The best bowls of chili in Dayton

By Amelia Robinson Staff Writer

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.

I got even more evidence of this fact when I asked people on Facebook and face-to-face about their favorite chili.

We are not talking Cincinnati-style chili this time. Read: Skyline vs. Gold Star: Otte, Rollins battle it out

Chef Don Warfe of Trolley Stop in the Oregon District said chili is a very personal thing.

“Chili, and with soups just in general, you get to put your own soul into it and everyone has their own take on it,” he said. “It is something that takes time, and you feel like you have accomplished something once it is all done.”

A pot of chili simmering on the stove or in the crock-pot is a sure sign of fall, but the question I was asking is: “What local eatery serves up the best chili?”

That too is up for debate as everyone has their idea of what chili is supposed to taste like.

I ordered up 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.

 

  • Farm Fresh Chili

    The best bowls of chili in Dayton , item 1

     

    Where can I find it? Trolley Stop, 530 E. Fifth St., Dayton, (937) 461-1101

    What is it like? 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.

    How much will it cost me? $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

    (Staff photo by Amelia Robinson)

     

  • Vegetarian Chili

    The best bowls of chili in Dayton , item 2

     

    Where can I find it? Christopher’s Restaurant & Catering, 2318 E. Dorothy Lane, Kettering, (937) 299-0089

    What is it like? 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.

    How much will it cost me? $2.95 for a cup or $3.95 for a bowl

    Toppings? Green onions, cheese and sour cream for no additional cost.

    How spicy is it? Mild as she goes

    (Staff photo by Amelia Robinson)

     

  • “Road Kill” Chili

     

    The best bowls of chili in Dayton , item 3

     

    Where can I find it? Tank’s Bar and Grill, 2033 Wayne Ave., Dayton, (937) 252-2249

    What is it like? Meat, meat and more meat in a thick sauce.

    How much will it cost me? $3.69 for a cup and $4.69 for a bowl

    What’s included? A pile of cheese and onions are 89 cents extra.

    How spicy is it? There’s a definite kick

    (Staff photo by Amelia Robinson)

     

  • Vegan Tequila Chili

    The best bowls of chili in Dayton , item 4

     

    Where can I find it? Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery, 520 E. Fifth St, Dayton, (937) 222-6800

    What is it like? 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.

    How much will it cost you? $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

    (Staff photo by Amelia Robinson)

     

  • Noteworthy: Archer's winner's chili

    The best bowls of chili in Dayton , item 5

     

    Where can I find it? Archer’s Tavern, 9496 Dayton-Lebanon Pike, Centerville (937) 401-1015

    What is it like?  The chili Archer's serves is truly a community effort.  A  spicy creation by Maria Brandt, the winner of the restaurant’s  fifth annual chili cook off, is currently on the menu. 

    How much will it cost me? $5.13 for a bowl

    How spicy is it? Warms the belly in a good way

    (Photo: Shutterstock)