Some Like it Spicy Hot!

While the weather outside is still considered to be frightful, there are many DELICIOUS ways right here in Champaign that will give you the kick needed to survive a cold and windy winter. Check out our curated list of the best spicy food and drink from some of our favorite local businesses.

Photo credit Sticky Rice.

1. Nashville Hot Chicken at Watson's Shack & Rail

Take a cue from the south and get ready for some fire when you take a bite of Watson’s authentic Nashville Hot Chicken. These Nashville hot dipped pieces of chicken gets its kick from Cayenne,  plus brown sugar, paprika, and chicken fat to add extra depth. You are bound to raise your temperature with every delicious bite! Be sure to grab one of their famous seasonal slushies to cool down.

Watson’s Shack & Rail is located at 211 N Neil St. in downtown Champaign and a proud member of the Champaign Center Partnership!

Photo credit Watson's Shack & Rail

2. Spicy Hot Cocoa Mix at Walnut Street Tea Company

Photo credit Lake Champlain Chocolates

Experience a taste that is thousands of years in the making from the comfort of your own home. Swing by  Walnut Street Tea Company to pick up Lake Champlain Spicy Aztec Hot Chocolate Mix. This drink goes down with velvety sweetness but watch out for that cayenne pepper punch at the end. This delightful surprise of a sip is sure to warm you up.

Walnut Street Tea Company is located at 115 S Walnut St. in downtown Champaign and a proud member of the Champaign Center Partnership.

3. Green Curry at Sticky Rice

If you are in the mood for spice, green means “go” when it comes to the Green Curry from Sticky Rice. The flavorful Thai peppers in the sauce use a combination of red and green chilies that will give you a surge of a heat that will have you racing for the nearest glass of water.

Sticky Rice is located at 415 N Neil St. in downtown Champaign and a proud member of the Champaign Center Partnership.

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4. Mango Habanero Margarita at Maize

Stock Photo

While heading south of the border sounds like the perfect place to shake off these cold weather blues, enjoying a Mango Habanero Margarita from Maize at the Station is the next best option and comes without the hefty price of a plane ticket. This delectable mix of sweet Jumex Mango and spicy habanero peppers is bound to beam enough sunshine in to you that your cheeks may start to redden – we promise it has nothing to do with the Piedra Azul Blanco tequila *wink wink*!

Maize at the Station is located at 100 N Chestnut St. in downtown Champaign.

5. Bhuna Kofta at Kohinoor

No need to alter your stance on animal friendly cuisine when you are in the need for some heat. Kohinoor Indian Restaurant and Lounge has their vegetarian clientele covered with their Bhuna Kofta. These fresh vegetable rolls doused in an authentic spicy Indian sauce is a delicious meal that be sure to ignite your taste buds!

Kohinoor Indian Restaurant and Lounge is located at 6 E Columbia Ave. in downtown Champaign.

Photo credit Kohinoor Indian Restaurant and Lounge

6. Spicy Shrimp Tempura Udon from Sakanaya

Photo credit Sakanaya

Skip the Campbell’s canned soup route and head on over to Sakanaya to try their Spicy Shrimp Tempura Udon. With a scrumptious mix of shrimp tempura, dry seaweed, yubu, wakame and of course Udon noodles all sitting in pork based spicy soy broth – this exotic spin on the traditional remedy to feeling frigid will warm you right up!

Sakanaya is located at 403 E Green St. in Champaign’s  campustown.