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The NYC Vendy Awards Isn’t Just About Street Food This Year

Street food meets advocacy on Governors Island

Melissa McCart is the editor for Eater New York.

It’s about that time for the Oscars of street food: the 13th annual Vendy Awards on Governors Island September 16. As the city is overrun with big-money restaurant groups, as mom-and-pops struggle to stay open, and as young NYC residents born abroad — many who work in the restaurant industry — face losing U.S. residency, there’s no better time to support it.

The event gives attendees the chance to try bites from 25 of the city’s street vendors, as the group raises funds for advocacy and legal representation for the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center.

Vendy Cup finalists have already been announced, with vendors from China, Nigeria, Mexico, Belarus, and Egypt. Other nominees include Momo Bros. and Harajuki Sushi and Crepe in the best rookie category; Joon and the Malaysian Project under best market vendor; Moon and Sweet Zahra for best dessert vendor, and new this year, the Trump-inspired bad hombres category. From the organizers:

We created the Bad Hombres category, celebrating Latino food vendors, to acknowledge the difficulty our community – among many others -- is now facing. By using his own words, we seek to mock Donald Trump and subvert the culture of fear he would like to create. We wholeheartedly embrace the same aspects of street food – its diversity, its accessibility, its inclusiveness– that he would condemn. We honor the same people that Trump would disparage. We hope you will join us.

Tickets start at $100 and can be purchased here. Check out the nominees for the Vendy Cup below: