One of Ohio’s proudest traditions is the iconic Cincinnati chili. Interestingly, it’s a food mired in no small amount of controversy – many locals love it but visitors often find themselves dumbfounded by heaping platefuls of spaghetti topped with meat sauce and cheddar cheese. Cincinnati chili, of course, differs from the typical New England style chili. That said, if you’re craving Ohio’s version, you can’t go wrong with these chili parlors in Cincinnati.
Camp Washington Chili
Try Camp Washington Chili. This popular restaurant opened its doors in 1940 near downtown Cincinnati and has been serving up the good stuff 24 hours a day, six days per week.
Camp Washington Chili has been featured in national news magazines and on the Food Network; it’s certainly a cultural point of interest for avid travelers. You can expect to find all the typical chili parlor dishes here, including cheese coneys, chili cheese fries, and deli sandwiches.
You can order your chili plain or have it as a three-, four-, or five-way dish. The five-way, for instance, consists of onions, beans, spaghetti, chili, and cheese. Camp Washington also serves up root beer floats and another local favorite, goetta sausage.
Founded by a Greek immigrant, the menu still features baklava and Greek salads. Feeling adventurous? Check out the alligator dog, which comes with mayonnaise, a pickle spear, and cheddar cheese. This restaurant offers up to a six-way chili, which consists of chili, beans, onions, spaghetti, garlic, and cheese.
Pleasant Ridge Chili
One of the more recent additions to the chili scene, Pleasant Ridge Chili came into being in 1964. Three generations of the Sideris family have owned and operated this beloved parlor, which continues to serve up Cincinnati-style chili and classic deli fare.
The Travel Channel featured the parlor on one of its episodes. Pleasant Ridge Chili recently celebrated 50 years of serving Cincinnati chili to customers from far and wide. Be sure to leave room for its signature home fries with gravy!
The final chili parlor on our list is Empress Chili, the place that started it all. Here you’ll find the “original” Cincinnati chili, created by two brothers from Macedonia in 1922. Back then, Tom and John Kiradjieff served their chili from a stall near the Empress theater in downtown Cincinnati. Today, you’ll have to cross the bridge into Kentucky to get a taste. Many would say it’s worth the trip!
All in all, these chili parlors in Cincinnati offer amazing food for chili lovers everywhere. If you’re interested in making this city your home, contact us to schedule a tour of our luxurious apartments at The Drexel at Oakley.