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Chili Bowls Are Hot at These SC Restaurants

Libby Wiersema Libby Wiersema
Libby Wiersema lived in California and Alabama before settling in South Carolina 30 years ago, where she's covered the state's best culinary offerings and tells the stories behind the food.
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Nothing soothes the savage winter beast better than a thick, steamy bowl of chili. Nearly everyone has a personal opinion on what constitutes the perfect recipe.

Some like beans, while others shudder at the idea. Some like a lot of heat, while others prefer it on the mild side. Some like a splash of beer for added body, while others like the exotic richness imparted by dark chocolate. Some dream of diced sweet onion and shredded cheese on top, while others are happy with a dollop of sour cream. Some like ground meat, while others insist on strips of tender beef. Some opt for lower-fat chicken or turkey, while others stick to veggies only. Bottom line: The beauty of the perfect bowl of chili lies on the tongue of the beholder.

Chili finds diverse expressions in restaurants across South Carolina. Ready to warm your tummy and tantalize your taste buds? Here are 10 chili hot spots where you can belly up for a hearty bowl. Call ahead to check availability as chili is a seasonal offering on some menus.

Brown Dog Deli, Charleston
Signature bowl: Southwestern chipotle beef and beer chili
Accompaniments: Sour cream, shredded cheddar, chopped scallions

Carolina Roadhouse, Myrtle Beach
Signature bowl: Ground beef, tomatoey chili with beans
Accompaniments: Cheese, scallions, sour cream and tortilla chips for dipping

Devine Cinnamon Roll Deli, Columbia
Signature bowl: Carolina slow-cooked chili made from a spicy mix of beef, black beans, roasted corn and peppers
Accompaniments: Cheddar, sour cream, sweet onions, cilantro and a sweet corn cake

Five Loaves Cafe, Charleston, Mt. Pleasant and Summerville
Signature bowl: Mexican chicken chili
Accompaniments: Cilantro and avocado

Groucho’s Deli, all locations
Signature bowl: Chicken chili with a blend of vegetables, crushed tomatoes and select spices
Accompaniments: Good ol’ crackers

Ladles Soups, Fort Mill and Charleston area
Signature bowl: Turkey chili with beans and corn
Accompaniments: Roll with butter

Matt’s Burgers, Summerville
Signature bowl: Thick, ground beef chili served in a bowl, over burgers or ladled on top of spaghetti
Accompaniments: Beans, onions and cheese on request

One Hot Mama’s, Hilton Head Island and Bluffton
Signature bowl: Chili with a base of ground chuck and pork, seasoned and simmered with tomatoes and onion, then spiked with smoky brisket burnt ends
Accompaniments: Shredded cheddar and chopped red onion

River City Cafe, Myrtle Beach area
Signature bowl: Thick, ground beef chili fired up with a pepper trio: red, white and pickled jalapeño
Accompaniments: Shredded cheddar, diced onions and oyster crackers

Southern Hops, Florence
Signature bowl: Beef and bean chili spiked with house porter
Accompaniments: Shredded cheese

Libby Wiersema
Libby Wiersema lived in California and Alabama before settling in South Carolina 30 years ago, where she's covered the state's best culinary offerings and tells the stories behind the food.