Smile Politely

Champaign-Urbana food trucks and where to find them

Three trucks at the farmers' market in Urbana in a parking lot by the Lincoln Square Mall. Photo by Alyssa Buckley.
Alyssa Buckley

We love a food truck in Champaign-Urbana. Of course, we have taco trucks, but our bellies have been blessed with food trucks that sling doughnuts, Chicago eats, empanadas, from-scratch pizza, wings stuffed with macaroni, and more. In honor of today, June 30th being National Food Truck Day, I made a roster of Champaign-Urbana food trucks, including all the trucks I know about (send me a note if I missed one!). I’ve linked each truck’s website (if they have one) and socials plus reviews we’ve written.

In alphabetical order, here’s a list of Champaign-Urbana food trucks and where to find them. If you want even more food truck reads, check out Carl’s list of five bites from five C-U food trucks and my list of tacos from five different truck tacos.

Brien's Bistro food truck, one of Champaign-Urbana food trucks
Brien’s Bistro on Facebook

Brien’s Bistro: Brien’s Bistro food truck sells sandwiches, hot dogs, nachos, and more. Go for the loaded mac n’ cheese, which comes topped with a choice of protein (chicken, pork, or pot roast) and goldfish crackers. Brien’s Bistro will be at Riggs Friday, June 30th for dinner (and more dates in July) and the County Fairgrounds Saturday and Sunday. See the menu here, and follow on Facebook for more dates. // Brien’s Bistro on Facebook

Burrito King: Burrito King sells big burritos plus the usual taco truck fare: tacos, quesadillas, nachos, tortas, and more. On Saturday mornings, the truck parks at the Urbana Market at the Square, and during the week, there’s a fleet of trucks out all over town. Most days, you can find one truck at 2205 E University in Urbana, but they post a schedule of hours and locations on Facebook daily. I love Burrito King’s steak burrito — and so does Steph. // Burrito King on Facebook

C&C Kitchen: With a menu of catfish, steakburgers, rib tips, and more, Chefs Curtis and Cameshia McGhee cook delicious Southern-style cuisine out of the food truck C&C Kitchen. Jess reviewed the truck in 2020; she liked the wings and thought the fried okra was great. I haven’t seen the truck out much lately, but I’m always looking for it. // C&C Kitchen on Facebook

Come Get This: Usually parked during lunch hours at Speed Lube at the corner of Springfield and Prospect Avenue, Come Get This truck has a menu of hot dogs, Polish sausages, chicken and waffles, horseshoes, patty melts, and Philly cheesesteaks. Remington loves the cheesesteak and fries, and the truck’s eats are perfect picnic food. // Come Get This on Facebook

Dave’s Dogs: Serving a menu of hot dogs and more, Dave’s Dogs is usually parked on the University of Illinois Campus on Springfield Avenue by the engineering library and occasionally at Riggs on Sundays. This Sunday, July 2nd, Dave’s Dogs will be at Riggs from 1 to 7 p.m. // Dave’s Dogs on Facebook

Garro's Taste of the City food truck in this list of Champaign-Urbana food trucks
Alyssa Buckley

Garro’s Taste of the City: We named Garro’s Taste of the City the BEST new food truck last year, and for good reason: the red truck slings a delicious Italian beef and crispy chicken wings. In my review of the truck, I loved the $8 Midwest gyro fries which had gyro meat, queso, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, tzatziki sauce, and shredded cheddar all on a heap of hot fries. Garro’s Taste of the City is parked at the Urbana Shell station on 1511 E Washington Street from Wednesday through Saturday every week. // Garro’s Taste of the City on Facebook

Guerrero Azteca: One of the newest food trucks in town, Guerrero Azteca sells tacos, tamales, tortas, burritos, nachos, and more. I tried the new taco truck and enjoyed the steak huarache. Six days a week, the truck parks in the same spot: 2202 W John Street in Champaign in the Piccadilly lot. // Guerrero Azteca on Facebook

Fernando’s Tacos and More: Fernando’s has two taco trucks (and a new restaurant) serving tacos, nachos, burritos, and more. Shrivatsa recommended the torta and Mexican corn in his review of the truck. I’m all about Fernando’s green salsa, which goes with everything on the menu. Find one or both of the trucks open for service Monday through Saturday after 3 p.m. in Downtown Champaign across the street from Fire Doll Studio. // Fernando’s on Facebook

Flour & Fire Pizza: With a variety of pizza pies from pepperoni and hot honey to veggie supreme, Flour & Fire Pizza truck makes their own dough each day and posts a weekly schedule on socials. In Nina’s review of the truck, she wrote that Flour & Fire had “magic chicken because it’s been perfect and in nice big chunks that I can tell have been pulled by hand.” I have to agree: their barbecue chicken ranch pizza is so, so good. The truck will be at Triptych on Friday, June 30th, but you can sometimes catch the pizza truck at Carle Hospital South Clinic, Riggs, and more. // Flour & Fire Pizza on Facebook.

F&T Desserts: This new food trailer has a menu of cupcakes, cookie bars, maple pecan sticky buns, and muffins. You can usually find F&T Desserts at a pink tableclothed table at the Urbana market, but on hot Saturday mornings, the pink food trailer comes out for dessert sales to keep the buttercream cold. I’ve seen the mobile dessert shop at Carle at the Fields, and this July, we’ll see it regularly at the Champaign farmers’ market, too. Click to F&T Desserts’ website for all the info. // F&T Desserts on Facebook

A green Juanito's Tacos truck lists the menu in white font in a list of Champaign-Urbana food trucks
Alyssa Buckley

Juanito’s Tacos: This truck sells tacos, breakfast tacos, tortas, burritos, quesadillas, and nachos. Lately, we can find the truck parked in the Home Depot lot, at festivals around C-U, and sometimes on the University of Illinois campus. Brien reviewed the truck; he liked the chicken tacos because of the meat’s smoky flavor. // Juanito’s Tacos on Facebook

Jurassic Grill + The Empanadas House: Get both Jurassic Grill and The Empanadas House eats from this dinosaur truck. The menu includes T Rex burgers, the Brontosaurus (a double-patty burger topped with cheese, bacon, ham, and a fried egg), hot dogs, cheese fries, and $3 empanadas with twenty different filling options. Check out Zoe’s review of Jurassic Grill takeout from their Green Street storefront. // Jurassic Grill on Facebook

Kona Ice: Serving cups of shaved ice with colorful pour-your-own syrups on the side of the truck, Kona Ice is instantly recognizable to children (mine included). You can find the truck at special events and booked for parties and at Triptych this Friday, June 30th. // Kona Ice on Facebook

La Mixteca: Born of the Urbana restaurant, La Mixteca’s taco truck does not park regularly around town, but it’s available to rent for events. This Friday, June 30th, it will be at Triptych for the 61874th of July Festival. I love the Mexican restaurant’s birrikeka and delicious chips. // La Mixteca on Facebook

La Paloma: La Paloma food truck serves food at both the Tuesday market and the Saturday market this summer. The truck also travels all over C-U parking at Carle on Windsor, Carle at the Fields, Triptych, Riggs, and more spots. La Paloma’s menu includes tacos, salad bowls, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, and tortas. Julie recommends the loaded breakfast tacos. This weekend, grab food from the truck at the Urbana farmers’ market and the Audiofeed Music Festival. // La Paloma on Facebook

Los Hidalguenses: The one we named the BEST new food truck of 2020, Los Hidalguense sells yummy al pastor tacos and a ground beef burrito that’s amazing. I reviewed the truck in 2020, and over the years, I’ve written about those super delicious al pastor tacos here, here, and here. Find the truck at 1040 W Bloomington Road in Champaign, just past Popeye’s and Thara Thai in the Hunter’s Haven lot. // Los Hidalguenses on Facebook

Los Paisas: An off-shoot of the store on Prospect with chicharrones bigger than your face, the Los Paisas truck parks at 607 N Cunningham Avenue where Taco Motorizado truck used to. The menu has quesadillas, tortas, nachos, tacos, burritos, and guacamole. I love the birria taco and the made-in-house agua frescas. // Los Paisas on Facebook

Maize truck in a list of Champaign-Urbana food trucks
Alyssa Buckley

Maize taco truck: The Maize taco truck serves made-from-scratch delicious Mexican cuisine just like both The Station location and the soon-to-be-demolished Green Street location. The truck’s menu includes tacos, burritos, sope, chalupas, tostada, nachos, and more. Level up a traditional taco and splurge for tacos Mexica with hot, grilled cheese on the tortilla. Currently, the truck is taking a short break from parking around C-U apart from events, but usually it’s parked on campus or by nuEra. // Maize on Facebook + Maize on Instagram

Main Street Creamery: Based out of Fisher, Illinois, the Main Street Creamery ice cream truck scoops up fun flavors of ice cream at Riggs, Alto Vineyards, Carle at the Fields, and events. I like the salted caramel ice cream which has chopped cashews and sea salt fudge. Watch their socials for locations and times each week. // Main Street Creamery on Facebook

Mama Duke’s: This new Urbana food truck serves barbecue dishes like rib tips, wings, locally-made sausages, and Southern sides. Enjoy food from Mama Duke’s food truck at the Urbana farmers’ market this Saturday, July 1st and at Riggs July 7th. Follow their social media for more places to catch the truck’s barbecue. // Mama Duke’s on Facebook

Marrakesh Grill: Marrakesh Grill opened in the summer of 2022 serving gyros, pitas, wings, and fries. This truck used to park at Triptych on Saturdays and in Downtown Champaign, but it is no longer on the Triptych schedule and is rumored to be closed now. I like the crispy wings from this red truck and the gyro cheese fries. // Marrakesh Grill on Facebook

Maria’s Kitchen: Maria’s Kitchen serves tasty Filipino-American bites. The truck can be found at Riggs throughout the summer, Alto Vineyards, and Mahomet Market. Read my review of the truck’s food, and go for the chicken teriyaki kebobs because they are amazing. // Maria’s Kitchen on Facebook

Mo’s Burritos: The sun-bleached yellow taco truck permanently parked at the corner of Bradley and Prospect is a Champaign must-try. Like the restaurant on Neil Street, Mo’s Burritos taco truck offers tacos, burritos, nachos, tamales, Cubana sandwich, elote, and quesadillas. Grace recently reviewed Mo’s Burritos’ tacos and more, and she recommends the chicken quesadilla suprema with the red spicy sauce. This taco truck opens early at 9 a.m. and closes late at 11 p.m. // Mo’s Burritos

NitroCup: This isn’t a truck per se, but it is a mobile food business. NitroCup is a cold brew coffee shop on a bicycle, and you can usually find NitroCup at the Urbana Market at the Square on Saturday mornings. I love the smooth taste of their cold brew and that they use a special blend of locally-roasted beans to make the coffee. // NitroCup on Facebook

Pandamonium Doughnuts: This sweet truck is the reason there’s a Panda doughnut shop on Windsor. Ten years ago, the doughnut business started at the farmers’ market, and in 2014, Pandamonium launched its panda truck that is parked every week Wednesday through Friday mornings at the corner of Goodwin and Oregon. Read this interview with the owner, and try the toffee crunch doughnut (my favorite) if it’s on the menu. // Pandamonium Doughnuts on Facebook

Pastamania: Opened in the summer of 2021, Pastamania sells — you guessed it — pasta. The menu offers chicken alfredo, pesto pasta with carrots, chili mac, seafood pasta (with shrimp, octopus, mussels, and squid), sandwiches, lasagna, salads, and more. The pasta truck parks regularly at 1004 W University in front of Pawn King and also sometimes at Riggs. Read Remington’s review of Pastamania here. // Pastamania on Facebook

Piato To Go: From Piato Catering, this truck serves great fried cod tacos with coleslaw and beautiful cinnamon rolls in addition to wraps, sandwiches, salads, nachos, and more. Find the truck at the Urbana farmers’ market every Saturday morning, and this weekend, after the market catch Piato To Go at the Audiofeed Music Festival in Urbana. This truck posts their schedule and menu on their website each week. Check out Carl’s review of the truck. // Piato to Go on Facebook

Senores Tacos on a red patio table in a list of Champaign-Urbana food trucks
Alyssa Buckley

Señores Tacos: Opened in the summer of 2021, Señores Tacos has two taco trucks that park in Champaign. The newer purple truck is usually parked over by Parkland at 1904 W Bradley Avenue, and the other is sometimes parked on Neil Street by the new Masala Indian House restaurant, which has the same owners. The taco truck sells tacos, tortas, quesadillas, and burritos. It’s one of the only trucks with protein options including lengua and birria de res in addition to the usual meats. // Señores Tacos on Facebook

Smith Burger Co: Though they now have a restaurant location inside Collective Pour, this green truck is all over C-U. Catch the Smith Burger Co truck at Carle at the Fields, Advance Auto Parts in Urbana, Caliber Collision, The Pines, Carle Cancer Center, Riggs, and events. The truck is great about posting on socials where it’ll be and when. My favorite thing from Smith Burger is the Glazed and Confused burger, which is a smashburger on a Ye Olde doughnut with a spicy sauce; it’s crazy delicious. Check out Remington’s review of the truck here. // Smith Burger Co on Facebook

Sugga Shaii’s Sweets: This new dessert food truck started as a farmers’ market vendor and launched their truck last month. Sugga Shaii’s Sweets makes amazing chocolate turtles, cupcakes, cakes, and more. Follow her social media for where to find the truck next. // Sugga Shaii’s Sweets on Facebook

The Ribcage: The Ribcage started as a food truck in 2016, and after a hiatus, the truck is traveling all over Central Illinois serving smoked meats. The menu has pulled pork, ribs, Polish sausages, pit beans, corn muffins, chicken nugs, potato salad, and more. The Ribcage parks in Champaign-Urbana at Carle at the Fields, Christie Clinic on University, and Riggs, and they do a great job posting the schedule on their Facebook. There’s a brick-and-mortar The Ribcage restaurant in St. Joe, too, which opened in September 2021. // Ribcage food truck on Facebook

The Stuft Bird: The Stuft Bird’s silver truck is parked at the corner of Fourth and University Avenue in Champaign and is temporarily closed for the time being. The truck sells battered and fried chicken wings stuffed with comfort food like macaroni and cheese and dirty rice. Read my review of the truck, and make sure to pour the special sauce over the wings because it’s delish. // The Stuft Bird on Facebook

The Watson's food truck parked at Triptych in a list of Champaign-Urbana food trucks
Alyssa Buckley

Watson’s truck: A mobile location of the beloved chicken shack of Downtown Champaign, Watson’s food truck serves a condensed menu of chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, fried perch sandwich, and a crispy tofu po’ boy — all served with delicious seasoned waffle fries. The truck is at Triptych every Wednesday. This weekend, spot the truck at the Mahomet Freedom Fest, and later this month, it’ll be at Riggs, Carle at the Fields, and more locations. Follow their socials for the weekly schedule drop. // Watson’s on Facebook

Food trucks that park beyond Champaign-Urbana

House of Brisket Paris: This brisket truck is based out of Paris, Illinois and serves Mattoon, Charleston, Bloomington, Decatur, Danville, Gifford, St. Joe, Paris, and sometimes Champaign. The truck serves brisket and pulled pork, both available as sandwiches and platters in addition to loaded baked potatoes that the truck calls chubbies. Go for the big chubby max with pulled pork, pork belly burnt ends, coleslaw, and cheese. // House of Brisket Paris on Facebook

The Truck at Big Thorn: Parked at the Big Thorn Brewery in Georgetown, Illinois, The Truck at Big Thorn is running a variety of patty melt specials this weekend, and you can see the regular menu here. When she went, Xiaohui enjoyed the teriyaki wasabi salmon rice bowl in her review of Big Thorn. // Big Thorn on Facebook

Mama D’s Smokehouse: Out of Weldon, Illinois, Mama D’s Smokehouse truck makes weekend food truck appearances, catering, and food for the wedding venue The Red Barn at Devine Acres. The truck isn’t in Champaign-Urbana often, but on Friday, June 30th, Mama D’s Smokehouse food truck will be at Triptych for dinner. The owner posts on Facebook wherever she’ll be that weekend. Try the brisket sandwich and a side of gourmet macaroni and cheese loaded with pulled pork on top. The truck’s menu also includes a wild dessert: Mountain Dew apple dumpling with ice cream. // Mama D’s Smokehouse on Facebook

Moo Mobile: Sidney Dairy Barm‘s ice cream truck is called the Moo Mobile, and you can find it at events around town. There are no plans for a regularly scheduled spot in C-U, but we can find the Moo Mobile at the Homer Freedom & Music Festival on Monday, July 3rd and Tuesday, July 4th and again July 13-16th at the I & I Historic Farm Days in Penfield, Illinois. // Sidney Dairy Barn on Facebook

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