Texas December 21, 2017
Warm Your Belly With This Scrumptious Chili Road Trip In Texas
Christmas is in a few days, and then it will officially be winter. Even though that usually doesn’t signify much of a weather change for us, I still find myself craving more warm, comforting foods this time of year. Chili is definitely one of those dishes – it’s like a warm hug to the heart and belly (but only if it’s done just right). Fortunately for us, this iconic food originated in the Lone Star State, so there are plenty of restaurants that hit the nail on the head in regards to flavor, spice, and, of course, leaving out those dreaded beans. This road trip lets you try nine of the very best bowls of chili in Texas – I hope you’re hungry!
The entire trip is about 550 miles and takes nine hours, so you could feasibly hit all the spots in one day. If you don’t think your stomach could handle all that eating and want to spread it out over two days, feel free to spend the night somewhere around the halfway point.
As usual, the Google Map with all the addresses and exact directions can be found
1. Killen's BBQ (Pearland)
Considering Killen's is a barbecue restaurant, they approach chili a bit differently than the other guys. Instead of ground beef, the meat of choice is brisket - and not just any brisket. The fall-off-the-bone, tender, flavorful brisket than can only be found here. Plus, the base is still the authentic Texas red that you're used to, so you won't be missing out on any of the classic flavor!
3613 E Broadway St, Pearland, TX 77581
2. Goode Company Armadillo Palace (Houston)
Goode's also serves up a unique bowl of chili. Filled with chunks of venison and simmered in a spicy, cumin-infused sauce, this flavor combination will hit all of your taste buds in just the right way - especially after it's topped off with cheese, sour cream, and jalapenos. Enjoy your meal while listening to some live entertainment on the patio!
5015 Kirby Dr, Houston, TX 77098
3. Molina's Cantina (Houston)
You would think the oldest Tex-Mex restaurant in Houston would have a super secret, complicated family recipe for its chili, but owner Ricardo Molina begs to differ. He claims the key is simplicity - all he does is combine ancho chili paste, 80/20 beef, salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic, and then tops it with a little cheese and chopped onion. That's all there is to it, y'all!
3801 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX 77025
4. JCI Grill (Houston)
I think we all can recall a few memories made at James Coney Island as a kid, but most of them probably involve hot dogs. Fast food restaurants aren't usually know for their chili, but this iconic Houston joint is an exception. It's hearty, spiced to perfection, free from those little abominations otherwise known as beans, and cheap. What more could you ask for?
5. The Phoenix Saloon (New Braunfels)
Not only is the chili at Phoenix Saloon comparable to all the other places on this list, but the venue is also where Gebhart's Chili Powder was first made! So if you like chili with a side of history, this is the place for you.
193 W San Antonio St, New Braunfels, TX 78130
6. Texas Chili Parlor (Austin)
Arguably the most notable chili restaurant in Texas, the iconic dish comes in all forms and fashions at this restaurant. Whether you want it on a burger, hot dog, Frito pie, or solo, made with your choice of white pork, sausage, beef, or vegetarian-style, the options are endless. There are huge hunks of meat, just the right amount of spice, and a consistency so thick you could stand a spoon up in it.
409 Lavaca St, Austin, TX 78701
7. Tolbert's Restaurant & Chili Parlor (Grapevine)
Tolbert's was founded by the co-founder of the Terlingua Chili Cook-Off, which is all that really needs to be said because you know that means the food is gonna be great. I hope y'all like spice, because the chili here is topped with a whole pepper. You can also get it on a Frito pie or hot dog if you so desire!
423 S Main St, Grapevine, TX 76051
8. Freds Texas Cafe (Fort Worth)
Fred's only serves chili during fall and winter, so you'd better head on over and grab a bowl while you still can! The secret recipe is made with tender, juicy sirloin and topped with grilled onions, jalapenos, and cheese. You can order it by itself, as chili-cheese fries, or even on top of one of Fred's world-famous burgers. Yum.
915 Currie St, Fort Worth, TX 76107
9. Holy Grail Pub (Plano)
This chili might look innocent enough, but it's harboring a sinister ingredient: ghost peppers. That's right, Holy Grail Pub uses the hottest pepper in the world and still manages to nail the delicate balance between heat and flavor. Time to put your taste buds to the test and see if you're a true Texan!
8240 Preston Rd #150, Plano, TX 75024
Would you be up for this road trip? What other restaurants should be part of it? Let us know!