Chili Cook-Offs and Competitions in Chicago

Updated June 17, 2017


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

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.

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


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.


beer chili night chicago 

Mecca Supper Club Chili Cook Off

2017 Date: Sunday, January 29th, 3-5pm

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


Quenchers Superb-Owl Chili Cook Off

2017 Date: Sunday, February 5th, 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. 

Blueprint Fitness BYOB Chili Cook Off

2017: Friday, February 10, 6-9pm

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

Spudnik Press Chili Cook Off, Carnival and Fundraiser

2017 Date: Saturday, February 25, 6pm - 10pm

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

2017 Date: Sunday, February 26, 12pm

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! 

diag chili competition chicago


Rock Bottom Chicago Chili Cook Off

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


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.

Art Reach Chili Cook Off

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


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 or comment below to have it added to the list.