When you need something to warm your bones, there's nothing better than a bowl of chili. Whether you eat them loaded on hot dogs or served with no beans, there are countless restaurants serving up this comfort food dish. Originated in Mexico (or southern Texas according to some historians) there's more than one way to make a chili recipe. So we've decided to round up the best chili in the South.
That said, we tried to stick to as traditional as possible, so no vegetarian chili or chicken chili were big contenders. Not to say we don't love a ground turkey and black bean chili, it just wasn't the focus this time around.
Who has the Best Chili in the South?
Ulele (pronounced You-lay-lee), is a vibrant fusion of local Florida ingredients inspired by the Native Americans that once called Florida home. Ulele's Native chili features alligator, wild boar, venison, duck, ground chuck, cranberry beans, and chili spices, making this hearty chili one of a kind. Don't expect sour cream or Fritos on this one-of-a-kind chili.
Pinky's West Side Grill
Featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, Pinky's West Side Grill serves up its beef chili on burgers, hot dogs, and waffle fries drenched with homemade pimento cheese. Need I say more?
Myrtle Beach, SC
Voted Best Hot Dog in 2019, (presumably with the chili sauce loaded on!), this joint takes you back to the 1950s, car nights and all. Grab a chili bowl topped with diced tomatoes, onion, beans, and peppers. Cincinnati-style chili is also available, spaghetti noodles, cheddar cheese, and all!
Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q
You won't find ground beef chili here at this BBQ joint, brisket is the name of the game! Made with certified Angus beef and topped with diced red onions and cheese and served with cornbread. You can also order tots topped with chili or as a side.
Tip Top Grill
Choose any style of hot dog or burger and enjoy the scenic views that Tip Top has to offer.
Located at Bluff Park overlooking Shades Valley, this chili dog comes with a spectacular view. Served with mustard, onions, and shredded cheese, this famous chili is a must-try. And don't forget about the chili cheese fries!
Doe's Eat Place
Head on down to Margaritaville to get a taste of this beefy Doe's Delta Chili. Spices such as cumin, chili powder add a kick to this ground beef chili.
The Camellia Grill
New Orleans, LA
This landmark diner knows how to make its chili and serve it! Enjoy it on an omelet, on a burger, or in a bowl, this bean chili is everything you've wanted in a bite.
Goode's Armadillo Palace
Texas chili is in a league of its own, so picking a top lone star Texas-style chili con carne was difficult. Served with cheddar, jalapeños, onion, and Fritos, this award-winning chili reminds us of what Texans used to get at chili parlors.
Taqueria Del Sol
Known for their Mexican specialties, Taqueria Del Sol serves two kinds of chili; pork green chili and beef red chili. The restaurant also serves up a unique twist on the chili dog by making it into a taco! This is only available as a special, so keep your eyes out on social media.
Hard Times Cafe
When times are hard, head to the Hard Times Cafe and order from their gigantic chili menu, with more choices than a chili cook-off. Have it served over cilantro rice, over spaghetti, or even wrapped in a tortilla.
Known as Kentucky's first chili parlor, Dixie Chili & Deli serves their chili Cincinnati-style, up to 6-Way which includes chili, spaghetti, beans, onions all topped with fresh chopped garlic and cheese. You can also try the Chili Man Dip which includes Philadelphia cream cheese, mashed pinto beans, their famous beef chili and chopped onions, topped with shredded cheese and parsley. Served with tortilla chips, this plate is meant for two.