Photos: Ten toughest Best of Denver categories to win again -- and the current champs

Big photos below.
We're building up to our annual Best of Denver issue, and we need your help. Click to nominate your faves for Best of Denver 2014 in our readers poll.

As you'll see, the poll includes our most popular categories in food, music, nightlife and more. But which are the toughtest to win two years in a row? Continue to see the current champs in our top picks for the top ten, as seen in photos accompanying the original award text. Do you think any of them can repeat? Judge for yourself below.

Number 10: Best Bartender -- Courtney Wilson

Being a great bartender is about far more than mixing magic -- although that element is certainly important. But a bartender's role behind the stick is also about spending time with those bellied up to the bar, whether they're high rollers or gravediggers. And Courtney Wilson, now a bartender at the very new Old Major after her most recent stint at Williams & Graham, deserves heroine worship for the way she straddles the line between professional and perky. She's engaging and exuberant and nearly religious when waxing poetic about the city's cocktail landscape, and she's clearly moved by spirits, as evidenced by her ingenuity when crafting cocktails -- whether they're on the syllabus or one of her clever one-offs. Wilson comes off as genuine and knowledgeable but never snooty, and she doesn't overthink what she pours in your drink. Like the pro that she is, she just gets it.

Readers' choice: Gerard Collier, Corner House

Number 9: Best hair on a TV personality, female -- Anastasiya Bolton

In a review of the largely forgotten 1985 movie The Year of the Dragon, starring Mickey Rourke, critic Elvis Mitchell coined the term "mood hair," suggesting that Rourke's 'do adapted to the demands of any particular scene like a mood ring reflecting the emotions of the person wearing it. Anastasiya Bolton's hair is something like that -- a blend of multi-hued locks that look deadly serious when the topic is grim, fun and sporty when the subject matter is lighter. How does she do it? Hell if we know. But we're still impressed by the way the brainy Bolton's cut seems to have a mind of its own.

Readers' choice: Amelia Earhart, 9News

Continue to keep counting down our list of the ten toughest Best of Denver categories to win again -- and the current champs.

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The Meadowlark is the best music scene. Small, intimate, and great musicians. Best jazz in town on Mondays. And the Lumineers got started playing a bunch of gigs there.

Brad Beale
Brad Beale

I assure you Robin The Highland Tap & Burger takes great pride in our food and our community. Just as the Highland Tavern does and all LOHI businesses should! We consider the Best Of Denver Westword as a friendly competition and dearly love our neighbors and hope they all get the recognition they truly deserve. Don't forget to vote in the best neighborhood category!

Ben Jammin
Ben Jammin

Robin Shaw, I'm not sure where you got your information. I get the "tap burger" at Highland tap and burger and it is massive, comes with a large portion of fries, all for $10.50. It's delicious and a pretty good deal too.


I drive by city grille on colfax and see a sign that claims "best burger in denver" by Westword, etc, I stop in to test this theory myself and I concluded that you can't take any of these "best of" things seriously. Does city grille have a good burger yea it's ok not worth the $10 I spent on it and definitely not the "best" burger in Denver as Westword claims. I've had a better tasting burger from jersey street bar and grill. Honest journalism and really just honesty in general is practically dead in our society. You want to know where the best burger in town is? Your best bet is to go figure it out for yourself instead of relying on one of these "best of" surveys

Daniel J. King IV
Daniel J. King IV

$2 & $1 MENU McDonald's & Burger King UNTIL Obama is REMOVED by Operation #AmericanSpring on May 16, 2014 !!!

Virginia Lee
Virginia Lee

Burgers & fries look too burnt & greasy...yukkk

WillieStortz topcommenter

Is the Highland Tap victory due more to their ownership pushing their patrons to vote? They usually promote that stuff on their Facebook page.

They aren't winning based on the quality of their burger. The patty resembles something you would buy frozen at King Soopers in the reduced for quick sale section.

Robin Shaw
Robin Shaw

Tap and Burger is too expensive! They charge over $15 for a tiny burger and an arm for a beer! Go to Highland Tavern instead!!! They take much pride and are reasonably priced!

Ashley Bjorkman
Ashley Bjorkman

Gerard Collier does rock but he isn't at Corner House anymore! He is at TAG! :)

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@WillieStortz  ... The "Best of" is chosen by Wasteword staff, so it's the food and places that Queen Patty, Michael "fluffmaster" Roberts, Bongsucker Billy, Lori "3 gallons in a 1 gallon jug" Midson and Gretchen Kurtz decide they like best ... or which ones are owned and operated by their pals ...or which ones they care to promote with a eye to future advertising revenue from the winners.


Hi Robin,

Actually the average price for one of our signature burgers at Highland Tap is $10 including fries and we take just as much pride in our food and our community as all of our LoHi neighbors including the Highland Tavern.

We consider the Westword's "Best of Denver" as a friendly competition.

We dearly love all our neighbors and hope they all get the recognition they truly deserve! Be sure to vote in the best neighborhood catergory!

Brad Beale

Highland Tap & Burger

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