Shopping at Bodegas: What to buy and what not to buy 

Shopping at Bodegas: What to buy and what not to buy 

The word bodega is a Spanish word, meaning warehouse or a storeroom.  In New York City, the word refers more to a small convenience store, a corner store we might buy everything from chips, bacon, baby formula, and sweets, to beer and bleach. 

In some neighborhoods, the traditional grocery stores are few and far between, so if you need to buy just a couple of items, your local bodega will probably have what you need.    Bodegas are always within walking distance, and most of them are open 24/7. There's a saying: if you can’t find one nearby, just turn around.  

It sounds like a perfect solution. but it’s only fair to say that the quality of some products offered is not the best. Actually, quality varies. Here are several things of good quality that you can always find in a bodega. 

 Breakfast sandwiches 

If you’re in a hurry and need a takeout breakfast a bacon, cheese, and egg sandwich is standard fare in New York City. There are many choices offered: hard roll, soft roll, bagel, toast, sausage, ham or turkey, depending on the bodega of choice. Whatever the combination you prefer, there’s probably no better or inexpensive way to start a busy, tightly-scheduled day. 


There are so many kinds and flavors. Pork rinds, cheese puffs, Utz or regular potato chips with salt or chili.  Pick an individual (small) bag or a family-size bag; every bodega has an entire shelf full.   

Frosted sweets 

Addicted to sugar? When you want to indulge in that craving, feed your sweet tooth, or just have a sudden attack of the munchies, bodegas are here to help.  Whether it’s Drake’s Cakes, Honey Buns, or Hostess Cupcakes, bodegas will have it.  


Liquor stores are not always convenient. However, you can always pick up a brew at your local bodega. Some of them offer a pretty impressive selection of beer, even some imported brands. They sell by piece; there’s no obligation to buy a six-pack or more, so you can mix and match on your own. 

Ice Cream 

No bodega that holds to its own name can be found without a freezer filled with this frozen delight. Cones, ice cream on a stick, pops, individual cups,  or pints, bodegas usually have a wide variety. So, get your spoon ready.  

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