Chili Cook-Offs and Competitions in Chicago

Updated January 25, 2018

Winter is the perfect time to duck dive into a nice warm bowl of chili.

Whether you're a chili chef or connoisseur, there are a variety of chili cook offs at your finger tips in Chicago (is that a Wendy's joke?).

Serious chili competitors should check the International Chili Society, which is responsible for sanctioned cook offs that lead to the World Chili Competition.

Competition is also fierce at the Culinary Fight Club, a touring competition that leads to a championship match every year in Chicago. Chili is one category among many.

There are also spicy chili eating competitions, which are an entirely different topic but a fun google image search...

 Why is he in a tub? We don't know.

Why is he in a tub? We don't know.

Here is our list of chili cook offs in Chicago, organized by the month they happen.

January

NOTRE DAME CHICAGO CLUB CHILI COOK OFF

2017 Date: Friday, January 27th, 5:30-9pm

Declan's Irish Pub in Old Town is hosting the first Notre Dame Chicago Club Chili Cook Off. The $35 ticket price includes a 3 hour open bar package (from 6-9pm), chili samples, and a portion of the proceeds raised from ticket sales and all funds contributed to voting will go toward Notre Dame scholarships.

CHAOS STOUT AND CHILI NIGHT

2017 Date: Saturday, January 28th, 6pm - Midnight

The Chaos home brewing club is hosting a chili competition with live music and comedy entertainers at their West Town location. 

MECCA SUPPER CLUB CHILI COOK OFF

2018 Date: TBD

Mecca Supper Club runs a chili cook off competition with the winner taking home a $100 gift card.

The Opportunity Knocks Chili Cookoff is an annual event held by Fitzgerald's Sun, Jan 15 2017, 12:00pm - $25 in advance online; $30 at the door; kids 12 and under free - Tickets Crew Bar and Grill's Annual Customer Chili Contest has raised thousands of dollars for Care for Real, a local food pantry, since 2005. End of January

February

CULINARY FIGHT CLUB CHILI COOK-OFF

2018 Date: February 5th

Contestants have 45 seconds to run to the pantry and then 60 minutes to concoct an award winning chili at Barn & Company. Event details here.

QUENCHERS SUPERB-OWL CHILI COOK OFF

2018 Date: Sunday, February 4th, 5pm

Quenchers Saloon hosts an annual Superb-Owl chili cook off. Anyone can enter and taste, the event is free and winners get fun prizes. 

SHEFFIELD's ANNUAL CHILI COOKOFF

2018 Date: February 10

Sip delicious craft brews and win cash prizes for your best bowl of chili. Admission is $20 and includes 2 drink tickets, and entry into the competition is free. Full event details.

BLUEPRINT FITNESS BYOB CHILI COOK OFF

2018: TBD

Blueprint Fitness in Bucktown is hosting a BYOB chili cookoff with bean and no-bean categories.

SPUDNIK PRESS CHILI COOK OFF, CARNIVAL AND FUNDRAISER

2018 Date: Saturday, February 24, 6pm - 10pm Event site

Spudnik Press holds and annual hashbrown chili cook off and carnival and fundraiser in February/March. A rotating list of guest chefs compete for the coveted “Golden Ladle” while guests enjoy chili, drinks, fun and games to support the creative efforts of Spudnik Press. The event involves a curated beverage selection by Artisanal Imports, DJ entertainment by CHIRP Radio, and all the carnival games Spudnik Press comes up with. Peruse (or buy) art created at Spudnik's creative studio. Each guest receives tickets that can be traded for chili tastes, drinks, and game participation. VIP packages and Date Night packages are also available.

DIAG CHILI COOK OFF

2018 Date: TBD

Diag Bar and Grill is bringing the heat to Lake View with its chili cook off. The $10 ticket gets you a spoon to taste every contestant's finest chili, a smokin' deal for chili lovers! 

March

ROCK BOTTOM CHICAGO CHILI COOK OFF

Rock Bottom Brewery in River North hosts an annual chili cook off in March. 

October

BUCKTOWN PUB CHARITY CHILI COOK OFF

Bucktown Pub hosts an annual charity chili cook off for the Midtown Educational Foundation. Neighboring restaurants and bars compete to make the best chili, including Cortland Garage, who has won the trophy 3 times. Tickets are $20 at the door but may vary year to year.

TEMPLESTOWE PUB CHILI COOK OFF

Templestowe in Irving Park typically allows patrons to bring in their own food, but during their October chili cook off you won't need to!

ART REACH CHILI COOK OFF

Art Reach hosts an October chili cookoff in its Firehouse art class studio.

November

ARTS OF LIFE ANNUAL CHARITY COOK OFF

The Arts of Life holds an annual charity chili cookoff in November. Online General Admission tickets are $20 and At-The-Door tickets will be $25. Your ticket includes: unlimited chili, Black Dog Gelato, and two Lagunitas beers! Contestants from all culinary backgrounds are welcome to join, everyone from Executive Chefs to home-cookin' pros. Fame, glory, bragging rights, and giant handmade spoon trophies are at stake for the competitors!

Hosting a chili cook off? Contact us to have it added to the list.