Sidewalk Sales and Performer Permit

Plan Review
Not Required
Not Required
$11.89 per month or $59.45 per year
Renewal fee
$11.89 per month or $59.45 per year
Valid Period
up to 1 year
Processing Time
10 days
Houston Public Works

1002 Washington Ave, 2nd floor
Houston, TX 77002

8 am to 4:30 pm


Permit allows for the sales of merchandise or food on the sidewalks in the theater/entertainment district or conduct sidewalk performances in the theater/entertainment district. The theater/entertainment district is bounded by Preston Street on the north, Dallas Street on the south, Milam Street on the east, and Interstate Highway 45 on the west.

A merchandise vendor is a person engaged in the sale of artwork, souvenirs, or fresh flowers, or any combination thereof.

A food vendor shall mean a person who sells food from a mobile food unit, which is mounted on wheels, designed to be readily movable, and propelled solely by human power.

Performers mean and include bands, musicians, singers, mimes, and other artists who perform for gratuities on the sidewalk without the use of any electronically amplified instruments and without electronic amplification of sound produced.


After Approval

Permit must be on site.

Conditions & Exceptions


  • Merchandise vendor or performer - 1 month: $11.85
  • Merchandise vendor or performer - 1 year: $59.28
  • Food vendor - 1 month: $35.56
  • Food vendor - 1 year: $118.58
Statutory Authority
What You Need

All applications must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • The name, mailing address, street address (if different), and telephone number of the applicant,
  • A statement as to whether the applicant is an individual, a partnership, or a corporation
    • if a partnership, the names of all general partners
    • if a corporation, a copy of the articles of incorporation
  • A map showing the proposed location of the specific site(s) desired.
    • The applicant may either designate one site for 24-hour use or designate two sites one daytime site with hours of operation between 7 am until 5 pm and one night time site with hours of operation between 5:01 pm until 6:59 am;
  • The written permission of the abutting fee owner for the use of the site(s);
  • A statement whether the applicant desires a permit as a food vendor, merchandise vendor, or as a performer.
  • A description of the nature, size, and manner of construction of any carts or racks, other display equipment, musical instruments, or theatrical props to be utilized by the applicant which shall be subject to review to insure that the same will not pose a hazard to vehicular or pedestrian traffic;
  • If the applicant is a performer, then a description of the performances to be provided.
  • If the applicant is a food vendor or a merchandise vendor, provide proof of insurance:
    • Comprehensive general liability insurance with limits of not less than $100,000.00 for death of or injury to one person and $300,000.00 for death of or injury to more than one person and $25,000.00 for property damage, per occurrence,
    • Policy shall name the city as an additional insured,
    • Provide 10-days' prior notice be given to the director in the event of cancellation;
  • If the applicant is a food vendor, provide:
    • Proof of a current and valid mobile food service unit medallion.
    • Proof of a current and valid food dealer's permit, if not a restricted unit.
    • Proof of a current and valid permit for the use of liquefied petroleum gas on the mobile unit, if applicable
    • Photograph or graphic representation accurately depicting the unit and a general written description of the unit and shall demonstrate that the unit meets all of the same special requirements that are applicable to mobile food units used by licensed park vendors as specified in section 20-22.