May 2008 Issue
Ah, Cincinnati: The city that never stops eating. With more than 170 chili parlors in the region, southwest Ohioans satisfy their need to feed by devouring more than 2 million pounds of chili annually –– and the addiction only grows at this time of year, when piling it high on top of a hot dog seems to signal the start of summer.
For those who need help finding the perfect place to take that first bite, we asked resident chili expert Ed McMasters to provide us with his top spots to feast on mouthwatering Coney-style dogs in Cincinnati.
Grab a bib and a few napkins. This is going to get messy. –– Ashley Harrington
No frills here:
Just park your car, order your foot-long Coney at the walk-up window and, McMasters suggests, finish off your meal with their famous soft-serve ice cream. 2673 Putz Place, Cincinnati, 513/681-8668, www.putzscreamywhip.com
Opt for their Coney with “all the fixin’s”: a hot dog in a steamed bun, loaded with mustard, chili, onions and plenty of cheddar cheese. Various locations, 513/874-1188, www.skylinechili.com
Price Hill Chili: A family tradition that’s always hopping. McMasters notes, “If it’s before an Elder [High School] home game, you have to be there 3 to 4 hours before the game to hope to eat.” 4920 Glenway Ave., Cincinnati, 513/471-9507
The Root Beer Stand in Sharonville:
This former A&W stand serves popcorn with its Coney. McMasters suggestswashing it down with their “out of this world” orange cream soda. 11566 Reading Rd., Sharonville, 513/769-4349, www.therootbeerstand.com
Camp Washington Chili:
“CBS Morning News” singled out this spot for having “The Best Chili in the Nation.” And early risers, take note. “It’s the first place to get the Enquirer in the morning,” says McMasters, explaining that the newspaper deliveryman eats here before beginning his route. 3005 ColerainAve., 513/541-0061, www.campwashingtonchili.com
Empress Chili: This place is for the tried and true chili connoisseur. “Rumor has it that Empress Chili is one of the first venues to create the [Cincinnati] chili recipe,” he says. 8340 Vine St., Cincinnati, 513/761-5599
Those who work downtown in the Queen City cross the bridge to make this Kentucky parlor a popular lunch spot. 2421 Madison Ave., Covington, 859/431-7444, www.dixiechili.com
Ed McMasters is the marketing manager for the Cincinnati USA Regional Tourism Network. For more information about Cincinnati chili or Greater Cincinnati, visit www.CincinnatiUSA.com.