User’s Guide: Boston Street Food

Boston does not allow mobile food vendors, but that shouldn’t deter you from from seeking your own piece of the street-food pie. Prior to applying for a license from the Public Works Department, wannabe vendors must get “health license” from Inspectional Services Department. If your food is hot, get a fire permit from the Boston Fire Department. Turn in your application, pay $15 per square-foot of your stand, and wait. If your license is approved, you must also take out liability insurance for $500,000.

The rules are a little less stringent in Cambridge, which allows food trucks. Begin by applying for a “peddler/vendor license.” If you own a truck, you’ll also have to provide proof of registration and details about your route, “including time of stops.” If your truck uses propane, it must be inspected by the Cambridge Fire Department. Pay $175 for a hearing fee and attend the License Commission Hearing on the second or fourth Tuesday of the month. If approved, you’ll get your license in “four to six weeks.”

Consult our map below to find a street-food stand near you. For tips on where to get a truck or how much start-up money you’ll need, look to Grub Street New York.

How’s the street-food scene elsewhere? Check out Grub Street maps in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.

Plus: How to start your own street cart.

User’s Guide: Boston Street Food