As an avid traveler and food lover, Christopher Precopia is always on the lookout for the top food destinations in the country. As the calendar enters the heart of fall, there’s no autumn food quite as comforting as chili. Christopher Precopia will always go for a bowl of chili on a crisp fall evening to warm up the soul and fire up the tastebuds. During his travels, Christopher Precopia has experienced some of the best chili destinations in America. Below are some of the cities that can guarantee travelers a fantastic chili experience.
Christopher Precopia on Austin, Texas
One of the biggest debates in the foodie community is whether chili should or should not feature beans. Christopher Precopia doesn’t care as long as the chili packs a flavor punch. Austin, Texas is a city that finds themselves on the no beans side of the argument. The simple Texas-style chili, often referred to as Texas Red, only contains meat, chiles and spices. Texas Red is a testament to the fact that you don’t need countless ingredients to deliver unmatched flavor. Throughout the entire city of Austin, you can find restaurant after restaurant serving up bowls of this delicious treat. Keep an eye out for the spice levels as most establishments will provide three different heat options for diners. Those new to the chili game would be wise to start with the mild and work their way up!
Christopher Precopia on Santa Fe, New Mexico
One of the most rewarding aspects of travel is experiencing how different parts of the world interpret different iconic dishes. When you travel to Santa Fe, New Mexico, you may be able to order a Texas Red, but the clear local favorite features Chile Verde. The Chile Verde highlights a pork marinated for hours in a green chili sauce. Some cooks pair this meat with jalapenos and others take advantage of fresh, local hatch peppers. You can also find multiple establishments in Santa Fe that include potatoes in the dish to create Chile Verde stew that is delicious. As with most cities with a signature chili, there’s a restaurant that has been serving up the local specialty since the 1950’s. In Santa Fe, it’s called The Shed. Beware this is one of the most difficult restaurants to get into without a reservation, so be sure to book your spot before heading over to try the most famous Santa Fe chili at the most famous Santa Fe chili destination.
Christopher Precopia on Cincinnati, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio may serve chili in the most unique fashion in the United States. Almost every restaurant in the city serves their chili over a plate of spaghetti. Much like Philadelphia expects you to understand how to order a cheesesteak with the proper terminology, Cincinnati restaurants ask you to order your meal in three different styles. The 2-way provides diners with a spaghetti topped with beef chili; the 3-way adds a heaping portion of cheddar cheese to that equation; the 4-way offers onions or beans; and the 5-way adds both onions and beans for a concoction of flavor that will probably end with a nap. There are a few iconic destinations for chili in the area, but the Blue Ash Chili restaurant has been around since the late 1960s and is a favorite amongst locals and tourists alike.
Christopher Precopia on Kansas City, Kansas
Christopher Precopia understands that Kansas City is most famous for their barbecue but encourages travelers to try their chili as well. The Kansas City version of chili is a little less spicy than some of their counterparts and usually consists of ground beef, tomatoes, red kidney beans and spices. Some of the top barbecue restaurants in the area will even offer up chili with burnt ends, ribs, or some barbecue chicken.
Of course, whenever you endeavor to make a list like this, you will inevitably leave out a few locations that could or even should be mentioned. Christopher Precopia has a lot more traveling to do and will continue to seek out the best chili spots all over America. Where that takes him next is anyone’s guess.