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Cincinnati Chili Parlors

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Anybody familiar with the chili parlors of Cincinnati? I'll be there with family for one night later this week and figure I should try either Skyline or Gold Star. Are they like restaurants or more like take-out joints with counter service and plastic seating? Are some locations better than others? I'll be staying just across the river in Kentucky if that helps.

Any other suggestions for solid, non-national chain fare for family travelling with two kids under 10?

Gold Star
219 S Winemiller, Batavia, OH 45103

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  1. http://www.roadfooddigest.com/?tag=/c...

    Roadfood does a great job of covering Cincinnati and Kentucky.


    1. Since you'll be in Kentucky, I like Dixie Chili in Erlanger. Camp Washington Chili, just off the I-75 Hopple St exit in Ohio is a good one. I have not had a chance to try US Chili, which is pretty much across the street from Camp Washington. The one thing the local places have on Goldstar (my preference of the two) or Skyline is a much bigger menu.
      It's all very casual.

      Camp Washington Chili
      3005 Colerain Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45225

      1. For atmosphere, I like Dixie Chili on Monmouth in Newport, or the Skyline on West 3rd in Covington. This Skyline, I think, is a franchise, not a corporate store, and some of the franchises are really good.

        One place I would take the family is Schneeder's Homemade Candy in nearby Bellevue, Ky. It's an old-fashioned ice cream parlor; the house specialty is ice balls and ice cream, a scoop of hand-shaved ice with your choice of syrup, on top of a scoop of ice cream. Really really good on a hot day.

        1. Most of these places have either table or counter seating and are very, very casual.

          1. Skyline and Gold Star are big local chains and are fast-food type restaurants. They only have the chili-spaghetti combos, and hot dogs (Skyline might still have a Greek salad.)
            If you would like a little more variety, then the "original" (non-chain) chili parlors would be a better choice. I personally have only been to Price Hill chili, (for a non-chain) which has an extensive menu, and a bar. I'm not a fan of Cincinnati chili, so I can't comment on whether it was good or better than somewhere else, because it has all tasted pretty much the same to me, chain or not, and I guess it's just not for me.

            1. Between Skyline and Goldstar we much prefer Skyline.

              If I were you, I'd go to Camp Washington. It's just over the river and has a wider menu as has been stated. If you go to Skyline and don't like Cinci chili, you're beat. At least at CW you can order something else.

              CW is on my To Do list.


              1 Reply
              1. re: Davwud

                We finally made it to CW and it did not disappoint.

                The goetta was amazing. Done on the flat top with a great crust.

                The double decker was exactly how it should be. They didn't try to make too much of it.

                The chili is really the best I've had. The balance of flavour is such that you really can't pick out any one spice. It all melds into one single flavour.



              2. If you're staying in N. KY then Camp Washington is probably the best that's closest to you. I prefer Blue Ash Chili (about 17 miles north of downtown) since I live within walking distance and they serve alcohol. Empress Chili on the west side is also very good and they serve goetta (if you have a hankering for regional food).