The best day of the year is fast approaching: Saturday, September 21, 2019, the day of the 15th – and final – New York City Vendy Awards. For 15 years, the Street Vendor Project has been convening carts, trucks, and pop-ups to serve up the best street food New York City has to offer, in order to raise awareness about the plight of vendors and raise money for their vital mission. Started in 2005 with just four vendors gathered in commissary garage in the East Village, and attended by just 250 guests, the Vendys have grown into one of the city’s premiere food events, featuring two dozen vendors and 2,000+ attendees flocking to Governors Island.
This year’s competition will feature three categories instead of the usual five: Best Dessert, Best Freshman (for first-time Vendy competitors), and the All-Star Vendy Cup, featuring 15 vendors that have collectively earned 25 nominations, nine Vendy Awards, and three Vendy Cup championships, including two finalists from the first Vendys in 2005, Tony Dragon’s and NY Dosas (see the full list of 2019 nominees). The event is all-you-can-eat-and-drink, and all of the proceeds benefit the Street Vendor Project. This may be the final Vendys, but SVP will continue to support and celebrate the vendor community, so stay connected, and you can prepare for the Vendys by joining one of our Food Cart Tours.
15th Annual Vendy Awards
icon-calendar SAT, Sep 21, 12pm
20+ street vendors, all you can eat and drink
On April 11, the New York City Council Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing held a hearing on a package of bills affecting street vendors, most important among them a proposal that would raise the artificial cap put on the number of mobile food vendors that has been in place since 1983. For the third time in six years, we were at City Hall with the Street Vendor Project to make our voices heard.
Intro 1116 would take several steps to address the issue of black-market permit renting. While Mobile Food Vending Permits only cost $200 for two years, they can be renewed indefinitely, and there is a hard cap of 5,100 permits available. As a result, very few permits come back into circulation, and most permit holders don’t actually vend, but rent their permit to working vendors; the going rate is currently around $25,000.>> Continue reading
Gabs Photography, January 11, 2018
by Gabriela Hengeveld
When we were invited to visit New York for a story about the Bronx we got in touch with Turnstile Tours an organization providing tours to visit and eat at different Food Trucks. The organization found a way of entertaining tourist whilst at the same time having a positive social impact. Supporting local Food Truck businesses, mostly run by newly arrived Immigrants. They not only help the entrepreneurs with customers but also providing them with legal advise through a specific NGO so they can better set up their businesses.
>> Read more
Join us on Nov. 29 at the Museum at Eldridge Street when Cindy VandenBosch will be moderating a conversation about street vending, past and present, covering the industry’s deep roots on the Lower East Side, hearing from some of today’s most popular sidewalk chefs, and learning about the the many other players that support this industry. Panelists will include Adam Sobel of the Vendy Awards-winning kosher vegan food truck The Cinnamon Snail, Jack Beller of multigenerational food cart fabricator Worksman Cycles-800BuyCart, Lower Manhattan street vendor Veronica Julien of Veronica’s Kitchen, and attorney and advocate Matt Shapiro of the Street Vendor Project.
Traveller Australia, June 30, 2017
by Rob McFarland
“What do you think was the first food sold on the streets of New York?” asks Doug, our enthusiastic guide from Turnstile Tours. Our group stands in stony silence with furrowed brows. Everyone else is from an 18-35s Contiki tour and some of them haven’t been to bed yet after last night’s revelry. It’s a little early for quizzes.
The unexpected answer is oysters. New York once had vast oyster beds and in the early 1900s they were sold by street vendors as a low-cost snack.
>> Read More
Harper’s Bazaar Spain, May 4, 2017
by Sergio Cabrera
Las calles del Midtown de Nueva York se encuentran siempre en constante ebullición. En el que bien podríamos considerar epicentro del planeta, nunca se duerme. Y mucho menos ahora, cuando el lugar más turístico por excelencia se reivindica como uno de los rincones con más novedades que ofrecer en la Gran Manzana.
Imprescindible por sus iconos, tales como el Empire State Building, la Grand Central Terminal, el Rockefeller Center, las principales tiendas de la Quinta Avenida o Broadway y Times Square, el Midtown de Nueva York se ha convertido también en todo un encuentro de tendencias gastronómicas. Concretamente, las que giran entorno a la comida callejera. Puestos ambulantes y pequeños mostradores en tiendas de todos los tamaños compiten por convertirse en el negocio que ofrezca el bocado rápido más de moda. En torno al Bryant Park, hay docenas para elegir, a cuál más interesante.
>> Read More
Makansutra, September 20, 2015
by KF Seetoh
I was taken on a food and heritage spin around Brooklyn, “to places where tourist would look out of place” ironically by Cindy Vandenbosch, founder of Turnstile Tours (www.turnstiletours.com), and her husband Andrew Gustafson, offering a range of tours and have 7 guides under their fold specialising in different fields, including food. A chunk of their profits goes to the Vendy folks to support their efforts in protecting the livelihoods of the migrant food cart vendors.
>> Read more
Just over two months ago, Adam Sobel of The Cinnamon Snail – one of New York City’s most popular food trucks and the reigning Vendy Cup champion – made the shocking announcement that they would be calling it quits from the streets of New York. Cinnamon Snail had won four Vendy Awards for their big, bold, vegan flavors, garnering long lines at lunch time no matter what neighborhood in the city they parked.
So why did they pull the plug on this hugely popular food truck? Adam discussed the decision with Grub Street, and recently he appeared on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show alongside Street Vendor Project director Sean Basinski. In short, Adam expressed his frustration with the current permit system for mobile food vendors in New York City.>> Continue reading
As promised, Wednesday was an inspiring day, the culmination of years of hard work and campaigning by our partners, vendors, and friends. Though a seemingly small piece of legislation was approved by the New York City Council (and it’s not law yet, as the mayor has promised to veto it), it is something that will have a real impact on the lives of thousands of workers in this city, and the proceedings brought attention to important issues that usually get little public notice.
Our team members Cindy VandenBosch, Rich Garr, Andrew Gustafson, and Brian Hoffman were on hand for the session, though we saw them from slightly different vantage points – Cindy and Rich, from inside the City Council chamber, amidst vendors and supporters; Andrew and Brian, from the sidewalk outside the City Hall gates, then Andrew from an office computer via streaming video.>> Continue reading
Wednesday is a big day for New York City’s street vendors. After months of stalling, the speaker of the City Council (and mayoral candidate) Christine Quinn has finally promised to bring to a vote legislation to reduce and simplify fines imposed on vendors. This vote comes after years of campaigning and lobbying by the Street Vendor Project, including months of plastering posters with Speaker Quinn’s face on carts across the city to pressure her to call the vote.>> Continue reading