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Here's what makes a great bodega--and why you should care

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Just as a hearty assortment of restaurants that deliver is an important neighborhood amenity for apartment hunters to consider, the bodega/corner deli situation can also impact your day-to-day quality of life, especially if you're farther than a couple of blocks from a grocery or drug store or one of those fancy new hybrid Duane Reades. 

So what makes a good bodega? Funny you should ask.

Over on CurbedNY, Bodega Week is unfolding, a fascinating Curbed-Eater-Racked collaboration featuring bodega maps and facts, a reader-voted contest for best bodega, architects’ futuristic visions for bodegas and more. We read with interest the criteria mentioned by readers in a couple of early nominations for best bodega:

  • Friendly
  • Fast delivery
  • Will spot you a couple bucks if you come up short
  • No weevils in cereal; fruit/vegetables not spoiled
  • Great Ben & Jerry's selection

To which we would add, a great bodega will also:

  • Pretend not to notice your dog
  • Spy on your teenage children (food choices, friends, etc)
  • Card said teenagers when they try to buy beer/cigarettes
  • Know you by name or at least face
  • Perpetually have guacamole-ready avocados on hand
  • Charge less than $8 for a box of Cheerios and $6 for Wheat Thins
  • Serve fresh coffee without that bottom-of-the-pot burnt flavor
  • Save you a Sunday Times
  • Accept packages if you live in a non-doorman building
  • Sell stamps
  • Have stroller-sized aisles
  • Carry baby necessities like diapers, formula, even organic whole milk, plus Pedialyte and Children's Tylenol for when your tyke gets sick in the middle of the night (see above)
  • Wrap flowers in paper that doesn't look like it came from the bodega, for gifting purposes

How about you? What's on your bodega wish list? Comment below.

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