Top Chili Dishes In Connecticut

January 8, 2014 8:00 AM

(Photo credit: Abdullah Pope/AFP/Getty Images)

Winters in Connecticut are cold and often after shoveling snow or cleaning ice off of cars, the only thing that can really warm up a Connecticut Yankee is a bowl of hot chili. Most cooks who have mastered the art of making chili keep some of the ingredients top secret. While the chili is served hot, there’s always that magic formula that has a hot kick to it that warms bodies from the inside out. Here are some places in Connecticut where chili dishes are star performers and many have been known to clear out the sinuses in the first warm and delicious taste.

2445 Black Rock Turnpike
Fairfield, CT 06825
(203) 372-2662

Here’s a one-of-a-kind chili dish where patrons know how much chili sauce goes into it. At Chilibomb, patrons make their own chili. They start with high-quality beef and take it from there as to how hot and how many ingredients will go into their original “bomb.” The dining experience is sure to be unique. Of course, one may order from the menu. One of the featured offerings is called the “O.M.G.” chili. It is described as “Not for wimps; extremely spicy; beef chili; no samples; no refunds; NC-17; no beans.” It sounds downright explosive.

Related: Top Pumpkin Treats In Connecticut

The Vanilla Bean Café
450 Deerfield Road
Pomfret, CT 06258
(860) 928-1562

Known for its “Killer Chili,” the Vanilla Bean Café has one of the hottest chili dishes served in America. Including very special secret formulas, there are versions of this celebrated chili that feature “beer-laden chorizo sausage” as well as a meatless Southwestern vegetable chili. Famous for what has been described as a “steaming bowl of red,” this chili is as exotic as it is substantial. When a customer leaves here, they are properly filled and quite warmed up.

Willimantic Brewing Co. & Main Street Café
967 Main St.
Willimantic, CT 06226
(860) 423- 6777

One way to warm up quickly on a cold winter’s day is to step into the Willimantic Brewing Co. and Main Street Café where you will always find a hot bowl of vegetarian chili being served. The Brewery and Café are in the same building, so don’t go looking for two different locations. There’s only one here that serves chili every single day. Since the brewery is a typical New England pub, a warmth is experienced here even before your first spoonful of the tasty chili.

The Lime Restaurant
168 Main Ave.
Norwalk, CT 06851
(203) 846- 9240

The first item on The Lime Restaurant’s menu is black bean chili. Here’s a vegetarian chili made with fresh onions, plenty of peppers and, of course, black beans. However, it is served with cheese on top, tortilla chips and sour cream. This is a vegetarian chili lover’s dream come true. Menu selections are always fresh. When it’s cold outside, this vegetarian chili is the hot number on the menu.

Related: Top Vegetarian Burgers In Connecticut

Little Pub
59 Ethan Allen Highway
Ridgefield, CT 06877
(203) 544-9222

Don’t be fooled by the name of this establishment. It’s very big with customers. This pub has a dedicated and loyal following. It’s not surprising that so many customers keep coming back to the warm and inviting pub. It’s a lively place that serves generous drinks and great food. One of the most frequently requested items on its crock menu is the “Topstone Mountain Chili.” This is a beef-and-bean-based chili that warms the senses before even taking one tasty mouthful. It is served with melted cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Joanne Greco Rochman is the arts editor of The Fairfield County Review, a columnist, critic, feature story writer and English professor. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Republican-American and Hersam-Acorn Publications. Her work can be found at

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