15 Cincinnati-Style Chili Parlors You Should Have Tried By Now


If you’ve lived in Cincinnati for any amount of time, you’ve likely stumbled into the center of a debate between die-hard fans of Skyline and Gold Star: which local chili chain is the best? Both founded by immigrants — Skyline in 1949 by Greek transplant Nicholas Lambrinides and Gold Star in 1965 by the four Jordanian Daoud brothers — they used secret family recipes to create the city’s top feuding chili empires, spreading saucy meat and golden cheese across the Tri-State.

But if partisan chili politics isn’t your thing, you can always take the road less traveled and try your tastebuds at a neighborhood restaurant, many of which are just as steeped in tradition and their own unique recipes. Some, like iconic (and James Beard Award-winning) Camp Washington Chili or Food Network-featured Blue Ash Chili, are already famous in their own right. Some others are more obscure and may not haven’t gotten the Guy Fieri stamp of approval, but are just as vital — and delicious — community institutions.

Here's 14 Cincinnati-style chili parlors that you should add to your meaty bucket list.