NYC’s 10 Annual Vendy Awards Draws Crowds to Governors Island

The hungry crowd at the 10th Annual NYC Vendy Awards
The hungry crowd at the 10th Annual NYC Vendy Awards


by David Farley


The tenth-annual Vendy Awards took place on Governors Island in New York City on Saturday, September 13, 2014. With a pregnant sky looming above, the festivities hit full stride as soon as the grills were fired up and burners switched on, with vendor contestants ringing a football field-sized space. Massive crowds waited in line at each vendor — there were 25 food options in all — to satisfy their taste buds, while a band belted out tunes; drinks by way of Santa Cristina Winery and Brooklyn Brewery helped to quench thirsts.


What makes the Vendy Awards different from the dozens of other food festivals in New York is the voting; each vendor serves their food of choice, with judges casting a vote for their favorite. At the end of the day, votes are tallied and awards doled out. This is more than just a friendly competition, too; successful street vendors can parlay their success at events like the Vendy Awards into real money, either by increased sales or financial backing. The list of Vendy Award winners who have gone on to achieve larger success is long.


Highlights from the cloudy day include:


Zha Pan, passing out a brilliant Asian-inspired take on arancini, fried Italian rice balls. There were two kinds: Thai chicken green curry and Korean bulgogi, both bursting with flavor.


Leave it to Nuchas to be the most aggressive of the day, sending out platter-carrying employees who drifted far and wide away from the food truck, offering anyone within arm’s reach an empanada. A favorite: the scallop empanada was worth getting full for.


Lechonera La Pirana, from the Bronx, slinging up some of the juiciest pork in New York.


At the end of the day the awards were announced.


The Vendy Cup: Cinnamon Snail
Master’s Cup: Calexico
Best Dessert: Ice & Vice
Best Market Vendor: Zha Pan
Rookie of the Year: Snowday
People’s Choice: Nuchas


Another year, another great event showcasing some of the best street food that New York City has to offer. With full stomachs, satisfied eaters left Governors Island for their apartments in Manhattan, Brooklyn and beyond. Most of the vendors would be back at it again the next day, serving customers on street corners until long into the night.


For more information on the NYC Vendy Awards visit the official website


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