Where to Get the Best Cincinnati Chili



USA Collision Centers is very proud that we get to do business in the great city of Cincinnati. Our current President and CEO served as president and chairman for the Automotive Service Association of Ohio (ASA) and a former president of the ASA Cincinnati Chapter. He is equally passionate about serving his community, serving on the Board of Directors for SPCA Cincinnati and the Board of Directors for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), Tri-State Chapter. This example of serving the community is something that runs through our entire organization.


When you're talking about this excellent city, no conversation would be complete without mentioning Cincinnati chili. With a history that goes all the way back to 1922, this delicious dish was created with Mediterranean-inspired spices to create a meat sauce. Since then, the dish has evolved into the 3-way, which is a plate of pasta topped with chili, plenty of shredded cheddar cheese and a side of oyster crackers. You can add onions to make it a 4-way and beans to make it a 5-way. One of the reasons this chili has stood the test of time is its unique flavor profile includes hints of cinnamon, chocolate and other spices.


Now that you know more about exactly why this chili is so great, the only question that's left to answer is where you can get a bite. Given the huge popularity of this dish, it's not surprising that there are a number of restaurants throughout Cincinnati which specialize in it. After a lot of discussion, we've compiled our four favorite picks, along with what makes each restaurant so great:


1. Empress Chili

Generally open from 10AM-10PM, Empress Chili is the place to go if you want to get a taste for exactly where Cincinnati chili got its start. 


2. Skyline Chili

If you've previously heard of any Cincinnati chili restaurant, there's a very good chance it's Skyline Chili. What started as a single location back in 1949 now boasts more than 130 locations. We highly recommend trying one of their amazing cheese coneys.


3. Blue Jay Restaurant

Not only was this restaurant founded back in 1967, but it's still run by the same owners today. What makes Blue Jay Restaurant stand out is they prepare chili with a slightly thicker texture.


4. Camp Washington Chili

Last but certainly not least is Camp Washington Chili. Although this restaurant may not have the same instant name recognition as Skyline Chili, it does have the prestige that goes along with winning a James Beard Award as an “American Regional Classic” for its timeless appeal and commitment to quality food. And with the exception of Sundays, you can get amazing chili here at any time of the day thanks to their 24-hour service.