Food & Drink

24 warning signs that your bodega sucks

Bodegas: there's a fine line between the good ones, and the bad ones. A fine line that you might actually be crossing, 'cause you don't wanna cross the street at 4am to get your Horny Goat Weed, canned corn, e-cig, and votive candles. So you can be sure one way or the other, here're the 24 signs of a sucky bodega:

They microwave your bagel
Nobody should do this under any circumstance. Bodega or otherwise.

They don't take credit cards
And their ATM charges $3 or more.

The chicken salad doesn't get covered with cellophane at night
And they don't have AC in the Summer. Do. The. Math.

They don't give you a sleeve with your coffee
This is just plain wrong.

They aren't open 24hrs a day
Why would any self-respecting bodega want to miss the 3-6am deli sandwich and Cheetos rush??

They don't even have one craft beer
Seriously, have you seen the selection at some of the places these days?

What you thought was a Snickers Ice Cream Bar actually turned out to be just a frozen Snickers
Which is still pretty good, but we're deducting points for deception.

You ALWAYS have to tilt the coffee machine to fill your cup
Even if you're pretty sure you're the first one there.

The ice for your DIY iced coffee has dust on it
How does this even happen?

They have one of those swiveling bulletproof windows
No, it doesn't matter that it's "only for late-night".

It calls itself a bodega on the sign
Even worse if it doesn't appear to have a name beyond "bodega".

The off-brand Asian sex herbs and stacker pills are fresh
But all the milk is expired

There's a surprising amount of "water pipes"
A couple is fine, but you don't want to buy your paper towels from a head shop. Or do you?? (You don't.)

When you order the #7 or The Soprano or whatever goofily named sandwich they've got, the guy needs to ask you what's on it
It's just salami and cheese, bro.

All the meat at the deli counter is the same color
Grey.

They don't sell any two-ply toilet paper
We're not barbarians.

The only Ben & Jerry's flavor they have is Cherry Garcia
Where's the AmeriCone Dream? Karamel Sutra? Scotchy Scotch Scotch???

All the canned goods require an actual can opener
Why don't you have the pop-tops?

There are no six packs that actually have six beers in them
Not a single damn one.

They quit making sandwiches at 6:30pm
Which is six hours before you're actually gonna want a sandwich from a bodega.

The cashier is the guy who makes your sandwich
Which is even worse if you're not the guy actually getting the sandwich.

There's an omnipresent mop and bucket
But everything is still filthy.

There's always someone else in there who's mad
It doesn't even matter what for.

You frequently buy packaged food from them that is actually already open
Once could be a mistake, but don't let this happen twice.

Andrew Zimmer is Thrillist's NYC Editor, and he's always on the lookout for the bodega that's going to make the perfect sausage, egg, and cheese. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.