Our contest to find the best bodega in New York City began yesterday with the first of four heats. The winners of each day's contest will face off on Friday. Here's our second set of Best Bodega nominees:
Poppy's Gourmet Corner
"They are so friendly and also very helpful to neighborhood school kids," wrote one tipster. "Great straight up bodega," wrote another. In this era of bodega identity confusion, is that enough?
Corner Grocer at 140 Orchard Street
From the nomination: "Don’t say this about to many bodega’s in the city, but the recently opened Corner Grocer on the Lower East Side is great! The friendliest staff on the planet, extremely clean, amazing food and great products."
Zargoza Deli on Avenue A
A reader writes, "Zargoza Deli on Ave A and 13th St looks, from the outside, like a less-than-stellar Mexican grocery store. Upon closer inspection, however, one discovers a number of hidden gems?various fried snacks, real Mexican Coca-Cola (with sugar, not corn syrup!), and a selection of tacos available at the register. As a Los Angeles native who has since defected to the East Coast, I am constantly on the lookout for the tacos of my youth. Zargoza is the closest I've come to replacing those tacos of yore." The tipster also has a story to tell about Zargoza: "It was Cinqo de Mayo?c. 2007-08 (don't exactly remember). My friend and I dashed across the street to Zargoza for some late night snacks, and found a full-on fiesta inside their closet-sized space. There was a raucous Mariachi band crammed into the back, a soccer game on TV and, best of all, an apple-shaped Taco Maven pouring out shots of tequila at the register. I should also add that there was no limit per customer."
The bodega near Columbia at 109th and Amsterdam
Says the reader who nominates this one: "Home of the famous and notorious 'Spicy Special!'"
· Bodega Week 2012 coverage [Curbed]