It’s all about getting what you want, whenever you want. A bodega is located at most corners, where you can buy most of your groceries, and pet the store’s pet cat. In fancier neighborhoods, you can visit a Sunac or Khim’s, where you can buy sushi, a green juice, and toothpaste. And if none of that works, you can also order from any restaurant in the area from Seamless.
When I think of New York City, I can’t help but think of food. The food culture of NYC is undoubtedly strong and the system of ordering food is very unique. As a fast, ruthless city, we want our food fast, yet New Yorkers tend to not compromise certain ideals–We want our food fast and at least 9.0 rating on Foursquare.
Let’s consider all of the types places you can get food in New York: family-owned bodegas and restaurants, food trucks, coffee shops, franchised restaurants, etc. Not to mention delivery services, most popularly, Seamless.
When there are a thousand coffee shops in Brooklyn, how does one stand out?
Recently I met a few friends at a Bakery in Williamsburg, cleverly named, Bakeri. It has various types of coffee drinks, savory, and sweet pastries. I ordered a small iced coffee and a savory tart. After I ordered I was handed a metal stand with a beautifully designed card with the number “13”. At most places, like the many franchise restaurants surrounding the NYU campus, the user flow is typically:
- Stand in line
- Order standing up
- Pay for order
- Asked if you are staying or leaving (optional)
- Stay and sit at a table (regardless of previous answer)
- Leave with food
However, at Bakeri when I tried to pay, I was told that I will pay when I leave. This I believe, was designed to give patrons the feeling that this coffee shop was different than others. I sat down at a table in the garden backyard where I was brought my coffee and pastry. Upon leaving, my friends and I nearly walked out without paying. We were in no position to dine and dash on a Sunday morning; we merely forgot. A memorable experience, perhaps how the owners intended.
Get your bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll, with ketchup, from a food truck
New Yorkers love convenience. Who has time to wait in line at Starbucks? Especially when a food truck is parked right outside your work. When you order a coffee in the NYC iconic coffee cup, you’ll be given a napkin to prevent your hands from burning–who needs sleeves?! For a few dollars you can get a staple bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, usually served on a roll. Food trucks don’t just serve breakfast, you can find a food truck for any type of restaurant, most commonly Halal food.