Celebrate NYC’s Best Street Food at the Vendy Awards

For more than a decade, the Vendy Awards have been celebrating the unique – and delicious – contributions that street vendors make to this great city. The event takes place on Governors Island, where 25 of the best vendors gather for an all-you-can-eat-and-drink extravaganza. The lineup of vendors will be announced later this summer, and every year it is a great cross-section of the diverse vendor community, with categories including Best Dessert, Best Market Vendor (to acknowledge all the amazing pop-up vendors), Rookie of the Year, and the coveted Vendy Cup. All proceeds from the event benefit the Street Vendor Project, a non-profit organization that supports and advocates for vendors, a project of the Urban Justice Center.

Saturday, Sep. 22, 2018 | Governors Island 

PIX11 News: History of Food Carts and Vendors in NYC is Celebrated

Pix News logo with white text on blue background and an image that looks like the symbol for a pause button

PIX 11 News, aired November 29, 2017

by Greg Mocker

Greg Mocker of PIX 11 News not only attended our panel discussion at the Museum at Eldridge Street, which included panelists from the Street Vendor Project, 800BuyCart, Cinnamon Snail, Veronica’s Kitchen, and moderated by our own Cindy VandenBosch, he also made sure that he tried some street food from Midtown’s Royal Halal, one of our favorites.

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Traveller Australia: Food Truckin’ in the Big Apple

A T in a turquoise circle on white background. The Traveller Australia logo

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.

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Harper’s Bazaar Spain: Esto es lo que se come ahora en las calles de Nueva York

Harper's Bazaar Spain Logo

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.

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The Great War and NYC: Street Vendors and Public Markets

A mail truck transformed into a market wagon carrying food

April 6, 2017 marked the 100th anniversary of the US entry into the First World War. America’s involvement was comparatively brief, yet the war had massive impacts on American society. This year, we will be posting a series of articles about the ways in which the war affected the sites where we work in New York City.


New York City was far removed from the battlefields, occupied territories, and blockaded countries locked in the struggle of the First World War. While many of those places experienced food rationing, shortages, even deadly famines, the US was largely spared these deprivations. Nevertheless, the war was extremely disruptive to the food system of the nation and New York City, leading to the creation of new modes of food distribution to respond to this national crisis.>> Continue reading

Cinnamon Snail Debuts Cookbook, Rolls Out Food Truck Tonight at Powerhouse Arena

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

National Geographic Intelligent Travel: Hyper-Local Tours in NYC

National Geographic Intelligent Travel, April 4, 2013

by Rainer Jenss

[T]his very atypical tour was well worth the effort — for my family, and for others who want to dig a little deeper while they’re in New York. Best of all, if you’re in the city with the kids, besides maybe saving you some money, you won’t have to worry about finding a family-friendly restaurant and keeping the kids entertained – at least for one afternoon.

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Our Day at City Hall: Council Approves Package of Street Vendor Measures

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

City Council Set to Vote to Lower Fines on Street Vendors

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

Turnstile Tours at the 2012 Vendy Awards [Video]

As a street vendor we know likes to say, “Food is love.” If that’s so, then the Vendy Awards are a massive, jubilant, gut-busting celebration of that love. Each year, vendors from across New York City are brought to Governors Island not so much to compete, but the share their food and stand up for their rights (though winning the coveted Vendy Cup is a big, big deal – just ask the winners). The event’s sponsor, the Street Vendor Project, which provides advocacy and legal services to vendors, tries to bring together vendors of all backgrounds – humble, immigrant-owned carts from the outer boroughs stand beside slick, high-flying gourmet trucks. And everybody spends the day eating until they can hardly move.>> Continue reading