Vendors

Event Recap: 2018 Vendy Awards

“The Oscars of Street Food” has come and gone and we are STILL FULL. This past weekend, street vendors from across the boroughs came together on Governor’s Island for the annual cook off to celebrate what it means to be a successful small business. The NYFTA team had the privilege to stuff our faces again this year, support some of our favorite vendors and to scope out some new faces at the 2018 Vendy Awards.


It was a brisk Saturday and the perfect way to celebrate the First Day of Fall on Governor’s Island.

Food trucks and carts lined Colonel’s Row according to their nominee category, with music bumping and the smells of cultures mixing together wafting over the green space.


- 2018 VENDY FINALISTS -

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VENDY CUP

Burmese Bites

Franky’s Souvlaki

Jianetto’s Pizza

El Saboroso De Aracataca

Royal Grill Halal Food *WINNER*


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BEST BREAKFAST VENDOR

Cheong Fun Rice Noodle Cart

Evelia’s Tamales Mexicanos

King David Tacos

Mama Jo’s Breakfast Cart *WINNER*

Saravanaa Bhavan


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ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Jak! Chinese

Makina Cafe

Mannahatta Mediterranean

Mr. Khao Man Gai

Nansense *WINNER*


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BEST MARKET VENDOR

Caspanish

D’Abruzzo NYC *WINNER*

Hometown Spring Pancakes

IEatLaoFood

Taste of Surabaya


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BEST DESSERT VENDOR

Baonanas *WINNER*

Bonsai Kakigori

Delmy’s Obleas

Malai Ice Cream

Twister Cake


Check out the Vendy’s instagram for more tagged photos from the weekend!

It has been an unofficial trend in recent years for Vendy Award winners to see a boom in their street vending or food truck business after being crowned in their respective categories ;)

We can’t wait to see how these small businesses grow with the support of their amazing community! Keep your eyes peeled.

"Cool" Eats

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And we aren’t just talking about ice cream for once! With summer winding down (also, when did that happen?) we are all looking forward to fall (that’s right, we said it). Until then, we can rely on some of our favorites to lower our core temp while out and about.

You may not realize it, but a lot of our food truck members serve certain menu items that don’t need to be heated and are best served cold. You can still get your food truck fix and cool down at the same time! Take a look at some examples that are refreshingly satisfying.


Starting off with something traditional, Rita’s Italian Ices and Andy’s Italian Ices are both a given for summer. We love both of these food truck members for their versatility and that nostalgic, fun feeling you get when you get a giant scoop of frozen sweetness on a hot day.

Toum Lebanese is the expert when it comes to garlic and with that comes their incredibly authentic (and award winning) garlic hummus. Best served and eaten cold with a side of warm pita (or a spoon, it’s up to you).

We’ve talked about El Toro Rojo’s guac before but one can never get enough! It is the perfect refreshing snack with it’s cool blend of avocados, cilantro and a little added heat from the spices.

Souvlaki GR is the mediterranean hostess with the mostest and when it comes to their salads, you can have whatever you like. Combining their fresh ingredients like cucumber, kalamata olives and feta with a warm chicken skewer makes it a dish you could eat year round.

The way lobster rolls are prepared comes down to personal preference and everyone on the East Coast has their own strong opinion on the subject: warm vs. cold lobstah. We prefer to be able to have this seafood all the time so it makes the perfect summer AND winter meal! Luke’s Lobster and Red Hook Lobster are perfect options with multiple locations around the city if you are craving a cold one.

And last but not least, a NYFTA team favorite and the coolest of treats: Melt Bakery. This one might be obvious but they are so good we do not care. With inventive flavors and new concepts coming out every month, Melt has found its way into the hearts (and hands) of its most loyal customers.

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Stay cool!


Eats in the Streets

You’ve seen our vendors out and about for NYFTA events and promotions but they are busy bees and can be found all over town! In addition to everyday street service, there are loads of other locations you can find your favorites. Check them out this summer if you dare to brave the heat at some of the city’s most popular neighborhood pop ups and street fests to get your eat on!


Broadway Bites is a food vendor pop up in Greeley Square that runs through certain dates in the summer and fall. Their lineup features a diverse mix of cuisines that includes NYFTA favorites Kimchi Taco and Melt Bakery. Stop by for a plate on your way to a game at MSG or a gourmet ice cream sandwich before your afternoon of shopping. 

You can find one of our most requested vendors serving up Korean fusion daily at Madison Square Eats. Korilla BBQ is a pop-up veteran at this point and also have several brick and mortar store fronts around the city in addition to their mobile catering operation. It's hard to NOT stumble upon those unmistakable tiger stripes.

Mr. Bing is also a part of the vendor list for Madison Square Eats but has recently taken up temporary residence at Times Square Market serving you Chinese street food. They are joined by other NYFTA favorites Wafles & Dinges (for something sweet) and Nuchas Empanadas (for something on-the-go). Check them all out at their stands on your way to a show!

Smorgasburg is always a huge hit every summer since it's brings together established vendors and new concepts alike to two incredible locations in Brooklyn. You can catch Red Hook Lobster, Bona Bona Ice Cream and The Good Batch at the waterfront location in Williamsburg every Saturday through October. New vendors are added every week! Rain or shine, the views and food are worth it.

We love seeing our members' businesses thrive outside of the event space. Keep up with these and more on their social media for the most up to date information on where to catch them throughout the summer. Check back with us for even more events and promotions!


4th of July and Carnivale Donut Bar

What’s more American than gluttony on wheels? Carnivale Donut Bar has made it its mission to be at the top of your patriotic food pyramid—today, and every other day. Don’t believe us? Just scope their menu or scroll down their Instagram feed featuring snapshot after heart-seizing snapshot of donut-topped milkshakes, ice cream sandwiches, and stuffed donuts.

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Carnivale’s signature “Over the Top” shake breaks taste ceilings by combining two already perfect sweet treats: a rich, creamy milkshake topped off with an utterly golden dough halo. You can take your pick of 10 insane flavors, but we most recommend the Oreo—a classic black and white cookie crumble with a thick chocolate syrup drizzle—or the Banana Cream—it has fruit in it, so it must be healthy right?

If you’d rather ditch the cup, send your eyes South on the menu towards the Ice Cream Donut Sandwiches (yes) and the Stuffed Mini Donuts. The latter skip the ice cream, in case that’s not your thing, but they certainly don’t skimp on flavor. Try either in the S’mores, which tastes like campfire bliss with actual fire-roasted marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs, and the French Toast, for breakfast-in-bed comfort levels.

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If you’re aching for the funnel cake aromas of your youth on this particularly nostalgic day, but want a twist of decadent toppings, you can track Carnivale’s location via Instagram and Facebook. When you get there, make sure to say hi to their sweet tooth-having mascot, Banjo the bear. If you still can’t get enough (we guarantee you’ll leave stuffed but wishing you could eat more), you can always book Carnivale to cater a private event like a wedding or a birthday party. Because it doesn’t have to be the Fourth of July to indulge in a mind-bending, body-rocking dessert. In America, every day is donut and milkshake day.

Hot Hot Hot

This weekend, New York City is guaranteed to be simmering with heat, and the nonstop metropolis will undoubtedly end on a scorching note Monday morning, at 90 degrees. That means a few things for Manhattan's midtown destinations: long lines at drugs stores of people waiting to buy bottled water, sidewalks packed with pedestrians walking sluggishly in a heat daze, and tourists carrying light jackets over their shoulders disgruntled by how mistaken they were to think they would need a windbreaker “in case it got cold.”

Also: Food trucks! No doubt you will spot locals and foreigners standing in single file waiting for one of Nathan’s famous hot dogs, a New York Food Truck Association favorite.

I know one way to stay cool is to eat ice cream and milkshakes. But why not heat up your taste buds with some hot sauce? Did you know your body cools down when you eat spicy food in high temperatures? It’s biologically sensible to eat loads of street snacks drenched in hot sauce this weekend! 

Let’s heat up for the summer with this little rundown of NYFTA -approved vendors, all who serve the best hot sauces in town.

 

Makina

New York City’s first Ethiopian and Eritrean food truck is a unique and delectable delight among all of our artisanal kitchens on wheels. Here, you get two options for hot sauce: the spicy Awaze, or the extremely spicy Makina sauce. Want your mouth on fire? I would choose the latter.

 

Korilla

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One of my favorite things about Korean BBQ food are the spicy flavors, and these guys nail the heat factor like no other Korean food truck. Their K’lla sauce may actually kill you if you’ve never had hot sauce before, so if you need something easier and would like to avoid dipping your mouth into lava this weekend, I suggest the much milder Korilla sauce. 

 

Souvlaki GR

Souvlaki serves up some hot toppings as well. They won’t incinerate the sides of your tongue like other food trucks might, but their sauces are definitely worth checking out. Pitas and bifteki sandwiches reign here. 

 

Los Viajeros

Jalapenos are not for everyone, but if they happen to be for you, then you must stop by Los Viajeros, one of New York’s finest Mexican food trucks. Many of their taco and burrito offerings come with chipotle aioli, a phenomenal sauce that I would drizzle on anything. It’s that good! You can spot this truck a mile away with its vibrant hot pink paint. Don’t pass it up.

Off to the Races

The horse racing season has arrived. Open that secret stash drawer where you keep all your loose twenty-dollar bills, pack light for a long day out, and head for the races to enjoy one of New York City’s oldest sports. 

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Way out in Belmont Park this weekend is the annual Belmont Stakes event. This year is particularly special, a history in the making: the 150th horse racing champion will be crowned.

I’m sure, if you’re a big fan of horse racing, you’ve already figured out who’s the underdog, who should win, who will win, and who you’d bet on (hypothetically speaking). But knowing what to eat is important, too. The New York Food Truck Association will cater the event, so rest assured, you won’t have to sneak in a sad, squished PB&J into the venue this year. Here is a quick rundown of the NYFTA-approved trucks making a grand appearance at Belmont Stakes. They’ll all be parked at the Coors Light Food Truck Village. Take a gander!

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The Mac Truck

Classic comfort food executed with an artisanal flair. Who doesn’t love macaroni and cheese? Try the fried mac bites for a satisfying little snack.

Empanada Sonata

Not your typical empanada truck. There are over a dozen variations of this Latin classic to choose from, including some unusual flavors, like Thai Coconut Chicken and Broccoli Rabe.

Yaki Taco

Japanese yakitori ingredients and flavors, from Wasabi Chicken to Tonkatsu BBQ, are prepared as burritos and tacos with pico de gallo, Mexican cheese, and beans. Great for any adventurous flavor explorer.

Gary’s Steaks

I imagine this one will be a hit for many horse racing enthusiasts. The peerless philly-style steak sandwiches served here will pulverize your taste buds. You got to try a steak at Belmont Stakes!

Coney Shack

Check out Coney Shack for some Asian fusion hot dogs, tacos, and quesadillas. Try the Holy Phuc, a beef hotdog with beer-battered fish, lemongrass aioli, cheese, and tomato basil creole sauce.

Big D’s Grub

Sandwiches, rice platters, and tacos are served here with a few twists. You can try a sandwich prepared with bulgogi, spicy pork, or ginger chicken. A vegan option is also available for anyone with a special diet.

Chef Samir

Come here for some of the best Mediterranean food available on wheels. Grab a pocket pita or a bowl of cous cous filled with falafel, lemon chicken, or beef kofta brochette. You can also order a beef or lamb shawarma.

Deli N’ Dogz

The first ever kosher-style hot pastrami truck in NYC is not something to miss out on. Savor some corned beef or salami sandwiches. Try a frankfurter, too, while you’re at it,

Korilla BBQ

If you’ve been reading us, then you know that we at NYFTA rave about Korilla any chance we get. Who knew Korean BBQ and tacos could coexist in such a delicious way?

Phil’s Steaks

Don’t tell Gary, but Phil serves up some pretty good steak sandwiches too. The fries here are one of a kind. Maybe try a sandwich from Gary and Phil, and compare and contrast the scrumptious flavors?

Souvlaki GR

This fantastic Greek restaurant in the Lower East Side moonlights as a food truck, and you won’t regret trying out their menu at Belmont Stakes this weekend.

Valducci’s

            If you’ve been scrolling through this list, just waiting to read the pizza option, well, here it is! What’s great about Valducci’s is they serve every style of this Italian staple food. Sicilian, Neopolitan, thin crust and thick crust... this truck does it all.

           Nuchas Empanada

            The artisanal empanadas at Nuchas are mind blowingly good. Don’t expect something generic and boring from these chefs. Their Seitan Al Pastor, with pineapple and chipotle, is marvelous.

            Softee Express

            Finish off your meal with some ice cream! Did you bring your kids along, and are they bugging you about dessert? If that’s the case, this is the truck for you.

 

Remember to pack some sunscreen!

Scope out some sweet ice cream!

            Finally, at long last, the Earth has tilted far enough on its axis to bring our hemisphere closer to the Sun. The pear trees throughout Park Slope and Greenwich Village are blooming with white, aromatic flowers. Lightning storms are abruptly breaking in the sky and showering us with heavy rain, only to blow away within an hour, as if they are throwing a tantrum and then running away to hide. During this month of lustrous light and temperate weather, the best way to enjoy the sun is to go out walking, catching your favorite New York City sights, looking effortlessly cool in your new sunglasses.

            What’s a better way to boost the fun of city excursions than with a delicious ice cream cone? Of course, ice cream trucks permeate Manhattan during the warm season a lot like how broken umbrellas litter the streets after a storm. But many of those trucks offer generic, same-old-same-old takes on ice cream. Who wants more of the same boring stuff? The New York Food Truck Association knows all of the best, unique ice cream trucks around. We got the hook up on the artisanal, expertly crafted frosty desserts you’ve been looking for.

Scope out some of these trucks the next time you’re exploring the city and pick up a scoop.

 Photo Via. Eater

Photo Via. Eater

Shake By Black Tap

The shakes served at this truck are, truly, works of art. Shake By BT is pretty new to the food truck game; it launched last year. But don’t assume it’s run by newbies. Michelin Star Chef Joe Isidori founded this dessert enterprise, and his Instagram-worthy ice cream shakes are so colorful and vibrant, you may feel bad eating them. This is a wonderful vendor to commission for your next party. Imagine all of your friends lined up for pictures with an extraordinary vanilla ice cream milk shake! Take a gander at their social media pages to see how their desserts look, if you're not convinced.

Bona Bona Ice Cream

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Bona Bona takes artisanal ice cream a step further than most dessert makers. They bring an abundance of unique flavors to the table, like Holy Cannoli and Rainbow Cookie, and serve up an absolutely picturesque cone that begs to be the star of your next #IceCreamSelfie. You don’t have to just do a cone here. You can choose your favorite flavors and toppings for a milkshake or a sundae. Mix it up and live it up!

Softee Express

Many people have only tasted cheap soft serve from fast food joints like McDonalds, and as occasionally tasty those desserts are, they don’t hold a candle to the high-quality soft ice cream Softee Express brings to New York. At Softee Express, you can add a plethora of sprinkles and toppings to your ice cream. They don’t mess around with this kid-friendly classic. Newcomers may want to try the classic vanilla. A veteran like myself always goes for the peanut cone.