As someone who has been on a quest to find the perfect bowl of chili in Knoxville, I am beyond excited to share my knowledge and expertise with you. Over the years, I have dedicated countless hours to sampling the city's chili offerings, meticulously judging and evaluating each spoonful for the perfect balance of flavors and textures.

With a total of 12 chili establishments carefully assessed, I can confidently provide you with insider information on the absolute best chili that Knoxville has to offer. So, whether you're a local looking to discover a hidden gem or a visitor hoping to savor the city's culinary delights, this article is your gateway to chili heaven in Knoxville!

Good Golly Tamale

Good Golly Tamale
🗺️ 112 S Central St, Knoxville, TN 37902
☎️ 865-337-5771
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 11 AM–6 PM
Tuesday: 11 AM–6 PM
Wednesday: 11 AM–6 PM
Thursday: 11 AM–6 PM
Friday: 11 AM–6 PM
Saturday: 11 AM–6 PM
Delicious food
Awesome service
Creative tamales
Friendly counter service

From the moment I walked into Good Golly Tamale, I knew I was in for a treat. The cozy atmosphere and friendly counter service immediately put me at ease. As I perused the menu, I was blown away by the creative tamales that were on offer. It was clear that this was not your average tamale joint.

Of course, my main objective was to try their chili, and boy, was it worth it. The first spoonful of their chili immediately transported me to flavor heaven. The blend of spices and the rich, meaty taste was absolutely divine. It had just the right amount of heat, perfectly balanced with a touch of sweetness. I couldn't help but savor each and every bite.

But it wasn't just the chili that impressed me. The entire experience at Good Golly Tamale was delightful. The staff provided awesome service, catering to my every need with a smile on their faces. They were knowledgeable and passionate about their food, which made my dining experience even more enjoyable.

While the chili was the star of the show, I couldn't help but indulge in their other offerings. The tamales were a work of art. Each one filled with unique flavor combinations that kept me coming back for more. From the spicy green chile chicken to the vegetarian black bean and corn, every tamale was a delicious adventure.

In conclusion, if you're searching for the best chili in Knoxville, Good Golly Tamale should be at the top of your list. With their delicious food, awesome service, and creative tamales, they have truly mastered the art of chili-making. Don't miss out on this hidden gem in the heart of Knoxville.

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Clancy's Tavern & Whiskey House

Clancy's Tavern & Whiskey House
🗺️ 602 S Gay St, Knoxville, TN 37902
☎️ 865-219-1266
🌐 Website
Sunday: 11 AM–3 AM
Monday: 3 PM–2 AM
Tuesday: 3 PM–2 AM
Wednesday: 3 PM–2 AM
Thursday: 11 AM–3 AM
Friday: 11 AM–3 AM
Saturday: 11 AM–3 AM
Great service
Excellent food
Friendly staff
Classic Irish pub atmosphere
Good spot to enjoy a pint

I must say, my visit to Clancy's Tavern & Whiskey House was an absolute delight and reaffirmed their standing as one of the top contenders for the best chili in Knoxville. From the moment I walked in, the warm and inviting atmosphere of this classic Irish pub immediately engulfed me.

The friendly and attentive staff ensured that my experience was nothing short of exceptional. They were more than happy to assist with any questions I had and eagerly recommended their signature chili dish. The great service only heightened my anticipation for what was to come.

When the chili finally arrived, I couldn't help but be impressed by the presentation. The rich aroma wafting from the bowl made my taste buds dance with excitement. One spoonful and I knew this chili was something special. The combination of tender, slow-cooked beef, perfectly balanced spices, and the delightful addition of beans and vegetables created a symphony of flavors that simply exploded in my mouth.

The quality and taste of the chili at Clancy's Tavern & Whiskey House was truly outstanding. Each bite left me craving for more, and I couldn't help but savor every last mouthful. It was evident that the chef had poured their heart and soul into crafting this culinary masterpiece.

Not only did Clancy's deliver on the chili front, but the overall experience was enhanced by the excellent food, unforgettable atmosphere, and friendly staff. It is undoubtedly a great spot to enjoy a pint and indulge in a bowl of exceptional chili.

In conclusion, Clancy's Tavern & Whiskey House exceeded my expectations with their incredible chili. It goes without saying that this establishment deserves a prominent place on the list of the best chili spots in Knoxville. If you're a chili enthusiast like me, a visit to Clancy's is an absolute must.

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Curious Dog Hotdogs & Sandwiches

Curious Dog Hotdogs & Sandwiches
🗺️ 200 W Jackson Ave, Knoxville, TN 37902
☎️ 865-544-9997
🌐 Website
Sunday: 1–4 PM
Monday: 12–8 PM
Tuesday: 12–8 PM
Wednesday: 12–8 PM
Thursday: 12–8:30 PM
Friday: 12–8:30 PM
Saturday: 12–8:30 PM
Amazing classic cuisine
Creative and unique menu
Best rye bread in town

From the moment I stepped into Curious Dog, I knew I had stumbled upon something special. The atmosphere was welcoming and quirky, with colorful walls adorned with dog-themed artwork. But it was the aroma of their amazing classic cuisine that truly grabbed my attention.

The menu at Curious Dog is both creative and unique. While their name may suggest a focus on hotdogs and sandwiches, they also offer a remarkable chili that is worth mentioning. The moment I took my first spoonful, I knew I had found something truly special.

Curious Dog's chili is a hearty, flavorful blend of tender ground beef, perfectly cooked beans, and a harmonious medley of spices. Each bite was a glorious explosion of taste, leaving me craving even more. The chili had just the right amount of heat, leaving a pleasant tingle on my taste buds without overpowering the other flavors.

But here's the kicker: the chili at Curious Dog is served on their homemade rye bread. Let me tell you, this rye bread is no joke. With a crunchy exterior and a soft, chewy interior, it provided the perfect vessel for mopping up every last drop of chili goodness. It was, without a doubt, the best rye bread I've ever had in Knoxville.

In conclusion, if you're on the hunt for the best chili in Knoxville, look no further than Curious Dog Hotdogs & Sandwiches. With their amazing classic cuisine, creative and unique menu offerings, and the best rye bread in town, this place is a must-visit for any chili enthusiast.

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🗺️ 9235 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37922
☎️ 865-670-4141
🌐 Website
Sunday: 11 AM–9 PM
Monday: 11 AM–9 PM
Tuesday: 11 AM–9 PM
Wednesday: 11 AM–9 PM
Thursday: 11 AM–9 PM
Friday: 11 AM–10 PM
Saturday: 11 AM–10 PM

As I walked into Chuy's in Knoxville, I was met with a lively atmosphere filled with vibrant colors and upbeat music. And let me tell you, their chili game is strong! The bold flavors and spicy kick in every mouthful left me craving for more. Chuy's definitely deserves a spot on the list of the best chili places in Knoxville.

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Chili's Grill & Bar

Chili's Grill & Bar
🗺️ 7304 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919
☎️ 865-584-8195
🌐 Website
Sunday: 11 AM–10 PM
Monday: 11 AM–11 PM
Tuesday: 11 AM–11 PM
Wednesday: 11 AM–11 PM
Thursday: 11 AM–11 PM
Friday: 11 AM–11 PM
Saturday: 11 AM–11 PM

Chili's Grill & Bar in Knoxville boasts a playful atmosphere and a menu full of bold flavors. While their chili lacked a bit of heat, the rich blend of spices and tender chunks of beef made it a true contender for Knoxville's best chili.

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Petro's Chili & Chips - West Hills

Petro's Chili & Chips - West Hills
🗺️ 7005 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919
☎️ 865-450-5004
🌐 Website
Sunday: 11 AM–8 PM
Monday: 10 AM–9 PM
Tuesday: 10 AM–9 PM
Wednesday: 10 AM–9 PM
Thursday: 10 AM–9 PM
Friday: 10 AM–10 PM
Saturday: 10 AM–10 PM

I was blown away by the explosion of flavors in Petro's Chili & Chips - West Hills in Knoxville. Their chili had a perfect balance of heat and richness, leaving me craving for more. The toppings and chips were a delightful crunchy and salty complement to the chili. It's a must-visit spot for chili fanatics in Knoxville.

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Petro's Chili & Chips - Market Square

Petro's Chili & Chips - Market Square
🗺️ 2 Market Square, Knoxville, TN 37902
☎️ 865-444-3970
🌐 Website
Sunday: 11 AM–6 PM
Monday: 10 AM–8:30 PM
Tuesday: 10 AM–8:30 PM
Wednesday: 10 AM–8:30 PM
Thursday: 10 AM–8:30 PM
Friday: 10 AM–9 PM
Saturday: 10 AM–9 PM

Petro's Chili & Chips in Market Square is a game-changer for chili lovers in Knoxville. The irresistible aroma and mouthwatering flavors will transport you to chili heaven. The generous portion of hearty chili and crispy chips will satisfy your cravings while the friendly staff ensures a delightful experience. A must-try for chili enthusiasts!

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Not Watson's Kitchen + Bar

Not Watson's Kitchen + Bar
🗺️ 15 Market Square, Knoxville, TN 37902
☎️ 865-766-4848
🌐 Website
Sunday: 11 AM–9 PM
Monday: 11 AM–10 PM
Tuesday: 11 AM–10 PM
Wednesday: 11 AM–10 PM
Thursday: 11 AM–10 PM
Friday: 11 AM–11 PM
Saturday: 11 AM–11 PM

Not Watson's Kitchen + Bar in Knoxville was a delightful surprise! Their chili was a flavor explosion, combining rich spices and tender chunks of beef. The toppings bar had an impressive selection of fresh ingredients. The atmosphere was playful and the service was friendly. Definitely a top contender for the best chili in Knoxville!

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Cook Out

Cook Out
🗺️ 2135 Cumberland Ave, Knoxville, TN 37916
☎️ 865-525-2662
🌐 Website
Sunday: 10:30 AM–4 AM
Monday: 10:30 AM–4 AM
Tuesday: 10:30 AM–4 AM
Wednesday: 10:30 AM–4 AM
Thursday: 10:30 AM–4 AM
Friday: 10:30 AM–5 AM
Saturday: 10:30 AM–5 AM

I must confess, Cook Out is more of a burger joint than a dedicated chili spot, but their chili cheese fries are legendary! The chili is hearty and flavorful with a good balance of spices, and they don't skimp on the cheese either. It may not be the classic bowl of chili, but it's still a delicious and satisfying option.

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🗺️ 2803 Essary Dr, Knoxville, TN 37918
☎️ 865-688-0429
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 11 AM–3 PM
Tuesday: 11 AM–8 PM
Wednesday: 11 AM–8 PM
Thursday: 11 AM–8 PM
Friday: 11 AM–8 PM
Saturday: 11 AM–8 PM

Litton's in Knoxville is a chili haven worth a visit! Their hearty and flavorful chili is simply outstanding. You'll love the perfectly spiced beef, the rich tomato base, and the hint of smokiness. Prepare your taste buds for a chili extravaganza!

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Nick & J's Cafe

Nick & J's Cafe
🗺️ 1526 Lovell Rd, Knoxville, TN 37932
☎️ 865-766-5453
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 7 AM–4 PM
Tuesday: 7 AM–4 PM
Wednesday: 7 AM–4 PM
Thursday: 7 AM–4 PM
Friday: 7 AM–4 PM
Saturday: 8 AM–2 PM

Nick & J's Cafe in Knoxville is a hidden gem bursting with flavor! As soon as I stepped inside, the tantalizing aroma of their award-worthy chili hit me. The atmosphere was cozy and inviting, perfect for diving into a steamy bowl of their heavenly creation. Each spoonful of their chili was a symphony of spices and textures that danced on my taste buds. The tender chunks of meat and perfectly cooked beans transported me to chili nirvana. The friendly staff and affordable prices sealed the deal for me. Nick & J's Cafe definitely deserves a spot in the hall of fame of Knoxville's best chili.

Petro's Chili & Chips - Cedar Bluff

Petro's Chili & Chips - Cedar Bluff
🗺️ 1033 N Cedar Bluff Rd, Knoxville, TN 37923
☎️ 865-690-2920
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 10:30 AM–8:30 PM
Tuesday: 10:30 AM–8:30 PM
Wednesday: 10:30 AM–8:30 PM
Thursday: 10:30 AM–8:30 PM
Friday: 10:30 AM–8:30 PM
Saturday: 10:30 AM–8:30 PM

Petro's Chili & Chips - Cedar Bluff in Knoxville is a chili lover's paradise! Their smoky and flavorful chili has the perfect balance of spices, and the generous portions will leave you feeling satisfied. Whether you prefer it mild or with a spicy kick, Petro's has a chili that will tickle your taste buds. Don't forget to try their crispy and addictive chips, the ideal companion to their mouthwatering chili. This hidden gem in Knoxville is definitely worth a visit for any chili connoisseur!

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Chloe Bennett

Chloe Bennett, a passionate wordsmith based in the heart of Tennessee, weaves tales that capture the spirit of the Volunteer State. With an innate ability to infuse warmth into her writing, Chloe invites readers on a journey through the cultural richness and scenic beauty that define the soul of Tennessee.