22nd Annual Downtown Ithaca Chili Cook-Off


Presented by: Maguire Hyundai Subaru Genesis

Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020
11:30am – 4:00pm

Featuring over 40 chilis prepared by 30+ restaurants from across the region as the restaurants compete for the titles of Best Meat/Overall Chili, Best Vegetarian/Vegan Chili, and People’s Choice Chili.

Festival guests will also have the opportunity to sample and buy complementary food items including baked good, sweets, and cornbread.

This annual foodie festival also features a farmers market with local wineries, breweries, cideries and farmers sampling their goods, plus lively entertainment like the annual ‘Stache and Beard competition and fun activities for all ages.

Our 2019 winners were:

Join us this year and help us award the 2020 winners!

2020 Participating Restaurants & Chili Competitors

  • Kilpatrick’s Publick House
  • Mahogany Grill
  • Simeon’s
  • Cayuga Medical Center
  • MIA
  • The Piggery
  • AGAVA Restaurant
  • Texas Roadhouse Ithaca
  • Moosewood Restaurant
  • Organ Donation Alliance

…check back for updates!

  • Sweet Bottoms Cupcakes and Buns
  • Ithaca Ale House
  • Wagner Vineyards
Bowl of chili
Chefs preparing chili samples
Chef serving chili
Cook-Off Attendees eating chili

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 at 3 pm, so come on out to participate or spectate! Right across from the beer tent!


Ticket Information

Tickets can be purchased in the Downtown Ithaca Alliance office, at the Downtown Visitors Center (CASH ONLY) and online via credit card.

Regular tickets come in bundles of 10, for $1 per ticket. Each ticket is exchanged for a sample of food or drink.

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

Pre-sale tickets can be purchased here. Online purchases must be made with credit cards in bundles of 20 and with a 4% service fee.

Once you purchase your tickets online, you may pick them up at the Downtown Ithaca Office, 171 E. State Street, by Friday, February 7, or at the Downtown Ithaca Visitor Center on the day of the event.

If you’re coming to Ithaca 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. Will-call tickets are to be picked up at the Downtown Visitors Center, including the day of the event.

The last day to buy pre-sale tickets will be Thursday, February 6th, and the last day to pick up in the DIA office is Friday, February 7th. After that, all pre-purchased tickets will need to be picked up at the Visitors Center during the event.

And as always, you can get your tickets on the day of the event at one of the official Chili Cook-Off ticket booths. (CASH ONLY!)

Buy Your Chili Cook-Off Tickets Online Now!


Chili Cook-Off Ticket Contest


Help us get to 9,500 Instagram followers by February 5th and receive VIP tickets to our 22nd Annual Chili Cook-Off happening Saturday, February 8th!

To Enter:

1) Follow us on Instagram at @DowntownIthaca

2) If we hit 9,500 followers, we’ll pick two lucky followers at random for the prize! 🌶

3) Two winners will be announced on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@DowntownIthaca) by the end of the day on Wednesday, February 5th, 2020.

4) Claim your prize at the Downtown Ithaca Office, 171 E. State St. (Center Ithaca) before 5 pm on Friday, February 7, 2020.

Good luck & spread the word!

#DowntownIthaca #ChiliCookOff2020


Directions & Parking

Attendees can park in the Green, Seneca, and Cayuga Street garages ($5 event rate) and walk to the Chili Cook-off. The garages are equipped with accessible parking and elevators. Free 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