Whether you’ve lived here your entire life, or just recently went to your first Bengals tailgate party, Cincinnati chili is likely a staple of your diet. Here are some options for fulfilling your civic duty as a Cincinnatian on National Chili Day.
If you’re feeling lucky, head to what some consider to be the best chili chain in the city. Skyline Chili is hosting a sweepstakes in honor of the delicious holiday, and 10 people will win a drool-worthy grand prize: a neon clock and a $100 gift card. There are bonus prizes, too, including branded blankets and T-shirts to sport your chili loyalty for all to see.
If your chili loyalty lies with Gold Star, there’s another reason to smile when you chow down on your five-way. In a nod to the 13 spices that made Gold Star chili famous, the chain will donate a portion of chili menu proceeds over the next 13 days (today through March 7) to the Freestore Foodbank to feed local folks in need.
Empress is the first to start the revolution that is Cincinnati chili. Empress has been a Cincinnati icon since 1922 and continues to serve its original recipe in Alexandria. You can’t beat the OG!
With three locations in Newport, Erlanger, and Covington, Dixie’s claim to fame is its “alligator,” a variation of the cheese coney that features a dill pickle spear, mustard, and mayo. Go ahead, we won’t judge. If chili spaghetti is more your style, Dixie’s six-way expands on the traditional way system with chopped garlic.
Another Cincinnati classic chili parlor, Blue Ash Chili stands out from the competition with its six-way that was featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives—the sixth magical ingredient is sliced jalapeños. Make sure to take the restaurant’s “No Freakin’ Way” challenge, if you dare.
At its 3005 Colerain Ave. location, Camp Washington Chili has been a neighborhood icon for more than 80 years. Open every day except Sunday, this is a great place to scratch your chili itch for those looking for the locals’ favorite spot.