Skyline Chili: The Panther post-game meal


Skyline Chili.

Not only a Cincinnati tradition, but an especially Elder staple. It makes for a perfect weekend food stop, a family eating spot, but most importantly it’s the best post-game meal. It seems like Skyline Chili continues to up their prices each year, but no one even bats an eye because of everyone’s deep love for it.

While Skyline is an absolute staple for Elder fine dining, it also acts as the employer for a large portion of the Elder community. Working at Skyline is highlighted by flexible hours, decent pay, but most importantly, free food on the job. I love Cincinnati chili just as much as the next man, and I will die on the hill that Skyline remains the undisputed best of them all.

Personally, my go-to order is two plain chilitos with habanero cheese, Fritos, spaghetti, and then an order of chili-cheese fries with half regular cheese, half habanero cheese. It easily hits the spot every single time. If money weren’t a concern, I would see myself in a Skyline multiple times per week, but due to costliness of it, I typically max myself out at once or twice a week.

Sam Whitmer celebrating a big win vs. Sycamore in the playoffs where he dropped 20 points… and of course celebrated with Skyline.

I know that my love for Skyline Chili is strong, but there are others within the walls of 3900 Vincent Avenue that may be a bit more passionate about it, so I turned to a couple of my trusted friends for their unbiased opinions. First, I went to the source of Skyline Chili, chili advocate Sam Whitmer.

When asked why he thinks Skyline is such a great post-game spot, Sam replied, “Skyline is a westside staple that everyone loves to go to. There are enough locations where after a game, you can choose whichever one you want and it won’t be crowded. I always love sitting down at Skyline with the boys after a big win or picking it up in the drive-thru after an extremely rare L.” Sam is as big as a Skyline Chili lover as they come. When holidays/gifting occasions come around, Sam is known for never asking for money, he’d rather take a Skyline gift card.

I then asked Sam what his personal go-to meal would be at Skyline, and he went with, “My favorite order at Skyline starts off with two cheese coneys with onions and mustard. Most people like their coneys plain, but having onions and mustard is essential. I also like to get two chilitos with spaghetti. Some people like them plain and others like them with sour cream and Fritos, but I like my chilitos with chili, cheese, and noodles… like a three-way wrap.” Like I said, Sam doesn’t mess around when it comes to his Cincy Chili. With an order like that, it’s obvious that Sam knows his way around the westside landmark.

I was happy with the insight that Samuel provided for me, but I wanted a deeper, inside source. I turned to current Skyline employee, George Sundrup for his opinion. I asked George what the most ordered item on the menu is, and he replied with, “It is easily the classic three-way or classic cheese coney.” I wasn’t too surprised at this answer as these seem to be two of the most commonly ordered items that I see being delivered to tables by waiters. George then doubled-down by telling me that, “my favorite item to make is probably cheese coneys. I can make eight at a time, and I make them the fastest, so they are kind of my specialty.” Holy guacamole George, that’s impressive!

Myself and world famous Skyline employee, “the coney master,” George Sundrup.

Since George has the inside “scoop” on the chili business, I was curious as to what his go-to order is. George tells me, “My go-to order is a chilito with mustard, sour cream, extreme cheese, spaghetti, Fritos, and of course, chili. This is by far my favorite thing to order, and many people don’t know chilitos like these are possible. I heavily recommend Fritos on chilitos and burritos.” What an order, George! Maybe now, the Elder community has just received a taste of the “secret menu” that Skyline Chili has. It’s Skyline time!