Mobile Food Trucks

Below is the City of Thornton Mobile Food Truck Guide. While it provides general guidance and information on how to lawfully operate a mobile food truck in Thornton, mobile food truck operators are responsible for understanding and following the full list of requirements, which can be found in Sections 42-801 through 42-805 of the Thornton City Code.

What is a mobile food truck: 

A motorized or towed wheeled vehicle that is designed, equipped and used to prepare, or serve, and sell food at a transitory or static location.

What do I need to operate my mobile food truck in Thornton: 

  • A sales and use tax business license issued by the City Treasurer.
  • An annual inspection performed by the Thornton Fire Department.
  • An annual retail food license issued by the Adams County Health Department.

Where can I operate my mobile food truck:

  • Collector and local streets in areas where on-street parking is permitted.  
  • Parking lots of city parks, open space, or any other city property with authorization from the City.
    • Please call the Parks and Recreation department at 720-977-5396 if you wish to operate your mobile food truck on city property.
  • Property owned or controlled by another governmental entity with permission of the governmental entity.
  • Private property with permission of the owner or person in control of the property.

Thornton location requirements:

  • Must be at least 150 ft. away from the public entrance of a restaurant while the restaurant is open for business, unless permission from the restaurant has been received.
  • Must be located where on-street parking is permitted and in such a manner that the flow of traffic is not impeded and the visibility of other motorists is not obstructed.
  • Cannot be parked on a public sidewalk within the extended boundaries of a crosswalk or within 10 feet of the extension of any building entranceway, doorway or driveway.

Notable operating requirements:

  • Obey all Thornton traffic, parking, sign and noise laws.
  • Vend only between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
  • Vend only non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Do not set up any structures, canopies, tables or chairs for food consumption.
  • Vend only from the side of the mobile food truck away from moving traffic and as near as possible to the curb or side of the street.
  • Do not park in the fire lane. Mobile food truck vendors will be held responsible for this violation.
  • Trash removal is important. Mobile food vendors must keep business sites clean and free of litter.
  • Comply with the City’s sign code regulations (Municipal Code Chapter 18, Article VII).

Questions and Concerns

For tax questions, please contact Sales and Use Tax:

For general operating or to report a mobile food truck code violation, please contact Code Compliance:

  • Phone: 303-538-7517
  • Email:
  • To submit a code compliance violation online, please go to the MyThornton page (link above, right side of web page).

To report mobile food trucks that are in violation of Thorntons' traffic and parking laws, please contact the Thornton Police Department:

Other Contact Information:

  • Adams County Health Department: 303-288-6816
  • Sales Tax Division: 303-538-7400
  • Fire Prevention: 303-538-7007