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Eat and Drink

Vendy Awards past winners that have made it big

The Vendy Awards celebrate top-rated food trucks in the city. At the ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 13 on Governor's Island, the nominated carts vie for the titles of Vendy Cup, Masters Cup, Rookie of the Year, Best of Market and Best Dessert.

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the food truck awards. Finalists include food trucks serving up cuisine from Mexico to Puerto Rico to India, and the competition is tight.

Here's a look at some of the previous Vendy winners who have found big success in NYC.


Winner of the Vendy Cup in 2008, Calexico
Photo Credit: flickr/bionicgrrl

Winner of the Vendy Cup in 2008, Calexico has since opened several brick-and-mortar restaurants in Brooklyn and Manhattan.The restaurant and food truck attributes its success to the press and high demand for their menu after their Vendy win. Chipotle pork, carne asada and black bean tacos are all popular choices, along with rolled quesadillas (reminiscent of a certain burrito chain’s off-menu item), topped with their signature crack sauce, aptly named for its addictive qualities. Calexico is nominated this year for the Master’s Cup award.

Korilla BBQ

Winner of the Rookie of the Year award
Photo Credit: flickr/h-bomb

Winner of the Rookie of the Year award in 2011, Korilla's Korean-style taco truck is easily identifiable by long lines at their tiger-striped vehicle, and they are reportedly opening a brick-and-mortar location at Astor Place. Burritos stuffed with bacon kimchi fried rice, proteins like ribeye bulgogi or homemade organic tofu, shredded cheese and homemade salsa and various Korean pickles, slaws and sauces make the ultimate fusion food. While we’re not huge fans of waiting in lines, Korilla is well worth it.

Luke’s Lobster

In 2013, Luke's Lobster seafood truck won the
Photo Credit: FLICKR/beigeinside

In 2013, Luke's Lobster seafood truck won the People’s Choice Vendy. And yes, their lobster, crab and shrimp rolls are all pretty popular. Maine native Luke Holden is a former investment banker who wanted to bring his hometown cuisine to New Yorkers. His East Village lobster shack soon became a food truck phenomenon. All of the lobster comes from Maine, and seven New York brick-and-mortar locations complement the traveling food truck, which has also opened outposts in D.C. and Philadelphia.

Wafels & Dinges

2009’s Vendy Dessert award went to Wafels &
Photo Credit: flickr/missmeng

2009’s Vendy Dessert award went to Wafels & Dinges, which has since won awards including 2013’s "Most Popular Food Truck" in the USA by Buzzfeed and Zagat’s “Best Food Truck in NYC” in 2010 and 2011. The bright yellow truck opened an East Village wafel café last year, serving sweet and savory creations beyond the scope of their food trucks. Their street food, however, lacks nothing. Choose from a Brussels or liege waffle and top with dinges including speculoos (ie cookie butter), fresh strawberries, Nutella, whipped cream and so much more. Follow @waffletruck for daily trivia which can earn you free dinges!

The Cinnamon Snail

2013’s Vendy Hero Winner (for serving Hurricane Sandy
Photo Credit: twitter/VeganLunchTruck

2013’s Vendy Hero Winner (for serving Hurricane Sandy victims), 2012’s People’s Choice Award and 2010’s winner of the Maker’s Mark Challenge, 2014’s Vendy’s bring a Vendy Cup nomination to Cinnamon Snail's vegan organic food truck. Also named the #1 place to eat in NYC by Yelp, the seasonal menu at this Kosher, meatless, breakfast and lunch truck is truly outstanding. Seitan al pastor, Korean BBQ seitan and Seitan ancho chili burgers are all notable highlights at this food truck that aims to “inspire peace and bliss” via their cuisine.


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