Here’s a video capturing the great time had by all at this year’s Vendy Awards this past Saturday.
Amazingly, the rain held off on Saturday as food lovers and street vendors congregated on Governor’s Island for the 11th annual Vendy Awards. Every year, the Street Vendor Project brings together the best food vendors in New York to celebrate their hard work, delicious food, and raise money and awareness for their advocacy work. The membership-based organization provides legal and financial support to vendors and fight for their rights throughout the year. Their current campaign is to lift the caps put on permits back in the 1980’s that prevent many vendors from operating legally on the street.
The big winner this year was Snowday, a farm-to-truck business that makes maple syrup-inspired dishes. So they were serving up their hugely popular grilled cheese sandwiches smothered in sugary goodness and their deep fried pork ribs cooked in maple syrup. In addition to vending tasty food, they also have a social mission. Their truck is employed by previously incarcerated young people giving them a huge opportunity and contributing to social change. Snowday not only won the judge’s Vendy Cup, but they also won the People’s Choice Award. That has only happened once before at the Vendys, when King of Falafel swept in 2010.
Coney Shack took home the Rookie of the Year award for their overflowing southeast Asian tacos, Home Frite was crowned Market Vendor thanks to their addicting handcut french fries and unique dipping sauces, Dessert of the Year went to Doughnuttery that fried their delectable mini-donuts to order, and this year’s special Street Drinks category was swept by Renegade Lemonade who had a great display of fresh, seasonal lemonades. My favorite was the Thai Chili Tart Cherry.
One of our favorite stops on our Financial District Food Cart tour made a great showing this year. Biryani House owned by Shaheen Malik Akhtaruzzaman were nominated for Vendy Cup and wowed the crowd with their wonderful biryani and rich, tasty kati rolls.
Want to learn more about New York City’s amazing street food scene? Join us for our Food Cart Tours in the Financial District on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and in Midtown Manhattan on Thursdays and Fridays. Each two-hour tour includes generous tastings from six different carts and trucks, but it’s much more than just a food tour – you’ll get an insider’s view of the industry, learning what it takes to run these demanding curbside kitchens and meet the vendors themselves.