16 Spicy Food Challenges Around the Country

3 Images of Spicy Challenges in the U.S.A.

Cheapism / Jitlada / Pepper Palace / Quaker Steak & Lube

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3 Images of Spicy Challenges in the U.S.A.
Cheapism / Jitlada / Pepper Palace / Quaker Steak & Lube

Some Like it Hot

For most people, spicy food challenges are nothing short of torture. However, these challenges are culinary adventures for foodies who live for the fiery burn of chili peppers and the tongue-scorching sensation of hot sauce. Luckily for people constantly seeking out the hottest, spiciest dishes, there’s no shortage of spicy food challenges in the U.S.

Related: Spicy Fast-Food Menu Items to Order If You're Feeling Brave

Phaal Challenge, Brick Lane Curry House, New York City
Varun J./Yelp

1. Phaal Challenge

Brick Lane Curry House
New York City

Brick Lane House dares heat lovers to take the Phaal Challenge. Participants who finish the dish (95% of the diners fail) win a free beer and bragging rights. The incredible fail rate is fathomable, because their phaal chili contains the infamous Carolina Reaper, clocking in at over 2 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

Spicy Dynamite Challenge

2. Spicy Dynamite Challenge

Los Angeles

Ordinarily, the Los Angeles-based Jitlada restaurant specializes in mouth-scorching Thai cuisine. The eatery invites spice enthusiasts who find the regular menu a tad too tame to sign up for the Spicy Dynamite Challenge. The challenge is to finish a dish that comprises a protein with green beans, bell peppers and Thai basil. A blend of fresh and dried Thai chilies is what gives the dare incredible heat.

Related: A Guide to the Best Thai Restaurants in America

Bushido Seppuku Challenge, Bushido Japanese Restaurant, Charleston, South Carolina
Christina O./Yelp

3. Bushido Seppuku Challenge

Bushido Japanese Restaurant
Charleston and Summerville, South Carolina

The Bushido Japanese Restaurant invites heat-seekers to complete the Bushido Seppuku Challenge to earn a "legend status," a headband and a complimentary appetizer for life. Contestants must down 10 spicy tuna rolls, each progressively hotter than the last. But there’s one tiny rule: Contestants may not eat or drink anything to decrease the spice level during the challenge.

Related: I Bought Japan's Key Coffee and Could Only Read Three Words on the Box — Here's How It Went

The 4 Horsemen, Chunky’s Burger, San Antonio
Tracy G./Yelp

4. The 4 Horsemen

Chunky’s Burger
San Antonio

Burger lovers can take their chances against the “hottest burger on the planet” at Chucky’s Burger. Contestants must down the 4 Horsemen Burger in 25 minutes or less to secure a space on the restaurant’s Wall of Flame. The infamous burger contains fresh serrano and jalapeno peppers, habanero sauce and the mouth-scorching ghost (jolokia) pepper.

Hellfire Challenge, Smoke Eaters, San Jose and Santa Clara, California
John D./Yelp

5. Hellfire Challenge

Smoke Eaters
San Jose and Santa Clara, California

Smoke Eaters’ tongue-melting Hellfire Challenge humbles even the most accomplished hot wing lovers. Adam Richman of "Man vs. Food" barely finished and said, “It's even worse than it looks.” Participants have 10 minutes to finish 12 perilously hot wings doused with the restaurant’s hottest Hellfire Sauce. And oh, no drinks to soothe the burn or napkins— participants must lick their fingers clean!

Related: Best Costco Buys for Spicy Food Fanatics

XXX Wings
Jake Melnick's Corner Tap

XXX Wings

Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap

Yahoo! Travel ranks the XXX Wings from this Chicago eatery among the hottest in the world. The restaurant invites diners to take part in the XXX Wings Challenge: Chow down all 8 wings to get a comped for the meal, a T-shirt and bragging rights. The wings are doused with XXX sauce, which is made with Trinidad scorpion pepper that comes in at 1.4 million SHU.

Blazin' Challenge, Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings

7. Blazin’ Challenge

Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings caters to the needs of of those looking for a lava-in-the-mouth dining experience with the Blazin’ Challenge. Contestants must down 10 Blazin’ Knockout Wings in under five minutes. The patented Knockout Sauce contains nine of the world’s hottest peppers, including the Carolina Reaper, scorpion, Devil’s Breath, and Chile de Arbol.

Related: The Best Buffalo Wild Wings Sauce: I Tried All 26 Flavors to Find the Winner

Sonoran Spice Company Carolina Reaper Peppers
Sonoran Spice Company

8. Sonoran Spice Carolina Reaper Challenge

The Sonoran Spice Company


The Sonoran Spice Company dares anyone across the U.S. to take on the Carolina Reaper Challenge. Contestants only need to purchase any of the company’s lava-like products; peppers, gumballs, pebbles or hot block tubes and eat them on camera for two minutes. The brave souls then describe their experience and upload the video on their social media or YouTube accounts. The company rewards survivors of the fiery episodes with a free T-shirt and a Sonoran Spice Koozie.

Blazing Foods Death Nut Challenge 3.0
Blazing Foods
Himesburger and Ghost Wing Challenge, Monaca, Pennsylvania
P Dub's Sports Bar & Grille/Yelp

10. Ghost Wing Challenge

P-Dub's Sports Bar & Grille
Monaca, Pennsylvania

P-Dub's Sports Bar & Grille invites brave patrons to participate in four food challenges, including the Ghost Wing Challenge. Contestants must wolf down six wings doused with ghost pepper (1 million SHU) in six minutes. Winners get a free meal and T-shirt, while losers suffer the fiery burn alongside parting with $25 for the unfinished meal.

Fuego Box Choco Challenge 3.0

11. Choco Challenge 3.0

Fuego Box


Through the Choco Challenge, Fuego Box lets pepper lovers indulge their sweet tooth with a spicy twist. Now, in its third iteration, the Choco Challenge is the spiciest crunchy chocolate bar in the world. It combines chocolatey goodness with an unreleased "razor pepper" from Smokin’ ED Currie’s (the inventor of the infamous Carolina Reaper) secret garden. Contestants only need to eat as much chocolate as possible and post it on their social media accounts to participate in the challenge.

Related: Why These Collectible Hot Sauces Cost Hundreds of Dollars

Blazing Foods Tube of Terror Challenge
Blazing Foods

12. Tube of Terror Challenge

Johnny Scoville

Tube of Terror

Johnny Scoville and his merry band of heat-seeking pepper enthusiasts banded together to create the Tube of Terror. Each tube contains 30-45 of the world’s hottest peanuts. These nuts are doused with six insanely hot chilis, starting with the Carolina Reaper to pure capsaicin crystals with a mouth-melting 13 million Scoville.

Hell Challenge, Wing King, Las Vegas
Wing King

13. Hell Challenge

Wing King
Las Vegas

Hell Wings from Wing King lets heat seekers push the limits to the stratosphere. The eatery douses the wings with piping hot sauce boasting over 9 million SHU. Participants in the Hell Challenge must down 12 Hell Wings in under 20 minutes. No drinks are allowed and contestants must lick off all traces of the sauce from their fingers. Winners get comped for the meal and 100 free wings during the Superbowl. Losers must pay for their meal.

Related: Dave's Hot Chicken's Reaper Challenge Broke Me

Atomic Scorpion Hot Wing Challenge, Quaker Steak & Lube
Quaker Steak & Lube

14. Atomic Scorpion Hot Wing Challenge

Quaker Steak & Lube
Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virgina, South Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Indiana, Tennessee, and Iowa

Participants in the Atomic Scorpion Challenge at Quaker Steak & Lube have their wings doused with atomic sauce that packs over 800,000 SHU. Participants must down 6 atomic wings without taking any liquids. Winners get a free T-shirt and a spot on the wall of fame.

Scorpion Shot Hot Challenge
Red Hot Tiki Spicy Gourmet Market

15. Scorpion Shot Hot Challenge

Red Hot Tiki
Gulfport, Florida

For true heat-seekers, the Red Hot Tiki offers the Scorpion Shot Challenge. The challenge dares one to down a tablespoon of scorpion pepper hot sauce. The sauce is served in shot glass and topped with a scorpion. The challenge costs $25, and besides the bragging rights, winners get a free T-shirt and the shot glass.

Related: The Spiciest Foods Around the World

The End Hot Sauce Challenge
Pepper Palace

16. The End Hot Sauce Challenge

Pepper Palace


The End hot sauce from Pepper Palace packs extreme heat. For $25, extreme heat seekers can turn every meal into a tongue-scorching experience. The fiery hot sauce contains Carolina Reapers, ghost peppers, scorpion peppers, and 7 pot chocolate douglah peppers.

While most restaurants require a signed or oral waiver when participating in a spicy food challenge, it is best to proceed cautiously. Extremely spicy food can have unintended consequences and endanger one’s health and well-being.

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