Imagine this: It's late at night, you're starving, and even though you have a fridge full of food, none of it is quite what you want. Unsure of what it is you’re hungry for exactly, you throw on your shoes, grab your keys, and head to the nearest bodega. You browse the aisle(s) for a few minutes before settling on an assortment of snacks. You arrive back home, ready to eat.
From experience, I can tell you there are two ways this scenario can end: A.) Your picks are excellent, your hunger subsides, and you return to your Netflix marathon, or B.) Your picks are terrible, you are left hungrier than when you started, and you return to your Netflix marathon.
Because hunger makes us all do crazy things sometimes (like reach for a bag of Tabasco-flavored jelly beans — something no human would ever do under normal circumstances), I’m here to make sure you never fall victim to Scenario B ever again. Take notes! Because we’ve ranked the five best and five worst late-night snacks you can pick up at the bodega.
Oh, Pringles, how I love thee. When was the last time you sat down with a tube full of these salty snacks? Go do it. Now.
Image: Mike Mozart/Flickr
Worst: Microwavable Pork Rinds
It’s best to keep your distance from these microwavable monstrosities. It’s a dark road you might not be prepared to go down.
Lowrey’s Bacon Curls (18-ct), $15, amazon.com
Best: Arizona Lemon Tea
Obviously, Arizona Iced Tea can’t be beat. That’s something we all learned in middle school, but I’m here to remind you that pretty much any craving can be satisfied with a good ol’ can of Arizona Lemon Iced Tea.
Worst: Vegetable Juice
Look, vegetable juice isn’t bad. I drink green smoothies at least three times a week, but when you are at a bodega that stocks the nectar of the gods (Arizona Iced Tea), why are you reaching for this?
Best: Breakfast Sandwiches
Bodega breakfast sandwiches are the ultimate cure for hangovers, boredom, and basically any of life’s other burdens. It’s likely your bodega will make you one at any hour of the day (or night).
Image: Kristen Taylor/Flickr
Worst: Pre-packaged Sandwiches
This may seem like a convenient way of snacking, but before you reach for that pre-packaged sandwich, stop. You can get better cold cuts for the same price.
Image: Jonathan Harford/Flickr
Best: Ben and Jerry's
I’ve never met a Ben and Jerry’s I didn’t like. You can’t go wrong with this late night classic.
Image: Robert Simmons/Flickr
Worst: Unusual Flavored Jelly Beans
Sure, you might be feeling adventurous with your snacking late at night, but take my advice and stay away from candy with flavors you can’t easily identify. It was a cold night in March when I purchased what turned out to be bag of Tabasco jelly beans. Lesson. Learned.
Image: Bob Mical/Flickr
Best: Good Jerky
Beef jerky isn’t everyone’s go-to snack, I know that. But good jerky is, well, good. I recommend King’s County, which my bodega is unfortunately sold out of at the moment. Trust me, it’s important to be selective…
Image: King’s County Jerky
Worst: Bad Jerky
…because bad jerky is the worst. No matter how drunk, tired, or hungry you are at the bodega, I can promise you this is never the answer.
Image: Calgary Reviews/Flickr