Skyline Chili Started the Cincinnati Chili Style … Is Not For Everyone

Between Louisville and Columbus is Ohio’s second city, Cincinnati. Besides WKRP, the Bengals and the Reds, the modestly-sized city most-famous offering to the world is their chili … which you serve on spaghetti. Ummmm, yum?

This begs the question, does chili cease to be chili when it’s served on pasta? I say no, it becomes a meat sauce. Put it on a hot dog, fine. In a bowl. Yup. I’ll even take it over rice. Pasta is a foreign object for chili connoisseurs.

Nevertheless, the place to get the local delicacy is Skyline Chili. The diner chain was founded in 1949 by Greek immigrants. Their recipe for chili is a kept secret for it’s herbs and spices. Most recipes have you using chocolate or chocolate ice cream. Yup.

Unlike a hearty, meaty Texas chili, their version is a bit more watery and thin. The flavor is there, but it’s not a sweat-inducing heat.

If you’re like me, and you don’t want a full on heart attack by getting a full plate, you get a side portion where they top it with a handful of finely shredded cheddar cheese.  For more traditionalists, you can get it “Coney style” on top of a hot dog with onion and cheese. Or, just get a cup of it with crackers.

Total bill for ice tea, small pasta and hot dog — $8. A perfectly reasonable amount to fulfill a curiosity.

The original location is no longer around, so there’s 100+ locations in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Florida. You can also get in cans on websites that sell canned chili.

There are plenty of other places in town that probably serve better chili, so you can have a whole chili tour of the city. Just stay away from me when you do because who knows what that does to your digestive system.

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