The Vendys are:
- NYC’s premier street food showcase and an intense cook-off between the best sidewalk chefs that has become one of the city’s most beloved and widely anticipated food events!
- A festival of respect and gratitude for all vendors and everything they provide us–from your morning coffee (half-and-half, two sugars) to the $2 umbrella when you get caught in the thunderstorm.
- Organized by the Street Vendor Project, a membership-based non-profit organization that stands up for vendors’ rights.
How are the finalists chosen?
Simple enough. We’ll take public nominations to determine which lucky vendors will compete against each other for street food glory. People like you can suggest your favorite street food vendors though an online nomination process. Let us know who is Vendy-worthy – nominate your favorite vendor here!
Where and when?
The 9th Annual Vendy Awards will take place in September 2013. Check back often for updates.
What happens at the Awards?
Finalists arrive with their carts/trucks and prepare their best eats for Vendy attendees and judges. Beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages will be plentiful, with tables and chairs for the food-weary. There will be live music, performances, and a raffle, culminating in a short ceremony naming the award winners!
Please wear comfortable shoes. Each year we work to shorten the lines, but standing in line is part of the Vendy – and street food – experience. We can’t say if any marriages have come out of people waiting in line together, but we do know that many friendships have been born as people wait for their chance to sample the finalists’ food.
Which awards will be given out this year?
One finalist will be awarded the Vendy Cup and title of Vendy Award winner. Additional awards will be given to the People’s Taste Award winner, the Dessert Category winner, Rookie Vendor of the Year, and this year, for the very first time: The Market Vendor Award.
What is the new Market Vendor category?
Eligibility for the Vendy Awards has historically been restricted to full-time mobile food vendors working on the city streets and sidewalks; however, the recent growth and popularity of organized street fairs and outdoor markets has given birth to a new breed of mobile vendor and they deserve their own special category. Vendors from local hotspots like Smorgasburg, the Hester Street Fair, and the New Amsterdam Market have been pushing the envelope of traditional street-food often utilizing locally sourced ingredients and classic techniques to create new and exciting dishes. The Market Vendor category reflects a growing dynamic within the street food community that was made clear to us by the strong support of the voting public through the nomination process. We are thrilled to include these great vendors and welcome them to the Vendy family!
Can I help choose the Vendy winner?
Attendees choose our People’s Taste Award winner. Audience members will also choose winners in the Dessert, Rookie Vendor and Market Vendor of the Year categories.
What does my ticket get me?
All the food you can eat, and an open bar of wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages. A portion of your entry ticket is a tax-deductible contribution to the Street Vendor Project, whose goal is to make sure that vendors are always a part of our city.
Can I buy my ticket later or at the door?
Last year we sold out before the event and there were no tickets available at the door. The event has grown every year and, in order to keep the lines manageable, we sell a limited amount of tickets ensuring a great experience for everyone involved. We strongly recommend buying your tickets early. We won’t run out of food, but we will run out of tickets.
Are kids welcome? Do they need tickets?
We love kids and kids love street food. Children 8 and under don’t need a ticket. Otherwise, they do.
I’m a member of the press. How do I get a press pass or arrange to interview the organizers or individual vendors?
Please do not call or email the office. To arrange interviews, email Sekita at email@example.com. We will start accepting press pass requests on August 5th, please check back then.
My company would like to sponsor the Vendy Awards. What should I do?
Now in its ninth year, the Vendy Awards has established itself as a classic NYC event that brings out hundreds of food-savvy guests and attracts local, national, and international media attention. We are actively looking for corporate sponsors, big and small, to partner with us to make this event a success. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (917) 716-8253.
Can I volunteer at the Vendys, or help organize this year’s Vendys?
We are always looking for dedicated volunteers to help plan and work the event. Please email email@example.com if you are interested. Many 2012 volunteers have already signed up and spaces are limited so get on board early and start getting involved.
How can I help support the Street Vendor Project?
We receive NO government grants and depend on people like you to support our work. We always appreciate financial help, even if you can’t come to the Awards. You can make a tax-deductible contribution to the Street Vendor Project at the Street Vendor site.
Why do vendors need an organization?
There are more than 10,000 street vendors in New York City — hot dog vendors, book vendors, street artists, and many others. They’re small businesspeople struggling to make ends meet by working long hours in often harsh conditions. Most street vendors are immigrants and people of color and often face discrimination though unjust legislation supported by established business interests. In recent years, vendors have become victims of New York’s aggressive “quality of life” crackdown. Denied access to vending licenses, they receive $1,000 tickets for minor violations like vending too close to a crosswalk — more than any big business is required to pay for similar violations.
The Street Vendor Project is a membership-based project with more than 1300 active vendor members who are working together to create a vendors’ movement for permanent change. We reach out to vendors in the streets and storage garages and teach them about their legal rights and responsibilities. We hold meetings where we plan collective actions for getting our voices heard. We publish reports and file lawsuits to raise public awareness about vendors and the enormous contribution they make to our city. Finally, we help vendors grow their businesses by linking them with small business training and loans.
The Street Vendor Project is part of the Urban Justice Center, a local non-profit organization that provides legal representation and advocacy to various marginalized groups. The Street Vendor Project is funded through member dues, a few private foundations, and generous individuals like you. Join our list of supporters.