All summer long, street food aficionados await the city’s annual celebration of the excellent fare slung by carts and trucks throughout the five boroughs: the Vendy Awards. Held each year on Governors Island, 2017’s 13th-annual event brings together mobile food artisans serving specialties all stripes, from Venetian stuffed sandwiches to fragrant Persian “love cake,” before crowning a winner in categories including Rookie of the Year and best taco truck. The action kicks off at 12:30pm on Saturday, September 16, so grab a ticket now and indulge in our picks for the most original dishes, detailed below.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the Vendy Awards
Bengali pride is an essential ingredient in the cuisine of Jhal, which employs Bengali women—mostly stay-at-home mothers—to craft subtly spicy snacks like fuchka, fried flour shells stuffed with chickpeas and potatoes and topped with chilies, cilantro, sev (crunchy chickpea-flour noodles) and tangy tamarind sauce.
Popularizing the underrepresented fare of Iran is the mission of Joon, run by Jessica Spiegel and Amir Alerasoul. The vendor specializes in the craveable crispy rice known as tahdig topped with a variety of savory stews, from pomegranate-chicken to turmeric beef
Founded last year by Pasang Thinlay, a Tibetan refugee who immigrated to the US at the age of 15, this cart located in Jackson Heights might be the only Tibetan joint in the city to serve jhol momo, a traditional Nepalese soup with an intensely fragrant tomato base that’s ladled over oversized momo dumplings.
Pure pleasure is the name of the game at this food truck normally found at the DUMBO food truck lot. Chef John LoCascio serves up loaded sandwiches served in between slices of French toast crisped with panko: think meatball parm, turkey clubs and sweet s’mores with Nutella and marshmallow fluff.
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park’s Queens Night Market is a nonstop parade of excellent international vendors offering up treats both savory and sweet. In the latter category, we can’t get enough of Moon Man’s kue pancong, fragrant Indonesian coconut-and-rice-flour cakes made to order and sprinkled with dark Java palm sugar.
This sweets vendor operating out of Brooklyn’s Dekalb Market Hall specializes in various iterations of the long, slim, sugar-dusted doughnuts known as churros, but our loyalty lies with their over-the-top churro ice cream sandwich. Two disks of fried-to-order churros are filled with a scoop of ice cream, plus toppings like hot fudge and dulce de leche.