Best of Springfield®

CHILI

The Chili Parlor

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY THE CHILI PARLOR
Photo courtesy The Chili Parlor

Springfield is a chili town – there's no doubt about it. There are even fights over whether it's spelled with one or two "l"s. And Springfield's favorite kind of chili is tavern chili, with the Chili Parlor bringing home the win this year. It's a Springfield institution that's been around for more than 50 years, which is a great track record.

The Parlor has even been featured in Bon Appetite and on national TV, particularly for its firebrand chili. Eat a bowl and you get your name featured on the restaurant's walls. Eat five or six and you're likely the star of that show, although we know of one local, who prefers to remain anonymous, who beat that record! Spice levels are almost infinitely customizable, thanks to the Parlor's unique meat blends. All chili comes with copious amounts of crackers (to help soak up some of that yummy oil) and each table has a bottle of vinegar. The combination of the two helps make the firebrand's heat manageable.

But diners also come to the Parlor for camaraderie – you're almost guaranteed to know some of your fellow diners. Owners and staff are also incredibly friendly. And don't forget about their dogs (plain or with chili) and tamales. Finally, we like the fact that no matter how old-school the Parlor is, it has come up to date with the times and now takes credit cards instead of just cash.

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