After incorporating feedback from a public meeting in March, the City of Knoxville has set rules and zones for a pilot program for mobile food vendors within City limits. The City is now accepting permit applications from food truck operators, and signs will be erected at parking spaces in five downtown zones by Monday, April 21.

Vendors can apply for one of two permits. For an annual fee of $200, a permit will allow a food truck to operate on appropriately zoned private property (with permission from the property owner). For an annual fee of $400, a permit will allow them to operate both on private property and in designated zones and hours on City streets.

“What we heard from a few vendors is that some of them weren’t interested in operating in public right-of-way at all,” said Patricia Robledo, the City’s Business Liaison. “So we created a second tier for people who only operate on private property.”

The designated public zones and hours have also been changed based on feedback from the Knoxville Mobile Restaurant Association. Two zones – at Locust Street and Cumberland Avenue, and along Depot Avenue – have been put on hold and will be added on at a later date based on interest and demand. The hours for two of the remaining five zones have been expanded: On the 200 Block of South Gay Street, food trucks will be able to operate from 6-10 a.m. in addition to 10 p.m.-2 a.m.; and on the 300 Block of South Gay Street, evening hours have been added from 4-8 p.m.

“What this means is that zones are available to vendors who want to serve breakfast, lunch, dinner or late-night crowds,” Robledo said. “That’s good for them, and it also helps provide more options for downtown visitors and residents.”

For a complete list of the zones and hours, along with all the pilot program rules, see