Inspectional Services

Food Handler Permit


Permits are required to operate a business within the City of Cambridge.  A permit is non-transferrable when selling a business or changing management. 

Restaurants must obtain an alcohol or non-alcohol permit depending on the type of license they have been granted.
Small retail establishments and supermarkets require a retail permit.
Schools and daycares are required to have a food establishment permit.
Temporary food service permit does not exceed 14 days. Most permits are issued for a one day event.
Mobile food trucks that are licensed through the City of Cambridge License Commission must have a mobile food truck permit to operate within the City.
Farmer's market permits are applied for and issued through the market manager.
Package stores (liquor store) are required to obtain a package store permit.
Bakeries with retail only must obtain a bakery permit.  Bakeries with seating must obtain a non-alcohol food establishment license.

Establishments serving or using milk must obtain a milk license as part of the food establishment permit.
Establishments manufacturing frozen desserts (ice cream, frozen yogurt & soft serve) must obtain a frozen dessert license as part of the food establishment permit.
Establishments selling tobacco items must obtain a tobacco license as part of the food establishment permit.

As a caterer licensed outside of the City of Cambridge, you must fill out and submit to ISD a catering registration form.  As a food establishment licensed by the City who would wish to perform catering, you must obtain a catering license as part of the food establishment permit.

Related Links

Visiting City Hall

Cambridge City Hall

795 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge MA, 02139
Ph: 617-349-4000
TTY: 617-349-4242

Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm

Louis DePasquale
City Manager

Lisa C. Peterson
Deputy City Manager