Mobile/Stationary Food Vending in Boston
Mobile Food Trucks
A mobile food truck is a retail food establishment located on a vehicle where food is cooked, prepared, and served for individual portion service. Food trucks contain complete full-service commercial kitchens, and are typically 24 feet long and 8 feet wide.
On a food truck, food is served from inside the truck; additionally, most of the food served is cooked on the truck.
Example of a Food Truck: Clover Food Lab
Food Push Carts
Push carts are not motorized and are limited in the types of food they sell. Specifically, if they do not have handwashing facilities, they are limited to serving non-potentially hazardous foods such as coffee, cupcakes, or frankfurters (this last item requires refrigeration).
If they serve potentially-hazardous foods (chicken kabobs, salads, falafel, burritos, etc.), they must have handwashing facilities, as well as the ability to comply with time-temperature safety regulations.
All retail food vendors must purchase their food items or ingredients from a wholesaler.
Examples include: Grillo’s Pickles, Equal Exchange Tricycle, or the traditional sausage vendor pictured.
Example of a food push cart in Downtown Crossing.
Canteen trucks are able to serve a broader selection of food because their trucks must contain handwashing facilities, mechanical refrigeration, and hot holding equipment. While some of the products they sell are also made commercially by others, some canteen trucks have grills or pizza ovens.
All serving or cooking of food is done from outside of the truck.
Canteen trucks are regulated by the State and are restricted from vending in Downtown Boston.
Example of a canteen truck.
Ice Cream Trucks
Ice cream trucks offer ice cream, soft-serve, and other frozen desserts, which are kept cold in refrigerators/freezers on the truck and distributed directly from the vehicle.
If a vendor sells soft-serve ice cream, they are required to have handwashing facilities.
Example of an ice cream truck: Boston Frosty.