Food News

Where to Get a Nice Hot Bowl of Chili in Dallas

Get your red on a burger at Green Door Public House.
Get your red on a burger at Green Door Public House. Kristina Rowe
National Chili Day is today, and even if fake holidays are silly and winter's bite left us almost as quickly as it arrived, it’s still a good time to eat a bowl of chili in Dallas. (In Texas, any day is a good day for chili.) I myself like to celebrate Texas Independence Day, March 3, every year with the state dish of Texas.

Dallas has a history with this particular dish and there’s no shortage of restaurants that serve it.

National restaurant chain Chili’s was born in Dallas, and their bowl isn’t half bad. Tolbert’s in Grapevine offers the bowl of red that launched the Terlingua Chili Festival. Plano’s Holy Grail Pub has served their nice-and-spicy ghost pepper chili for over a decade.

Here are 10 more Dallas restaurants where you can get a great bowl of chili, on National Chili Day or any day.

303 Bar and Grill

303 W. Davis St. (Bishop Arts)

The patio at 303 Bar and Grill gives you a great view of all the hustle and bustle in the Bishop Arts District. If it’s slightly chilly outside, order a cup of turkey chili. You can also get some as a side with any sandwich, wrap or burger.

Green Door Public House

600 S. Harwood St. (Farmers Market)

A popular hangout for happy hour, Green Door Public House has a mind-boggling historic building makeover story of being moved, brick by brick from a location around the corner where it was once Liberty Bank.

The food is great too, with a lineup of salads and sandwiches, and the Shiner bock skillet chili is outstanding by itself or on the Western burger.

The Local Oak

409 N. Zang Blvd. (Bishop Arts)

Weekdays are wonderful at The Local Oak with daily lunch and dinner specials and happy hour from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. When you’re ready to work your way through the rest of the menu, try the meaty chili made with Shiner bock beer.
click to enlarge Burnt ends in the chili? Maple Landing knows what it means to be in Texas. - KRISTINA ROWE
Burnt ends in the chili? Maple Landing knows what it means to be in Texas.
Kristina Rowe

Maple Landing

5855 Maple Ave., No. 190 (Northwest Dallas)

Bourbon and beer will quench your thirst at this neighborhood bar near Love Field, while the food menu is all about burgers and brisket. The brisket burnt ends go into the chili which is served by the cup or bowl with a mini cornbread muffin.

Press Box Grill

1623 Main St. (downtown)

At The Press Box Grill in the historic Wilson Building downtown, everything’s big. The big TV screen is 112 inches, the tap has 36 beers and the menu offers you lots of choices. The flavor in the Shiner-infused ground beef chili is big too. Order some any time, even after 10 p.m. from the late-night menu.

Slow Bone BBQ

2234 Irving Blvd. (Design District)

If you’ve never been to Slow Bone BBQ before and can’t decide what to order, a well-meaning regular customer may suggest you try the smoke-brined fried chicken or the pork ribs. That’s certainly good advice, but the brisket earns its keep here too, especially in the chili.

Smoked meat makes chili better and smoked-brisket chili makes the world a better place. Get it by the half-pint or in a Frito pie, or order the chili mac for a side that’s more like a meal.
click to enlarge Chili or the beloved cheddar fries at Snuffers? If only there were a way to somehow combine them. - KRISTINA ROWE
Chili or the beloved cheddar fries at Snuffers? If only there were a way to somehow combine them.
Kristina Rowe


3526 Greenville Ave. (Lower Greenville); 4180A Belt Line Road, Addison; 3726 Towne Crossing Blvd., Mesquite; 4901 W. Park Blvd., No. 521, Plano; 300 W, Campbell Road, No.100, Richardson; 2901 Village Drive, Rockwall.

The only thing better than the cheddar fries at Snuffers is an order of cheddar fries and a cup of chili. The ground beef chili makes other appearances on the menu, too, like on a half-pound hot dog or the chili-cheddar burger. If you’re feeling creative, use it as a dipping sauce for a quesadilla or a featured sandwich.

Standard Service

5631 Alta Ave. (Lowest Greenville)

In Texas, we usually expect our chili to be made with beef and no beans, but Standard Service makes theirs with bison. Sometimes it’s cool to break the rules.

This version also breaks the no-beans rule with black, kidney and pinto beans, but you still get the traditional cheddar & green onions on top.

TLC Vegan Kitchen

520 Shepherd Drive, No. 10, Garland

Vegans need chili too, or if you want some on a Friday during Lent, this combination of flavors will hit the spot. Order a bowl of the four-bean chili or get it on nachos, fries or a vegan sausage brat.

Thunderbird Station

3400 Commerce St. (Deep Ellum)

Come for the cocktails and stay for the retro vibe at this remodeled gas station’s huge patio. The house-made chili with black Angus beef will light up the reward centers in your brain, and not just from the nostalgia. Get some on a pile of cheese fries, in a Frito pie or straight up with plenty of cheese and onions.
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By day, Kristina Rowe writes documentation that helps users navigate software, and as a contributor to the Dallas Observer she helps people find their way to food and fun. A long-time list-maker, small-business fan and happiness aficionado, she's also been an Observer reader for almost 40 years.
Contact: Kristina Rowe