Street Vending & Sidewalk Cafés

The City of Madison has a robust and well established street vending culture. There is an array of opportunities for street vending in Madison. To learn more about opportunities, please follow through the vending process based on what type of vending category you would like to pursue.

Madison embraces our vendors. They are an important element to the Madison cultural scene. With over 60 food vendors, over 60 arts & crafts vendors, and over 80 sidewalk cafes, there is something for everyone.

If you are in Downtown Madison and want to find out where your favorite food cart is this year, or you want to do some shopping of local arts & crafts vendors, check out the site map.  This will identify where vending sites are located.  Site assignments for food carts will be announced soon.

Winter is a busy time for vendors as they plan and prepare for the spring, summer and fall vending.  Important dates for vendors below:
To apply for your street vending, sidewalk café or merchant vending license go to City of Madison Licenses & Permits portal.  Online Application Assistance or 608-261-4293
  • Application portal opens January 2, 2019
  • Application deadline February 1st (extention until 2/8/19 due to extreme weather causing office closing)
  • Vending and Sidewalk Cafe fees due April 1st
  • Licensing season runs April 15, 2019 - April 14, 2020

Sift and Winnow

Dreaming of warmer days on the Square.  Vendor Linda Winther of Sift and Winnow.  Photo credit Meghan Blake-Horst.

Last Updated: 05/14/2019