New Food Trucks Popping up in Calgary

by Caralyn Macdonald · 0 comments

As food truck fever spreads across Calgary, there’s a lot of chatter about the new food trucks rolling out this August.  With that chatter has come some confusion, so we’d like to clarify a few of the details surrounding this pilot project and, more specifically, how it pertains to the downtown area.

The Calgary Downtown Association is a part of the newly formed committee created to nurture the street food culture in Calgary. This program aims to build on the diversity and vibrancy of Calgary’s existing culinary scene. The trucks will add a new dimension to our growing food culture, balanced with the superb restaurants already in place.  The combination of 7 to 10 trucks along with over 65 restaurants downtown, will provide different and unique dining experiences.

Pilot Project Phases and Basic Guidelines

**Please note that these guidelines are currently in draft form and may still be subject to change as of the time this post was published.


The pilot project has 3 phases, after which the results will be taken to city committee.

  • Phase 1 – August to October 31, 2021
  • Phase 2 – November 1 to March 31, 2022
  • Phase 3 - April 1 to October, 2012

Because street food sale is normally prohibited under City Bylaws, a special permit is issued to each truck and reviewed at the end of each phase.

Some of the basic guidelines that need to be adhered to are as follows:

  • Cannot operate outside the hours of 7:00 am to 3:00 am
  • Must adhere to all parking restrictions and guidelines, including payment for stalls used
  • Cannot stay on the street and vend at one on-street location greater than 4 hours (not including setup and takedown of 2 hours or less) unless approved for a special event
  • Operation is prohibited:
    • within 25 metres of any restaurant, food service establishment, park concession or business selling similar products
    • any street adjacent to or within one city block of a school between 8:00am and 5:00pm on a school day
    • within the boundaries of any parks, school grounds, festivals or special events without written permission.
    • primarily residential streets or directly in front of a residential building
  • Late Night Operation is prohibited between 10:00pm and 3:00am at the following locations: Any location on the same block or the block faces across from any operating nightclub or bar; and 10 Avenue SW between Centre Street and 4 Street SW.

Calgary Parking Authority Lots

  • A minimum of 2 stalls have to be paid due to size of trucks and public safety.
  • Vendors must maintain a clean site, picking up their garbage prior to leaving the lot.
  • Only one vendor can use a particular lot at any one time. This will ensure that the lots are available to normal parking customers. Usage will be evaluated for the trial Phase 1 period (August to October 31, 2021) to determine if there are any concerns at that time.

Calgary Transit LRT Park and Ride Stations

  • Operations are permitted in all LRT park and ride stations. Free spaces or reserved spaces can be used (with special permission required for reserved spaces).


Points of Interest

One interesting aspect about the growing “Food Truck Revolution” is that the trucks are equipped to operate year round, not just the summer months, like many of the current street food vendors.  Also, they won’t always be in the same place.  There are plans to use Twitter (#yycfoodtruck) and other social media platforms like Facebook to alert people as to their current location.

The exciting lineup to date that you’ll see on the road soon (pending all approvals) includes: Alley Burger, Fiasco Gelato, Fries & Dolls, Jojo’s BBQ, Los Compadres Mexican, Pimentos Mobile Pizzeria, Perogy Boyz and Blam!Wich.

Want to Taste their Wares?

On Thursday, August 11th a variety of the approved food trucks will be in one place for one day only to showcase and launch the Calgary Food Truck Pilot Project.  All Calgarians are invited to this “YYC Taste the Trucks” event, which will take place on the 100E block of Stephen Avenue Walk (Calgary TELUS Convention Centre block) on August 11th from 11:00am to 3:00pm.  Some of the trucks will offer their full menu, while others will offer a tasting menu for sale. Remember to bring your appetite and your wallet.

Update: Here’s what Calgarians had to say about the launch of the Food Truck Pilot Project

While you’re downtown to taste the trucks why not make a day of it?  Take some time to linger and enjoy the many attractions that downtown has to offer.


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