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Development Services

Mobile Food Truck Permit

Mobile food trucks are motorized vehicles that sell or serve food or beverages prepared on-site or prepackaged, whether consumed on-site or elsewhere. This use category does not include pushcarts, farmers’ markets, or off-site food and beverage delivery services.

A mobile food truck permit is required for mobile food truck operations on private property.

Plan Your Project

What You Should Know

  1. Application Requirements

  1. Permitted locations for mobile food trucks

  • Allowed in base zones identified as a “P” or “L” in the use tables, depending on the location zone.
  • Downtown Area - Mobile food trucks are permitted in a majority of downtown areas.
    • On-street mobile food truck operations are exempt from the requirement for a permit.
    • Daily operations are not permitted in the following special character areas unless authorized as part of a special event. View map of these two areas:
      1. Gaslamp Quarter Planned District
        The boundary is approximately 8 blocks located along 5th Avenue;
      2. Little Italy Neighborhood NC Zone
        The boundary is approximately 6 blocks located along India Street.
  • Other areas may also require one of the following permits:
  1. Prohibited locations for mobile food trucks

Mobile food trucks are not permitted in the public-right-of-away within the Parking Impact Overlay Zone.


Fees depend upon the complexity of site context and time necessary for staff to review and are required to be paid annually. View Information Bulletin 148.


The following uses do not require Mobile Food Truck Permits:

  • Operations within the public right-of-way in accordance with San Diego Municipal Code (SDMC) Section 141.0612;
  • Operations in industrial zones or commercial office zones;
  • Operations on the property of a school, university, hospital, or religious facility with the written consent of the property owner or authorized school official;
  • Operations in RM-3, RM-4, and RM-5 zones in association with a multiple unit development with 16 or more dwelling units with the written consent of the property owner or authorized leasing office;
  • Operations serving an active construction site; and
  • Catering of a private event as an offsite delivery service or in accordance with the limitations in SDMC Section 141.0612(d).

Compliant Outdoor Expansion

Apply for a Permit

Step 2

Read the PDF icon requirements for PDF file uploads.

Not following the PDF requirements will delay project review and approval.

Step 3

Complete or obtain:

Step 4

Apply for a Permit

You will be required to upload the completed documents from Step 3.