The Denver Metro Area has so much great local shopping, choosing where to go can be tough! This year, I am making a personal push to shop locally this holiday season for those on my list. Why? Well, shopping local not only benefits the local economy, but it creates local jobs, customer service is often better, and frankly, each area provides a uniqueness that makes Denver so great. Below is a list of our top local shopping areas that we hope you’ll consider visiting this holiday season.
Broadway – Central Denver
Hidden in the heart of Denver is a whole Broadway/Baker strip with all one-of-a-kind shops, completely unique from anything that you may find around town. I tend to think of this area as a Rock and Roll/Hipster/New Age vibe shopping experience. Take for instance Hazel & Dewey, a store which has the cutest, most unique kitchen items. Or, Fancy Tiger, an original hipster paradise, which not only has lesser known apparel brands, handmade jewelry, leather and paper goods, but is also any crafters go-to with rolls and rolls of fabric, crafting tools and even classes. When you’re done perusing in the shops and knocking some holiday gifts off your list, stop in at Cana Wine Bar. They offer happy hour specials every day that they’re open, plus small nibbles. This shopping area is the true Heart-of-Denver.
Cherry Creek North
Think Aspen-esque shopping right in the heart of Denver. With over 70% of the businesses in this area being local, you are sure to find something unique and special. We love perusing through The Brass Bed for home goods and The Artisan Center, where the price is anything but extravagant, but they have such cutest handmade and quirky gifts; perfect for babies, kids, friends and moms on your list. Have a sweet-tooth? Make sure to check out Victoria’s Chocolates. It’s the most beautiful, and one of the most delish chocolate stores you will ever set your feet in. There are also a gazillion restaurants that will keep you energized for all of the shops. I recommend the Cherry Creek Grill or The Cherry Cricket; both staples of this area. With too many fun, upscale, and unique shops to name, make sure to stop in to the Cherry Creek North shopping area asap!
Alright, please tell me who wouldn’t love a day of shopping in Boulder? You might think of Boulder as a college town, but did you also know it’s a great place for shopping and dining? Start out your experience at Angie Star Jewelry, where you can pick out some hand crafted jewelry to put on your own wish list! Head on over to Piece, Love, and Chocolate for a treat and the perfect thing for your Secret Santa with a sweet tooth! Two Hands Paperie is our next recommendation for calendars, note cards, planners, and other fabulous office finds. If you’re in need of nourishment after your shopping, Zoe Ma Ma is the place to go for some amazing noodles!
Downtown Fort Collins
Want to get out of town, but don’t want to go too far? Look no further than Fort Collins. I am a CSU Ram, and have so many fond memories of Downtown FoCo, including shopping with my mom when she would come up to visit. When we visit now, we love taking the family to Coopersmith’s Pub and Brewery, which has something for everyone. From there, we love to just walk around their kid-friendly downtown. My absolute favorite shops right now include The Cupboard, a kitchen store where you are sure to find gifts for everyone, and maybe even a few things for you; Blue Harvest Apparel, Dandelion Toys, Old Town Spice Shop and Rocky Mountain Olive Oil Company and Storm Men’s Shop. Fort Collins has really changed and grown with some of the best local shopping. There are so many specialty stores you are sure to enjoy the short drive north and find gifts for everyone.
The thing I find most special about Golden is that you feel like you are in the mountains, but you’re still just minutes from Denver. Nestled in the foothills just west of Denver, you will find Historic Downtown Golden. Since it’s just a short drive from home, I find myself consistently perusing Runners High, Truly Bohotique, and The Clothes Mine for unique apparel and accessories for both myself and others. This main street has so many shops, and definitely a little something for everyone. Golden is also home to eight different craft breweries, not counting Coors, and we also find the best pizza at Woody’s Wood Fired Pizza, which has an amazing buffet that even your kids will be excited about.
Downtown Littleton is a vibrant area in the suburbs of Denver. My girlfriends and I have been known to grab lunch at Merle’s; sipped on coffee from Spur Coffee; grabbed a beer (or two!) at Jakes Brew Bar; and, of course, taken the kiddos for ice cream at The Inside Scoop. Afterwards, our favorite shops along this historic, tree-lined street include Detail’s Boutique, which has the cutest women’s handbags, clothes, makeup, holiday gifts, etc.; The Velvet Wolf, which has tons of accessories and clothing at outstanding prices; the EVOO marketplace, which has a wide assortment of flavored olive oils and vinegars; and both Penzey’s Spices and The Savory Spice Shop, perfect for both gift-giving and stocking your kitchen up with fresh spices.
Downtown Louisville holds so much history and culture. With the large, leaf-filled trees and the 100+ year old wooden buildings, there is a unique charm about this shopping area. We love stopping in at Gifts at Cooper’s Corner and Found Underground Consignments for some of the cutest apparel and accessories. The Singing Cook is also a ‘must-visit’ when looking for gourmet food and kitchen gifts for the chef in your life. With over 100 shops, there is something for everyone in this charming shopping area.
The Highlands has really become of the hippest neighborhoods around, and increasingly family-friendly over the past several years. Just west of Downtown Denver, this area is centrally located. My mom’s night out group has had dinner several times at Trattoria Stella, with dessert at The Sweet Cow. We then walk along this area and found some cute shops for both men’s and women’s apparel and accessories. Our favs right now are Dragonfly Apparel, 32nd West, and West Side Books. Not only is this area simple to get to, but they have everything you need. It’s right in the Highlands Neighborhood, so street parking is a necessity, if you’re not lucky enough to already be walking distance.
Olde Town Arvada
An ease to get in to, right off of the I-70 corridor, Olde Town Arvada boasts a wide array of both local shops and restaurants. My girlfriend and I recently took our kids to Silvi’s Kitchen for lunch, and from there, we walked around and found The Olde Town Exchange and Lovely, two adorable shops for the women in your life. For some caffeine, we stopped at La Dolce Vida, which had an amazing pumpkin spice latte. As we kept walking, we also found Jake’s Toy Box, which was heaven for my four year old. Olde Town Arvada truly boasts that All-American town feel tree-lined streets, brick sidewalks in places, benches to simply sit and enjoy the scenery for a few minutes, and a multitude of local shops and restaurants.
South Pearl Street
Who would think that right in the middle of the historic Platt Park neighborhood would be some of the best local shops in town? That’s right, make sure to visit South Pearl Street this holiday season. Start out at The Sushi Den, Gaia Bistro, or Stella’s Coffee (all of which are amazing!) When you’re finished, just walk on down the block and find some amazing local stores. Our favorites for fun gifts, clothing, accessories, and everything in-between are 5 Green Boxes, Gracies, The Ruffly Rose and Paige on Pearl. There are also a ton of galleries, wellness, beauty, and even a cute little pet store. Don’t miss out on this true shopping gem of Denver!
In the Berkeley Neighborhood, Tennyson St. between 38th and 46th Avenues has just about everything you could be looking for. A funky little strip of shops awaits you to this central location. Here, you will find excellent local shopping opportunities, such as Second Star to the Right – a great children’s book shop, Berkeley Supply, a men’s store, XO Gift Company which has unique gifts for everyone on your list, and Co.alition, which has all different types of backpacks and messenger bags for everyone. Looking for a unique dining adventure? Drop on into the Denver Cat Company. It is a cat café where you can mingle with many of the adoptable cats, and enjoy a cup of coffee, tea and snacks. The West End Tap House, Hops & Pie and The Royal are some other (but not all!) great restaurants on this funky 8-block stretch.
If you get hungry or need some caffeine while you’re out, check out our Best Local Pizza and Best Local Coffee Shops recommendations for delicious eats and great pick me ups!