One of the benefits I’ve noticed since moving back to the Central Kentucky region is I have more opportunities to explore the food and culture of the surrounding regions. I used to visit Cincinnati for the occasional Reds baseball game, maybe a night out in Mount Adams, but I never had the chance to explore the truly local dives.
Cincinnati is a big chili, beer and bratwurst hotspot, which partners naturally with the strong percentage of German and Irish immigrants that settled in this river city. In fact Cincinnati is referred to as the “Chili Capital of American,” due to the style of chili it has spawned and the high density of chili joints around town.
Everyone knows Gold Star and Skyline, these are the two big chains. There’s nothing wrong with either. Each has been an outstanding brand ambassador for “Cincinnati chili,” and introduced the wider world to the simple pleasure of a chili that contains a hint of cinnamon, poured over spaghetti or mini-hot dogs with cheese.
About a year ago I started delving deeper into Cincinnati’s rich chili heritage and came up with several worthy contenders, including Blue Ash, Camp Washington, and Empress Chili. Check out my review of Dixie Chili from last year. This mini-local chain is at least as good as Skyline and Gold Star.
One I had been trying to get to for a while was Price Hill Chili, which opened in 1962. It keeps late hours and I’ve been looking for another place or two that would still be serving after concerts. This is a great spot because there’s the chili, but also great burgers and a wide menu of appetizers and monster sandwiches, exactly what every half-drunk, starving concert-goer is seeking.
I took a shot at the wings to start, but don’t waste your time. I was craving a burger, and Price Hill has a full selection of double-deckers that were a dream come true. These are true grilled hamburgers, with all the trimmings, and they can be customized extensively.
Of course there is the chili, and I sampled that as well. There is 2 way to 5 way, and it comes with or without beans. I did an order of cheese coneys, which are hot dog rolls filled with chili and topped with mountains of cheese.
Any of this is supreme drunk food. One item that caught my eye under sandwiches was The Landmark. This is a hoagy beef steak on a special bun, with grilled onions, Swiss cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo. YUM!
Breakfast is also an option to consider. Price Hill would be an excellent place to try Goetta, a Cincinnati specialty. This is a meat product consisting of sausage and pinhead oatmeal that is fried.
One suggestion, when I first walked in I thought this restaurant was tiny. The kitchen is on one side, with stools and a bar for customers to sit diner-style, along with a few tables and booths. It wasn’t until I went to the bathroom that I realized this joint is cavernous. Numerous different dining rooms are available. I recommend going to the far end where there is the Golden Fleece Lounge. It opens up onto a spacious glass patio that is a perfect spot to kick back after a show, or come in to watch a game and imbibe.
It’s hard to go wrong at Price Hill Chili.
4920 Glenway Avenue | 513-471-9507 | Hours: Mon-Thu 6AM-11PM/Fri-Sat 6AM-2AM/Sun 7AM-3PM | Menu