmont factory.

Furnishings (Boulder)
HW Home
It’s no wonder HW Home is twice victorious in the BOW. With their unique international taste, they beat out the competition single-handedly.

Second-hand Furniture (E. County)
Front Range Mercantile, Longmont
This huge indoor flea market is practically bursting with snazzy antiques, great home furnishings and décor for stellar deals. Plus, it’s just a fun place to explore.

Second-hand Furniture (Boulder)
Clutter Consignment
At Clutter, you pick from the style you like, whether it’s vintage, contemporary, retro or modern. Everything out of this store is super sweet and the inventory changes daily.

Home Improvement (E. County)
Lowe’s, Lafayette
Lowe’s has (literally) built a foundation around being the go-to shop for all the necessary tools to get the job done.

Home Improvement (Boulder)
McGuckin hardware
Need an extra valve for plumbing? Check. Fertilizer for the garden? Got those, too. Crock pot? Oh yeah. This iconic locally owned store has everything you need—everything. And the staff is famous for its attentiveness.

Florist (E. County)

Lafayette Florist, Lafayette
With a 68,000-square-foot greenhouse, the oh so lovely Lafayette Florist is easily accessible for any flower-required situation that comes up. And it’s been doing just that for decades.

Florist (Boulder)

Sturtz & Copeland
Called Fawcett Floral before 1928 (that’s right, 1928), Sturtz & Copeland specializes in more than just serving up bouquets of blossoming flowers. They also focus on pottery and fountains, fertilizers and gardening.

Kids Clothing (E. County)
Naartjie, Broomfield
This South African-based store focuses on using natural fabrics that are brightly colored, uniquely fashionable and totally kid-friendly.

Kids Clothing (Boulder)

Rocky Mountain Kids Clothing
Family owned and operated, this stylish store offers more than 3,500 square feet of adorable kids clothes, shoes and accessories.

Toy Store (E. County)
Crawdaddy Toys, Lafayette
Like a blast from the past, this is the kind of toy store that makes you feel good about getting the kids a treat. And it’s the kind of toy store that makes grown-ups turn into kids…whether your kids like it or not.

Toy Store (Boulder)
Grandrabbit’s Toy Shoppe
Specializing in educational toys (that also happen to be super fun), this Boulder institution has toys and games for kids of all ages.

Gift Shop (E. County)
Timbalier, Lafayette
Timbalier is East County’s source for gracious, thoughtful, unique gifts. A must-shop for the hard-to-buy-for on your list.

Gift Shop (Boulder)
Paper Doll
A gorgeous gift shop with quirk, this place has pretties for all the ladies in your life as well as fun paper goods and a kids section that will make any young’un’s imagination soar.

Gourmet Cooking Store (E. County)

Cayenne Kitchen, Longmont
The perfect spot to pick up that kitchen gadget you never knew you needed—but now can’t live without. A great stop for foodie gifts as well.

Gourmet Cooking Store (Boulder)
This is where you go when you need an 8-inch chef’s knife, a set of double old fashioneds or a pound of gourmet coffee; it’s the perfect shop when you need anything for your culinary life. 

Grocery Store
Whole Foods, many locations
Whole Foods is the sunshine on a cloudy day. True, the crowds are a bit nutty, but the bounty of fresh, fabulous food could make a hungry Boulderite fall to their knees with tears of organic joy.

Liquor Store (E. County)
Fox Creek Liquors, longmont
Well, anyplace that touts a giant Great Dane—especially one named Rufus—as their in-store mascot is cool with us. Fox Creek has a stellar reputation, and the dog’s just the beginning. Our readers love their selection and excellent service.

Liquor Store (Boulder)

Liquor Mart
No surprise here. Seriously, Liquor Mart is the go-to place for supplying wine snobs and college students alike. And it has been for years. It’s the most trustworthy shops of satisfying all your drinking wants and needs.

Wine Shop (E. County)
Fox Creek Liquors, Longmont
With an on-staff sommelier, this place is perfect for both budding and veteran winos in the area. And every Friday, Fox Creek hosts a wine tasting that’s practically the toast of the town.

Wine Shop (Boulder)
Boulder Wine Merchant
With so many options, you need a helping hand. At the Wine Merchant, the shopping experience is not complete without some advice from the staff. Counterdependent? Just explore the vast stock and you can’t go wrong (it’s all drinkable).

Musical Instruments (E. County)

Miller Music, Longmont
This Longmont spot is covered from floor to ceiling in instruments. But it’s not just the selection that’s brought swarms of musicians to this storefront since the mid 1970s. It’s the swagger.

Musical Instruments (Boulder)
Robbs Music
We like Robb’s motto: If you are gonna come, be prepared to rock. That’s just how they roll at this Boulder music refuge, where a super skilled staff of salespeople, teachers and repairmen ensure that all your musical needs are met.

Pet Supply Store (E. County)
Struttin Pup, Lafayette
For those of you who think “dog days” are a negative thing, you obviously have never been to Struttin Pup. Here, being a dog is not just nice, it’s pretty freakin’ awesome.

Pet Supply Store (Boulder)
PC’s Pantry
We say dog food should meet the standards of human food, and that’s much of what is dished up at PC Pantry, a dog and cat shop filled with pet toys and tools as well as an array of food finds, including dog birthday cakes.

(best services)

Auto Repair (E. County)
Stan’s Automotive, Lafayette
Why be just a regular customer when you can be treated like a friend? With a wide variety of services (from major engine repair to tire rotation), you and Stan will surely be bffs.

Auto Repair (Boulder)
Pellman’s Automotive
They’re recycle-friendly, offer high-quality services (with a waiting room that has WiFi), and they even have a blog for car tips with free professional advice.

Veterinarian (E. County)
Jasper Animal Hospital, lafayette
The customers of Jasper Animal Hospital have built loyalty over the years, making this vet the favorite in the area. If you come to Jasper, you’ll likely stay with Jasper.

Veterinarian (Boulder)
Broadway Animal Hospital and Pet Center
By promoting your pets’ health and putting its individual needs first, there’s no question why this is the best. Broadway Animal Hospital provides numerous services including doggy day care, grooming as well as usual vet offerings.

Private School
Alexander Dawson School, lafayette
Alexander Dawson treats students to a true experience—in the classroom and beyond. It’s mind-blowing the opportunities the students here have at their fingertips. It’s about allowing them to make the most of their school days, seeing the world and learning to make a difference in that world.

Public School
Peak to Peak Charter School, lafayette
Walk into the doors of Peak to Peak and you will immediately feel like your high school experience was inadequate. The college prep focus makes this not just one of the best high schools in the area, but one of the best in the country. Jealous?


Lacy is an award-winning food writer and blogger. She lives in Westminster with her family. Google