Cincinnati chili is characteristically served over spaghetti or as a coney (mini chili dog), with oyster crackers on the side. Cincinnati chili sauce contains finely ground beef, seasoned with a mixture of spices. Some aficionados report a distinct hint of cinnamon and sometimes even chocolate. When served over spaghetti, the chili is typically topped by a large mountain of shredded mild cheddar cheese (as much as will fit on top without it falling over the sides). Because of the large amount of cheese piled on top, the first few bites often consist entirely of cheese, at least for inexperienced diners. The serving method is based on (and is ordered in restaurants by) a traditional code. A "one-way" would be a bowl of chili only, but it is almost never ordered this way. A "two-way" is spaghetti topped with chili only. More typically, the chili is ordered as a "three-way" (noodles, sauce, and cheese only), "four-way" (with added red kidney beans or chopped raw white onions), or "five-way" (with added beans and onions). "Inverted" is the request to place the cheese under the chili so it melts.
Cincinnatians consume more than two million pounds of chili each year, topped by 850,000 pounds of shredded cheddar cheese. Each September, the city celebrates "Chilifest" at Yeatman's Cove at the Ohio River, with food and entertainment.
Featured Chili Parlors
Established in 1949 by the Lambrinides family, Skyline serves its classic Cincinnati-style chili at over 70 area restaurants. Rated Cincinnati's Finest by Cincinnati Magazine. Lunch, dinner. Days and hours vary by location.
Gold Star Chili
"I love that stuff!" That's the consensus of locals and visitors alike when they taste that meaty, spicy, aromatic concoction known as Gold Star Chili.
Camp Washington Chili
Serving our famous chili and double-deckers since 1940. Nationally recognized as the country's best chili! Open 24 hours. Breakfast, lunch, dinner Mon-Sat.
3005 Colerain Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45225