EL PASO, Texas -

    El Paso has a relatively small mobile food market compared to other cities like Austin. But now, City Council is considering expanding the possibilities for food trucks and vendors downtown.

    For a long time, food truck and other street food vendors in the city have had a difficult time getting off the ground. But if City Council decides to open up the restrictions on downtown, it could lead to some big changes for the food varieties downtown and around the city.

     "Well, currently what we have is an exclusive contract with one concessionaire," said City Rep. Cortney Niland. "And that's the way that contract's been in place for the last few years. As it's expiring, we're looking at saying 'OK, if we want more variety, if we want a higher standard of food cart."

     Niland said she wants to change how street concessions are handled in downtown. Big Boy Concessions has held the exclusive contract for the Downtown Shopping District since 2010, paying the city more than $20,000 a year for the right to provide all food sold on downtown streets. That contract expires in 2015.

     El Paso has a fledgling food truck industry that several years ago banded together to buy a private parking lot, dubbed Foodville, to get around the contract restrictions on street selling.

     Cesar Villanueva, part owner of the Reef food truck, said that it just makes sense to open up downtown to more competition, and that it will help grow small businesses and jobs.

     "You should be doing it," Villanueva said. "It's a no-brainer, man. We were looking forward to doing something like that, like in Austin, New York, and every other place, they do those things. But here in El Paso, they do it a little different, I hope it changes."

     Villanueva said there could be an explosion of food trucks if the rules are changed to allow them, and that he welcomes the competition.

     "It'll be great," Villanueva said. "It'll be great to have something like this in El Paso."

     Norma Tena, vice president for Big Boy  Concessions, said that the company intends to bid for the contract for concessions again when it comes up in 2015, and that they've made "significant investments in eye-catching carts" and new food service for downtown.