Is there anything more American than trying to consume a bunch of food as fast as you can? Probably not! Here in the US, people love carbs and competition, which is why we’ve rounded up some of the most difficult and extravagant food challenges in America. From burgers as big as basketballs to a soup spicier than a pepper factory in Hell, this is extreme eating at its finest.
At the time of this article’s publication, some of these food challenges may no longer exist.
Fat Sal’s Big Fat Fatty sandwich
Location: Fat Sal’s Deli, locations in both San Diego and Los Angeles, CA
Fat Sal’s Big Fat Fatty sandwich is every fast food lover’s delight. It’s a 12-pound sandwich containing cheesesteak, cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, bacon, fried eggs, mozzarella sticks, French fries, onion rings, jalapeno poppers, chili, and marinara, all piled high on top of a 27-inch bread roll. If you finish this bad boy in 40 minutes, the $50 meal is free. You also have the option to have a sandwich named after you.
The 8th Wonder Burger Challenge
Location: Clinton Station Diner, Clinton, NJ
This might be the craziest food challenge on this list, since it requires a team of ten people to do it! Contestants have one hour to work together and devour the 8th Wonder Burger, which weighs over a hundred pounds! Winners get this $500 meal for free, and a prize of $2,000. Losers probably just get really, really big stomach aches.
The 7-Alarm Challenge
Location: Wing Dome, locations throughout greater Seattle, WA
The challenge is both simple and cruel: strip seven extremely spicy chicken wings to the bones in 7 minutes, or pay the $7.77 failure fee. Winning contestants get the wings for free, plus a 7-Alarm Challenge T-shirt and their face on the wall of fame. Contestants are not allowed ranch, blue cheese, or to drink anything for the duration of the challenge. Also, they can’t use napkins because they have to lick their fingers clean at the end.
The 11-Pound Carnivore Pizza Challenge
Location: Big Pie in the Sky Pizzeria, Kennesaw, GA
Two people, one 11-pound, meat-heavy Carnivore Pizza, and only an hour to try and vanquish it! The challenge costs $50 to enter, and successful contestants win $150. Winners also get their names and photos immortalized on the restaurant website. Less than 10 teams have completed the challenge to date!
Humpy’s Kodiak Arrest Challenge
Location: Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse, Anchorage, AK
Seafood lovers have just one hour to devour Humpy’s Great Alaskan platter, which includes 7 crab cakes, 14 inches of reindeer sausage, 4 pounds of Alaskan King Crab legs, side dishes, and a wild berry crisp with ice cream for dessert. While this $250 meal isn’t free if you win, successful eaters do get a spot on the hall of fame, and an “I got crabs at Humpy’s” T-shirt.
The Zellagabetsky Challenge
Location: Kenny and Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen, Houston, TX
To win a free slice of Kenny and Ziggy’s mouthwatering cheesecake, you have to scarf down the 4-pound, 8-layered Zellagabetsky sandwich, which is piled high with pastrami, salami, corned beef, roast beef, turkey, tongue, and Swiss cheese. To make things go down a little easier (or harder?), the $65 sandwich has coleslaw and Russian dressing spread on each layer.
The Bacon Bomb Challenge
Location: Paddy Long’s Beer & Bacon Pub, Chicago, IL
Paddy Long’s five-pound Bacon Bomb Challenge consists of a football-sized mound of sausage, pork, and beef, wrapped together in brown sugar-seasoned bacon. Challengers have just 45 minutes to eat the whole thing, with winners getting the $70 meal free plus a free T-shirt and a spot on the wall of fame.
The Monster Nacho Challenge
Location: Overtime Grill, Sioux Falls, SD
If you can finish it in under 45 minutes, you’ll get the nachos on the house along with a T-shirt, hat, and plaque on the wall of fame. The Monster Nacho Challenge consists of a pound of each of the following: tortilla chips, waffle fries, beef, and cheese, and then is topped with black olives, tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos for good measure. Not many have finished this one, but the plate will only set you back $22 if you try and fail.
The Pho Superbowl Challenge
Location: Dong Mamma’sodles, Seattle, WA
The Pho Superbowl Challenge seems to be invented for soup lovers (albeit ones that might have a masochistic streak). Diners have just 90 minutes to slurp up 9 total pounds of broth, noodles, and meat. Winners get the $90 meal for free, plus a $100 cash prize.
Nacho Mamma’s 5-Pound Burrito Challenge
Location: Nacho Mamma’s, Bristol and Barrington, RI
At Nacho Mamma’s, you have just 30 minutes to finish their 5-pound burrito in order to win a T-shirt and secure your spot on the wall of fame. Spread out across 5 full-sized tortillas, this massive burrito is loaded with either pork, chicken, or beef, plus rice, beans, cheese, and veggies.
Chick & Ruth’s Delly Colossal Challenges
Location: Chick & Ruth’s Delly, Annapolis, MD
Chick & Ruth’s Delly offers 4 different food challenges; Man Vs Food challenge, Colossal Shake challenge, Super Colossal Sandwich challenge, and Super Duper Colossal Burger challenge.
Complete their Man vs Food Challenge and your picture will be featured on their social media and website. You will also get a t-shirt for bragging rights. Win any of the Colossal challenges and your picture will be featured on their social media. However, the meals are not free.
The 15 Dozen Club Challenge
Location: Acme Oyster House, New Orleans, LA
For you to win a place in the Acme Oyster clubhouse, you have to finish 15 dozen raw oysters in an hour. That is 180 raw oysters! And you must not throw up. You get a hat, a T-shirt, your name on the Wall of Fame, and 50% off your bill.
The Classic Whale Challenge
Location: Spread Bagelry, Philadelphia, PA
How much do you love bagels? This is a chance to show it. Spread Bagelry gave bagel lovers a chance to prove their love for bagelNitally’sere required to polish off this massive 14-pound bagel with 3 pounds of salmon, 2 pounds of cream cheese, and 2 pounds of whitefish salad in 60 minutes (for a solo eater) and get the $125 meal free. Teams of two and three had 45 minutes and 30 minutes respectively to finish the gigantic bagel.
The Inferno Soup Challenge
Location: Nitally’s Thai Mex, St. Petersburg, FL
Can you take the heat and consume this 48-ounce bowl of soup containing broth, veggies, and 12 different spicy peppers in under 30 minutes and win the $1500 money prize? Many challengers have been defeated by the Inferno Soup and only a handful have been able to win the challenge.
Location: Family Pizzeria, Stafford, VA
Family Pizzeria invited contenders to consume this huge 6.5-pound steak sandwich in 45 minutes. You are given a free T-shirt to show your victory if you win, $20 prize money and the meal is free. But if you lose, you are responsible for the $35 meal. And a $50 cleanup fee if you throw up inside the pizzeria. Only three people were reported to have won the challenge before Family Pizzeria closed permanently.
Eat Heat Challenge
Location: In any Quaker Steak & Lube restaurant
If you are brave enough, you can try to demolish 6 chicken wigs with Quaker Steak & Lube’s hottest sauce yet, Eat Heat Sauce. You have to sign a waiver – in case you start spitting fire thanks to the hot sauce made from scorpion pepper venom, concentrated capsaicin, and sweetened juicy wild berries. You get a free T-shirt to flaunt your victory
The Weiner Works Challenge
Location: Gators Pub and Lumberjack’s Pizza, North Smithfield, RI
If you wolf down 25 weiners with a 32-ounce beer or milkshake and a pound of fries in under 45 minutes, you get the $26 meal for free. You can substitute the hot dogs for a 4-pound Italian grinder with the works (which will cost you $30 if you lose).
The 72-ounce Steak Challenge
Location: Big Texan Steak Ranch, Amarillo, TX
This challenge has been around for more than 50 years and it is not going anywhere anytime soon. To win this challenge, you must finish this 72-ounce steak that comes with a shrimp cocktail, baked potato, salad, and dinner roll with butter in an hour or less. You get the meal free if you win and steak leftovers if you don’t.
The Kitchen Sink Challenge
Location: The San Francisco Creamery Co., Walnut Creek, CA
If you are an ice cream lover, then the Kitchen Sink Challenge might be for you. In order to win free ice cream for a year (yep, that’s a lot at stake!) you have to finish this massive sundae in under 30 minutes. Be warned, as the sundae consists of 8 scoops of ice cream, 3 bananas, 8 servings of a topping (or toppings) of your choice, and then almonds, cherries, and whipped cream.
The Kookamonga Challenge
Location: Kooky Canuck, Memphis, TN
To get this $37 Kookamonga Burger for free, you have to eat it in under an hour. Winners also get their picture on the restaurant’s Wall of Fame. The giant, 7-pound meal includes a 4-pound beef patty sandwiched between frisbee-sized buns. If it makes things easier, you don’t have to finish the fries on the side.