Food Trucks & Mobile Food Vendors

Urbana has a long-standing history of encouraging and promoting business, including the proliferation of mobile food vendors. Residents and visitors alike have frequented mobile food vendors in various Urbana locations for many, many years. With the recent rise in popularity, mobile food vendors are becoming more mainstream and the push to gather information on how to open and operate a cart has increased.

The City of Urbana Finance Department and Community Development Services created the following information to help direct businesses on how to open and operate a mobile food vendor in Urbana and where to go for the appropriate licensing and permitting.

Definition of a Mobile Food Vendor
A mobile food vendor is a self-contained food service operation, located in a readily movable motorized wheeled or towed vehicle, used to store, prepare, display or serve food intended for individual portion service.

How do I get Started?
Step 1:
Mobile food vendors planning to operate in Urbana must obtain a health permit from the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD). Upon completion of the application process, a health permit and city license will be issued. Fees for an Urbana Food License are collected by CUPHD. For more information, please contact CUPHD:

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District
Environmental Health Division
201 W. Kenyon Rd.
Champaign, IL 61820

Step 2:
After a health permit and city license is issued, a mobile food vendor should contact the city to make arrangements for operating in Urbana. Proof of a Mobile Food License is required. Licensed mobile food vendors can operate in Urbana in any of the following ways:

Fixed location on private property
Licensed mobile food vendors can operate on private property. Licensed vendors should check with Community Development to ensure the property is properly zoned for this type of business.

For more information contact Community Development at (217)384-2444.

Fixed location on public property “metered street”
The City of Urbana is excited to allow food trucks on the City’s streets and in the neighborhoods. In order to do this, licensed food vendors operating mobile units on metered streets during enforcement hours will need to: 

Meters are enforced in the Campus and Hospital Districts, Monday - Saturday, 7am - 6pm and in the Downtown Business District, Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm.

Each day during the period of the agreement, except on Sunday’s and Official City Holiday’s, the fee to reserve a parking meter on campus and at the hospital is $19.00 per day, per meter. A twenty-four (24) hour notice is required in order to avoid a $24.00 initial day, per meter charge. Downtown is $10.00 per day, per meter. A twenty-four (24) hour notice is required in order to avoid a $15.00 initial day, per meter charge. Payment for reserving meters must be made at the time of reservation.

Mobile food vendors can choose to park on a metered street without reserving a parking meter; however, expired meters will be subject to fines during the hours of enforcement and metered spaces will not be guaranteed. For more information contact the Finance Department at (217) 384-2346.


- Last Modified -June 16, 2020 - 10:30am
- Author - admin