When you live in the Chili Capital of America, it’s hard to go long without a steaming dish of Cincy-style chili! We already wrote about some of the best chili recipes to try this summer that you can make in the comfort of your own home. Still, there are times when you want to explore the chili that Cincinnati has to offer, and with over 180 chili parlors in the city, it can be tough to know where to look for the next dish.
Here are five of the top chili parlors we scoped out, all within minutes of our Cincinnati apartment communities!
Located in the West side of Cincinnati, Price Hill Chili is a generational establishment. They first started doling out chili in 1962 with only four tables and twelve stools. Fortunately, Cincinnati’s love for chili fueled business, and today, Price Hill seats 400 patrons. Price Hill Chili offers a slightly meatier chili, and can be a good dish for out-of-town visitors. This restaurant’s ambience is a good old-fashioned American style, and it’s the perfect place to bring the family for a hot dinner!
Must try: Goetta & Egg
One of the oldest chili parlors around town, Empress originally opened in downtown Cincinnati in 1922, taking its dynamic name from the burlesque theatre next door at the time. Since then, they have relocated to Bridgetown at Cincinnati Market Place, but they have managed to hold onto the rustic atmosphere that makes dining with the Empress such a fantastic experience. The chili here is a bit thicker than Skyline or Gold Star, but the hot dogs are big and make for an unforgettable meal.
Must try: Chili pizza, cheese coneys
For the premium Cincy-style spice in your chili, look no further than Blue Ash Chili! Visited by Guy Fieri in 2010, this fine establishment pairs a homey atmosphere with some of the best chili in town, steeped over spaghetti and topped with Cheddar cheese. Blue Ash Chili challenges diners to take up the “No Freakin’ Way! Challenge”, or eight whole pounds of chili in an hour. Otherwise, give the regular menu a go, and you won’t regret it. Check out this review we wrote for Blue Ash Chili!
Must try: 3-Way with classic coney
One of the greatest “greasy spoon diners” in town, Pleasant Ridge Chili is a local establishment that services hungry patrons from 9 AM to 4:30 AM six days out of the week. PRC’s city-famous dish, gravy cheese fries are praised as the ultimate alliance of gravy, cheese and fries in one dish. If gravy cheese fries aren’t your cup of chili, definitely try Pleasant Ridge’s classic chili dishes. Thousands of raving locals can’t be wrong!
Must try: Gravy cheese fries
In 1985, CBS News named Camp Washington the best chili in the entire country, and has since firmly held its title as one of the Top 10 parlors in the United States. Situated comfortably on the corner of Colerain and Hopple, Camp Washington is still operated by 90-some year old Johnny Johnson, who carries on the tradition of good chili decades later! Sit down at Camp Washington Chili for a taste of historical Cincinnati-style chili.
Must try: Chili cheese coney
Whatever your chili style is, with 180 chili parlors across Cincinnati, there is definitely a dish for everyone! Luckily, all of these five chili parlors are within minutes of our apartment communities, making these amazing meals easily accessible for residents. We’d love to hear about some of your favorite local chili parlor establishments!
The Connor Group owns and operates 6 apartment communities in the Cincinnati area: Arbors of Montgomery, Brookstone Village, McCauly Crossing, Somerset at Deerfield, Union Station, and Wellington Place.