This is the third year in a row that the Vendy Cup has gone to a Red Hook Ball Fields vendor (and hopefully not the last). The truck was slinging pork and cheese pupusas as well as vegetarian ones stuffed with loroco, an edible flower with a flavor somewhere between mint and papalo.
Lonestar Taco served juicy carnitas with salsa verde and clean-tasting black beans and cheese on their handmade tortillas with masa from Tortilleria Nixtamal in Corona.
Bronx-based Chipper Truck served lean potato boxty and hulking "taco chips," fries topped with ground meat, a sweet, tangy mayo, and shredded cheddar.
Luke's truck commanded the longest lines at the Vendys for lobster rolls and lobster grilled cheese sandwiches.
Home by the Range
The New Jersey vendor was slinging messy braised beef sandwiches topped with cheddar and homemade giardiniera.
The Lebanese truck had chicken shawarma and crisp falafel on hand in baby pita with their signature whipped garlic sauce.
You do not have nice breath after leaving the Vendys.
Smorgasburg favorite Bon Chovie was on hand with their crisply fried anchovies. This face was not uncommon.
Vendy veteran Cinnamon Snail believes in generosity, and a single portion consisted of lemony oyster mushrooms, a fat seitan taco, and a kimchi wrap.
They also brought their did-you-know-it's-vegan doughnuts—two full ones per serving!
Rookie finalist Mamak served chicken rendang and curried vegetables with sweet-tart pickles and tender, well-steamed rice.
Perhaps the most minimalist of the Vendy Cup finalists, Astoria's King Souvlaki offered up whole platters but also single-serving meat on a stick, dashed with salt, spritzed with lemon, and skewing a piece of French bread. Perfect.
Pop It Baby
Pop It Baby gave out big, naturally flavored fruit popsicles that went quickly in the afternoon heat.
Best dessert winner Itizy had a few ice creams on hand to serve with chunks of freshly made waffle cone; best among their flavors is an exceptionally fresh mint chip loaded with chunks of dark chocolate.
Khao Man Gai NY
The winner for Best Market Vendor served portions of their namesake dish: garlic- and ginger-poached chicken served with rice cooked in the chicken poaching liquid, topped with a sauce of fermented soybean, garlic, ginger, and chilies.
Rookie of the Year winner Nuchas Empanadas drew crowds for their bite-size sweet and savory empanadas.
Jersey vendor French Quarter served jambalaya and slurpable portions of gumbo.
This Jackson Heights dessert vendor served light, sweet scoops of a whipped egg white mousse in little ice cream cones. Seen here: color-matching at its best.
This Rhode Island favorite has brought its slushy frozen lemonade to New York, and we couldn't be happier. Their cups of sweet, slightly tart lemon and watermelon slush were just the thing for a warm day of heavy eating.
Butterscotch pudding, candied popcorn, bacon bits. Yup, that's Liddabit, doing its thing.
Sam Mason's Williamsburg ice cream was on hand in two flavors: crowd favorite cornbread and peanut butter and jelly. The jelly is frozen with liquid nitrogen, shattered, and then integrated into a rich peanut butter ice cream. The result? A smooth scoop of peanut butter with quivering hunks of jelly suspended within.
This Atlantic City vendor has a huge menu of sandwiches and pizza. Here's a pie about to be doled out.
With a little help from their friendly doughnut robot, Carpe Donut served piping-hot apple cider doughnuts all day long. Hello, autumn!
This year's judging panel consisted of Pat LaFrieda, Francis Lam, Garrett Oliver, Lauren Percell, Elettra Wiedemann, and Justin Warner with Negin Farsad as Emcee.
This is how you do the Vendys
El Olomega with their hard-won trophy. See our video about them here.