Downtown Ithaca Chili Cook-Off presented by


Join us next year  for the 21st Annual Great Downtown Ithaca Chili Cook-off presented by Tompkins Trust Company on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019.

The Chili Cook-off features chili prepared by 40+ restaurants as they compete for the titles of Best Meat/Overall Chili, Best Vegetarian/Vegan Chili, and People’s Choice Chili. In addition to chili, there are other chili-related food items. The Chili Cook-off will feature a farmers market with vendors and local wineries, breweries, and farmer’s sampling their goods. All activities will take place on the Ithaca Commons and surrounding streets. A very special Tompkins Trust Co Family Fun Zone will be going on inside Center Ithaca with plenty of all-ages family fun, games, crafts, and activities.

Feb. 2018 Chili Cook-Off Participants 

Cayuga Medical Center
Max’s Bar and Grill
Gateway BBQ Kitchen
Mahogany Grill
Bandwagon Brewpub
Cornell Catering 
Greenstar Natural Foods Market
Red’s Place
Just a Taste
Deerhead Inn
Ithaca Bakery 
Collegetown Bagels
Lou’s Covert Country Store 
Ithaca Beer Company

Bacchus Brewing Co.
Wagner Valley Brewing
Grist Iron Brewing Company
Ithaca Beer Company
Laughing Goat Farm
Life’s So Sweet Chocolates


Remember to get your CORNBREAD from CORNBREAD FOR KIDS. Cornbread for Kids will be in front of Center Ithaca and be walking the festival selling Giant Cornbread Wedges for $1. Over the past 8 years, we have raised over $12,500 to fight childhood hunger right here in our community. 

100% of the money stays local to support the Fresh Snack Program of Woods Earth.

Family-Focused Activities in the Tompkins Trust Company Family Fun Zone
Center Ithaca Lobby

Free Face Painting by Festive Face 
Free Crafts and Games 

Chili ‘Stache and Beard Competition

Don’t miss the Chili ‘Stache and Beard Competition sponsored by The Ithaca Beard and Mustache Club!

Who has the most impressive mustache? The most incredible, impeccable beard? We’ll find out!

The Ithaca Beard and Mustache Club presents the Chili ‘Stache and Beard Competition.  Contests will occur Bank Alley on the Ithaca Commons, so come on out to participate or spectate! Right across from the beer tent!


Ticket Information

Presale tickets are available starting in February at the Downtown Visitors Center (171 E. State St.), at two Collegetown Bagels locations (203 N. Aurora St., and 415 College Ave). CASH ONLY

If you’re coming in from out of town, you can reserve tickets at will-call with your credit card by calling the Downtown Ithaca Alliance at 607-277-8679.

As always, you can purchase tickets on the day of the event at the event (CASH ONLY.)

Tickets are $5 for 5 tastes of wine, beer, and food, or $10 for 10 tastes.

On a tight schedule? VIP tickets give you access to a separate, fast-moving line for tastes, plus an awesome chili necklace (while supplies last)! 10 tastes for $20 or 20 tastes for $40.


Directions & Parking

Attendees can park in the Green, Seneca, and Cayuga Street garages and walk to the Apple Harvest Festival. The garages are equipped with accessible parking and elevators. Street parking is also available. 

For additional downtown parking information, click here. 

Don’t want to drive? See TCAT bus routes and schedules here. 


Want to Participate?

One chili to rule them all! Does your chili have what it takes? Sign up below and put your chili where your mouth is!

Want to showcase your brew, wine, or non-chili food? Want a booth for your farm-based business? Sign up here!

Chili Fest Applications