meet the VENDY awards 2018 finalists!

 

 

 

VENDY CUP 2018

BURMESE BITES

Myo Lin Thway came to the US from Burma to continue his education in 1994. Long before customers flocked to his stand at the Queens Night Market, he got his degree in mechanical engineering and then worked in the diamond district as an operations manager. Myo brought Burmese food to the masses at street fairs and later, became one of the most popular vendors at the Queens Night Market. In 2015, Myo was nominated for Best of Market vendor and now returns as a 2018 Vendy Cup Finalist. Myo’s market stand has since expanded into a standalone food cart that operates five days a week in Long Island City. You can follow Burmese Bites on Facebook and Instagram.

FRANKY'S SOUVLAKI

Franky Englezos was born in the business. His father started a hot dog cart in Astoria in 1970, but in 1979 the family began serving souvlaki, and they haven’t looked back since. Franky and his family have operated Franky’s Souvlaki from the same corner at 31st Ave and Steinway in Astoria for over 30 years. Franky’s continues to be a neighborhood staple, serving souvlaki sticks, gyro sandwiches, “Franky Fries,” and other traditional Greek fare. In 2015,  the family upgraded their cart to a food truck and expanded their service to Long Island City. Franky and his family live in Queens. You can follow Franky’s on Facebook and on Instagram.

JIANNETTO'S PIZZA AND CATERING

When it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it. That’s the philosophy Joe Jiannetto follows when it comes to his grandmother’s recipe for Sicilian pizza. Jiannetto’s Pizza has been serving up “grandma-style” pies since 1998, and the food truck currently operates on 47th Street between Park and Madison Avenues. For Joe, who grew up working in pizza shops on Staten Island, making pizza is still a labor of love. When Joe makes the pie, though, the sauce always goes on top, just like grandma used to make. Joe is recently engaged and lives on Staten Island. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook. You can visit their website here.

EL SABOROSO DE ARACATACA

El Sabroso de Aracataca is owned by Luis Alfonso Marin Valencia who has sold Colombian arepas for the last 30 years in Jackson Heights, Queens. Luis Alfonso immigrated to the US from Colombia 35 years ago as a dancer and artist but found food as a way to stay close to his culture. Luis can be found making his famous arepas con queso Friday to Sunday beginning at 10pm. His cart pays tribute to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel Prize-winning Colombian author of One Hundred Years of Solitude.  The cart, adorned with yellow butterflies, features a quote from Marquez: “I feel Latin American from any country, but without renouncing the nostalgia for my land: Aracataca…”

ROYAL GRILL HALAL FOOD

MD Alam and his wife, Hira own Royal Grill Halal Food. They immigrated from Bangladesh in 1980. Hira, whose brother had operated a successful food cart nearby for many years, opened the cart in 2005 and Alam quit his restaurant management job to join her. For over 10 years, they have set up at 44th St and 6th Ave. Today they operate 7 days a week, often with lines stretching down towards 5th Avenue, preparing all their specialties such as chicken tikka masala and biryani with a unique blend of spices which Alam says is “prepared with love”. They live in Flushing, Queens with their 13 year old daughter. You can visit Royal Grill’s website here and follow them on Facebook

 

best breakfast vendor 2018

BEST ROOKIE VENDOR 2018

BEST MARKET VENDOR 2018

 

BEST DESSERT VENDOR 2018