December 23, 2021

10 of the Best Cincinnati Chili Stories from 2021

As residents of the Queen City, Cincinnati-style chili is frequently on our minds (and in our mouths). Here are some of our favorite times we talked about chili in 2021

Scroll down to view images

Join the CityBeat Press Club

At a time when local-based reporting is critical, support from our readers is essential to our future. Support our coverage with a one-time or monthly donation.


London is Home to a Queen City-Inspired Restaurant Called Cincinnati Chilibomb
Tim Brice, a London-based restaurateur, opened Cincinnati Chilibomb earlier this year, and has developed his own spin on the dish. The eatery specializes in something called "chilibombs," which are chili-filled brioche buns topped with shredded cheese and onions. They are available with vegan chili and vegan cheeses, and onions can be fresh chopped, fried crispy or pickled. You can also add a variety of sauces, like sweet smoky barbecue sauce, to your bomb.
Photo: Facebook.com/Chilibombastic

London is Home to a Queen City-Inspired Restaurant Called Cincinnati Chilibomb

Tim Brice, a London-based restaurateur, opened Cincinnati Chilibomb earlier this year, and has developed his own spin on the dish. The eatery specializes in something called "chilibombs," which are chili-filled brioche buns topped with shredded cheese and onions. They are available with vegan chili and vegan cheeses, and onions can be fresh chopped, fried crispy or pickled. You can also add a variety of sauces, like sweet smoky barbecue sauce, to your bomb.
NY Mets Announcer Gary Cohen Called Skyline Chili ‘Disgusting'
Here in the Queen City, we frequently have to deal with outsider morons who have no culinary acumen when it comes to the local delicacy that is Cincinnati-style chili. 
In July, New York Mets announcer Gary Cohen went off on the dish during a broadcast of the Reds vs. Mets game — specifically on Skyline's 5-Way — calling it "disgusting chili gravy." The Reds and Skyline rightfully took offense to the commentary.
Photo: SNY video screengrab

NY Mets Announcer Gary Cohen Called Skyline Chili ‘Disgusting'

Here in the Queen City, we frequently have to deal with outsider morons who have no culinary acumen when it comes to the local delicacy that is Cincinnati-style chili. In July, New York Mets announcer Gary Cohen went off on the dish during a broadcast of the Reds vs. Mets game — specifically on Skyline's 5-Way — calling it "disgusting chili gravy." The Reds and Skyline rightfully took offense to the commentary.
Skyline Released a Limited Run of Chili Sneakers
In July, Skyline Chili celebrated National Chili Dog Day by releasing a limited amount of branded sneakers. The local chili chain held a sweepstakes to give away 100 sneakers to fans who wanted to represent Skyline in every step of their lives. And because the sweepstakes was so successful, Skyline decided to make the shoes available for purchase for a limited time. The sneakers, which feature a blue background and illustrations of 3-Ways, cheese coneys and the Skyline logo, shipped in October.
Photo: skylinechiliretail.com

Skyline Released a Limited Run of Chili Sneakers

In July, Skyline Chili celebrated National Chili Dog Day by releasing a limited amount of branded sneakers. The local chili chain held a sweepstakes to give away 100 sneakers to fans who wanted to represent Skyline in every step of their lives. And because the sweepstakes was so successful, Skyline decided to make the shoes available for purchase for a limited time. The sneakers, which feature a blue background and illustrations of 3-Ways, cheese coneys and the Skyline logo, shipped in October.
Stephen Colbert Found Cincinnati Chili 'Confusing'
A Late Show with Stephen Colbert's Stephen Colbert wanted to make sure people voted this Election Day, so he crafted a state-by-state guide "explaining how to vote easily, early and safely." To introduce the concept and the upcoming state infomercials, he made an all-encompassing video. He cited some examples of the random rules that apply to each location before making Cincinnati's beloved dish the butt of joke. "Some states do not allow you to cite coronavirus as a reason to vote absentee. Some states automatically send you an absentee request form, but not a ballot, and some states put chili on top of their spaghetti," he said. "That has nothing to do with the election, but come on Cincinnati, it's confusing."
Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Stephen Colbert Found Cincinnati Chili 'Confusing'

A Late Show with Stephen Colbert's Stephen Colbert wanted to make sure people voted this Election Day, so he crafted a state-by-state guide "explaining how to vote easily, early and safely." To introduce the concept and the upcoming state infomercials, he made an all-encompassing video. He cited some examples of the random rules that apply to each location before making Cincinnati's beloved dish the butt of joke. "Some states do not allow you to cite coronavirus as a reason to vote absentee. Some states automatically send you an absentee request form, but not a ballot, and some states put chili on top of their spaghetti," he said. "That has nothing to do with the election, but come on Cincinnati, it's confusing."
Camp Washington Chili's Menu Includes Something Called a Chili Melt
A chili melt. It's a simple concept, but one that deserves some love. Camp Washington Chili has apparently been offering the Cincinnati chili-infused creation for about two years now, owner Maria Papakirk tells CityBeat. The melt is essentially a grilled cheese sandwich with a ladle of chili in between, Papakirk says. And although she might be biased, she claims it's pretty dang good — and we'd guess that any chili-lover would agree.
Photo: Twitter.com/CampWashChili

Camp Washington Chili's Menu Includes Something Called a Chili Melt

A chili melt. It's a simple concept, but one that deserves some love. Camp Washington Chili has apparently been offering the Cincinnati chili-infused creation for about two years now, owner Maria Papakirk tells CityBeat. The melt is essentially a grilled cheese sandwich with a ladle of chili in between, Papakirk says. And although she might be biased, she claims it's pretty dang good — and we'd guess that any chili-lover would agree.
Skyline Chili Was Sold to a Local Business Leader
Skyline Chili announced on Monday, Jan. 4 that the restaurant chain finalized a purchase agreement with local business leader and President/CEO of North American Properties Thomas L. Williams. The partnership means that the business will now operate under the sole ownership of The Williams Family (plus partners and associates), Kevin R. McDonnell (President and CEO of Skyline Chili) and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “It is very important to me that Skyline carry on just like it always has. Many restaurant brands have been acquired by private equity investors, who often have very short-term investment strategies and no personal connection to the brand they are acquiring," said McDonnell.
Photos: Kevin R. McDonnell (L) and Thomas L. Williams //Provided

Skyline Chili Was Sold to a Local Business Leader

Skyline Chili announced on Monday, Jan. 4 that the restaurant chain finalized a purchase agreement with local business leader and President/CEO of North American Properties Thomas L. Williams. The partnership means that the business will now operate under the sole ownership of The Williams Family (plus partners and associates), Kevin R. McDonnell (President and CEO of Skyline Chili) and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “It is very important to me that Skyline carry on just like it always has. Many restaurant brands have been acquired by private equity investors, who often have very short-term investment strategies and no personal connection to the brand they are acquiring," said McDonnell.
The Original Blue Ash Chili Restaurant Relocated
After a half-a-decade in its historic space, the chili parlor, located at the corner of Kenwood and Cooper roads, announced in March that it would be moving. Although reps from the company stated they were sad to leave the current historic building where Blue Ash Chili was located for over 50 years, there is more parking and more space at the new location — all the better for enjoying the famous Cincinnati delicacy we call chili.
Photo: Facebook.com/BlueAshChili

The Original Blue Ash Chili Restaurant Relocated

After a half-a-decade in its historic space, the chili parlor, located at the corner of Kenwood and Cooper roads, announced in March that it would be moving. Although reps from the company stated they were sad to leave the current historic building where Blue Ash Chili was located for over 50 years, there is more parking and more space at the new location — all the better for enjoying the famous Cincinnati delicacy we call chili.
Gold Star Gave Away a Bunch of 3-Ways
Gold Star brought back its popular Who Dey Way promotion this football season.The day after every Bengals victory, fans have been able to snag a free regular or super 3-Way, 4-Way or 5-Way when they buy one — basically BOGO ways — at any Cincinnati-area Gold Star location. After defeating the Broncos on Dec. 19, the team had an 8-6 season, which means Gold Star has been giving away a whole bunch of chili this fall.
Photo: Gold Star

Gold Star Gave Away a Bunch of 3-Ways

Gold Star brought back its popular Who Dey Way promotion this football season.The day after every Bengals victory, fans have been able to snag a free regular or super 3-Way, 4-Way or 5-Way when they buy one — basically BOGO ways — at any Cincinnati-area Gold Star location. After defeating the Broncos on Dec. 19, the team had an 8-6 season, which means Gold Star has been giving away a whole bunch of chili this fall.
Skyline Was Voted One of the Top 10 Regional Fast Food Chains in America
Ever wondered which regional fast food chains are the top in the nation? The folks at USA Today did, so they asked their readers for their 10Best series, and it turns people have got a thing for our infamous Cincinnati-style chili. Skyline Chili made No. 4 on the list, beating out well-known names like In-N-Out Burger, Whataburger and Culver's. The write-up accompanying the placement reads, "Available in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Florida, Skyline Chili is perhaps best known for its Cincinnati-style chili, best eaten over spaghetti or a hot dog topped with a generous helping of shredded cheddar cheese."
Photo: Provided by Skyline

Skyline Was Voted One of the Top 10 Regional Fast Food Chains in America

Ever wondered which regional fast food chains are the top in the nation? The folks at USA Today did, so they asked their readers for their 10Best series, and it turns people have got a thing for our infamous Cincinnati-style chili. Skyline Chili made No. 4 on the list, beating out well-known names like In-N-Out Burger, Whataburger and Culver's. The write-up accompanying the placement reads, "Available in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Florida, Skyline Chili is perhaps best known for its Cincinnati-style chili, best eaten over spaghetti or a hot dog topped with a generous helping of shredded cheddar cheese."
Apparently Not Everyone Loves Our Chili
Cincinnati chili can be a very divisive topic — some people love it and, for some reason, a lot of people seem to hate it. And, not surprisingly, Twitter users seem to have a lot to say about it.
Photo: Twitter.com

Apparently Not Everyone Loves Our Chili

Cincinnati chili can be a very divisive topic — some people love it and, for some reason, a lot of people seem to hate it. And, not surprisingly, Twitter users seem to have a lot to say about it.