A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 21, 2016
Oscars of Street Food (Vendy Awards nickname)

The Vendy Awards originated in 2005 in New York City to honor its street food vendors. The “Vendys” (as spelled on the official website, but “Vendies” has also been used) soon expanded to other cities. American chef Mario Batali called the Vendys “the Oscars of the food of the real New Yorker” (cited in print in 2009), after the film industry’s “Oscars" (Academy Awards).

“The Vendy Awards- Oscars of Street Food” was posted on Twitter on March 26, 2010.

Vendy Awards—New York
The Vendy Awards are the first street food event and competition series in the USA. It’s an intense cook-off between the most popular sidewalk chefs in New York City and a fundraiser to support The Street Vendor Project.

A team of distinguished judges score the finalists and decide who will win the prestigious “Vendy Cup.” Attendees choose our People’s Choice Award winner, as well as winners in the other categories.

18 August 2009, Washington (DC) Post, “Big Wheels of Street Vending Vie to Be New York’s Best,” pg. C3:
Five New York City vendors will compete for the title of tastiest purveyor of street food, a contest that celebrity chef Mario Batali has called “the Oscars of the food of the real New Yorker.”

The finalists offer dishes that reflect New York’s ethnic makeup, including Indian kati rolls, Jamaican jerk chicken and Mexican tacos. None of New York’s ubiquitous hot-dog sellers was among the finalists for the Vendy Awards.

5 November 2009, Voice of America News, “Street Food in New York City Comes of Age”:
Street food in New York conjures up images of hot dogs and pretzels served from carts by recent immigrants. But now, a whole new breed of food trucks is hitting the streets, with offerings as varied as Asian dumplings and Austrian schnitzel. These vendors attract loyal customers, and now they are getting formal recognition from New York’s food establishment in the form of an award called the Vendy, which has been called the Oscar for New York’s eating public.

The Street Vendor Project just announced they will be bringing The Vendy Awards- Oscars of Street Food to LA May 15 http://ow.ly/1rlri
1:09 PM - 26 Mar 2010

17 May 2010, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Circling wagons; Vendy Awards bring together traditional taco trucks with newer gourmet food purveyors” by Kate Linthicum, pg. AA1:
The first Vendy Awards were held six years ago in New York City, in a garage in the East Village (a sausage vendor won).

The competition quickly become a cult cultural event, catching the attention of food-world stars like Mario Batali, who called the Vendy Awards “the Oscars of food for the real New York.”

Crystal Johnson
enjoyed attending New York’s Vendy Awards- The Oscars of Street Food World.
7:47 PM - 25 Sep 2010

Daily News (New York, NY)
‘Vendies’ food-cart cook-off coming to Sunset Park in September
Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 3:54 PM
It’s the Oscars of street food, and it’s moving to Sunset Park.

The Vendy Awards — the street-cart competition in which short-order cuisine kings are pitted against each other in a cook-off royale — will set up shop in Industry City in September.

Governors Island
‏@Gov_Island Governors Island Retweeted NYCgo
Don’t miss “the Oscars of street food for real NYers”, the @vendyawards! Sat 9/17 on #GovernorsIslandGovernors Island added,
NYCgo @nycgo
The @VendyAwards return to @Gov_Island tomorrow! Try two dozen of the top street-food vendors from across New York! https://twitter.com/NYTMetro/status/776769637371486208
11:23 AM - 16 Sep 2016

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Coffeehouses/Food Stores • Wednesday, September 21, 2016 • Permalink