Hot Spots for Chili in Metro Detroit
By: Michael Fossbakk
November 4, 2019
Chili and fall go together like…coffee and cake, burgers and beer, Batman & Robin…Okay, that last one isn’t food, but you get the idea.
Earlier, we covered local fall beers and places you can enjoy a glass of hard cider. Now, we’re taking on the perfect match to those delicious drinks: chili, where comfort food and cold weather intersect. Here are places you can get a great cup (or bowl) of chili, as well as a couple of local chili cook-offs where you can test your culinary mettle with the best metro Detroit has to offer.
At Camp Ticonderoga, you will find their venison chili, which is a tomato chili made with naturally lean venison and garnished with sour cream and scallions. One great addition to Camp Ticonderoga are the two heated igloos that parties of up to 10 can reserve during the winter months. Come for the venison chili, stay for the rustic atmosphere.
Brady’s Tavern in Beverly Hills is on point when it comes to chili. Brady’s Chili, A.K.A. “The Award Winner,” comes as is without toppings. Alternatively, you can go “All the Way,” adding shredded cheddar, sour cream and onions to Brady’s Chili and have it served in an edible bread bowl. Brady’s doesn’t stop there, however. If beef chili isn’t your thing, give Brady’s chicken chili a shot, which is now back by popular demand.
Made to honor the legacy of the original Jim Brady’s location on 7 Mile & Greenfield, the historic restaurant now has two locations: Royal Oak and Ann Arbor. Both are committed to using Michigan-made products whenever possible in its craft beer, craft cocktails and food. When it comes to chili, Jim Brady’s uses an original recipe from the 1954 location. It’s easy to be distracted by the interior design and two full bars at Jim Brady’s, but don’t let that keep you from enjoying a bowl of its signature chili before moving on to your main course of the night.
Where better to get a bowl of chili than at a place whose specialty is smoked bar-b-cue? At Union Woodshop, a lot of the food is prepared in “the backlot” where they keep their green hickory smoker on a low temperature. This allows the food to absorb a rich, smoky flavor and that includes their chili, which is made from house-smoked ground beef.
Coney Islands & Diners
As one-half of the never-ending, friendly competition to be the best Coney Island diner in Detroit, American Coney Island has one thing on its sibling next door: it came first. Gust Keros opened American in 1917 and his brother immigrated shortly thereafter and opened Lafayette Coney Island. While ownership may have changed over the years, American is still owned by the Keros family. The rivalry does have merit among the customers as each place uses different hot dogs and a different chili recipe. It’s something almost everyone wants to try at least once to be able to weigh on on the fevered debate.
Located in Highland Park and a staple of the community, Red Hots Coney Island has been a family-owned venture since it opened in the 1920s. For nearly 100 years, Red Hots has been serving Metro Detroiters delicious coney dogs and more. That includes the family chili recipe that is used on each and every Coney Dog. You can also get it slathered on a plate of French fries (with or without cheese) or order the Milton Special (bowl of bean soup with chili, loose meat and onions).
Based in Michigan and with more than 20 locations in the Metro Detroit area, National Coney Island should not be forgotten when it comes to flavorful chili in the Motor City. Whether you want it on a dog, in a taco or in a bowl, National’s “world famous” chili is so popular, they have to make thousands of gallons of it every day and distribute it to all of their locations. If you’re not local to the Detroit area, you can have it shipped anywhere in the United States.
- Where: 37200 Goddard Rd, Romulus, MI
- When: Nov. 10, 2019
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- When: Nov. 23, 2019