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City of Rochester

Food Trucks

Food Truck Vending

On June 1, 2013, the City of Rochester's first-ever Food Truck Pilot Program launched Downtown. This page is a resource for vendors interested in participating in the pilot program, and food truck vendors looking for licensing information and policies on vending in the city.

What type of license do I need to operate a food truck?

Vending in the City of Rochester is governed by Chapter 62 of the Code of the city of Rochester. You will need a solicitor's license to vend at approved locations within the city.

How do I apply for a solicitor’s license to operate a food truck?

1. Fill out an application.
Applications are available at: The City Clerk’s Licensing Office, City Hall Room 100A. Along with the application, you must attach:

  • Minimum of $100,000 comprehensive liability insurance coverage,
  • New York State Sales Tax Certificate,
  • New York State Health Department permit, and 
  • List of all employees’ names and a photo copy of their government identification. 

2. Complete a Fire Safety Training class.
Additional details regarding food truck fire safety are available at www.cityofrochester.gov/foodtruckfiresafety. If you still have questions, contact Fire Capt. Edward Kuppinger at 585-428-9344, or at kuppinge@cityofrochester.gov for information.

3. Pass an inspection conducted by the License Investigation Unit of the Rochester Police Department and the Fire Safety Division of the Rochester Fire Department.

Note: It could take up to 30 days to process the application, please plan accordingly.

What is the cost of a solicitor's license?

  • $7: Application fee (which is deducted from the licensing fee)
  • $750: Fee for license to vend in both pilot program Center City locations and approved locations outside of Center City.
  • $250: Fee for license to vend only in approved locations outside of the City Center.
  • $56: Three-day Special Promotion Event Solicitor License
  • $24: The cost for each employee and employer vendor tag
  • $10: Replacement fee for lost license

Food Trucks in the Center City District

Licensed trucks that paid the $750 fee may vend in the spots listed below from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., unless indicated otherwise. 
Each spot can accommodate two trucks unless indicated otherwise. 
Please note that the Chief of Police establishes vending restrictions during special events. 

  • State St. & Platt St. (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • Broad St. near South Ave.
  • Andrews St. opposite Water St. 
  • Elm St. east of S. Clinton Ave.
  • East Ave. west of Stillson St.
  • Bragdon Place west of St. Paul St.
  • Court St. east of Exchange Blvd.
  • Court St. east of Chestnut St.
  • Gibbs St. south of Grove St.
  • Cascade Dr.north of Industrial St.
  • St. Mary's Place north of Woodbury Blvd. (one truck only)
  • Alexander St. south of East Ave.

Outside of the Center City District

Food Truck Vending is allowed in a valid legal parking space that does not create a hazard to the public and that has been approved by the License Investigation Unit of the Rochester Police Department.

The Harbortown District

Food truck vending is currently prohibited.

Parks

Food truck vending requires an additional permit from the County or the City depending on the park.

For the following parks, contact the City of Rochester Department of Recreation and Youth Services at (585) 428-6755

  • Cobbs Hill Park
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Park at Manhattan Square
  • Durand Beach
  • Genesee Valley Park West

For the following parks, contact: Monroe County at (585) 753-7275

  • Highland Park
  • Seneca Park
  • Genesee Valley Park East
  • Durand Eastman Park (south of Lakeshore Blvd)
  • NOTE: Vending is prohibited at Ontario Beach Park because it is part of the Harbortown district.

Private Property (outside Center City and Harbortown vending district)

Vending on private property is allowed with a Certificate of Zoning Compliance (CZC) issued by the Director of Planning and Zoning. To apply for a CZC, please call or email Jason Haremza at (585) 428-7761 or at jason.haremza@cityofrochester.gov  

Public Market

Vending at the Public Market requires authorization from the Supervisor of the Public Market. Vendors at the Market do not need a solicitor’s license, but must have all other applicable inspections.Vending at the Public Market requires authorization from the Supervisor of the Public Market. Vendors at the Market do not need a solicitor’s license, but must have all other applicable inspections. Contact Cindy DeCoste at (585) 428-6907 or publicmarket@cityofrochester.gov 

Special Events

Vending is allowed within footprints of events that have been issued a permit by the Office of Special Events. Event organizers should deal directly with the Special Events Office when food trucks will be present. If you have any questions about food trucks at special events, call Kara Osipovitch at (585) 428-6733 or send her an email: kara.osipovitch@cityofrochester.gov  

More questions?

Contact the City Clerk's Licensing Office at (585) 428-6617 or fill out the Food Truck Question Form.

 


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