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“As good as chili gets”
Review of Chili John's

Chili John's
Ranked #57 of 451 Restaurants in Burbank
Price range: US$0 - US$20
Cuisines: American, Mexican
Restaurant details
Reviewed 8 July 2013

Why not a five? Well, no reason really. I went in there yesterday and the place was almost full. The staff was super friendly and when I asked how hot the hot chili was, she gave me samples on a plate. Very user friendly. I ordered the spicy chili and beans and the spicy chili and spaghetti to go. Delicious all around. When I am in Burbank again, I will delve further into the menu

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Thank JoeWalker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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27 - 31 of 42 reviews

Reviewed 14 May 2013

A friend of mine, who knows what a fanatic I am about chili, told me about this place after seeing in on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. I happened to be visiting Burbank on business so I made sure I checked it out. I stopped by on Monday evening around 5:30 and was 1 of only 3 customers there. However, by the time I left there wasn't an empty seat in the place (I'd estimate they could accommodate about 25 people at a time). Like me, most of the people appeared to be here for the first time. The restaurant is set up with a large horseshoe bar in the middle of the dining room and provides the only seating. All the ingredients are in a steam table at the center of the horseshoe. The nice lady that helped me explained a little about the chili itself and eventually offered my a small sample (a spoonful each) of the 4 varieties of chili they serve. They included Beef Hot, Beef Mild, Chicken, and Vegetarian. These varieties can be served over pasta, tamale, hot dog, or a few other options including with beans or just a bowl of chili. I went with the purest form - a bowl of "medium" chili without anything extra. They don't actually have a so-called "medium" chili so what they do is serve a scoop of hot and a scoop of mild that I then stirred together myself. They offered me fresh onions, crackers and cheese, but I declined all. Back to the samples though... The four spoonfuls of chili where served to me on a flat plate. The hot was a dark redish brown, the other three were all a similar shade of medium brown. All four samples had a pool of oil/grease/fat under them after she spooned them on to the plate. I tried all of them and the flavors were all similar except for the hot version that had a substantial bite to it. The blended hot & mild together (that makes their medium chili) produced just enough heat to be enjoyable as a meal. Unfortunately, the chili didn't live up to the reputation they have somehow established, at least to my palette. I found it to be too greasy and lacking in the rich, Texas-style red chili flavor that I prefer. Perhaps this is a style of chili that the folks in Southern California prefer and so Chili John's has survived as long as they have. I'm not saying it was bad, just not the style of chili I favor. I did enjoy the company of the servers and the other customers in the place seemed to be enjoying themselves so my trip was at least a pleasant one. I wish them all the best and hope they continue to thrive. I even bought one of their t-shirts just because I enjoyed the experience.

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Thank DGriz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2013 via mobile

I tried Chili Johns for the first time today. I've driven by a few times and it looked interesting. I got the hot chili with meat and beans and it was great! They have a horse shoe counter and the service was fast and friendly. They have a basic menu centered around their chili. I'm looking forward to trying everything on the menu! I like good food, service and atmosphere and they had it all.

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1  Thank Arleighk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2013

ive been going here with my family for about 4 years off and on. the place itself is a throwback but in a good way--the counter, the wall mural, the seats, the kettles. the owners are real chatty and like to get to know their customers. i love the spaghetti with chili (spicy). the lemon pie is a sweet way to brighten your mood after having a spicy chili. they have little crackers and jalopenos if you are so inclined. it is a bit pricey but still ok. they do close early on week evenings something like 7 pm. the place has been around for decades..can be traced to be over 100 years old, i think.

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1  Thank miglovin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2013

This place is completely charming. They have a variety of chili (beef, chicken and vegetarian) with different levels of heat (mild, medium and spicy). You can get it with beans, spaghetti and maybe rice. They also have homemade tamales, sloppy joes and hot dogs.

On our first visit, we arrived about 15 minutes before closing on a Saturday (3:45pm) - this is typically a lunch joint. The kids who were working were friendly and welcoming. They didn't try to deter us, even though they were in the process of cleaning up at the end of their day. They were completely enthusiastic about what they were serving, which made it significantly more gratifying.

For those who like historic/ time-machine restaurants, the old-fashioned u-shaped counter is awesome. And, the signage out front is classic and picture-worthy.

Enjoy!

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Thank Aidan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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