The Chili Parlor in Tacoma Review

The Chili Parlor is a newer restaurant located on South Tacoma Way in Tacoma. It is actually located quite close to Patty’s and Dawson’s.

The Chili Parlor is a very family friendly restaurant and the owners are always hard at work making sure that their customers are enjoying the food and experience.  The theme of the restaurant is that of a 50’s diner with classic music playing and some 50’s memorabilia on the wall.  There is also a connection to Cincinnati and it’s chili; I will get to that in a moment.

There is plenty of seating at the Chili Parlor with booths, bar seating and some larger tables in the back area of the restaurant for larger groups.   The restaurant is always very clean.

The Chili Parlor seating area

The Chili Parlor Menu

Now as I write this they don’t have a website to show off their menu. I will share some of my family’s favorites that I think you will enjoy as well.

Cheese Burger

The cheeseburger at the Chili Parlor  is a standard burger with fresh ingredients.  It kind of reminded me of a burger made on a grill at someone’s barbecue.  I don’t recall there being anything unique about it but it tasted good.  

My son doesn’t like all the toppings (lettuce tomato, ketchup, mayo).  He prefers a plain burger and that is what he ordered on our visit when I took photos.

His burger came with fries and it was all very filling for him.


The Chili Parlor Hamburger and Fries


One of the most interesting restaurant items in my opinion is the fries.  They are so interesting that they literally have to explain to customers what type of fries they are before they take their order.  Now since I have been there a few times I no longer get the explanation.  But since you are reading this you won’t have to either.

Chili Parlor Fries


The fries are crispy spiral cut fries that remind me of a slinky in some ways.  They taste like a fry and a chip at the same time.  They are very good fries and definitely different from any burger place in the Tacoma area as far as I know.

I first ordered the fries with my wife when we ordered chili fries.  And even though we thought we knew what spiral cut fries were, in our minds we thought we were getting crinkle cut fries.

You won’t have that excuse as I have placed plenty of pictures in this article.


On one visit I decided to shake it up a little as I am the type of guy that will find something that I like and then never try anything new at a restaurant.  

I ordered the Monte Cristo Sandwich because it was something that I knew was suppose to be good and also because this was not something I saw on many menus in the Tacoma area.  

A Monte Cristo sandwich has french toast bread with ham, turkey, swiss cheese and american cheese.

Monte Cristo at The Chili Parlor

So when the sandwich was brought to me I was first underwhelmed.  The sandwich was in 4 slices and came with a side of raspberry preservatives.  The sandwich is quite deceiving  since my first impression was it looked like a small sandwich.

I began to eat the sandwich with much joy as all the flavors of cheese and different meats came together for a rewarding experience. The next thing I knew I was quite full and happy.

The Monte Cristo is now my go-to menu item at the Chili Parlor.

The Chili Parlor Monte Cristo 3

Chili Dog

My wife ordered the chili dog on our first visit to the Chili Parlor.  What makes this dish different from any other is the chili and how it is prepared on this dish.

Typically with other restaurants they bury the hot dog in chili and cheese.  My wife is not a big fan of that presentation.  So when she received a moderate amount of chili with her dog it allowed her to enjoy the chili as well as the hot dog.

Bourbon Barrel Cake

This is a cake that you would swear is a cake that would make you drunk.  We asked about this dessert and I would recommend you ask about it as well before ordering it.  In short the cake is infused with Bourbon but the way it is processed most all the alcohol is baked out of the cake.

A very interesting and good cake in my opinion.


The one menu item this restaurant would like to be known for is the one thing I did have not eaten all by itself.  I actually ordered and paid for a cup of chili to take home with me on my first visit but forgot to get it on our way out.

I did eat their chili on the chili fries I ordered on my first visit.  It is a beanless chili.  I have been to a few chili cook-offs in my day and I didn’t recall ever eating a chili like theirs.

It has been awhile since I discussed the chilli with one of their owners but I recall (and I will correct this if I am wrong) her saying there was chocolate in the chili.  I believe that is one of the ingredients that gives it it’s unique flavor. It is a Cincinnati chili and that is why it is made this particular way.

My Favorite Things About the Chili Parlor


The owners are always nice and inviting and are trying hard to make every eating experience a good one at their restaurant.

Monte Cristo Baby

As I write this the Monte Cristo is my favorite thing there.  I am sure if I expanded my horizons and tried other things I would have more favorites but for now this is my current favorite.

Monte Cristo The Chili Parlor

Spiral Fries

So different and yet tasty.  Try them and comment below and tell me what you thought of them.

Reasonably Priced

I didn’t talk about this much but it is quite affordable to eat at the Chili Parlor.  I would dare say it’s less expensive than McDonalds or other similar fast food restaurants in many regards.  

For two meals (Cheeseburger and fries, Monte Cristo and salad) we paid $18.61 before tipping.  Not too shabby.


This is still a very young business that is very family friendly.  It has made my short list of local mom and pop restaurants to patron.

The Chili Parlor is located at 5640 S Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA 98409.

Their phone number is (253) 472-6829

The Chili Parlor’s website is

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