Lawrence Mach’s Coney Shack cooks up Southeast Asian inspired tacos, hot dogs, grilled cheeses and quesadillas on Coney Island. The beach goer’s favorite is known for their Vietnamese beef short rib taco, their beer battered crunchy fish taco, and their Chikka Dog - an Asian inspired riff on the Coney Island classic. Open since 2013, Mach has garnered a name for himself and Coney Shack’s beach front offerings.
Kaya NYC is the latest food cart to serve gua baos, popcorn chicken and other Taiwanese street food goodies in downtown Manhattan and in Dumbo. Inside the tiny steel cart chef-owner David Li master authentic Taiwanese food with a modern twist, with the goal of bringing the flavors of Chinatown, Flushing and Sunset Park to office dwellers. Their specialty baos menu include pork belly, shredded chicken, peking duck and fried tofu.
Lil Zeus Lunch Box earns its name from the small blue cart serving Greek food daily in Midtown West on 49th Street and 6th avenue. Chef-owner Jerry Maravelakis and his business partner hail from Queens and are proud to serve the Greek food they grew up eating from their parents generation. Despite being new on the scene, this little cart packs a mean punch with notoriously long lines producing generously portioned charcoal grilled souvlaki.
Grzegorz Gryzlak and Przemyslaw Motyka's Old Traditional Polish Cuisine Food Truck is a sleek new truck that offers traditional and authentic pierogi in varieties such as potato & cheese, and kraut & mushroom + the signature Grilled Kielbasa sausage. Gryzlak and Przemyslaw have been featured on CBS and in Zagat for their menu that offers throw-back homestyle comfort food. The Old Traditional Polish Cuisine Food Truck has became a destination for eaters looking for food reminiscent of their Polish grandmothers, and eaters who are new to Polish fare alike.
Chef owner Myo Lin Thway’s Burmese Bites has been drawing crowds for his Burmese food at Queens Night Market and other markets around the city. Burmese Bites is known for their palatas - a hand stretched thin pancake - as well as Shwe Taung Kaukswe (noodles salad), vegetable fritters and shaved ice. Thway was convinced by a fan to open his business after making palatas for a church fundraiser where they were a crowd pleaser, and has been serving his burmese food, something that’s surprisingly hard to come by in this large city, since!
Shuka truck is a delicious creation that sprouted from the passion of Chef Gabriel Israel and the sharp business minds of his two partners, Josh Sharon and Solomon Tarabouli. Shuka Truck slings chef Israel’s take on shakshuka - a multitude of varieties including the traditional (the red), the green - made with asparagus and zucchini, and the white - made with smoked eggplant and seasonal mushrooms. Shuka’s offerings are available as a platter or as sandwiches. The 100% Kosher truck hovers around midtown and the financial district.
Shortly after the New York Times awarded Carnitas El Atoradero a “Critic’s Pick,” Denisse Lina Chavez’s landlord hiked her rent, putting her South Bronx restaurant out of business. The Times praised her authentic, homestyle Mexican cooking, as have numerous other outlets. Serious Eats called Chavez’s cooking, “the Mexican Home Cooking We've Been Waiting For.” Chavez’s offerings include a rotation of specials, such as mole poblano, oaxaca cheese stuffed pig trotters, and albondigas. Carnitas El Atoradero has now found a home Sundays at our own Vendy Plaza.
Home Frite is well known for their never ending line at Smorgasburg, their hand-cut french fries and inventive dipping sauces. This crowd favorite was started by Ian Vernon in his apartment test kitchen in 2013 before being joined by chef Crystal Lingle and entrepreneur Maxwell Hawk. The stand boasts an impressive array of sauces from avocado, tomatillo, arugula and greens sauce to a home-made malt vinegar aioli.
Upon moving to New York City, native Southerners Adam & Clay couldn’t help but notice the lack of authentic Cajun/Creole cuisine in the Big Apple. After a few years of working in and exploring the culinary scene of New York, it became clear that something had to be done! The Gumbo Bros was founded in 2014, and the Bros first began serving at the popular Madison Square Eats food festival in Madison Square Park. After a successful run, they then expanded to the Broadway Bites Food Festival at Greeley Square in Midtown and the Columbus Circle Holiday Festival in Central Park along with pop up events at music festivals and street fairs.
For Jonathan Batista, Your Panadas is all about love. A native New Yorker, Jonathan quit his pharmacy job to start something special - a unique take on empanadas that reflects his family’s Caribbean roots. Jonathan learned to cook by watching his Panamanian grandfather and carries on that legacy today. Among his offerings are a savory curry chicken, spicy mac-n-cheese with chorizo, and the one that has everyone screaming - an ice cream empanada drizzled with dulce de leche. Your Panadas can be found every Sunday at our very own Vendy Plaza.
Matt Pace, a NOLA native now residing in Brooklyn, has been eating and making beignets his entire life and developed his Booqoo Beignets recipe that woos the crowds with fluffy butteriness. For those who want the extra twist, Booqoo also serves unique caramel dipping sauces in classic NOLA flavors such as praline and chicory coffee. Matt is proud to bring one of the sweetest parts of New Orleans' deep culinary history and culture to the rich food landscape of NYC.
Maple bacon cupcakes and boozy pastries are just a small sampling of the offerings at Butter & Scotch, the creation of Keavy Blueher of Kumquat Cupcakery and Allison Kave of First Place Pies. The duo’s confections have been a hit at Smorgasburg and have garnered the attention of the New York Times to Bon Appetit and Refinery 29. The team has recently opened a bakery and bar in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights.
Evan Feldman knows that people love doughnuts - a quintessential American snack that makes every customer smile - and has put a spin on his specialty by making it snacksized and impossible to resist. Doughnuttery produces small-sized cake doughnuts that pack an incredible amount of flavor in their sugary toppings - from international inspirations (try the “Paris Time” sugared with lavender, pistachio, and vanilla) to more traditional tastes (the classic cinnamon sugared doughnut). Doughnuttery can be found at markets around the city, including Chelsea Market and Broadway Bites!
Started earlier this summer by friends CK, Rich and Jinwon, Play J’s Ice Cream has exploded onto the food blogging world and into the hands of happy-go-lucky New Yorkers. Play J serves soft serve chocolate and vanilla ice cream in a special J shaped puffed corn cone that has taken over the South Korea ice cream scene and has a Cap’n Crunch throwback flavor. The duo’s colorful truck drives around SoHo with a side banner proclaiming that it’s “time for J’scream.” Try walking down the street with this in hand without a ton of curious looks!
Marco A. Carrión is the Commissioner of New York City’s Community Affairs Unit, which serves as a direct link between the Mayor and our city’s neighborhoods. Through the Community Affairs Unit, Commissioner Carrión is able to bring together community groups, non-profit organizations, civic associations, and concerned citizens to address and rectify the issues facing residents of the five boroughs. The son of a public school teacher and a community activist, Commissioner Carrión has deep roots in New York City, possessing a keen understanding of our city’s diverse communities, and the respective needs of the neighborhoods and constituents he represents.
@FOODBABYNY (MIKE CHAU)
@foodbabyny was born out of @mikejchau's love of food and his family. As the tag line for the Instagram account states, it's simply the "best food in NY with the cutest baby in NY". It chronicles the eating adventures of Matt, now 2 years old, and his parents Mike and Alexandra, who just recently moved back to Mike's hometown of Forest Hills, Queens, NY, after initially raising Matt in the Financial District of Manhattan. The Chaus eat all over NYC at lots of the newest restaurants, with lots of the posts being heavily influenced by Mike's sweet tooth (i.e. lots of ice cream and doughnuts shots). The best part of the whole Instagram account experience for them has been meeting so many new people, both restaurant/business owners and foodbaby followers, and even more so, the ability to spend so much time together as a family.
Glenn Harris grew up in Coney Island with three brothers and a mother who loved to cook. In 1995, Harris was recruited by Jonathan Waxman, then the corporate executive chef of Ark Restaurants, to take over the company’s popular Museum Café. In April 2001, eager to open his own restaurant, Harris opened Jane, which quickly became a Greenwich Village neighborhood favorite. In 2007, after the success of Jane, Harris opened The Smith, a bi-level American brasserie in the heart of the East Village. Soon after opening the landmark location of The Smith, Harris expanded with two more locations, The Smith Midtown, opened 2011 and The Smith Lincoln Center, opened fall 2012. All locations continue to feature his accessible, seasonal cuisines but have unique features that embrace the neighborhoods in which they reside.
Claus Meyer has been a gastronomic entrepreneur for more than 30 years. Claus Meyer is an affiliated professor at Copenhagen Business School and co-founder of the Melting Pot Foundation. He has inspired a generation to rediscover local Nordic produce through his portfolio of businesses, cookbooks, TV shows, lectures and agenda-setting viewpoints. He continuously strives to push his dream of unfolding the potential of indigenous food cultures worldwide, exemplified by the co-founding of previous Worlds’ Best restaurant Noma, Copenhagen as well as Restaurant GUSTU, La Paz. In August 2015 he moved to New York City with his family to open a food court and a restaurant in the city’s iconic Grand Central Terminal and to establish a charitable culinary school and cafeteria in Brownsville, an underserved, economically challenged neighborhood in Brooklyn.
Hailed as a “Food Guide Maven” and the “Guru of Grub” by New York Times and CNN respectively, KF Seetoh is seen a champion of comfort street food culture, buzz and business. After a decade of professional stints in the media industry, KF Seetoh put a lucrative photography business aside and founded Makansutra in 1998. He has published food guides, curated The World Street Food Congress, develop and manages food courts (currently consulting for the Bourdain Market) , and has done a few shows on TV (his current Food Surprise series airs on TLC). He was accorded and recognized as Singapore’s Food Ambassador by then President Mr SR Nathan.
Katherine Sprung, the chef-owner of Squish Marshmallows is a former DJ, tech startup entrepreneur and currently works as a voice over artist. But her passion is creating marshmallows that bring a smile to her customers’ faces. Her marshmallows celebrate unique flavors, fulfilling every palate from childhood favorite combinations, to sophisticated, grown-up confections. Squish can be found at HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival, Artist & Flea Markets, Hester Street Fair, the New Museum, and the Vendy’s own Vendy Plaza in Spanish Harlem.
Maya Sittisuntorn began learning about the culinary arts as a child growing up in Bangkok, Thailand. There she developed her skills and appreciation for food when she was sent to learn traditional Thai fruit and vegetable carving. In her worldly travels, she was exposed to various cultures and traditions; these experiences have only furthered her interest in the culinary arts. After moving to NYC in 2010, she found herself working for the Michelin-Starred restaurant, Eleven Madison Park, and joined ChikaLicious in 2014, where she was brought under the wing of the renowned Pastry Chef, Chika Tillman. She accepted the exciting challenge of opening the newest ChikaLicious expansion in the West Village of Manhattan and currently serves as the Executive Pastry Chef and was recently named one of this year's Zagat 30 under 30.
Steph Sumulong (2015 Squarespace Citizen Judge)
A Jersey City native with a curating eye, Steph’s passions for art, good eats, and live music are fueled by having New York City as her playground. After studying Communication Design at Parsons she moved on to a career in children’s publishing. When not bedazzling princesses, Steph’s on her bike in search of the perfect bite to make the journey worthwhile. She is thrilled and honored to be a Citizen Judge at the Vendy Awards this year. Want to tag along on Steph’s urban adventures? Follow her on instagram @stephsumu or seesteph.com.
BEST JUICE UPTOWN
Hector Palaguachi has worked as a vendor for 6 years in Washington Heights. Originally from Ecuador, he has an interest in language and speaks a little Arabic, French, Chinese, and Korean. Hector decided to be a vendor because he wanted to be his own boss, and support his four children. The juice he will be serving is called "Morir soñando" or "to die dreaming." Hector’s secret recipe for the traditional Dominican drink, whose name is based on a song which goes "if I have to die, I'd like to die dreaming", includes orange juice, milk, cane sugar, and a little secret touch.
Catalina came to NYC from Oaxaca, Mexico 16 years ago, and has spent the past year working as a tamale and drink vendor in Washington Heights, outside the 191st Street Train Station.. She enjoys cooking, which she learned from her mom back in Oaxaca, and vends to support her 5 children. Her specialty beverages are Champurrado (a chocolate-based warm and thick Mexican drink, prepared with masa de maíz) and arroz con leche (a warm milky rice drink, typically had for breakfast).
COCO & CO
The super cute tiki bike & coconut cart company CoCo & Co was started by two friends from across the globe who met in New York City. Luke McKenna, a journalist from Melbourne, Australia, and Yair Tygiel, an entrepreneur from Northern California were inspired to team up to start CoCo & Co after the success of their individual coconut carts. Luke had operated one in Toronto, and Yair had been operating one in Brooklyn. The duo’s combined operation includes an online storefront for their original spiced coconut oil and tiki carts operating around the city, such as at Vendy Plaza!, and catering private events. Coco & Co will be bringing their unique coconut meat and coconut oil smoothies to the Vendys.
Megan Bailey started as a drink vendor initially as Smorgasburg food stand Frittering Away. One weekend Bailey began to serve a strawberry basil lemonade alongside the food and knew she was doing something right when she sold out in five minutes. In 2012, Megan Bailey branched out to her own business, renamed Renegade Lemonade, and began to focus solely on beverages. Renegade Lemonade serves inventive flavors of lemonade such as peach mint, and watermelon jalapeno. Renegade Lemonade also recently collaborated with 2014 Best Dessert winner Ice & Vice to serve ice cream floats at events such as Gay Pride and Bryant Park Movie nights.
Tea and Milk got off the ground at the LIC Flea in the summer of 2013, started by a trio of long time friends who wanted to create the perfect bubble tea. The trio tasted many other bubble teas and with making a different concept in mind, started using a unique on the spot brewing technique to make their perfect bubble tea. The ingredients are all natural and does not contain any powdered teas or concentrate. Tea and Milk eventually expanded into a variety of teas and serve over fifteen different tea beverages (including Roasted Oolong, Hibiscus Flower Peach, and Taro Milk Tea).. Through a wide support of fans and customers, the widely celebrated fixture of outdoor markets has recently expanded to a brick and mortar outpost in Astoria in 2015 and can still be found at markets across the city.
Shaheen Malik Akhtaruzzaman emigrated to the U.S. from Bangladesh in 2004. Whereas he had owned a restaurant in his native village, in New York he got a job as a busboy at Planet Hollywood, in Times Square. On his breaks, he would go visit the two famous (and Vendy-nominated) Bangladeshi carts nearby – Kwik Meal and Biryani Cart. Shaheen began working at Biryani cart, and then, several years later, opened the first Bangladeshi cart in Lower Manhattan, where he runs 3 carts, most famously at Liberty Street and Broadway. He, his wife, and three kids recently bought their first home, in Jamaica Estates, Queens.
Hard Times Sundaes food truck was opened by chef-owner Andrew Zurica after his brick and mortar restaurant, Luncheonette, was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy. Despite being away from the Manhattan crowds in Mill Basin, Andrew’s burger truck has earned Zurica numerous write ups (NY Times, Thrillist, BK Mag) for being one of the city’s best burgers, and the truck was recently featured on Esquire’s The Next Great Burger. The signature burger, “the hard times burger” is a single, double or triple burger with American cheese, caramelized onions and thick cut hardwood smoked bacon, on a buttered and grilled potato roll that soaks up the right amount of flavors from the grill. Think you’ve tried the best burger ever? Andrew would claim you haven’t tried Hard Times Sundaes.
Guandong Cheong Fun is a neighborhood legend cooking up Cantonese steamed rice noodles known as “cheong fun” from a pushcart in the heart of South Brooklyn’s Chinatown (61st Street & 8th Ave). Traditionally eaten for breakfast, cheong fun are made using a thin rice batter topped with meat or vegetables, and then steamed, rolled, and cut into noodles. Husband and Wife team Ri Xin Kuang and Xiao Juan Yu decided to bring the flavors of southern China, where Kuang honed his skills making cheong fun in restaurants, to New York City when they started in 2012. They pride themselves on using fresh ingredients to make each rice noodle roll to order topped off with a selection of homemade sauces.
SNOWDAY FOOD TRUCK
Last year’s Rookie of the Year Winner is back to compete for the big one. Snowday describes their food as “Gourmet Lumberjack,” and is the city’s first farm-to-truck food truck. Their menu features a maple grilled cheese, local beef neck, maple smoked spare ribs and a seasonal selection of pickles, salads and vegetables. Snowday Food Truck is as inspiring as it is delicious. The truck is run by Drive Change - a New York based organization that uses the food truck industry to train, employ and empower young people who are coming home from jail and prison so they can access new opportunities and live bright futures.
Known to all of Astoria as the Souvlaki Lady, Elpida Vasiliadis’ greek food cart is nothing short of an institution. For twenty-five years the Souvlaki Lady has served on the corner of 33rd Street and Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria, Queens. Vasiliadis celebrated recipes are those she learned from her grandmother. Vasiliadis was part of the emergence of Greek food in New York City — when she started serving souvlaki the only people who knew what she was serving were Greek immigrants. Now she serves to everyone in the neighborhood, who can't stop coming back for the taste of Greece.
Dulcineais the creation of physicist Pati Sanz, a native of Spain who got inspired during a vacation to New York and returned to bring the churreria experience of Madrid to her new city. Dulcinea has become known for filling its churros with flavors like Nutella, passion fruit, and dulce de leche, and for its inventive “churro ice cream sandwich.” Dulcinea can be found at Smorgasburg, DeKalb Market, other markets across the city, and on Instagram.
The Crepes Truck
The Crepes Truck is owned by Stephen Asaro, a second-generation vendor whose dad, an immigrant from Sicily, operated a Mr. Softee truck in Woodside Queens when Stephen was growing up. After college and a series of jobs in the food sector, Stephen bought a vintage 1959 ice cream truck and opened it as the Crepes Truck in 2006. He now owns four trucks and is looking for brick-and-mortar locations to expand his business. Visit him on Twitter and Facebook.
Moon Man was founded by Nigel Sielegar (l) and Wenny Purnomo, cousins who grew up in Indonesia. Wenny, an experienced restaurant operator, and Nigel, an award-winning designer, teamed up to showcase "kue pancong", a type of coconut pancake that is slowly disappearing from the streets of Indonesia. They use 10 different toppings including Indonesian pandan steam cake (kue putu), ginger honey lemongrass, and cassava balls at their stand at Queens Night Market. Find them on Facebook and Instagram.
Sweet Zahra is the brainchild of husband and wife duo Zahra and Conroy Lee. Zahra was born in Tehran, Iran, where she learned how to bake from her grandmother, Farokh. After immigrating to the US, and working in corporate America for a few years, Zahra enrolled at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) work-study program, earning her diploma and certificate in baking and pastry arts. She worked at Amy’s Bread and Nobu, among other places, before launching Sweet Zahra at Queens Night Market this summer.
While traveling in Southeast Asia, Bamboo Bites' founder made genuine connections with amazing people, often through food. His curiosity overtook him when he discovered what looked like bamboo sticks being sold along the roadside; he had to see what was inside... What he found was sticky sweet rice, even more irresistible than its cool bamboo casing. Bamboo Bites now shares sticky rice, snacks and street foods with people inspired by genuine travel and human connection. Focusing on flavors from places where bamboo grows, their recipes will take you to far-away lands... How do you bamboo?
Monk's Meat *2016 PEOPLE'S CHOICE VEGAN*
Rebecca and Chris have both been vegetarian and vegan for over 20 years. They love the food they make and enjoy sharing it with everyone. They serve plant-based proteins that they make themselves and have recently expanded their focus to vegan BBQ. You can find their vegan smokehouse at Smorgasburg, where they have been serving extraordinary food, that happens to be vegan, for three years.
Elsie Darrell's interest in the kitchen first developed at an early age growing up in Guyana. The second youngest of 14 children, she would help her mother cook dinner for their family every night. At age 17, Elsie moved to New York City, where she and her sisters ran a successful Caribbean restaurant in Harlem. She then opened a restaurant with her son but due to steep rent hikes, they were forced to shut down. Elsie is the head chef of Jerk Shack, with her son J. Anthony. his wife Kelly and their daughter, Khloe heavily involved in both their food truck, which can be found in front of Harlem Hospital, and their market stall at Vendy Plaza. The Jerk Shack specializes in traditional Caribbean cuisine, which includes vegan meals inspired by the traditional Ital Rastafarian diet.
Mysttik Masaala *2016 VEGAN CUP WINNER*
Originally from Bombay, Yuvaraaj previously worked in the jewelry business. It was his son, Rishi's dream to sell home-cooked Indian food using high quality spices directly flown in from India. He has since handed over his jewelry business to his brother and sister so that he has the freedom to run Mysttik Masaala and feed "heavenly meals" to New Yorkers. Mysttik Masaala's cart can be found 7 days a week in midtown at 54th Street & Park Ave and always serves several vegan offerings.
The Vegan Bandwagon
Wes was raised in Los Angeles in the 1990's, where he became enthralled in volunteering and organic farming. As a disabled veteran, he is ready to serve healthy and eco-friendly products to everyone in NYC and has a goal of employing other disabled veterans at his food carts. In addition to launching The Vegan Bandwagon in partnership with Marty's V Burger, he is trained as an audio engineer and currently works for a mobile food vendor doing food prep and service. This experience has shown him what it takes to succeed in the business and he is excited to make a meaningful impact in the industry.
Marina started Yeah Dawg in June of 2013 after having spent the previous 5.5 years working at a homeless youth shelter as a chef and counselor. Her job at the shelter was to introduce kids that were used to fast food to healthy meals and had to make the meals accessible and familiar. This is where her mission of reinventing "Classic American" food began. The Yeah Dawg team believes that people can be healed by food and their food is made from love with the goal of a better tomorrow for people, animals, and the environment. Yeah Dawg offers a refreshing and healthy take on classics such as hotdogs.
What's the Dillaz - BEST MARKET VENDOR WINNER
What’s the Dillaz is the husband-and-wife team of Jesse Vasquez and Marilyn Hernandez, both born and raised in LIC, Queens. Jesse went to culinary school and now works as a chef at Mom’s Kitchen & Bar in Astoria. Marilyn is a paralegal who is combining her love of the law with entrepreneurship. Their Reuben quesadilla – and other specialties - have been a hit since they started selling, along with their two young daughters, as LIC Flea last summer. They are on Instagram and Facebook.
Jhal NYC is a collaboration of two cousins who grew up in Queens Village -- Mahfuzul Islam and Alvi Zaman. Jhal employs Bangladeshi immigrant women, mostly stay-at-home mothers, to build community, combat social isolation, and put them on the path toward higher education. Jhal seeks to popularize Bengali street food and foster pride in Bengali history and culture. While selling at several markets, Jhal in expanding its catering business, with the hopes of opening a food truck soon. Find them on Facebook and Twitter.
Joon (a term of endearment in Farsi) is the lovechild of Jessica Spiegel and Amir Alerasoul of the Upper West Side. Jessica, an architect from Florida, met Amir, an investment analyst originally from Tehran, eight years ago. Last year, during a trip to Amir’s homeland, they cemented their plan to start their Persian food stand at the Queens Night Market. They are hoping to make up for the relative lack of Persian food in NYC by teaming up tahdig (crispy rice) with savory stews. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
The Malaysian Project
The Malaysian Project is made up of four friends who all live in Middle Village, Queens. Calvin, Abraham, Carlos and Bryan all went to culinary school together near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They reunited years later in New York and, in 2016, decided to launch the Malaysian Project, profiling the tastes of their homeland. Following their debut last year at Vendy Plaza, they are at Queens Night Market, winning raves for their Malaysian-style hamburger. Check them out on Instagram.
Momo Delight - BEST ROOKIE WINNER
Momo Delight (formerly Momo Bros) was founded in 2016 by Psang Thinlay, a Tibetan refugee who grew up in Nepal and immigrated to the US in 2008 at the age of 15. After finishing high school in Jackson Heights, he worked in a series of Japanese restaurants before launching Momo Bros cart, located at 73rd Street and Broadway in Queens outside his uncle’s shop. Momo Delight specializes in the jhol momo, a traditional Nepalese soup momo that is otherwise hard to find in NYC. They are on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Tramezzini NYCwas founded by two brothers from Venice, Italy – Filippo and Massimiliano Paccagnella, who teamed up in 2016 with their friend Davide Pedon to bring to the US traditional cone-shaped sandwiches using soft, crustless bread imported directly from Venice and high-quality ingredients. After getting their start at Smorgasburg, the team recently opened a brick-and-mortar on East Houston Street. You can also visit them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Stuf'd is owned by Rebecca Mitchel and her business partner, chef John LoCascio, who met when they were working at a restaurant in Lower Manhattan. Rebecca, from Rockland County, went to NYU to study hospitality and business, always knowing she wanted to run her own food business. John, from an Italian family in Queens, had worked as a chef in a series of pizzerias and other kitchens. In 2016, they teamed up to serve gourmet French toast sandwiches, with homemade bread, a savory egg wash and panko breadcrumbs. You can find them on Tuesdays at the Dumbo Food Truck Lot, or on Facebook or Instagram.
Kelvin's is owned by Renis and Inka Fusha, who met at Renis’ German restaurant in Astoria, where Inka was a loyal customer homesick for foods from her native Germany. After getting married, they decided to bring their German fare to the street and opened Kelvin’s Truck, named after their six-year-old son. Since April, 2017 they have parked at various locations in Manhattan and LIC with their signature sausages and burgers. They are on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Harajuki Sushi and Crepe
Harajuku Sushi and Crepe is owned by Aaron Chun, originally from Fujian, China. Aaron spent 17 years working in sushi restaurants before opening the Harajuku Sushi and Crepe food truck in January, 2017. Aaron’s sushi has a special twist as it is made only with black or “forbidden” rice which, traditionally was only served to the Chinese Emperor and famous for its healthy characteristics. Aaron serves his sushi with Japanese-influenced sweet and savory crepes which are as beautiful as they are delicious. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
Warung Roadsidewas born in May 2017 when chef/owner Trevor Lombaer, inspired by his travels in Southeast Asia, converted a used hot dog cart into an operation serving Bangkok street food and Thai BBQ. A warung is an Indonesian roadside stall that serves as an essential part of daily life, much like a corner bodega. Trevor started in the backyard of his favorite neighborhood bar in Bed Stuy and has expanded out to all sorts of hot spots from pop-up fashion events to major festivals like Electric Zoo. Check him out on Facebook.
It has been a long time coming but is finally here: A Filipino-inspired food truck in New York City! As he grew up in the food industry and learned the uniqueness of Filipino cuisine, Manny always felt fortunate to build an incredible palette from Filipino flavors! This is what fuels Manny's goal: to bring Filipino food to the streets of NYC for everyone. Filipino's as well as those who thrive on new and adventurous flavor experiences love Sisig City's twist on tacos, nachos and quesadillas.
Cachapas on Wheels *2016 PEOPLE'S CHOICE WINNER*
When Ivette and Jesus Villalobos’ dad quit his job as a tax driver to buy a food truck, they were there to help out with the family business. After graduating from college, they took over the truck while their dad runs a restaurant in Inwood. Having spent part of their childhood in Venezuela, Ivette and Jesus are excited to share the street food they grew up with. One of their most popular menu items is the yoyo, a sandwich using sweet plantains as the bun, which is a speciality of their hometown of Maracaibo. The Villalobos family is from Maspeth, Queens but you can find their truck at Hanover Square and Varick and Houston Street in Manhattan.
Gladis Cocha lives and vends in East Williamsburg. She moved to Brooklyn from Quito, Ecuador 12 years ago and has been a street vendor for 9 years. Before launching her own business, Gladis sold fruit on the streets of Brooklyn. You can now find her every day selling her chicken, cheese and beef empanadas (also referred to as “pastelitos”) at the corner of Debevoise Street and Graham Avenue in East Williamsburg. Gladis is known throughout the neighborhood for her big smile and fresh “secret recipe” salsa.
Tacos el Rancho *2016 VENDY CUP WINNER*
As a teenager, Felix Soriano worked as a dishwasher, where he was mentored by a chef in Chelsea who taught him how to prepare Italian and French cuisine. When Felix decided to branch out on his own, he wanted to serve the food he grew up with in Oaxaca, Mexico and decided to launch in Sunset Park, where he has lived for 22 years. Tacos el Rancho makes home-style Oaxacan food with fresh produce, homemade salsa and handmade tortillas. Since finishing school, Felix’s two sons, Dennis and Nelson, have become partners in the business. The Soriano family is passionate about food and loves spending time together - you can taste the love in their tacos! Find them at 44th Street & 5th Avenue in Brooklyn!
Traditional Chinese Cuisine
Yuanzhen Wang lives in Flushing, Queens with his wife and three daughters. He’s been running his food truck for four years with his daughters working alongside him. Before moving to the U.S., Yuanzhen was a chef in China and wanted to share the specialities of the region he is from, Henan, in central China. Every day next to Washington Square Park, you can find his truck serving his signature spicy lamb burgers and fresh hand-pulled noodles to hungry NYU students.
The Chilly Banana
The Chilly Banana is a mobile food cart out of Philadelphia serving banana whips and other tasty fruit-based treats with homemade sauces. The Chilly Banana aims to provide a healthy and affordable alternative for snacking and builds recipes around natural, fruit- and plant-based ingredients with the highest standards for quality.