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

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By Teri Karush Rogers  |
March 14, 2012 - 9:49AM

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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Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral

Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

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