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Where to find the best bowls of chili in Dayton

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


Vegetarian Chili

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



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