This weekend, the Vendy Awards, New York's greatest love letter to street food, hit Industry City for a day-long feast of nearly 25 street vendors feeding a grateful crowd. Lines were waited on, tacos were eaten, and the venerated Vendy Cup for best street food of the year was awarded once again.
The vendors were broken up into five categories, with the public voting on winners in each. Additionally, a team of judges—which this year consisted of Pat LaFrieda, Francis Lam, Garrett Oliver, Lauren Percell, Elettra Wiedemann, and Justin Warner (with Negin Farsad as Emcee)—selected a winner to receive the physical Vendy Award trophy, and bragging rights for the next 12 months. This year's winner: El Olomega, one of the pupusa vendors you'll find at the Red Hook Ball Fields. This marks the third year in a row a Red Hook vendor has taken home the cup; last year it was Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Food; the year before it was pupusa co-star Solber Pupusas.
Here's a complete list of the participating vendors. Winners are marked in bold:
Vendy Award Finalists
- The Chipper Truck
- The Cinnamon Snail
- King Souvlaki
- Luke's Lobster (People's Taste Award)
- El Olomega (Vendy Cup)
Best Dessert Vendor
Best Market Vendor
Best New Jersey Vendor
Rookie Vendor of the Year
One of the joys of the Vendys is the way it brings together old and new school street food traditions under one (open) roof. So even if you didn't have the stomach space to visit every vendor (and if you did, we have some Tums for you), there was ample opportunity to rip perfect souvlaki off a skewer before tucking in to a deceptively simple carnitas taco with handmade tortillas, or a lobster grilled cheese, or one of the two vegan doughnuts that made up just half of what one truck considered a single serving.
We're getting hungry for next year's already. In the meantime, check out the slideshow for highlights from the day, and keep a lookout on the Vendy website for the Chicago and LA Vendys, which will come in October and November respectively.