Public Site Licenses

The City of Boston has designated 18 locations on public property as public sites. These 18 sites are the only locations on public property where vendors may vend. You can find a full list of the public sites here, along with their vending slots and current occupants. Many of these are “cluster sites”, with more than one food truck operating during each meal time.

To vend on a public site, you must acquire a site license. All site licenses last for three months. The process by which you may acquire a slot that is occupied by another vendor depends on the type of site.

Prime sites: You must apply for prime site slots in the mid-January annual prime site lottery. All new sites are prime sites for their first year. Occupants of prime sites may only renew their site licenses until the next prime site lottery. If an occupant releases their permit before the next prime site lottery, a mini lottery is held. The mini lottery takes place as needed and eligible vendors are notified. To participate in the lottery, you must plan to have a fully permitted and licensed truck ready by April 1st of the same year. Apply for the lottery at Boston City Hall, Room 603.

Non-prime sites: If you want an occupied slot on a non-prime site, you must wait for the current occupant of the slot to give up the slot. The occupant of a non-prime site may renew his or her site license as many times as she wishes. Open non-prime sites are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Site Costs

Vendors must pay the total cost of the license at the beginning of the three month license period. For example, a vendor who will operate during the breakfast slot Monday to Friday on a Tier One site must pay $812.50 to get a three-month site license.

Site Costs per slot per day by meal

SitesBreakfast
(6:00-10:00AM)
Lunch
(10:00AM-3:00PM)
Dinner
(3:00-9:00/11:00PM)
City Hall Plaza$50.00/slot/day$50.00/slot/dayXXX
Tier One$12.50/slot/day$25.00/slot/day$12.50/slot/day
Tier Two$8.25/slot/day$16.50/slot/day$8.25/slot/day
Tier Three$4.25/slot/day$8.50/slot/day$4.25/slot/day

Apply to vend at an existing public site in an open time

Submit a Food Truck Site License Application to Public Works, Permitting Office, Boston City Hall, Room 715. Include the following documents:

  1. Completed first page of Food Truck Permit Application

  2. Completed Pre-Approved Site Locations Worksheet

  3. Business Plan: A short description of your business, including:
    - Concept and sample menu (with at least one healthy option)
    - Statement on uniqueness of your product
    - Commitment to the Rethink Your Drink campaign
    - Agreement not to compete with  businesses within 100 feet of the site
    - Operations: timing (arrival, set up, business hours, departure), staffing, customer queuing, trash/area -cleaning, staff restroom, strategy to keep 20 feet in front of and behind your vehicle clear of other vehicles

  4. Proof of Commissary Kitchen (e.g. lease agreement)

  5. Statement on Community Engagement

  6. Statement on Environmental Sustainability

Proposing a new public site

Submit a Food Truck Proposed Site Application to Public Works, Permitting Office, Boston City Hall, Room 715. Include the following documents:

  1. Completed first page of Food Truck Permit Application

  2. Completed Food Truck Proposed Site Worksheet and a Food Truck Site Evaluation Form

  3. Business Plan

  4. Proof of Commissary Kitchen (e.g. lease agreement)

  5. Statement on Community Engagement

  6. Statement on Environmental Sustainability

  7. Google Map printout indicating parking location

  8. 360 degree photos of the proposed site

Note: If your proposed public site is approved, you are not guaranteed  that spot. The site will be put into the lottery.

If your public site application is approved (for either an existing or new public site)

  1. Provide a certificate of insurance listing each approved location and including “City of Boston” as additionally insured for $1,000,000 for each event triggering coverage

  2. Provide proof that a registered letter was sent to the building management/property owners within 100 feet of each approved site to notify those businesses of the approval to vend

  3. Provide proof that a registered letter was sent to the business owner(s) fronting the approved site
    Contact other businesses and residences in the area to let them know about the new food truck (flyering)

Submit all documents to Boston City Hall, Room 603.

Ten days after mailing the registered letters, call Public Works. If Public Works has not received any complaints, give a check to Public Works to pay for your slots for the next three months and you will receive your public site license

Here to Help