woman in food truck with a tray of burgers

Thornton 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 Tri-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.

For general questions, please contact Sales and Use Tax: 

For specific questions related to the operating requirements or to report a mobile food truck code violation, please contact Code Compliance: 

  • Phone: 303-538-7517

  • Email: code@thorntonco.gov

  • To submit a code compliance violation online, please go to the MyThornton page (link above, right side of web page).