We’ve listed everything we know about food trucks in Champaign, Urbana and beyond
Find a way to curb that food truck craving in and around Champaign-Urbana. From tacos to burgers to superfoods to donuts, we’ve got it here.
Year after year, Champaign, Urbana and the surrounding communities are home to some of the area’s best food trucks. Featuring unique food finds and specialities, these food trucks offer variety and combinations that please kids and adults alike. Residents flock to social media and food truck websites in order to find out when and where to find their favorites.
Chambanamoms thanks Ice Daddy’s for presenting this list. Ice Daddy’s Frozen Desserts is the premier frozen dessert specialist in Champaign County; offering Shaved Ice and Super Premium Ice Cream. With the home store in Mahomet, along with their mobile unit, Ice Daddy’s can add a COOL element to your next private or corporate event in the surrounding area. Founded in 2015, Ice Daddy’s is family owned and operated, and aimed at enriching the local community through their Giveback fundraising and community involvement. Visit their website, Facebook and Instagram.
Some of these trucks are gleaming and shiny while some are older and faded. However, one thing is consistent — passion.
Some food trucks are now staking out “permanent” locations rather than being mobile. Others have found new outlets in Champaign-Urbana away from the “usual” places, while others have been going around to smaller towns in the the county — and even farther.
Typical food truck spots include area farmers’ markets (when in season), such as Urbana’s Market at the Square (Saturdays from 7 a.m. to noon); Champaign Farmers’ Market (Tuesdays from 3-6 p.m.), Rantoul; Mahomet, and Homer.
Other places trucks hang out: Riggs Beer Company in Urbana, Triptych in Savoy, downtown Champaign, and the area around Prospect and Bradley avenues in Champaign. On campus, a prime location is Springfield and Mathews avenues in Urbana, as well as right in front of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
If you have a food truck you love that we have missed one, let us know.
Here’s a list, in alphabetical order:
This farm-to-table themed truck serves food harvested from Hendrick House farm. Its menu focuses on burgers and sandwiches. Want something lighter? Try the vegetarian option made with edamame burger with sweet Asian slaw. Some version of Betsy’s Bistro can be found inside Parkland College and within the Carle Administration Building, Betsy’s Bistro @ The Fields. Find the rolling Betsy at various locations including downtown Champaign, Home Depot and Sportland Motorsports / BMW Motorcycles of Urbana (mainly in the summer).
Brien’s Bistro Food Truck
Newer to the food truck scene in C-U, this food truck rolled out for the first time during 2020. Based in Mahomet and a staple at its market on Saturday mornings, you can also find Brien’s Bistro all over the county – from Riggs Beer Company in Urbana to St. Joseph to Triptych Brewing in Savoy. A popular menu item: Jayla’s Nachos. Made with Fritos, pulled pork, Mac ‘n cheese, and three cheese blend.
There’s nothing like beans, meat and cheese wrapped in a handy tortilla. You’ll find these portable creations in the Burrito King Food Truck(s). Their fleet of trucks were born from the popular Green Street establishment. You can find them in various locations around Champaign-Urbana, as well as Tolono to Sidney, Rantoul to Paxton and more. They post their truck schedule fairly regularly on Facebook or follow their hangouts on Instagram.
C&C Kitchen specializes in “creative and colorful Southern Inspired American cuisine.” What we love about this truck is that it has mouth-watering options for hardcore meat eaters and vegetarians alike. A typical menu includes catfish, BBQ chicken, rib tips and vegan empanadas, but it changes daily. “Soul Food Monday” is something you can find regularly. The truffle mac and cheese is also a favorite. Check Facebook for updates.
This business has a storefront location at 1506 S. Neil St. in Champaign. They also have the Mega Truck; find out where on Facebook. 17 flavors of popcorn, tons of shaved ice flavors and handmade confections for purchase.
This BBQ truck frequents Carle Hospital for lunch, and can sometimes be found places like Barrelhouse in downtown Champaign. Their BBQ is delicious but what everyone really raves about are their smoked meats! Try them out sometime soon.
Come and Get This Food Truck
This truck serves traditional fare such as burgers and Vienna beef hot dogs, and one unique item not seen on many food trucks – central Illinois horseshoes. Their veggie burger gets a thumbs up from us. Find them hanging out at Bradley/Prospect and sometimes at Riggs Brewery in Urbana.
All-beef hot dogs are served with all the goodies that make a Chicago dog (minus the tomato) from a trailer. These condiments are included in the $3 per dog price, or you can get two dogs for $5. In addition, Dave serves nachos, brats and pulled pork with chips and drinks. During the U of I school year, you can find the simple concept across from Joe’s Brewery on Fifth/Green Street.
Nine varieties of empanadas and you can’t go wrong with a single one of them. Who wouldn’t like dough stuffed with a variety of meats, cheeses and vegetables? Try specialty combinations like the ham and cheese or spinach and feta. We haven’t confirmed if this truck has hit the streets again in 2021; scoop up the food at Empanadas House on Green Street in the meantime.
Fernando’s Food Truck
Folks rave about Fernando’s! Burritos, quesadillas, nachos, tacos—Mexican style. For $2 even you can try an authentic taco on a soft-corn shell. They also have breakfast burritos, if that’s your jam. The boss is committed to serving authentic Mexican street food because he has strong roots in Mexico City. Find the truck in downtown Champaign or rolling at Riggs Beer Company.
Hunger Force Mobile Kitchen
HFMK serves authentic Filipino street food, something you can’t find anywhere else in Champaign-Urbana. They have dishes such as pork sisig & chicken sisig tacos; Ginisang munggo; Pork adobo & fried rice; dessert egg rolls and more. Often at the Shell gas station on Prospect, you can check where they are on their Facebook page.
Based in Mahomet, Ice Daddy’s serves all of East Central Illinois. On a typical day, you can find them parked just south of Lake of the Woods on Lake of the Woods Road (and just north of Route 150). In addition to shaved ice treats, they have delicious ice cream (waffle cones, too). Find out more here, including info on booking them to come to your event.
This owner is busy. He owns the aforementioned Empanadas House truck and the popular Green Street establishment Jurassic Grill, and now he is taking the Jurassic Grill menu to the streets. You’ll find a similar menu of dino-themed burgers, french fries and hot dogs. We really like the veggie burger.
Just Bee Acai
Just BEE Açaî (above) is a vintage 1963 Shasta Compact Camper that has been restored into a mobile food emporium. So what do they serve? Superfoods. This woman-owned truck is all about fresh, wholesome and local foods including on-the-go açaí bowls, loaded toasts, oatmeal bowls and hand-crafted drinks. You can find it on campus, at special events such as Urbana’s Market at the Square, and much more. BE PREPARED to wait in line, this place is the definition of popular. Find them on Facebook and Instagram.
Kona Ice of Champaign
A refreshing twist on the food truck, or rather a modern version of the old-school ice cream truck, Kona Ice is a rolling shaved-ice Kona Entertainment Vehicle (KEV). Choose from dozens of flavors like strawberry daiquiri or banana-colada. Prices range from $2 for a kid’s cup to $5 for a color-changing cup. Kona Ice also offers flavors geared towards adults. Try the blackberry mojito, sangria and white wine spritzer. (Sorry, they DO NOT contain alcohol).
La Paloma Food Truck
Friendly service that can’t be beat. Grab a taco bowl with avocados, beans, cheese, shredded lettuce and sour cream. Or, whatever you want, says the owner of the authentic Mexican food truck. They’ve posted their current schedule on Facebook, which includes stops at Triptych in Savoy, Riggs in Urbana and late nights on campus.
This is another taco truck, which is to say, taco trucks rule. The one parks daily in the Hunter’s Haven and Bargain Bins lot on Bloomington Road in Champaign, Monday- Saturday. The menu includes the typical taco truck fare: tacos, burritos, nachos. Something a little different: you can find a breakfast burrito here.
In addition to the storefront locations on Green and Chestnut, you can follow the Maize food truck on Facebook to find out where it is at. We have a lot of great Mexican food in Champaign-Urbana and this one climbs towards the top of the list for sure. Their handmade tortillas are incredible and you won’t regret tracking this truck down. Often found at Carle over lunch and sometimes at Triptych on the weekends.
Mamma D’s Smokehouse
Oklahoma native Sharon Davis-Devine is behind these great eats. Some favorites include the beef brisket, pulled pork and chicken sandwiches, gourmet macaroni and cheese or Mountain Dew Apple Dumplings. The dumplings are crescent-wrapped apples baked with sugar, cinnamon, butter, two secret ingredients and Mountain Dew! This truck does a great job of hitting many of the smaller town festivals happening during the summer; check their Facebook page for where to find them.
NitroCup is a great way to enjoy (locally roasted) high-quality coffee, fast. FROM A BIKE! Their bike is equipped with stout taps and a cooler. They can pour icy Nitro coffee on the spot. Their brewing process cuts all acidity and bitterness from the brew. They add nitrogen to give a creamy mouthfeel—like Guinness and stout beers. No cream or sugar necessary. The cold brew is available in 12 and 16 ounces. Find NitroCup at Urbana’s Market at the Square.
This doughy delight is perpetually sold out—everywhere. Get in line first and fast! Pandamonium bakes both cake and yeast style using fresh, real (organic if at all possible) ingredients with vegan options available. Try the cookie dough, banana split, orange creamsicle or the popular strawberry slider. The flavors vary, and they bake small batches in limited numbers. This sweet panda has a permanent home in the same strip mall as Sun Singer Wine and Spirits. Find the food truck at the corner of Goodwin and Oregon in Urbana (near Krannert), Wednesday through Friday.
Piato To Go
The popular Urbana-based, catering kitchen, Piato, does not shy away from change and reinvention. Offering catering and food nanny service—they do it all. Try the Hawaiian nachos topped with Modelo chicken, pineapple salsa and Hawaiian BBQ sauce for $8. All sauces are handmade. Their food truck is a regular at Urbana’s Market at the Square, and can also be found all over the county. Check Facebook for the schedule.
Sidney Dairy Barn Moo Mobile
If you can’t make it to Sidney to visit the Sidney Dairy Barn, a Chambanamoms C-U Essential, you can stop by the “Moo Mobile.” Try a cup for $3.50, a tornado (ice cream with candy mixed in, usually cookie dough) for $5, an ice cream sandwich for $3. On occasion they serve a non-dairy Italian Ice option. The “Moo Mobile” carries around many flavors of ice cream. It can be found all over the county so check Facebook for the schedule.
Smith Burger Co.
What might be Champaign-Urbana’s newest food truck, you can get their signature smash burgers when you find the truck. The menu also includes chicken sandwiches, grilled cheese, fries, and cheese curds (and we know how much Champaign-Urbana loves its cheese curds). Vegetarians will be happy to see that Smith Burger Co. offers black bean patties as well. This truck has been hanging out at Tatman’s Carstar in Champaign as well as Riggs Beer Company in Urbana. Follow its Facebook page for updates.
This truck is in limited service now, but the good news is you can find their food at Duo in Rantoul. When it is on the road, try their Philly Cheesesteak. The owner uses a 6-inch hoagie roll, American/Swiss cheese, green pepper, onion, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and mushrooms. When they do come to town, typically they can be found at Riggs.
Food trucks currently not on the road
These trucks are parked somewhere in C-U but just may not be operating or on the road right now. We will update this post if we hear they are on the move again!
Delicious island-style cuisine with a variety of jerk-seasoned items on the menu, you can still catch Caribbean Grill at their storefront location until the food truck hits the road again. Located at 2135 S. Neil in Champaign.
Oh, Honey Pie
This duo is fulfilling the dream of a vintage pie shop. They serve 4-inch pies (available in four-packs for variety, too) and standard 9-inch pies. Look for the salted honey pie; this old-fashioned recipe is made with local honey. You don’t have to wait to find them; you can also pre-order online, which is highly recommended, for pick-up or delivery options. They have a new storefront at 1205 N. Harris in Champaign. According to recent updates on Facebook, they are taking a parental hiatus and hope to be back in the truck in September.
Food trucks without a confirmed update on current status
We’re not saying these trucks are closed or off the road, we’re just saying we haven’t come across them OR found updates on website/social media for that truck. If you can help us confirm open/closed status, be sure to email us.
This unassuming truck is located on the corner of North Prospect and Bradley Avenues in Champaign (the Boost mobile parking lot), which has been home to amazing tacos and burritos for many years. Also on the menu, quesadillas, tortas and nachos. Open daily, this place gets rave reviews for its al pastor.
Did we miss any other food-on-wheels in the area? Send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.