Tag Archives: Vendy Awards

Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

If you read this blog, it’s no secret that I absolutely love The Vendy Awards. It’s a full day of eating such amazing diverse food on an island minutes away from Manhattan. But it’s also a celebration of the community and hard work of the vendors on the streets of New York. I’ve been attending this annual event for the last seven years and I guess it’s at that point when they ask you to host the entire thing.

I’m well-connected to the Street Vendor Project through my work with Turnstile Tours. We give food cart tours to educate the public on the hardships of street vending and we donate time and money to the advocacy work of SVP.

When they couldn’t get a celebrity emcee this year, they turned to the biggest star of all: me!

So it was pretty cool. I got to be on the mic, talk way too much, and announce the winners. I felt like Billy Crystal without the millions of people watching or the fat paycheck.

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Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

THE GOOD BATCH, 936 Fulton Street, Clinton Hill, BrooklynThe Vendy Awards is my favorite day of the year. For the last eight years, I have done everything in my power to attend the festival dedicated to the best street food in the city. Not only is it a full day of eating, but it’s a day to support the Street Vendor Project and their advocacy work in fighting for better laws and rights of street vendors.

I am very invested in the day for many reasons: a) I lead food cart tours for Turnstile Tours, b) we’re sponsors of the event, c) I believe in the cause, and d) the food is undeniably delicious. And in years past, I have spent weeks documenting the nominees through a series of videos.

But this year, because I was in Europe for most of the summer, I was not able to dedicate as much time to meeting and documenting the vendors and their businesses. In fact, going into the Vendy Awards, I was only familiar with a handful of the nominees. Which meant I had to eat from every single one of the 26 nominees in less than four hours.

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I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2015…

Calamari Tacos at CONEY SHACK

It was no fluke that Coney Shack won the Vendy Award for Rookie of the Year. Lawrence Mach and his crew are turning out some realy unique and tasty Southeast Asian tacos. I can’t get enough of their crispy calamari tacos which are seasoned with five-spice and topped with a tangy green aioli. It’s crunchy, sweet, sour, herbal, and deserving of many awards.

CONEY SHACK
Multiple Locations
Follow them on Twitter at: @ConeyShack
facebook.com/Coney-Shack

Come back every Wednesday for another funny, informative video documenting my inept food adventures. NYC Food Cart Tour is my exploration of the hard-working vendors feeding NYC’s population every day.

I’ve spent the last few weeks documenting the nominees for the Vendy Awards. It’s been exciting and rewarding meeting the hard working vendors and tasting their delicious food. But it was all leading up to this past Saturday when over 25 vendors congregated on Governor’s Island to feed hungry attendees and celebrate their hard work all year long.

This year, the big winner was Snowday who are dedicated to their social mission of employing previously incarcerated youth and serve maple syrup inspired dishes. Best Dessert went to Doughnuttery, Coney Shack was crowned Rookie of the Year, Home Frite swept the Market Vendor category, and Best Street Drinks was awarded to Renegade Lemonade.

All the proceeds go back to the Street Vendor Project to fund their advocacy work in fighting for better laws for the street vendors.

Below is a video that gives an overview of the exciting, lively afternoon. I’m going to start prepping for next year right now.

2015 NYC Vendy Awards


Category: Video

Come back every Wednesday for another funny, informative video documenting my inept food adventures. NYC Food Cart Tour is my exploration of the hard-working vendors feeding NYC’s population every day.

The greatest day in mobile food vending is back. On September 12, the Vendy Awards will take place on Governor’s Island honoring the greatest in New York’s food vending community. Tickets are still available for purchase here.

Every year in addition to the usual category, the Vendys give us something a little special. This year, they’re quenching your thirst with a category dedicated to the best drinks on the street. Here are the five nominees:

Best Street Drinks: 

Coco & Co.

It’s been hot these last few days and I crave a creamy, sweet, refreshing drink. Nothing’s more appropriate and thirst quenching than coconuts. Friends Luke and Yair ride decorative tiki bikes around Brooklyn and Manhattan offering up fresh coconuts and smoothies. Coco & Co. will make you forget what island you are on!

CoCo & Co. Tea and Milk Most bubble teas are made from powders loaded with sugar and other chemicals. Not Tea and Milk. All their drinks are brewed to order from actual leaves. At their Astoria location or at the LIC Flea, you can customize your drink with mix-in’s like fresh cream, tapioca pearls, chia seeds, or aloe vera. Tea and Milk

Best Juice Uptown

Ever died dreaming? That’s the English translation of morir soñando, the classic Dominican refreshment. The creamsicle-esque drink is made with orange juice, cane sugar, and condensed milk. It’s also the signature drink of Hector Palaguachi who operates Best Juice Uptown in Washington Heights. He also offers blends of fruit and vegetable juices.

Best Juice Uptown Renegade Lemonade Renegade Lemonade is taking a pretty traditional concept and re-inventing it. Even if you’ve purchased lemonade from a stand on the streets, you’ve never had such interesting and seasonal flavors like Watermelon Jalapeño or Pear Chai. Megan Bailey uses real fruits and herbs to enhance her unique lemonade stand. Renegade Lemonade

Catalina’s Champurrado

Catalina Soriano Salas vends from a little cart under the 191st Street subway line. There, she sells tacos, tamales, and traditional Mexican drinks to the Washington Heights community. Here two most popular drinks are arroz con leche (a slightly sweet, breakfast drink made with rice) and champurrado (a warm chocolate drink thickened with masa de maíz). You can also find her family members helping out and her husband runs their nearby juice cart as well.

Catalina’s Champurrado


Category: Video

Come back every Wednesday for another funny, informative video documenting my inept food adventures. NYC Food Cart Tour is my exploration of the hard-working vendors feeding NYC’s population every day.

The greatest day in mobile food vending is back. On September 12, the Vendy Awards will take place on Governor’s Island honoring the greatest in New York’s food vending community. Tickets are still available for purchase here. For the next few weeks, I’ll be documenting all of the nominees in three categories.

Rookie of the Year: Old Traditional Polish Cuisine

There’s dozens of taco trucks, plenty of pizza vehicles, and a myriad of lobster roll wagons in this city. But there’s only one truck selling the hearty, traditional food from Poland. Pierogies and kielbasa make for excellent street food and Old Traditional Polish Cuisine is cooking them up with authentic flavors and straight from the heart.

Old Traditional Polish Cuisine

Dessert of the Year: Doughnuttery

Evan Feldman had a brilliant new idea about doughnuts. At Doughnuttery in Chelsea Market or at Broadway Bites, he fries all his mini-doughnuts to order (on an invenive machine) and then shakes them up with uniquely flavored sugars infused with surprising ingredients like coffee, bacon, or purple potato chips. This makes for a magical, fresh, and addicting take on the usually ordinary fried dough.Doughnuttery

Market Vendor of the Year: Gumbo Bros.

At Madison Square Eats, you can find a range of food vendors, but the one to check out as the weather gets colder and you start craving hearty, spicy stews is Gumbo Bros. Started by friends and LSU alum Adam and Clay as a way to fill their gumbo craving, it’s one of the few spots in the city to get authentic, full-flavored Cajun food.

Gumbo Bros.


Category: Video

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