By Siobhan Wallace
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mexican food truck Piaztlan Authentic was crowned the king of the city food truck scene over the weekend.
Twenty four street vendors came together for the eighth annual Vendy Awards on Governors Island on Saturday, to name the best of the best in New York City food trucks.
Up for the main award were vendors from all over New York City. This included vegan truck The Cinnamon Snail, Hamza and Madina Halal from Glen Oaks, Queens; Midtown institution Uncle Gussy’s; Chinatown’s Xin Jiang Prosperity Kebabs; and Tortas Neza, a Mexican vendor from Corona, Queens. These contestants were up for two awards: the Vendy and the People’s Choice Award.
While the audience picked Cinnamon Snail as their favorite, the judges were more impressed by Piaztlan’s tacos – and they ended up bringing home the third Vendy cup for the Red Hook Ball Field vendors.
Up for the Rookie Vendor category was food truck Phil’s Steaks, Japanese food truck Okadaman, Chinese-Indian fusion truck Chinese Mirch, Cambodian Cusine Torsu, and Peruvian cart Morocho. Though Okadaman faced lines all day, and Chinese Mirch put on two Chinese dragon dances for audience entertainment (and possible good luck), the win ended up going to Phil’s Steaks simple cheese steak sandwich.
This year’s contest included a new category: Best Market Vendors. This category was created to showcase the non-street food vendors populating New York City’s burgeoning outdoor market scene. The nominees included Mayhem & Stout, Baby Got Back Ribs, Parantha Alley, Lumpia Shack, and Mortar & Pestle, with the win going to Lumpia Shack. All of them, except for Mayhem & Stout, can be found at the Williamsburg’s Smorgasburg, running every Saturday through November 17th. Additionally, Mayhem & Stout and Baby Got Back Ribs will have booths at the upcoming Madison Square Eats opening Friday, September 21st.
When it came to dessert, the audience had six nominees to taste and choose from. They were Greenwich Village cart Imperial Woodpecker Sno-balls, ice cream sandwich food truck Coolhaus, Indian dessert cart Monsieur Singh, Italian dessert truck La Bella Torte, ice cream sandwich cart Melt Bakery, and Andy’s Italian Ices & Espresso Bar. The win ended up going to High Line favorite Melt Bakery who had been pleasing the crowd red velvet ice cream sandwich.
The Vendy Awards is run by the Street Vendor Project, a membership-based project that is a part of the Urban Justice Center, a local non-profit organization that provides legal representation and advocacy to various marginalized groups. The Vendy Awards is the Street Vendor Project’s main annual fundraiser.
Siobhan Wallace is the co-founder of Blondie & Brownie.