Who Won Big at The 2016 Vendy Awards in New York City?

From vegan barbecue to lumpia Shanghai, Governors Island turned into a one-day-only food-lover’s paradise

Vendy Awards

Big congrats to The Soriano family of Tacos el Rancho, winners of the 2016 Vendy Cup.

The 12th Annual Vendy Awards, dubbed the Oscars of the food truck world, took place this past weekend on Governors Island. With more than 2,000 food enthusiasts on the island enjoying unlimited samples from some of the finest food truck purveyors around, it was an exciting day in the culinary community.

This year’s Vendy Cup winner was Tacos el Rancho, known for its home-style Oaxacan food. Other category winners included People’s Choice: Cachapas on Wheels, which offers items like the yoyo, a sandwich using sweet plantains as the bun with shredded chicken inside; Rookie of the Year: Mr. Bing, famed for its Beijing-style crepes; Best Market Vendor: Big Mozz, which features hand-made mozzarella sticks; Best Dessert Vendor: The Good Batch, which gave out the best ice cream sandwiches ever (such as the caramel rice cereal/vanilla ice cream combo); Best Vegan Vendor: Mysttik Masaala, home of authentic Indian cuisine; and People’s Choice Vegan Vendor: Monk’s Meat, which specializes in vegan barbecue and plant-based proteins.

Other tasty bites at the event included the Filipino food truck Sisig City, which served longganisa mini dogs, sisig crunch cups, and lumpia Shanghai; A Lil’ Bit of Fun, which served funnel cakes in flavors such as maple bacon and apple pie; Tuson Sate, which offered a variety of spice-filled Indonesian sates; and NJS Foods, which sampled "Colombian-style" hot dogs topped with items like pickled vegetables, fresh fruit preserves, and potato chips.

“Congratulations to this year’s Vendy Awards winners and finalists,” said Sean Basinski, director of the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center, in a release. “We are proud to work with so many street vendors who are expanding the food landscape and making New York City a more exciting and flavorful place. We look forward to next year’s Vendy Awards, and continuing to create a space to celebrate the hard work of these vendors.” And with a nod to a recent political comment that’s been the butt of many jokes, he ended with, “Here’s to taco trucks on every corner!” 

The Vendy Awards is an annual event to benefit the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center, a membership-based organization that provides advocacy and legal services for nearly 2,000 vendor members. The Vendys’ modest beginnings took place in 2005 in an East Village garage; today, the nation’s first street food event has expanded across the country to include events in Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

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