Local Restaurants Compete In Ultimate Chili Competition At 7th Annual SoNo Fest & Chili Cookoff On December 4

November 2, 2016

On Sunday, December 4, from 11am to 5pm, the 7th annual SoNo Fest & Chili Cook­off will take over 32nd & Thorn streets to give San Diegans a chance to buy local, eat local and drink local, all for a great cause. This free-to-attend event promises an amazing lineup of competition-worthy chili as local restaurants go head-to-head to see who is crowned the SoNo Fest Chili Champion of 2016. There will also be live music, local vendors, a kids zone, and a craft beer & wine garden - with all proceeds benefiting McKinley Elementary School.

This free holiday event, presented by San Diego Ceramic Connection and the McKinley Elementary School Foundation, promises award-winning chili as local restaurants face-off for chili bragging rights to prove for another year who reigns supreme! A panel of San Diego celebrities, including MasterChef Junior winner Nathan Odom and craft beer and North Park supporter Omar Passons, will be on hand to judge the 30+ restaurant entries for this year's chili cookoff. Participants serving up special chili concoctions include Beerfish, BFD, Blind Lady Ale House, Cafe Madeleine, City Tacos, Del Sur, Dunedin NP, Encontro, Fathom Bistro, Hamiltons, Heart & Trotter Burcher, Hopping Pig, Kensington Cafe, Kindred, Lucha Libre, Mastiff Sausage, Monkey Paw, Panchita’s Kitchen & Bakery, Panama 66, S&M Sausage and Meat, The Safehouse, Small Bar, Soda & Swine, South Park Abbey, South Park Brewing, Starlite, Station Tavern, Tiger! Tiger!, The Haven, Toronado, Tribute Pizza, Uptown Tavern, Underbelly, Waypoint Public, West Coast Tavern, and more.

Awesome custom bowls from San Diego Ceramic Connection
The SoNo Fest & Chili Cookoff is a free-to-attend street fair and everyone is invited to sample the chili entries and vote for their favorites. $20 buys five restaurant chili tastings in a custom, handcrafted ceramic bowl, and for $35 dollars, patrons can enjoy 10 chili tastings along with a bowl.

"This event has evolved from a small group of friends and patrons gathering to eat chili and have a good time into a major street festival and fundraising event to benefit McKinley," said Kouta Shimazaki, owner of San Diego Ceramic Connection, "The people in our community have really pulled together to make this a success and that’s something I’m proud to be part of."

SoNo Fest also features craft beer and wine from local breweries and vineyards (both at $5 per serving), an assortment of food trucks, unique holiday gift shopping from local artists and craft vendors, and live music on two stages. Bar Pink and The Casbah will once again sponsor two live music stages to keep the crowd dancing throughout the day. Bands will include The Creepy Creeps, The Bed Breakers, The Nards, Ypsitucky, Le Chateau, Bit Maps, Levi Dean and the Americans and others. Kids can enjoy a children’s fun fest area complete with carnival games, bounce houses, hairdos and face painting, mini ping­pong tournament and more. 

A holiday staple for many, drawing approximately 18,000 people from around San Diego and surrounding areas, SoNo Fest is organized and produced entirely by McKinley parent volunteers–including 25 committee members who volunteer their time on the event year­round and more than 300 volunteers on the day of the event.

“I’m thrilled to be part of this community where parents give back so much time and effort ” said McKinley principal Deb Ganderton, “This event helps us give McKinley students access to the arts, music and Spanish, which are important components for us to offer in order to sustain our International Baccalaureate status.”

For a complete list of restaurants, judges, bands, vendors, food trucks, sponsors and event information, visit s​onofestchilicookoff.com.