Other Types of Mobile Food Vending

Mobile Users: Click on any of the images below to see special considerations for types of mobile food vending in Boston.

 

Procedure for Obtaining a Mobile Food Permit

1 | Establish a vending location.
2 | Review and follow the Mobile Food Establishment Plan Review Form

In order to obtain a health permit from Boston Inspectional Services Department (ISD), Division of Health Inspections for Mobile Food Vehicles and Pushcarts, you must collect the following information before the inspection:

  • Your vending location and appropriate licenses or permits.

  • A letter on letterhead from a specific fixed license food establishment stating that you have permission to report twice daily to that location for all food, supplies, cleaning, and sanitizing of units and equipment, along with a current copy of their permit.

  • Your completed ISD Mobile Food Vehicle Application and proper documents and licenses. You can complete your ISD application at the time of your inspection, but make sure to have documents and licenses beforehand.

3 | Set up an inspection.

Inspections are normally performed between 8:00 AM and 9:00 AM Monday - Friday. To set up an inspection, call or visit:

1010 Massachusetts Avenue, 4th Floor, Boston MA.
617-635-5326

Types of VendingVending Locations

Food Push Carts

Push carts are allowed in some public parks, in the Downtown Crossing BID area, and on private property with proper permitting.

Canteen Trucks

You can establish a vending location by checking with:    

  • The Department of Conservation and Recreation (State)

  • The Parks Department (City)

  • Any open construction sites. (the truck must be pulled up on the construction site in order to vend legally)

Ice Cream Trucks

Ice cream truck operating locations are regulated by the Boston Police Department, Rule 401.
Rule 401 (Full Text)

 

Special Considerations

+Expand All Answers
Food Push Carts
Definition
Serving Potentially-Hazardous Foods
Purchasing Food
Open Flame or Propane
Canteen Trucks
Definition
Serving and Cooking of Food
Open Flame or Propane
Ice Cream Trucks
Definition
Selling Soft Serve Ice Cream

Additional Resources

We understand that food-related ventures and opportunity are constantly evolving. If you are interested in starting a mobile food venture that does not fit into the above categories, please contact the Office of Food Initiatives at food@boston.gov.

Non-Food Related Mobile Vending

If you are interested in starting a mobile venture that is not food related, the Office of Food Initiatives is not the best place to start. Your first step will need to be determining where you are interested in vending. Once you have a plan for locations, please contact the Licensing/Public Services Division of the Police Department at 617-343-4425. You can also review Rule 401, which governs mobile vending in the City of Boston.

Rule 401

Announcements

  • Info Session for New Vendors

    The Office of Food Initiatives will be hosting info sessions for new vendors in May, August, and November in the Boston City Hall in the BRA Boardroom (9th Floor) starting at 4:00 PM. We will provide a thorough overview of the Mobile Food Truck Program and provide an opportunity for asking specific questions.

    If you are considering a food truck business and have questions about the permitting and licensing process, please RSVP with your name and contact information to the Mobile Food Truck Coordinator, in the Office of Food Initiatives.

    View All Info Sessions

    RSVP Now

  • Want more food trucks in your area?

    Now you can suggest a new food truck location in Boston with our Food Truck Suggest-a-Site map.

    Suggest a Site

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