Ask nearly anyone where you can find the best chili in town, and nine times out of 10, the answer will be “my house” — as in the home of the person you asked.
Here are five of the area’s best chili recommendations — and they could not be any different than night and day. Each will make a cold night just a little warmer.
NOTE: prices may have changed since the original publication date of this article.
Farm Fresh Chili
Where can I find it: Trolley Stop, 530 E. Fifth St., Dayton, (937) 461-1101
How does it taste: Hearty helping of grass-fed beef and veggies with red beans in a broth sauce. The meat is fresh from Keener Farms, a community supported agriculture farm that calls Dayton home.
Cost: $4 for a cup or $5 for a bowl
Toppings: Comes topped with red onions and a blend of cheddar and jack cheeses for no extra cost.
How spicy is it? Just a touch of love
Where can I find it: Christopher’s Restaurant & Catering, 2318 E. Dorothy Lane, Kettering, (937) 299-0089
How does it taste: Loaded with kidney, garbanzo and other beans and chunky veggies (yellow squash, tomatoes, zucchini, corn, etc) in a soupier base. There is also a meat version.
Cost: $3.50 for a cup or $4.50 for a bowl
Toppings available: Green onions, cheese and sour cream for no additional cost.
How spicy is it: Mild as she goes
“Road Kill” Chili
Where can I find it: Tank’s Bar and Grill, 2033 Wayne Ave., Dayton, (937) 252-2249
How does it taste: Meat, meat and more meat in a thick sauce.
Cost: $3.69 for a cup and $4.69 for a bowl
Toppings available: A pile of cheese and onions are 89 cents extra.
How spicy is it: There’s a definite kick
Vegan Tequila Chili
Where can I find it: Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery, 520 E. Fifth St, Dayton, (937) 222-6800
How does it taste: You won’t believe it is not meat. Spicy soyrizo (soy chorizo) with kidney beans, black beans, onions and tomatoes. There is also a meat chili. It won’t get you drunk.
Cost: $4 for a cup or $6 for a bowl
Toppings: Sour cream, onions, mixed cheese and jalapenos were about $2 more on the cup size.
How spicy is it: Spice paradise
Noteworthy: Archer's winner's chili
Where can I find it: Archer’s Tavern, 9496 Dayton-Lebanon Pike, Centerville (937) 401-1015
How does it taste: The chili Archer's serves is truly a community effort.
Cost: $5.13 for a bowl
How spicy is it: Warms the belly in a good way