Most Americans know chili as a Tex-Mex creation. But there’s also another type of chili known as Cincinnati chili, a different beast than its Tex-Mex counterpart so comparisons made between the two types is akin to apples-versus-oranges comparison. While the Tex-Mex chili con carne can be served on its own, the Cincinnati chili is usually used as a topping for hotdogs (coneys) and spaghetti (two-way).
Cincinnati chili is a Mediterranean-spiced meat sauce with ingredients that include ground beef, tomato paste, stock, and cinnamon as well as other Mediterranean spices, which are then cooked into a soup-like consistency. Chocolate may be added to the chili, which gives it a distinctive flavor profile than its Tex-Mex counterpart, while the toppings include onions, beans and cheese.
Below are the latest Gold Star Chili menu prices.
|Loaded Bacon Chili Cheese Fries||$7.47|
|Bacon Cheddar Ranch Fries||$5.68|
|Cookies + Cream Shake||$4.59|
|Garlic Parmesan Fries||$5.27|
|Cookies + Cream||$4.62|
|Bacon Cheeseburger Double||$10.34|
|Chili Cheese Fries||$6.63|
|Banana Cream Pie||$4.59|
|Kids Chicken Strips||$5.71|
|Regular Vegetarian Three Way||$7.23|
|Double Bacon Cheeseburger||$10.34|
|Vegetarian Three Way||$5.25|
Make any way meatless with our vegetarian chili.
Coney's and Ways
|Habanero Ghost Pepper Cheese Coney||$2.58|
|Habanero Ghost Pepper Chili Cheese Sandwich||$2.58|
|Habanero Ghost Pepper Cheese Coney Crate||$25.70|
|Chili Cheese Sandwich||$2.43|
Picked For You
|Harvest Chicken Salad||$5.74|
|Spring Harvest Salad||$4.59|
Burgers & Chicken Sandwiches
|Classic Burger Single||$6.31|
|Classic Burger Double||$7.46|
|Bacon Cheeseburger Single||$8.61|
|Classic Crispy Chicken Sandwich||$7.58|
|Classic Chicken Sandwich||$7.58|
|Bacon Chicken Ranch Sandwich||$9.19|
|Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwich||$9.19|
Burritos and Bowls
|Chili Burrito Deluxe||$8.34|
|Chicken Burrito Deluxe||$8.34|
Fries and Sides
|Chili Cheese Dip||$4.13|
|Chili Cheese Nachos||$6.43|
|Chili Salad Full||$8.04|
|Bacon Chicken Ranch Salad||$5.74|
|Chili Salad Half||$5.74|
|Harvest Pecan Chicken Salad||$5.74|
|BBQ Chicken Salad||$5.74|
|Harvest Chicken Salad Full||$8.04|
|Bacon Chicken Ranch Salad Half||$5.74|
|Harvest Chicken Salad Half||$5.74|
|BBQ Chicken Salad Full||$8.04|
|BBQ Chicken Salad Half||$5.74|
|Bacon Chicken Ranch Salad Full||$8.04|
|Kids Three Way||$5.74|
|Kids Spaghetti and Cheese||$3.77|
|Kids Cheese Coney Meal||$4.61|
|Kids Chicken Fingers Meal||$5.74|
|Kids Hot Dog Meal||$3.55|
|Kids Chicken Fingers||$5.76|
Burritos & Bowls
|Chili Bowl Deluxe||$8.38|
|Chicken Bowl Deluxe||$8.38|
|Fountain Soda Medium||$2.51|
|Regular Fountain Soda||$2.63|
|Fountain Soda Large||$2.91|
|Large Fountain Soda||$2.98|
|Sweet Tea Regular||$2.50|
|Regular Sweet Tea||$2.63|
|Strawberry Banana Shake||$4.59|
|Sweet Tea Large||$2.90|
|Large Sweet Tea||$2.98|
|Chocolate Banana Shake||$4.59|
|Regular Unsweetened Iced Tea||$2.63|
|Iced Tea Regular||$2.50|
|Cookies and Cream Shake||$4.59|
|Large Unsweetened Iced Tea||$2.98|
|Iced Tea Large||$2.90|
|Strawberry Shortcake Shake||$4.59|
|Banana Cream Pie Shake||$4.59|
|Unsweet Iced Tea||$2.52|
Come with drink - fountain soda, apple juice or milk and side - fries or applesauce.
|Kids 3-Way Meal||$5.76|
|Kids Coney Meal||$4.59|
|Kids Spaghetti + Cheese Meal||$3.78|
|Kids Spaghetti + Cheese||$3.60|
|Kids Hot Dog||$3.65|
|Kids Cheeseburger Meal||$5.74|
Shakes - Original Flavors
Shakes - Specialty Flavors
|Side of Dressing||$0.50|
|Spaghetti & Cheese||$3.90|
|Cheese Hot Dog||$1.70|
|Side of Onions||$0.50|
|Side of Beans||$0.50|
|Side of Cheese||$1.52|
|Side of Sour Cream||$0.49|
|Side of Chili||$1.51|
Fahhad, Basheer, Fahid, and Bishara Daoud, four brothers from Jordan, founded Gold Star Chili in 1965 with the first location in Mount Washington. The first restaurant was called Hamburger Heaven, a place with a hamburger-centric menu although chili was also available. The founders soon observed that the chili was more popular than the other menu items, especially after modifications to the original recipe has been made.
The restaurant’s name was soon changed to Gold Star Chili so that it focused on the brother’s original chili recipe. Many of the menu items that didn’t mesh well with the chili were also removed.
Today, the restaurant chain has its corporate headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio while its restaurants – a total of 85 locations, both company-owned and franchised as of October 2016 – are spread across Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. The chain and its Cincinnati chili is considered as the Cincinnati Bengals’ Official Chili.
What They’re Famous For
Of course, Gold Star Chili is famous, if not beloved by its loyal patrons, for its Cincinnati-style chili. The flavor profile is different than the Tex-Mex chili con carne – tangy from the tomato sauce concentrate, sweet from the dried onions, and flavorful from the Mediterranean spices, especially from the pepperonis with their secret ingredients.
The cooked chili is then placed as a topping over spaghetti and hotdogs. Keep in mind that the flavor and texture profile is significantly different from the classic chili con carne so Cincinnati chili isn’t its inferior cousin, far from it.
Why Eat Here
The famous Cincinnati chili is your best reason to come and eat at a Gold Star Chili restaurant near your neighborhood – or wherever you find yourself within the radius of the chain’s restaurants, for that matter. The unique chili is a great topping on spaghetti served in three ways, namely:
- 3-way with piping hot al dente spaghetti topped by the delicious chili and freshly-grated cheddar cheese
- 4-way with the same basic ingredients of generous heaping of spaghetti, chili and cheddar cheese with either beans or onions as an added ingredient
- 5-way, the same as the 4-way with added beans and onions
The Gold Star Chili is the colorful paint to the spaghetti’s blank canvas, to use an analogy. But when it’s placed as topping over hotdogs, it’s a different story – the chili complements the meatiness of the hotdog, an American classic taken to another culinary level. There are a few savory options to the coneys, too, including the:
- Cheese Coney, a premium meaty hotdog served between a Klosterman bun with Gold Star’s chili, cheese and onions as well as hint of mustard widely considered as a Cincinnati tradition
- Coney, the same hotdog served inside a steamed bun with chili, chopped onions and mustard as toppings
- Chili Cheese Sandwich, a steamed Klosterman bun topped with the signature chili, chopped onions, cheddar cheese, and mustard.
If you have a big appetite or you want to share the coneys with others, your best bet is the 10-unit Coney Crate. Both the two-ways and the coneys are must-order items for regular customers but there are also other options, such as the sandwiches (Double Deckers), Chili Salad with fresh vegetables, and Spring Harvest Salad with mandarin oranges. Fries, nachos and cheese dips as well as the famous ice cream milkshakes in flavors like vanilla, strawberry shortcake, and banana cream pie are also available.
The famous Gold Star Chili Cincinnati-style chili is produced in a central commissary and delivered to the restaurants. According to a press release, the chili is made of melted suet, dried white onions, and pepperonis as well as water and tomato sauce, which are boiled for three hours until it has achieved the right consistency. With such an intensive preparation and premium ingredients, it is little wonder that the chili put Cincinnati into the culinary map – and the award is just one of many proofs of it.
The chain usually doesn’t take reservations and accept delivery and catering orders but it provides takeout services. The restaurants are kid-friendly and group-friendly with many offering free Wi-Fi. The casual ambiance means that enjoying your coneys and two-ways in a somewhat messy manner is acceptable.
To learn more about Gold Star Chili or to find a location near you, visit their website at www.goldstarchili.com.