The Vendys are:

  • The Vendys are the first street food event and competition series in the USA, providing a forum for vendors to compete for the title of Best Street food
  • Now in its 10th year, the Vendys have grown to be “the nation’s most anticipated food awards,” (Every Day with Rachael Ray). See what others are saying about us here
  • 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.
  • A fundraiser organized by the Street Vendor Project, a membership-based non-profit organization that stands up for vendors’ rights.
  • Outside of New York, The Vendys partners with local organizations that support street vendors and/or sustainable food issues in each host city

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!

What happens at the Awards?

Finalists arrive with their carts/trucks and prepare their best eats for Vendy attendees and judges. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be plentiful, with tables and chairs for the food-weary. There will be live music and performances, 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.

My company would like to sponsor the Vendy Awards. What should I do?

Now in its 10th year, the Vendy Awards has established itself as a classic 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 vendyawards@gmail.com or (202) 213-2250.

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 1800 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.