As the days get shorter and the nights get colder we find ourselves slipping into that dreaded time of the year: flu season. But before you run off to the doctor for a needle in the arm at the first sign of a tickle in your throat, consider that there may be a better alternative to combat the influenza germs: chili. Chili warms you up and sticks to your ribs with a combo of hearty meats and tangy spices guaranteed to clear your sinuses. And as an added bonus, it’s delicious. Check out L.A.’s top five places for chili.
Lunch Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Dinner Hours: Mon-Thurs: 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.; Fri-Sat: 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.; Sun: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Price: Cup $5.25; Bowl $7.50
Like chili but find the countless choices and combos overwhelming? If you just want someone to put a bowl of really good chili in front of you and be done with it, then Smitty’s is the place for you. Grilled steak chili with fresh spices is the only choice Smitty’s has, but when it’s this good it’s the only choice you need.
Hours: 9 a.m. – 2 a.m. daily
Settle into the familiarity of this long-lived sports bar and dig into the world-famous chili. Barney’s Beanery dedicates almost an entire page to the various kinds of chili, including classic meat, turkey and veggie, and an assortment of sides. With this many choices, you’re guaranteed to find a bowl that hits the spot. And if you’re feeling charitable, order up the Fireman’s Chili. Created by a real life firefighter the proceeds of this chili go to charity.
Hours: Mon-Fri: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sat: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sun: Closed
If you love chili but only eat it at home because you’re afraid of what it might do to your stomach in public, Chili John’s has your solution. With the motto “chili as you like it,” you can have your chili with or without beans. You can even have it with spaghetti for a guaranteed digestive-issue free chili experience. If you’re still not sure about eating chili in public but want to try Chili John’s, the joint offers a “chili kit” with crackers included. Just heat and serve.
Hours: Tues-Thurs, Sun: Noon – 9 p.m.; Fri- Sat: Noon to 10 p.m.; Mon: Closed
Chili Addiction is to chili-loving adults as a candy store is to kids. With names like Memphis magic, main line, New Mexico trip and wicked chipotle (just to name a few) you know you’re in for some hot stuff. Made by master chili makers with quality ingredients, you’ll find yourself going back again and again.
Otis Jackson’s Soul Dog
Hours: Mon-Thurs: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Fri-Sat: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sun: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
What do you get when comfort food meets soul? You get Otis Jackson’s Soul Dogs. Superior quality dogs, gourmet chili and premium soul sides at fast food convenience that will bring back memories of good times with good food. Most ordered menu item? Loaded fries: mac-n-cheese, chili and more cheese piled on crispy fries.
Ned to cool down after that spice? Check out the best frozen yogurt LA.
Kristine G. Bottone is a writer living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at http://www.examiner.com/la-bartender-in-los-angeles/kristine-g-bottone