February 25, 2024

The first thing I noticed in Brooklyn is how vital bodegas are to everyday life.

A bodega in Brooklyn, New York.

A bodega in Brooklyn, New York.

Andrew Lichtenstein/Getty Images

While Orlando’s convenience stores are sporadically located in neighborhoods and usually filled with snacks, lottery tickets and alcohol – they’re usually placed next to gas stations on a main street and close to midnight.

In my experience, there is a bodega or local deli on almost every block in my neighborhood in Brooklyn. Also, bodegas in Brooklyn stay open later and have more diverse options.

Depending on the size, some local bodegas can carry everything from Deli Boar’s Head meat to laundry detergent, making it a true one-stop shop. I would never imagine buying chicken or fresh broccoli from a convenience store in Orlando even if the option was available, but the proximity makes quick and cheap food options more accessible.

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