Hood And Bodega Snacks, Ranked » VSB

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Hood And Bodega Snacks, Ranked

As someone who grew up in Harlem in the 90s, a very large part of my life is defined by the following:

1. Dipset Mixtapes

2. Sneaking top quality snacks from the bodega into a Magic Johnson movie theater, because fuck those inflated ass prices.

3. That horrible time when everyone’s auntie was reading their favorite Zane novel on the train

On any other occasion, I’d be glad to ruminate on numbers 1 and 3*, but this week I’d like to dedicate a few hundred words to the wonder of the hood snack.

Bodega snacks are the engine that keep the tiny hoodrat within the deep corners of my tattered soul alive and kicking. No matter how far I’ve come, I am never above a proper meal that can be cobbled from the change in the bottom of my purse. In fact, as I write this, I’m eating some Hot Cheetos for peak authenticity.

That said, some folks are absolute trash at their bodega snack selection. Just the other day, I was at my local corner store and saw someone go in and pick up some SunChips! SunChips my dude?? My sensibilities are still insulted by that dream deferred. I almost pulled that man aside and recited the lyrics to the Momma Dee gospel classic, “I Deserve.”

I was distraught. Verklempt even. But as a true woman of the people, I chose to suffer for my art, and turn it into the teachable moment that the masses so clearly need. I might even plan on disseminating this around light posts on my neighborhood as a PSA for my soon-to-be established non-profit, P.A.S.S. (People Against Shitty Snacks).

Ladies and Gentlemen, the next time you walk into the corner store, these are the only items you should be considering.**


1. Funyuns

Girl takes the M100 bus home from middle school every day. One day, the cute guy from her afterschool program sees her on the bus and makes a move to go and talk to her. Girl promptly runs away from Guy and gets off at the next (wrong) stop, cello case in tow, because she had stopped to pick up some Funyuns before getting on the bus, her breath was FLAMING, and who wants to deal with the cute guy telling everyone that you had hot Funyun breath? I mean, Girl is already carrying a cello. Girl regrets nothing, because Funyuns are fucking delicious. This may or may not be based on a true story.

2. Cheetos 

Anyone who gets Cheetos other than Hot Flaming Cheetos is someone who won’t tell you they’re married because “you never asked.” Don’t trust inferior Cheeto consumers.

3. Sunflower Seeds

There are two types of people in the world: the ones who eat sunflower seed shells and the ones that don’t. I’m pretty sure Joe Budden eats the shells.

4. Honey Buns 

I don’t care what anyone says, honey buns are the superior bodega dessert snack. Get the other Little Debbie snacks and Twinkles the hell out of here. I’d pick a honey bun over a Krispy Kreme Donut. I’d pick a honey bun over your mom’s flan. Not my mom’s flan though, because it’s delicious.

Honorable Mentions: Slim Jims (for the real nigga who likes jerky more than they respect their bowels), Hot Fries

Dishonorable Mentions: Salt and Vinegar Chips. Anyone who states that salt and vinegar chips are anything other than an abomination is more than likely the Feds and you should stop talking to them immediately for fear of incriminating yourself.


1. Arizona Iced Tea

Much like TI-83s, Prescription Glasses and Abortions, the price of an Arizona Iced Tea has somehow manage to remain resistant to price inflation in the past twentysomething years. That high fructose corn syrup laden “tea” might bring you closer and closer to diabetes, but it always wins for 1) remaining 99 cents well into the 21st century, 2) fitting perfectly into hoodie pockets for prime movie theater culinary trespassing endeavors. Green Tea or Half & Half are the only respectable flavors. Debate this with your favorite IG Honey who captions her pics with “cool, calm, and collective.”

2. Tropical Fantasy 

I’m pretty sure this drink is composed of a few carcinogens – but what’s a little risk to keep life interesting? I’m sure at least 10% of the male population reading this has their laptop perched gingerly atop their nuts & berries, forcing their fertility rates to fight the good fight against an overheated battery. Ask yourself, is a lengthy life expectancy worth disabusing yourself of the wonder that is Kola Champagne? If the answer is yes, then I’m here to tell you that the reason that the girl isn’t answering your DMs is that you’re boring. Do better.

3. Mistic 

This is only reserved for when you’re feeling a little classy. Maybe you really rocked the hell out of your pencil skirt. Or you got a new match on Tinder. Or Lil B publicly blessed the rest of your year. Whatever the reason, treat yoself to some Lotta Colada, boo. You deserve to live it up!

Honorable Mentions: Capri Sun. I know someone that one time chased shots of  Aristocrat Gin with Capri Sun once. That person is only able to bring these words to your screen today by the grace of the Lord Almighty.

Dishonorable Mentions: Sunny D, Quarter Waters. In case you were ever considering it, trying to make mimosas with Sunny Delight is a DISASTROUS idea. Chug that champagne straight and save yourself the struggle. Also, potentially consider your relationship with alcohol as you’re nearing 30 and still exploring inane ways to consume alcohol.

Go forth and prosper, my friends.

*Please stay tuned for the following posts: “An Unofficial Matrix of the Best Dipset Skits, Rated by Misogyny and Absurdity” and “Shamira Selects an Arbitrary Passage from a Zane Novel and Uses her Overpriced Liberal Arts Education to Engage in Some Critical Literary Analysis”

**I didn’t consider your Cheerwines or your Tahitian Treats or whatever other obscure items you can only find in Gullah Gullah Island, South Carolina, because I am a New Yorker, and am consequently not required to consider anything other than the five boroughs as has been determined by the New York Supreme Courts. 

Shamira Ibrahim

Shamira is a twentysomething New Yorker who likes all things Dipset. You can join her in waxing poetically about chicken, Cam'ron, and gentrification (gotta have some balance) under the influence of varying amounts of brown liquor at her semi-monthly blog, shamspam.tumblr.com

  • PhlyyPhree

    I’m only here for the picture of Super Donuts. How the Ohio Department of Education EVAH determined that those things were a reasonable substitute for breakfast for children, I’ll never know.

    But everytime I eat my entire daily calorie allotment in one greasy, sweet, always moist, dense as fuck portion, I’m grateful.

    • tgtaggie

      I remember those super donuts from elementary school. That was before I discovered crispy Kreme. Lol

      • Sigma_Since 93

        Franco Harris is behind Super Donuts

      • Nick Peters

        Microwave a crispy Kreme donut…a little slice of heaven.

    • miss t-lee

      We used to have donuts at breakfast too…lol

    • camilleblu

      lol…i remember having powdered donuts as a breakfast option

    • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

      Yaaaaasssss Super Donuts. Warm one of those suckas up and I swear you felt like you could be President Jesus. Yes. President Jesus.

      • PhlyyPhree

        President. Jesus.

        I think I’m gonna go get a Super Donut for lunch and figure out how I can get that feeling.

  • Pinks


    The little 7-year-old Queens girl in me is squealing SO hard right now. In addition to those listed above, I’d like to add:

    1. Marino’s italian ices in the yellow cup. The paper cup – not this newfangled plastic one they got. Cherry and pineapple flavors only
    2. a pickle straight out the jar on the counter. I used to pick up the little wooden tongs and try to fish the biggest joint out that mug, then get mad when I walked around smelling like old feet from sucking on it all day (PAUSE, SON)
    3. a little brown paper bag filled with $2 worth of candy, back when sour straws were 5c a piece, peanut chews were 5c, and swedish fish were a food group

    • Brandon Allen

      Because if you eat salt and vinegar you gotta have sand paper for a tongue.

      • Pinks

        I won’t stand for this slander. I WILL NOT.

        And the kettle cooked ones? Chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiile

        • miss t-lee

          I’m with you, salt and vinegar kettle chips?
          The truth and the light

        • Brandon Allen

          The kettle cooked is a new invention. My first introduction to salt and vinegar was as a child and to my young taste buds it had all the potency of gasoline. Maybe I’ll revisit them.

          • Honeybelle

            No they weren’t. Those New York Deli Chips were kettle fired chips

          • Pinks

            You must. The wise joints are too greasy and all-around terrible. Get you some good kettle cooked and you’ll be jess fine. I promise you.

            • miss t-lee

              Them Miss Vickie’s.
              Yes lawd!

              • Pinks

                My cousin’s boyfriend works for a company that ships them..we had barbecue and jalapeno miss vickie’s for two weeks. a nucca was in heaven!

                • miss t-lee

                  They’re so good.

          • Tiana

            Yeah, as a child, they tasted like rotten despair. But I’ll kill them bastids as an adult. Kettle cooked are King.

        • I’ve been nice, but now i’d downvoting anybody denouncing salt n vinegar chips. You the feds.

          • Pinks

            and a dirty, crooked fed at that.

      • camilleblu

        sir, please stop the slander

      • Nick Peters


    • Sigma_Since 93

      #1 when you use the lid as a spoon!

      Stella Dora breadsticks the sweet one shaped like an S that came from the factory in the Bronx across from the old Yankee Stadium! mayne listen

      • Pinks

        Or when they used to give you the little wooden spoon shaped like an 8 wrapped in white paper…

        I hated Stella Dora..my grandmother’s friend used to try to feed me them stale joints from on top her fridge like 7 years after she bought them and I have been traumatized ever since.

        • Honeybelle

          The Marino ices were the best & the bottom was the best part. That or those huge Footlong Gator Iceies…

          • Sigma_Since 93

            “the bottom was the best part.””

            Did you flip yours over and start from the bottom first?

          • Pinks

            I used to cut the sides of my mouth religiously on them dang icees. Did no one in quality control think about how vicious that plastic would be to young mouth tissue? SMDH

    • That girl MEL!

      Listen! We used to go to the penny candy dude and get the $100 bag (which was a dollar worth of penny candy). Listen 100 fruity tootsie rolls and some loose now’a’latas! Kid heaven!

      • Sigma_Since 93

        The penny candy store was right across from the church. I would tithe my dollar, give my ten cent offering, and 80 cents went to the candy man every single Sunday! lol

      • Pinks

        I wanted all the peach rings and apple rings

      • LogicalLeopard

        The closest in life I’ve ever been to the status of a drug dealer or professional ball player is when I was holding a paper sack full of penny candy. Instant entourage. Sometimes, if they found out you had a dollar before you got there, the whole squad would roll into the candy store

    • Tonja (aka Cheeks)

      Yeah salt and vinegar is the way. Just had some the other day with my sammich. Good times.

    • Nick Peters

      How are we all alive and healthy now?

      • PhlyyPhree

        Grace of God, my n i g ga
        Grace. of. Gawd

      • KB

        Because we balanced all of this unhealthy eating by you know, actually going outside and being active during the day.

      • Pinks

        Because we actually had to go outside and play. The sugar didn’t have time to set in and kill us lol

        • jolly

          Thank God for Double Dutch. ’bout to start a lil’ pick up team haha

          Honorable Mentions:

          Sour Belts- Sour straws are cool but nothing NOTHING compares to those flat strips of goodness red or green. Flavor dimensions on dimensions

          Blow Pops- no explanation necessary

          Watermelon & Peach Slice- lollipops

          Cry-babies- I still eat these occasionally for the sport of not wincing as you suck that toxic outside layer off to get to the gum.

          ***YASS all the way for the gloriousness that is that can of Arizona Iced Tea, perfect ice cold hood refreshment for any occasion***

          • Erica Nicole Griffin

            Jolly, I wonder if you are from the south because all of these snacks were part of my ATL rearing.

            • jolly

              Brooklyn, NYC born and bred, but-Migrations. We all family! Glad you recognize the good stuff too!

    • this list basically sums up my SoCal childhood. with the inclusion of Mexican candy (saladitos, lucas, vero mango, tamarindo). a summer day wasnt complete without crowding the neighborhood ice cream man’s truck to acquire this goodness.

      • jolly

        We had a neighborhood ice cream man too! He doubled as the ice cream man & the corner store candy set up in the summertime! God bless/RIP Johnny of Starrett City, East New York, Brooklyn!!

    • Lana

      Bruh . The Butter Crunch cookies .. and that brown bag though! !!!!! Coconut longboys and Chico sticks was my ish….

    • orchid921

      My inner Bronx girl just high-fived you. Marino’s …. yesssss!!! I gotta give some love to the orange and lemon flavors too. So yummy. I want some penny candy and a kosher pickle too!

    • Unicorn Tears

      Ugh, I HATED the Salt and Vinegar chips and allll my friends loved it. I never understood why, I’m gagging just thinking about it -_-

      Does anyone remember Mistic SPARKLING though??? I thought I was fan-cy when I drank those lol. Sigh…memories.

  • TJ

    Are pickled eggs and hot sausage too Southern? Lmao. I never had either, but living in the South has exposed me to these vinegar-ridden delicacies…

    • cakes_and_pies

      You forgot pig’s feet, which is gross.

      • camilleblu

        yo…my mom totally cooked pig’s feet when i was growing up…and i happily ate that shyt until i left for college…and then apparently i gained some senses…cuz YUCK, lol.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          I stopped when we were at a friends house for Sunday dinner and the knuckle still had hair on it. My mom was in the process of showing me her pimp hand when I blurted out “Look it’s got hair on it!!!” The rest of the dinner was very awkward and we never ate there after church again.

          • camilleblu


        • cakes_and_pies

          Ewww. I just can’t eat something with a knuckle and toe still attached.

    • miss t-lee

      I believe so.
      All I know is I’ve seen jars of pickled eggs that look they’ve been around since the Eisenhower administration.

    • Yes lol I like pickled eggs. But I’ve been eating them since I was a little girl so I’m probably biased.

  • Missus Maxwell

    Gotta represent my hometown hood snacks here: Red Hot Riplets, Hot Diggetys, Vess Soda (grape still goes so hard), and those pink peanut patties (what’s that pink ish?). STL all day, errrr’day!

    • Are those real words?

    • miss t-lee

      them pink peanut patties…yes!

  • Honey buns are the goat. Glazed > icing.

  • camilleblu

    lissen here SHAMIRA…what you won’t do is denigrate my salt n vinegar chips…bish…those chips give me life when i’m on life support. oh…and yeah…real G’s fuck with slim jims.

    • Heh. When my little sister (now 19, but she gon’ always be little to me) was three, she loved her some salt and vinegar chips. Loved them! We would laugh because she’d eat them ’til her lips were ashy. LOL. But her dad (my step-dad) loved them, too, so…

      • camilleblu

        girl…those chips make your lips and mouth feel like the sahara incarnate, but i just cannot quit them.

    • I amost flipped my desk over when she denounced salt n vinegar chips. which i still eat.

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  • Sigma_Since 93

    How did the following items not make the cut:

    Penny candy when it was 1 cent
    Pickles with the lollipop placed in the middle – I don’t know why the cuties in the neighborhood did it but they did.
    The hood lady that sold icees out of her house for a quarter – The hood entrepreneurial spirit at it’s finest!
    Anything Little Debbie

    • Oh man. Shouts out to Lil Debbie zebra cakes. I can’t eff with you now, but may you always be delicious.

      • PhlyyPhree


        • QuirlyGirly

          Zebra cakes is the hood edition of the black and white cookie

        • lol who is in this gif? ‘Cause it’s hilarious.

          • PhlyyPhree

            Lil B the Based God. He’s awesome

            • Oh okay. We follow each other on Twitter but I think I muted him lol.

              • PhlyyPhree

                Definitely samesies. I forget whyyyyy I followed him but th unrelentless positivity started giving me migraines.

      • Medium Meech

        Maybe I’m an old Soul but the lil’ Deborah (we go way back, I knew here before she got hollywood) oatmeal cream pies… The kids thought I was bougie because I liked those and Swiss roles. I thought you would be repping the peanut chews? Those things are delicious.

        • I did not dig the oatmeal creme pies, they tasted like old people snacks. Liking those does make you bougie, tho liking Swiss Rolls makes you a man. I am SO not a peanut chews fan.

      • Those things were so dry though, you needed a quart of milk to eat them

        • I would eat them so fast, the dryness wouldn’t even register. And the icing layer was sufficient.

    • God Shammgod

      Pickles with what?! Why didn’t your friends love you??

      • Sigma_Since 93

        That whole sweet / sour combination. The cute honeys with the jelly shoes used to bite the top off the pickle and place the Charm’s Blowpop in the middle.

        You can’t kill my childhood memories with your bougie!

    • QuirlyGirly

      Man those Big Bol was a penny and they was dissolving gum wrapped in pink sugar. I love them!!

  • Brandon Allen

    Poll….Glazed or Iced Honey Buns?

    • Glazed.

      • Brandon Allen

        It’s the only way.

    • miss t-lee

      glazed, warmed up in the oven, w/butter

      • Brandon Allen

        Oooh. That’s gourmet.

        • miss t-lee

          Real fat girl sh*t. Get into it.

          • camilleblu


            • miss t-lee

              I can teach you how to elevate your snacks, mayne…lol

              • Lea Thrace

                and your blood pressure… lol!

                • miss t-lee

                  Disclaimer: Try at your own risk.

      • cakes_and_pies

        I know someone who covers his in peanut butter, but he spent some time in prison. So that’s why.

        • miss t-lee

          This would totally defeat the purpose of the honey bun, IMO.

        • camilleblu

          i’m cackling SO hard right now

    • Pinks

      Iced. With the thick white icing you can peel off

      • Sounds erotic

        • Pinks

          Should’ve added a pause, son

    • Glazed. Don’t try to convince me of anything else neither.

    • haute_coutoy

      Glazed. #alldayallday

    • PhlyyPhree

      Glazed. You crazy?

    • Medium Meech

      Both, Bit Texas Cinnamon bun. Caution, the human pancreas can only process one every 2-6 months.

    • QuirlyGirly

      Iced..Some brands don’t do the glaze right and you are left with a soaky bun and that is no bueno

    • Brass Tacks

      Glazed. Pop that joint in a microwave and watch babies get made.

    • Glazed only

  • miss t-lee

    My all-time favorite faves:

    cool cup, from your neighborhood candy lady
    sour pickles out the jar on the counter
    flamin’ hot cheetos/funyuns
    fried pies
    questionable “beef” jerky (in the little plastic cases, pick it yourself)
    vero mango lollipops
    jolly rancher stix (although hard to find these days)

  • Brandon Allen

    Does Tropical Fantasy still make their knock off snapples? I just moved back to NY and I can only find the sodas. I’m distraught.

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