Summer is just around the corner. With the warmer weather also arrives some wonderful outdoor food festivals.
First up, The 2016 New Taste of the Upper West Side returns this June with an impressive lineup of new and returning restaurants, notable chefs, and celebrity hosts for a delectable two-night celebration. The annual event, which was created by the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District (“BID”), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, donates all net proceeds to the local community for neighborhood improvement and beautification projects such as the Columbus Avenue BID’s Sustainable Streetscape project, Theodore Roosevelt Park, Wellness in the Schools nutritional program, Greenhouse Classroom, Citymeals-on-Wheels and other beneficiaries.
“After nine years, New Taste of the Upper West Side has become an iconic event for Upper West Siders, as well as a destination food festival for people all over the city and from afar. We take pride in that the event continues to showcase our best local restaurants, as well as, of course, our fantastic Upper West Side neighborhood,” says Barbara Adler, Executive Director of the Columbus Avenue BID. “Each year, we strive to add something fresh and unexpected to this beloved festival. For 2016, it’s the debut of “Summer in the City: Surf & Turf,” a totally fun event with a beachy theme, summer spirit, and grilling! Adding even more excitement will be ten new restaurants making their first appearances at this year’s events, even some that will not yet have opened.”
Friday, June 3rd at 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Summer in the City: Surf & Turf
Presented by Glenwood Under a grand tent on Columbus Ave between West 76th and 77th Streets in the O’Shea Complex Schoolyard
Dive into summer with everyone’s favorite surf, turf and seasonal favorites! 45 restaurants are re-imagining beloved warm-weather standards with unique and innovative twists. Senses are bound to be heightened in a beachy-chic setting under an exquisite block-long tent where the best flavors, scents and sounds of summer come alive to the rhythms of the Silver Arrow Band. Be the first to discover yet-to- be named restaurant debut from two-time Michelin-star chef April Bloomfield with partner Ken Friedman (Spotted Pig, The Breslin); and Maison Pickle, the newest restaurant from the Jacob’s Pickles team. Other “firsts,” including neighborhood newcomers Jin Ramen, Han Dynasty and Playa Betty’s, will be joining dozens of returning event faves, such as Momofuku Milk Bar, The Meatball Shop, Jacob’s Pickles, Shake Shack and AG Kitchen. Hosting this star-studded evening are Anne Burrell, host of Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America and author of “Own Your Kitchen,” and Alex Guarnaschelli, chef/owner of Butter, judge on Food Network’s Chopped, mentor on Food Network’s All-Star Academy & author of “Old-School Comfort Food.” It’s a super soirée with international wine selections, craft beers, creative cocktails and so much more!
Cost: $105 per person or 2 for $185
Saturday, June 4th at 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
BEST OF THE WEST Under a grand tent on Columbus Ave between West 76th and 77th Streets in the O’Shea Complex Schoolyard
The spectacular culinary weekend comes full circle with Best of the West 2016, celebrating the crème de la crème of Upper West Side cuisine for a ninth year! It’s an exciting evening of grand gastronomy against a backdrop of beauty, high spirits and the sophisticated sounds of Joe Battaglia and his 18- piece New York Big Band, as hosted by the charming Sara Gore of NBC’s New York Live and Open House. More than 45 fabulous Upper West Side restaurants are preparing unique and delectable dishes. Exciting neighborhood newcomers Crave Fishbar, Olma Caviar Boutique & Lounge, Orwasher’s Bakery and Amorino Gelato will be joining dozens of revered restaurants returning for yet another great year, including RedFarm, Boulud Sud, Dovetail, Jacques Torres and Rosa Mexicano. A magical feast prepared by Masters!
Cost: $135 per person or 2 for $250
Saturday, June 4th at 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM
Best of the West VIP Presented by 21 West End Under a grand tent on Columbus Ave between West 76th and 77th Streets in the O’Shea Complex Schoolyard
For a second year in a row, New Taste of the Upper West Side is enhancing an exceptional experience with its exclusive VIP Reception, presented by 21 West End featuring a private lounge and bar, and Caviar Lounge by Olma Caviar. VIP guests will receive special gift bags with items from our sponsors. Most importantly, true devotees of the culinary arts will have early access to 45 of the finest chefs on the Upper West Side for an entire hour before general admission!
Cost: $225 per person
This year’s sponsors include 21 West End, Argo, Glenwood, DNA Info, New York Post, West Side Spirit, Barritt’s Ginger Beer, Brusco Group, Rosa Mexicano, Cargill, Rishi Tea and Boston Beer Company.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.newtasteuws.com.
And later in the season, The Vendy Awards, the original and most beloved food truck competition, will be back for its 12th year on Saturday, September 17th. The annual event will return to Governors Island to showcase some of New York City’s best and most creative street food vendors..
Vendors will compete for the coveted Vendy Cup, along with Rookie of the Year, Best Dessert, and Best Market Vendor, which will all be judged by a panel of celebrity judges. The popular People’s Choice Award will be determined by the crowd’s vote. Anew category will be announced in the coming months. In 2015, fan-favorite Snow Day swept the competition, going home with both the Vendy Cup and People’s Choice Award; this year, a new crop of vendors will compete for their profession’s highest honor.
Nominations for vendors are being accepted now, so loyal NYC street vendor patrons can nominate their choice for best sidewalk chef online at h\p://www.vendyawards.streetvendor.org/nominate/. A limited number of Early Bird Tickets are available at $85 for General Admission, $50 for kids, and $135 for VIP. Once Early Bird Tickets are sold out, General Admission Tickets will be available for $100, $145 for VIP and $60 for kids 8-‐12 (under 8 are free). Purchase Tickets here: h\ps://2016vendysnyc.eventbrite.com
“We’re proud to bring the Vendy Awards back to Governors Island to showcase New York’s exploding street food culture,” said Sean Basinski, Director of the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center. “Over the last decade, the Vendy Awards has become a platform for vendors from all over the city to present their creativity and skill. It’s also a great way for New Yorkers to taste the latest and greatest in street food, and support these hard-‐working sidewalk heroes. We invite all New Yorkers to nominate their favorite cart or truck, and snag a ticket to truly celebrate what New York’s street food culture has to offer.”
Follow the Vendy Awards on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest announcements at @VendyAwards and use #vendys and #vendyawards.