By Siobhan Wallace
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The time has come again to crown the king of New York City’s street food scene at the annual Vendy Awards. Now in its ninth year, the celebration of carts, food truck, and outdoor market vendors decided upon a space in Sunset Park, Brooklyn’s Industry City to highlight 28 finalists.
For this year’s glory, finalists are competing in five different categories, each with its own twist. There is the Rookie category specific to those open for less than a year and half, which will go to the Malaysian cart Mamak, the Indian food truck Mysttik Masaala, the pizza truck Neapolitan Express, the Argentinian empanadas from Nuchas, Thai-namese food truck Sweet Chili, or the Lebanese food truck Toum.
Back for the second year in a row to showcase those feeding the masses at New York City’s outdoor markets like Smorgasburg and Hester Street Fair is the Market category. The finalists include anchovy-fryers Bon Chovie, the charcuterie from Brooklyn Cured, Lonestar Taco, the porcine goodness from Porchetta, and Thai stall Khao Man Gai NY. A category making a return to the award show is Best of New Jersey. Those of us on this side of the Hudson can finally try out the Cajun cuisine of Bloomfield’s The French Quarter, the locavore sandwiches from Jersey City’s Home by the Range, potato-centric dishes from Northern New Jersey’s Hunger Construction, American classics from Molly’s Milk Truck, and Atlantic City grub from Tony Boloney’s Mustache Mobile.
Battling for the big kahuna Vendy Cup is five formidable competitors. Woodlawn’s The Chipper Truck will serve up its late night Irish classics, a counterpoint to the vegan specialties from incredibly popular The Cinnamon Snail food truck. Red Hook ball field vendor El Olomega will surely delight the crowd with their El Salvadoran pupusas. High-end and low-end fans will be also be satiated by the classic Astorian Greek street food from King Souvlaki and the lobster rolls from Luke’s Lobster.
The largest category by far goes to all seven finalists for the Dessert category. Food trucks Carpe Donut NYC, Del’s NYC, Itizy, and Popitbaby heading off against Liddabit Sweets, Oddfellows Ice Cream, and Cholita Cuencana, who specializes in the Ecuadorean treat espumilla.
The Vendy Awards are the biggest fundraiser for the Street Vendor Project, an arm of the Urban Justice Center. Tickets to the event are tax-deductible and still available here. The event will be held Saturday, September 7th from 2:30pm until 7pm in Industry City (116 39th Street, Brooklyn).
Siobhan Wallace is the author of New York à la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple’s Best Food Trucks .