In the land of green chile that is Denver, finding the best bowl of chili con carne can be a difficult task. The main characteristics in a good chili are tender beef, spicy yet balanced flavors, a satisfying thick and hearty texture, and a dark-brown color. When it comes to the heat factor of chili, you want enough to grab your attention, but not so much that you burn your mouth and can’t enjoy the other flavors. Here are the ten best in town, in alphabetical order, all made from scratch and served in bowls with simple accompaniments, on half-pound burgers and quarter-pound dogs, and even ladled onto gooey mac and cheese.
2641 East Second Avenue
This landmark in Cherry Creek North offers up the most unusual bowl of chili on this list. The Cherry Cricket is known far and wide for great burgers, but its chili recipe goes all the way back to 1945 and original owner Elizabeth McGuire. According to manager Samantha Taxin, the recipe is described as “Sioux City Southwestern red chili.” The Southwestern flair comes through with a pleasing combination of beef, chiles and spicy flavor; but what makes it unique is a distinct sweetness — not overly so, but sweet nonetheless, which comes as a front note that surprises your palate immediately. When asked, Taxin throws up her hands as if to suggest that there’s a secret ingredient that diners will only be able to guess at (because she’s not telling). You can order a bowl by itself or have it ladled on top of your favorite burger or “dawg.”
Chicago’s chili will make you yearn for the Windy City.
Chicago Style Beef & Dogs
6680 West Colfax Avenue,…
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