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How food truck licensing works

How food truck licensing works

Learn about getting licensed to operate a food truck in different areas of the City.

There are many places to run a food truck in the City. You'll need to get licensed as a vendor. You can get a license for public, private, and special sites.

Still have questions? Contact:
Small Business Development
617-635-5729
1 City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201
United States

Public sites

There are 21 public sites for food trucks in Boston. These sites are considered "cluster sites," which means there are multiple food trucks operating there. View the Boston food truck schedule.

Site licenses last for three months before you have to renew. Before you can get a site license, you need to get a permit to operate a food truck. We reach out to food trucks to let them know when public site lotteries take place.

Public sites are broken up into three different zones. Each zone has different hours and licensing protocols.

ZONE 1

You need to apply for Zone 1 slots in the annual lottery in mid-March. If you already have a Zone 1 slot, you can only renew your license up until the next lottery. If you let go of your slot before the lottery, a mini-lottery will be held for the spot. The mini-lottery happens every four months and we let eligible vendors know before the lottery.

ZONES 2 AND 3

Slots in Zones 2 and 3 are first-come, first-serve when they open up. If you want a slot in either of these zones, you'll have to wait until one is available. You can renew your license in these zones as many times as you like.

ZONE 1 HOURS AND LOCATIONS

HOURS

LOCATIONS

Breakfast: 7 a.m.- 11 a.m

Lunch: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Dinner: 3 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Late night: 9 p.m. - 12 p.m.**

 

(Sites with ** have late night hours)

City Hall Plaza

Boston Public Library**

Clarendon Street

Stuart Street

Boston Medical Center

West End

Milk & Kirby

Pearl & Franklin

Innovation/Seaport Opera

ZONE 2 HOURS AND LOCATIONS

HOURS

LOCATIONS

Breakfast: 7 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Dinner: 3 p.m. - 8 p.m.

BU West

Charlestown

Chinatown

Hurley

1st Year Sites

ZONE 3 HOURS AND LOCATIONS

HOURS

LOCATIONS

Breakfast: 7 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Dinner: 3 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Cleveland Circle

Dorchester Ave.

Dudley Square

Maverick

Peter's Park

Site costs

We base monthly permit fees on how many shifts you work at each site. You'll have to pay the fee for the number of shifts in each zone that you have. You must pay the total quarterly cost of the license up front.

NUMBER OF SHIFTS

ZONE 1

ZONE 2

ZONE 3

1

$125

$75

$50

2

$225

$150

$100

3

$325

$225

$150

4

$425

$300

$200

5

$525

$375

$250

6

$625

$450

$300

7

$725

$525

$350

8

$825

$600

$400

9

$925

$675

$450

10

$1,025

$750

$500

11

$1,125

$825

$550

12

$1,225

$900

$600

Private and special sites

PRIVATE SITES

To work on a private site, you need to give us several documents for approval. We'll need:

To get approved for a private site, you need to bring all your documents to the Public Works Permitting Office:

1 City Hall Square, Room 714
Boston, MA 02201
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

SPECIAL SITES

Special sites are not owned by the City, but are offered through a partnership for food trucks. The application process varies for different types of special sites. You'll need to give us:

  • the approved application
  • your food truck permit, and
  • a copy of your site lease.

Special site contacts and locations

Contacts and locations
Parks and Recreation; Boys and Girls Club
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Contact

Michelle Malachowski
50 Congress St. #730, Boston, MA 02109
Phone: 617-994-4744
Fax: 617-994-4734
Email: mmalachowski@BGCB.org

Site locations
  • Dorchester: Malcolm X Park at Martin Luther King Road
  • Dorchester: Harambee Park at Blue Hill Ave. and Talbot Ave.
  • Fenway: Agassiz Road Carriage House

Vendor application

Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy
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Contact

185 Kneeland St.
Boston, MA 02111
Phone: 617-292-0020

locations and scheduling

Property and Construction Management
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Contact

Boston City Hall
1 City Hall Square, Room 811
Boston, MA 02201
Phone: 617-635-4100
Fax: 617-635-3250

Apply online

Download the application form

Locations
  • Faneuil Hall
  • Sam Adams Park
  • City Hall Plaza
  • City Hall Lobby
  • City Hall Flag Poles
  • North Stage
Department of Conservation and Recreation
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contact

Phone: 617-626-1481
Email:
DCR.permits@state.ma.us

Concessions permit

Mass Bay Transportation Authority
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Contact

Donna L. Hill
Phone: 617-222-3428
Email:
Dhill@mbta.com

MBTA Vendor application

Licenses may be granted according to the public process.

Locations
  • Roxbury: Dudley Square Terminal area
  • Mattapan: Mattapan Square T Station

(You cannot use propane at these sites)

Redevelopment Authority; Economic Development and Industrial Corporation
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Contact

Lauren Shurtleff
Phone: 617-722-4300
Email: Lauren.Shurtleff.BRA@cityofboston.gov

Licenses are granted according to the public process.

Locations
  • Charlestown: 5th Street and 1st Avenue, Charlestown Navy Yard Plaza
  • Boston Marine Industrial Park: Dry Dock #3 by viewing platform

(These sites are already leased)

SoWa Open Market
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Contact

Chris Masci
460 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02118
Phone: 800-403-8305
Fax: 866-611-8539
Email:
info@sowaopenmarket.com

SoWa vendor application