Of course, you CAN eat chili all year round, but cold weather is an excuse to totally indulge. ‘Tis the season.
1. Check’s Cafe
Check’s has been serving the same recipe for their chili since 1944 – and for good reason. It’s fed hungry Louisvillians for 70 years, and has gained local fame. It is served with or without spaghetti, cheese and onions – whichever combination of these you prefer will be accommodated.
Whatever Check’s Cafe secret recipe is, it’s delicious. Check’s is truly “Louisville-style” chili. Check’s Cafe is a hidden gem and neighborhood favorite of the Germantown/Schnitzelburg area, and has been serving homestyle, German-influenced foods for 70 years.
Lonnie’s is owned and operated by real, live Chicago natives who feel passionate about bringing the authentic flavors of Chicago to our fine city. Their chili is homemade, with the perfect blend of spices, sweetness and spiciness. The chili is just fine on its own, but if you’re feeling adventurous, we recommend topping one of their Vienna beef dogs with it – or maybe some cheese fries.
With or without a Vienna beef dog, the chili is phenomenal and a unique taste of Chicago, here in our own backyard.
Ghyslain is a charming, casual bistro dining experience. Although it has gained its fame as a chocolatier and bakery, the kitchen provides just memorable and divine an experience.
Their chili is a game changer – white chili, to be exact. It’s made with ground turkey, diced chicken, onions, bell peppers, garlic, herbs, chipotle and cilantro and served with cheddar cheese and green onions. It’s a warm delight for a cold winter’s day, and is just different enough to still satiate your chili craving without being too much of the same thing.
Hilltop is an unpretentious, laid-back neighborhood bar. It’s WKU’s home away from home, but all are welcome (but don’t expect it to not be packed with WKU alumni during a game). Their beer selection is much more impressive than you would expect to find at a “sports bar,” and that is because it’s so much more. The work of local artists adorn the walls along with the giant projector wall for the games. Plus, there’s ping pong.
But the chili! Hilltop’s Falls City Chili is sweet and spicy, made with pulled pork and topped with onions, cheese and chili cheese Fritos. It’s an explosion of flavor that could be in your mouth – TONIGHT. Add it to some cheese fries, if you’re feeling spunky.
5. The Cafe
The Cafe is one of Louisville’s hidden gems. For over 20 years, The Cafe has been serving its loyal customers decadent, Southern-inspired, home-cooked meals. It was way ahead of the curve in re-purposed buildings – it is located inside of a converted warehouse. It may not look inviting from the outside, but the owners can be found out front to welcome in customers and invite them in to enjoy their offerings, fresh and made-to-order from the kitchen.
The chili is a dish that is consistently raved about by their loyal customers. It is rumored to be the best ever, or at least the best in town. The Cafe calls their chili “West Yellowstone Montana Chili,” – it’s pretty exotic for these parts. It’s topped with green onions, cheddar and banana peppers.
The Silver Dollar is known for its bold originality, and of course its chili is anything but ordinary. There are even multiple options for chili at this re-purposed firehouse, honky-tonk restaurant and bar. Their chili is served up Texas-style, meaning it is heavy on the meat with a perfect blend of spices, with a bold, hot and spicy flavor. The side of jalapeno cornbread it is served with is worth the trip all on its own. The cilantro, jalapenos onions and cheese are served on the side, so that part of the chili equation is left up to you.
The unadulterated bowl of The Silver Dollar’s chili is a meal on its own. It’s a hearty bowl of chilies, perfectly seasoned meat. Add the jalapenos, onion, cheddar and cilantro at your discretion. The Chili Con Frijoles is full of vegetables, pulled pork, chilies and beans. Beans are traditionally found in Texas-style chili, but if you want ’em, they’ve got ’em.
If you’d like to enjoy The Silver Dollar’s chili without the meat, you can! Vegetarian chili is available. All of the flavor with none of the meat.
Frank’s is one of the best-kept secrets of the South End. It’s nothing fancy, just good, old-fashioned homestyle cooking. It’s a deli and a meat shop, meaning everything is as fresh as possible and that Frank’s knows their stuff when it comes to meat – and their chili is no exception.
Their chili is served with spaghetti, onions and peppers and contains just the right amount of spice – and always piping hot. Frank’s is another establishment supported by local regulars, and a business can’t maintain loyal customers without friendly service and quality food.
Featured Image Credit: jeffreyw