Street Side Showdown: Philly's 1st Annual Vendy Awards

On July 9th, from 3 to 7 p.m., the Vendy Awards will roll into Philadelphia to determine, once and for all, which of our city’s street food vendors reigns supreme. This gastronomical event, held at the Piazza at Schmidt’s, will benefit The Food Trust, one of the city’s top-notch organizations seeking to ensure that all Philadelphians have access to fresh, healthy food.

So, what are the Vendys? Begun in New York in 2005, the Vendy Awards are a yearly street food cook-off that has become one of New York’s most anticipated food events. Called “the Oscars of food, for the real New York” by none other than Mario Batali, this year will mark Philly’s first foray into the street food show down, and is sure to solidify our city as the East Coast culinary Mecca that it is.  

It’s safe to say that while modest in comparison to booming street-food cities like L.A. and New York, Philly’s food truck and cart scene is a bustling one that continues to grow each year, providing the city’s on-the-go residents with a diverse array of mobile-noshing options. Plus, we’re happy to say that many local vendors are amping up their offerings using locally-grown and produced ingredients – notable spots include, Renaissance Sausage and Honest Toms Taco Truck.

To participate, vendors must be nominated by June 10th, and the exciting news is that anyone is welcome (and encouraged!) to give a nom to their favorite spot. Upon deadline, nominations will be tallied, and the top 8 to 10 vendors will be invited to compete for bragging rights at the Vendy Cup.

Although a pre-determined team of distinguished judges (10 Arts' Jennifer Carroll, PW's Brian Mcmanus, CP's Drew Lazor, and Zahav's Michael Solomonov) has been chosen to determine the food-slinger worthy of street food fame, your job doesn’t end after the nominations close. Instead, purchase your tax-deductible ticket, and gain access to the awards where you’ll enjoy the amazing food these note-worthy chefs have to offer, accompanied by an assortment of beverages, and fun activities.

Grab your tickets fast, and send in your nominations! Philly’s street vendors deserve some major credit, because who else remembers your name and how you take your coffee?

The Vendy’s are also hosted by the Street Vendor Project, part of the Urban Justice Center that works to correct the social and economic injustices often endured by these street-side entrepreneurs through educational clinics, and advocacy work.

So eat, nominate, eat some more, and celebrate Philly's local food scene and food justice organizations!