Mobile Prepared Food Vendor

A “Mobile Prepared Food Vendor” is any person who, by traveling from place to place upon the public ways, serves portions of food, coffee or other beverages that are totally enclosed in a wrapper or container and which have been prepared or wrapped in a licensed food establishment, using a wheeled non-motorized vehicle, pushcart, or handcart.

Fees:  The license application fee is $100 for a 2 year term.


What is required on the cart?

  • Adequate refrigeration and/or heating equipment as approved by the department of health. Use of propane and/or gasoline generators are not allowed.
  • All mechanical refrigeration and heating equipment shall be equipped with a thermometer.
  • All sides, top, bottom and counters of the cart shall be made of durable and cleanable construction.
  • Clean, non-absorbent, washable receptacles, with a tightfitting lid for refuse is required.
  • Mobile Prepared Food Vendors shall be responsible for the sanitation and cleanliness of the place of operation and the surrounding area.


What is required to apply for the license?

  • The applicant’s full name, residence address, telephone numbers, social security number or IRS ITIN number, and an Illinois Sales Tax number and IDOR Account number.
  • Menu including a list of all food items the applicant intends to serve.
  • Diagram and photos of the non-motorized vehicle or cart.
  • Specifications of all equipment to be used on the non-motorized vehicle
  • A City of Chicago Food Sanitation Manager Certificate, as required.
  • Lease and/or agreement with the licensed commissary where the vehicle or cart will be cleaned and serviced and where food will be prepared and stored.
  • A “Shared Kitchen User” license is required to prepare and or store food at a licensed commissary. Food may not be prepared or stored in a residential home.


­­Ready to Apply?

You may apply for a license online by visiting, or in person at the Small Business Center in City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle Street, Room 800. For general licensing inquiries, call (312) 74-GOBIZ/(312) 744-6249. 


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