“A bowl of chili is immensely satisfying in the wintertime. Packed with beans, meats, spices, and more, it has everything needed to warm Chicagoans up from the coldest chills. These following spots take extra pride in their versions, some of which are age-old recipes that span back generations. From classic beef and turkey to veggie and quinoa chilis, here are 12 favorites to try, listed from north to south.
One of the city’s most beloved vegetarian restaurants shows that it can make a mean chili without meat. Chicago Diner creates a healthy take on the dish by using a quinoa base and supplementing it with jalapeno corn fritters. Guests also have the option of adding tomatoes, onions, sour cream, cheese, and avocado. Unlike more traditional chilis, this one won’t bust guts.
Sheffield’s has been hosting annual chili cook-offs for the past decade so it shouldn’t be a shock that its specialty stew is worthy of praise. It’s made with smoked brisket and pork, chorizo, bacon, peppers, beans, cheddar, and optional accoutrements. Vegetarians aren’t left out in the cold either as there’s an equally impressive veggie chili chock-full of white and black beans, peppers, corn, roasted tomatoes, tomatillos, and Lagunitas Daytime.
Burgers will always be the main attraction at the iconic metal bar but the comfort fare doesn’t stop there. Since diners are probably going to consume an inordinate amount of calories anyway, they might as well go all out and order a bowl of chili too. Just like everything else on the menu, it’s a highly craveable version topped with shredded Monterey jack cheese and diced red onions.”