Chili Cook-Off returns, simmers traditions to provide safe & socially distant experience & support for local businesses

Chili Cook-Off logo

Foodie tradition now spans 17 days, features 30+ chilis & chili-inspired items at area restaurants 

ITHACA, NY JANUARY 29, 2020 — Get your palates ready for Downtown Ithaca’s 23rd Annual Chili Cook-Off presented by Maguire Hyundai Subaru Genesis happening February 12 through 28 at multiple area businesses.

To ensure a safe and socially distant experience, this foodie affair will look different this year. Instead of heading to the Commons, you’ll be able to enjoy bowlfuls of sweet, spicy, tangy, meaty, vegan, and vegetarian chilis and chili-inspired items, each masterfully prepared by some of the region’s best chefs at over two dozen participating restaurants and eateries for 17 days instead of one day. No tickets are necessary, simply show up to any participating restaurant, order and pay for your chili and enjoy! Take out, and delivery will beBowl of Chili with dried peppers for decoration available from some of the locations, too!

Participants in this year’s Cook-Off include, but are not limited to, Monks on the Commons, Brookton’s Market in Brooktondale, Texas RoadHouse, Seabring Inn/Eat the Foood! in Newfield, The Bistro at La Tourelle, and Ithaca Beer Company. A complete list of participating locations is available at

Culinary experts from the participating businesses will be competing for your votes to earn these coveted honors — Best Meat, Best Vegetarian/Vegan, Best Chili-Inspired Item, and the People’s Choice category so you can vote for your favorite overall items. The grand prize is the famed Chili Cook-Off trophy and plenty of bragging rights! You’ll be able to vote for your favorites in each of these categories at Ithaca Times’ website,

“We look forward to the Chili Cook-Off every year, and we’re certainly thrilled to be able to organize it in a safe and socially distanced way as opposed to canceling it this year. We’re doing things a bit differently, though, to help keep the community safe and healthy and support the local businesses. The cook-off will be held at participating restaurants instead of on the Commons, and guests will be able to vote for their favorites online. The competition is typically fierce but friendly, so we’re expecting many tasty chilies that everyone may enjoy. The public is truly in for a treat. We thank Maguire Hyundai Subaru Genesis for its continued support for this ultimate foodie and family-friendly event,” says Scott Rougeau, event co-organizer and special events director for the Downtown Ithaca Alliance.

For additional Chili Cook-Off information, visit or the Chili Cook-Off Facebook Events Page. Concurrent with the Chili Cook-Off, Visions Federal Credit Union presents Ithaca Loves Teachers, a celebration for educators happening around the community. For more information about Ithaca Loves Teachers, visit


Darlene M. Wilber
Communications Manager
Downtown Ithaca Alliance

ABOUT DOWNTOWN ITHACA’S ANNUAL CHILI COOK-OFF: The 23rd Annual Great Downtown Ithaca Chili Cook-Off is presented by Maguire Hyundai Subaru Genesis and organized by the Downtown Ithaca Alliance. This annual tradition features chili samples prepared by dozens of local and regional restaurants. Master chefs create tasty concoctions for a chance to receive the titles of Best Overall Chili, Best Meat Chili, Best Vegetarian Chili, People’s Choice Chili, and Best Chili Inspired item. All of Chili Cook-Off’s activities will take place at restaurants and eateries in and around downtown Ithaca. It’s a tradition that the community has embraced and enjoyed year after year since 1998.