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 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, Main Street in Mahomet (evenings) 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. In the summer, some hang out at the Research Park.
If you have a food truck you love that we have missed, let us know.
Here’s a list, in alphabetical order:
Brien’s Bistro Food Truck
Based in Mahomet, you can 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. It also has the Mega Truck; find out where on Facebook. Seventeen 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 in places like Barrelhouse in downtown Champaign. Its BBQ is delicious but what everyone really raves about are the smoked meats!
It recently rolled out a new menu with a focus on burgers, brisket, tacos and burritos. You can get rice bowls, too! Find it in Mahomet and sometimes at Carle.
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. Its veggie burger gets a thumbs up from us. Find it 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 at Fifth and Green streets.
Fernando’s Food Truck
Folks rave about Fernando’s! Burritos, quesadillas, nachos, tacos. For $2 you can try an authentic taco on a soft-corn shell. It also has 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.
Flour & Fire Pizza
Flour & Fire is a mobile wood-fired pizza trailer serving Neapolitan style pizza to the Champaign-Urbana area. Each pizza is 9-10 inches. Specialties include the classic Margherita, the Sweet Heat (featuring Mike’s Hot Honey) and The Garden, as well as build-your-own options. Sauces include San Marzano tomato base, a BBQ sauce, and a white sauce.
Garro’s Taste of the City
Another new truck that made its debut in the summer of 2022, this one gives customers a taste of Chicago. Italian Beef, beef pizza puff, burgers, beef polish, gyros and more! Located in Urbana. Here’s what the owners told us: “We have been open for over a month now and we’re very excited to bring something new to our town. We are located on the corner of Washington and Lierman in Urbana in the gas station parking lot. Our hours are Wednesday-Saturday from 12-9.” See the menu and get more info on Facebook.
Based in Mahomet, Ice Daddy’s serves all of East Central Illinois. On a typical day, you can find it 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, it has delicious ice cream. Find out more here, including info on booking a visit to your event.
This owner is busy. He owns the Empanadas House truck (not sure that is on the road right now, see below) 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.
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, it does 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. Its current schedule is on Facebook; you can find it often at Second and Green streets.
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. We have a lot of great Mexican food in Champaign-Urbana and this one climbs towards the top of the list for sure. The 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 its Facebook page for locations.
We are thrilled to see Filipino-American cuisine again on the streets of Champaign-Urbana. Maria’s Kitchen menu features kabobs, teriyaki, and eggrolls. I love that they also offer kid-friendly chicken tenders and fries, meaning that kids can be happy when their parents want something different. The truck hangs out in a variety of locations including downtown Mahomet, Carle at the Fields (southwest Champaign) and Riggs. Follow them on Facebook here.
Marrakesh Grill Food Truck
This truck made its debut on the streets of Champaign in July 2022, serving food that we don’t see in other food trucks around town. Its Middle Eastern flavors include gyros as well as grilled chicken on pita. It also has fried chicken wings and fries. Seen first in downtown Champaign, this truck is looking to get to other locations as well. Check its Facebook page for menu and locations.
NitroCup is a great way to enjoy (locally roasted) high-quality coffee, fast. FROM A BIKE! The bike is equipped with stout taps and a cooler. It can pour icy Nitro coffee on the spot. The brewing process cuts all acidity and bitterness from the brew. It adds 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 it bakes 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.
We found this one parked along University Ave. (1002 W. University in Urbana), which seems to be a usual spot for them near the UIUC campus. A quick visit to their Facebook page showed us they’ve been at Riggs, Campus Rec, and other locations, too. Facebook seems to be the best place to follow for hours and locations, so check them out there.
Piato To Go
The popular Urbana-based, catering kitchen, Piato, does not shy away from change and reinvention. Offering catering and food nanny service. Try the Hawaiian nachos topped with Modelo chicken, pineapple salsa and Hawaiian BBQ sauce for $8. All sauces are handmade. The 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.
Señores Tacos Foodtruck
This food truck has more than your typical burritos and tacos, although those look delicious — it specializes in authentic Mexican street food. Señores Tacos has tortas (Mexican-style sandwiches) and sopes as well. Typically parked off Bradley Avenue in Champaign. In a hurry? You can call ahead to order. Follow them on Facebook.
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 tornado (ice cream with candy mixed in, usually cookie dough) or an ice cream sandwich. On occasion it serves 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.
You can get its 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 its food at Duo in Rantoul. When it is on the road, try the Philly Cheesesteak. The owner uses a 6-inch hoagie roll, American/Swiss cheese, green pepper, onion, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and mushrooms. It can typically be found at Riggs.
Connected to Watson’s Shack & Rail, the Watson’s truck hits different spots around town every week. Find a mix of lunchtime and evening times on its schedule (which can be found on the website or Facebook). The chicken gets the same rave reviews from the truck that it does from the restaurant!
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 its 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. It serves 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 can also pre-order online, which is highly recommended, for pick-up or delivery options. It has a storefront at 1205 N. Harris in Champaign for online order pickup only.
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 online for that truck. If you can help us confirm its status, be sure to email us.
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. While we are unsure on whether or not the truck is out and about, scoop up the food at Empanadas House on Green Street in the meantime.
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.