Health and Human Services


For information specific to permitting a particular type of  mobile food unit, click on link next to picture:

Conventional Unrestricted Units includes enclosed trucks, trailers, buses with open foods.

Examples: mobile taquerias, barbecue trailers, snow-cone units, grilled chicken buses

Conventional Restricted Units includes trucks, trailers, vans with packaged foods only prepared at an approved commissary

Ice Cream Tricycles and Push Carts

Ice cream tricycles and push carts (Individually-packaged ice cream)

Unrestricted Fixed Location and Park Vendor Units 

Unrestricted fixed location and park vendor units such as hot dog and other open-foods carts

Ice Cream Trucks
and Vans

Ice cream trucks and vans (Individually packaged frozen desserts)    

Didn’t See your type of unit?   Click Here


Mobile Food Unit Definitions:

A mobile food unit is defined by the Houston Food Ordinance as “a food service establishment that is vehicle-mounted or wheeled and is capable of being readily moveable.”  

Unrestricted: Open foods, requiring sinks

Restricted: Only packaged foods

Conventional: Enclosed unit that meets general requirements for mobile food units

Fixed Location/Park Vendor: Small open air cart which operates on the premises of one permitted food establishment that serves as its commissary or that operates at a city park. 

Mobile Food Unit Regulations:

Sec 20-22

Waiver/variance requests   ( See Sec 20-22 (i) Alternatives, Waivers )

Street and sidewalk ordinance (See Sec 40-8, 40-9)


Permit and Other Fees:   Click here


Mobile Food Unit News: 

Click here for recent changes to mobile food unit regulations, including useful tips.

Contact Us:

Mailing address:  Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of Consumer Health Services, P.O. Box 300008, Houston, TX 77230-0008.

832-393-5063 or 832-393-5100

Information packages may be printed from this website or obtained by going to one of two locations: 8000 N Stadium Dr 77054  (Medical Center area) or 7411 Park Place at Telephone Rd 77087 (Hobby Airport area) 


To File A Complaint Against a Mobile Unit

Please include the following in your complaint description:

  • Nature of violation
  • Name of unit, if name
  • Address where you see the unit/activity
  • Days and times we can find unit at that address or see the alleged violation
  • If selling without a permit:  Description of vehicle, including license plate, make, model and color.