SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off


SoNo Fest & Chili Cook-Off FAQs

Q: What is it? 

A: It's an all volunteer run, locally-focused street festival featuring a restaurant chili cook-off; huge craft beer & beverage garden; local handmade vendors, a food truck court, live music on three stages and a kid's fest!


Q: When is it? 

A: It's December 1st, 2019 from 11am to 5pm. It's always the first Sunday in December.


Q: Do I need a ticket?

A: The event is FREE to attend. If you want to taste the chili, there are 3 options:


Option 1: Purchase a handmade ceramic bowl from San Diego Ceramic Connection at 32nd & Thorn for $25. These bowls come with a taster pass for Sunday. You can purchase them on Friday 11/29/19 from 6-9p; Saturday 11/30 from 12-5p; or Sunday 12/1 from 10a until supplies run out. These bowls are limited and do run out!


Option 2: Buy tickets online before the event with two options – 1. purchase a SoNo logo taster mug + pass for $25 or 2. purchase a paper bowl + taster pass for $20. Hint: neither of these options is a handmade ceramic bowl. If you want that, please see option 1 above. (link to purchase these options will be posted soon!)


Option 3: Buy tickets at the event at the main info and sales booth at 32nd & Thorn streets – buy the SoNo logo taster mug + pass for $25 (available until we're out of mugs) or buy the paper bowl + taster pass for $20.



Q: What if I don't like chili?

A: Frankly, that sounds like a personal problem, but never fear! There is plenty of other food at SoNo Fest to be enjoyed – including Grand Ole BBQ Y Asado, DeLucas Pizza, Santos Coffee. There will also be food trucks and other food and beverage options featuring Communal Coffee and Bread & Cheese Catering. You will not go hungry.


Q: What if I don't eat meat? Doesn't all chili have meat?

A: Don't worry, cows and pigs and sheep everywhere thank you. And no, all chili doesn't have meat. You can still enjoy SoNo Fest as a vegetarian as there are plenty of vegetarian and even vegan chili options!


Q: I Can't get enough chili – how can I get MORE chili?

A: We do sometimes run out of chili during the event (usually by 3pm) – if you want choices, get there EARLY. If you really want MORE CHILI, you can purchase an additional tasting pass for $20. 


Q: Can I bring the kids? 

A: Totally! There's a whole block of kid's activities including carnival games, bounce houses, kid's music and performances and more!


Q: Where should I park?

A: There's plenty of street parking in the general vicinity of the festival. Please be courteous of our neighbors when you park. Or, take the city bus Route 2 (and get off at 30th & Thorn), ride-sharing, ride your bike or scooter, or come on foot! There is no shuttle as we don't have event-sponsored parking.


Q: What if I am too busy doing holiday shopping to attend?

A: That's not an excuse. You can do ALL your holiday shopping at SoNo Fest with 30 local handmade vendors showcasing their fabulous products. And you can feel good about supporting local and shopping small.


Q: What do you do with the money you make at SoNo Fest?

A: That's the best part – 100% of the proceeds go to the McKinley School Foundation to support the international baccalaureate program and fund Spanish, the arts, dance, and gardening programs at McKinley. Our kids (and we the parents and teachers) thank you for your support. Just think, simply by drinking beer and eating chili you can do something good for the world! And we really need that kind of good-doing right now.