"Roller Skater" redirects here. For the roller coaster, see Vekoma Junior Coaster.
Roller skating is the traveling on surfaces with roller skates. It is a form of recreational activity as well as a sport, and can also be a form of transportation. Skates generally come in three basic varieties: quad roller skates, inline skates or blades and tri-skates, though some have experimented with a single-wheeled "quintessence skate" or other variations on the basic skate design. In America, this hobby was most popular, first between 1935 and the early 1960s and then in the 1970s, when polyurethane wheels were created and disco music oriented roller rinks were the rage and then again in the 1990s when in-line outdoor roller skating, thanks to the improvement made to inline roller skates in 1981 by Scott Olson, took hold.
- 1743: First recorded use of roller skates, in a London stage performance. The inventor of this skate is unknown.
- 1760: First recorded skate invention, by John Joseph Merlin, who created a primitive inline skate with small metal wheels.
- 1818: Roller skates appeared on the ballet stage in Berlin.
- 1819: First patented roller skate design, in France by M. Petitbled. These early skates were similar to today's inline skates, but they were not very maneuverable. It was difficult with these skates to do anything but move in a straight line and perhaps make wide sweeping turns.
- Rest of the 19th century: inventors continued to work on improving skate design.
- 1823: Robert John Tyers of London patented a skate called the Rolito. This skate had five wheels in a single row on the bottom of a shoe or boot.
- 1857: Finally, roller skating had gained enough momentum to warrant the opening of the first public skating rinks. The Strand, London and Floral Hall had these first roller rinks.
- 1863: The four-wheeled turning roller skate, or quad skate, with four wheels set in two side-by-side pairs (front and rear), was first designed, in New York City by James Leonard Plimpton in an attempt to improve upon previous designs. The skate contained a pivoting action using a rubber cushion that allowed the skater to skate a curve just by pressing his weight to one side or the other, most commonly by leaning to one side. It was a huge success, so much so that the first public roller skating rinks were opened in 1866, first in New York City by Plimpton in his furniture store and then in Newport, Rhode Island with the support of Plimpton. The design of the quad skate allowed easier turns and maneuverability, and the quad skate came to dominate the industry for more than a century.
- 1875 Roller skating rink in Plymouth, England held its first competition.)
- 1876: William Brown in Birmingham, England, patented a design for the wheels of roller skates. Brown's design embodied his effort to keep the two bearing surfaces of an axle, fixed and moving, apart. Brown worked closely with Joseph Henry Hughes, who drew up the patent for a ball or roller bearing race for bicycle and carriage wheels in 1877. Hughes' patent included all the elements of an adjustable system. These two men are thus responsible for modern roller skate and skateboard wheels, as well as the ball bearing race inclusion in velocipedes—later to become motorbikes and automobiles. This was arguably the most important advance in the realistic use of roller skates as a pleasurable pastime.
- 1876: The toe stop was first patented. This provided skaters with the ability to stop promptly upon tipping the skate onto the toe. Toe stops are still used today on most quad skates and on some types of inline skates.
- 1877: The Royal Skating indoor skating ring building is erected rue Veydt, Brussels.
- 1880s: Roller skates were being mass-produced in America from then. This was the sport's first of several boom periods. Micajah C. Henley of Richmond, Indiana produced thousands of skates every week during peak sales. Henley skates were the first skate with adjustable tension via a screw, the ancestor of the kingbolt mechanism on modern quad skates.
- 1884: Levant M. Richardson received a patent for the use of steel ball bearings in skate wheels to reduce friction, allowing skaters to increase speed with minimum effort.
- 1898: Richardson started the Richardson Ball Bearing and Skate Company, which provided skates to most professional skate racers of the time, including Harley Davidson (no relation to the Harley-Davidson motorcycle brand). (Turner and Zaidman, 1997).
- The design of the quad skate has remained essentially unchanged since then, and remained as the dominant roller skate design until nearly the end of the 20th century. The quad skate has begun to make a comeback recently due to the popularity of roller derby and jam skating.
- 1900: The Peck & Snyder Company patented an inline skate with two wheels.
- 1902: The Chicago Coliseum opened a public skating rink. Over 7,000 people attended the opening night.
- 1977: Inline skates looking like ice skates were used by the makers of the east GermanDEFA movie "Die zertanzten Schuhe" based on the fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses in some winter scenes on a frozen lake.
- 1979: Scott Olson and Brennan Olson of Minneapolis, Minnesota came across a pair of inline skates created in the 1960s by the Chicago Roller Skate Company and, seeing the potential for off-ice hockey training, set about redesigning the skates using modern materials and attaching ice hockey boots. A few years later Scott Olson began heavily promoting the skates and launched the company Rollerblade, Inc..
- 1983 President Ronald Reagan declared October National Roller Skating Month.
- 1993 - Active Brake Technology, Rollerblade, Inc. developed ABT or Active Brake Technology for increased safety.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Rollerblade-branded skates became so successful that they inspired many other companies to create similar inline skates, and the inline design became more popular than the traditional quads. The Rollerblade skates became synonymous in the minds of many with "inline skates" and skating, so much so that many people came to call any form of skating "Rollerblading," thus making it a genericized trademark.
For much of the 1980s and into the 1990s, inline skate models typically sold for general public use employed a hard plastic boot, similar to ski boots. In or about 1995, "soft boot" designs were introduced to the market, primarily by the sporting goods firm K2 Inc., and promoted for use as fitness skates. Other companies quickly followed, and by the early 2000s the development of hard shell skates and skeletons became primarily limited to the Aggressive inline skating discipline and other specialized designs.
The single-wheel "quintessence skate" was made in 1988 by Miyshael F. Gailson of Caples Lake Resort, California, for the purpose of cross-country skate skiing and telemark skiing training. Other experimental skate designs the years have included two wheeled (heel and toe) inline skate frames but the vast majority of skates on the market today are either quad or standard inline design.
Artistic roller skating
Artistic roller skating is a sport which consists of a number of events. These are usually accomplished on quad skates, but inline skates may be used for some events. Various flights of events are organized by age and ability/experience. In the US, local competitions lead to 9 regional competitions which led to the National Championships and World Championships.
A prescribed movement symmetrically composed of at least two circles, but not more than three circles, involving primary, or primary and secondary movements, with or without turns. Figures are skated on circles, which have been inscribed on the skating surface.
In competition skaters can enter more than one event;
Solo Dance; solo dance a competition starts at tiny tot and goes up to golden, for a test it starts with bronze and goes up to gold. You do not have to take tests anymore to skate in harder categories, you must have a couple of tests once you get to a certain event, though. In competition, these dances are set patterns and the judges give you marks for good edges, how neat they look and how well they do turns, etc.
Team Dance; this is where two people skate together doing the set dances. Most people skate with a partner the same ability and age.
Skaters are judged by the accuracy of steps that they skate when performing a particular dance. In addition to being judged on their edges and turns, skaters must carry themselves in an elegant manner while paying careful attention to the rhythm and timing of the music.
Freestyle roller dancing is a style of physical movement, usually done to music, that isn’t choreographed or planned ahead of time. It occurs in many genres, including those where people dance with partners. By definition, this kind of dance is never the same from performance to performance, although it can be done formally and informally, sometimes using some sparse choreography as a very loose outline for the improvisation.
A team of skaters (usually counted in multiples of 4) creates various patterns and movements to music. Often used elements include skating in a line, skating in a box, 'splicing' (subgroups skating towards each other such that they do not contact each other), and skating in a circle. The team is judged on its choreography and the ability to skate together precisely.
Singles and pairs
A single skater or a pair of skaters present routines to music. They are judged on skating ability and creativity. Jumps, spins and turns are expected in these events. Sometimes with a pair or couple skaters slow music will play, and usually it is two songs.
Speed skating originally started on traditional roller skates. The speed skating season began in fall and continued through spring leading up to a state tournament. Placing in the top three places at a state tournament would qualify skaters for a regional tournament. The top three places at regional tournaments then went on to compete at a national tournament. Skaters could qualify as individuals or as part of a two-person or four-person (relay) team. Qualification at regional events could warrant an invite to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO for a one-week training session on their outdoor velodrome. Inline speed skating is a competitive non-contact sport played on inline skates. Variants include indoor, track and road racing, with many different grades of skaters, so the whole family can compete.
Among skaters not committed to a particular discipline, a popular social activity is the group skate or street skate, in which large groups of skaters regularly meet to skate together, usually on city streets. One such group is the San Francisco Midnight Rollers. In 1989 the small 15-20 group that became the Midnight Rollers explored the closed doubIe-decker Embarcadero Freeway after the Loma-Prieta earthquake until it was torn down. At which point the new route was created settling on Friday nights at 9 pm from the San Francisco Ferry Building circling 12 miles around the city back at midnight to the start. Although such touring existed among quad roller skate clubs in the 1970s and 1980s, it made the jump to inline skates in 1990 with groups in large cities throughout the United States. In some cases, hundreds of skaters would regularly participate, resembling a rolling party. In the late 1990s, the group skate phenomenon spread to Europe and east Asia. The weekly Friday night skate in Paris, France (called Pari Roller) is believed to be one of the largest repeating group skates in the world. At times, it has had as many as 35,000 skaters participating on the boulevards of Paris, on a single night. The Sunday Skate Night in Berlin also attracts over 10,000 skaters during the summer, and Copenhagen, Munich, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, London, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Tokyo host other popular events. Charity skates in Paris have attracted 50,000 participants (the yearly Paris-Versailles skate). The current Official Guinness World Record holder is Nightskating Warszawa (Poland) in number of 4013 participants from 19 June 2014, but their real record from 25 April 2015 is 7303 participants and over 38 000 skaters total in 10 events in season 2015.
Aggressive inline skating is trick-based skating. This is where the individual performs tricks using a slightly different skate to normal. The skate has a grind block in between two wheels and the various companies have designed the boots to take these extra strains. Also the wheels have a flat large contact surface for grip.
Aggressive inline can either take place at a skate park or on the street. Typically predominantly grinds but also air tricks such as spins and flips.
Roller hockey (quad)
Roller hockey is the overarching name for a rollersport that existed long before inline skates were invented. Roller hockey has been played on quad skates in many countries worldwide and so has many names. Roller hockey at the 1992 Summer Olympics was a demonstration rollersport in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
In the United States, the controlling organization is USA Roller Sports, headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, also home of the National Museum of Roller Skating. Nationals are held each summer with skaters required to qualify through state and regional competitions.
Roller derby is a team sport played on roller skates on an oval track. Originally a trademarked product developed out of speed skating demonstrations, the sport is currently experiencing a revival as a grass-roots-driven 5-a-side sport played mainly by women. Most roller derby leagues adopt the rules and guidelines set by the Women's Flat Track Derby Association or its male counterpart, Men's Roller Derby Association, but there are leagues that play on a banked track, as the sport was originally from c.1933-1998.
Other groups include:
In popular culture
- 1916 - Charlie Chaplin film "The Rink" is partially set at a roller skating rink & roller skating party.
- 1955 - Gene Kelly used roller skates as part of a dance routine in It's Always Fair Weather.
- 1971 - The song Brand New Key by Melanie Safka uses roller skates as a theme.
- 1972 - Kansas City Bomber, starring Raquel Welch, is about the roller derby scene.
- 1975 - Rollerball - A dystopian SciFi centered on a roller skate based tournament.
- 1978 - Singer Linda Ronstadt dons a roller skating outfit on the cover of her album Living in the USA and in its promotional materials, which helps bring the sport a resurgence of interest in the United States.
- 1979 - Skatetown, U.S.A. with Scott Baio, Flip Wilson, Patrick Swayze & Maureen McCormick.
- 1979 - Roller Boogie with Linda Blair.
- 1980 - Xanadu, with Olivia Newton-John, has rollerskating as a recurring theme.
- 1980 - Heaven's Gate, with Kris Kristofferson and Christopher Walken, which is set in 1890s Wyoming, features a scene in an early roller-skating rink called "Heaven's Gate".
- 1983 - In Star 80, there is a roller-skating party at the Playboy Mansion.
- 1984 - Starlight Express, a musical written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, opened on London's West End. The cast perform on quad skates.
- 1991 - A Roller Skating Jam Named "Saturdays", a 1991 single by De La Soul and music video filmed at Lace's roller rink on Long Island, NY.
- 1995 - Man of the House features a scene where Jonathan Taylor Thomas uses early model rollerblades to get around Seattle.
- 1998 - In the Disney Channel Original MovieBrink!, in-line skating is presented as an extreme competition for teens in California.
- 2005 - The plot of the film Roll Bounce centered on a group of teenagers who compete in a rollerskating competition in the late 1970s.
- 2006 - In the movie ATL, set in Atlanta, the protagonist – rapper, T.I. – and his friends had a great love for skating.
- 2008 - MTV's Americas Best Dance Crew auditioned Breaksk8, a group of Hip Hop dancers on roller skates.
- 2008 - The songs "Seventies" by Laurent Wolf and "Kim&Jessie" by M83, featured the "Miss'ile" skate dancers
- 2009 - The movie Whip It, starring Ellen Page and Drew Barrymore – Barrymore also directing – centers on a small-town girl who joins a hard core all-girl roller derby team.
- 2009 - In the MTV television film My Super Psycho Sweet 16, a roller skating rink Roller Dome
- 2010 - In the movie Skateland, starring Shiloh Fernandez and Ashley Greene, which is set in the 1980s, when roller skating was very popular and many teenagers used to go to roller rinks.
- 2010 - In the first season Glee episode Home, a local roller rink called Rinky Dinks is used for rehearsal space for the glee club after their auditorium is commandeered.
- 2015 - Rap duo Rae Sremmurd's music video, "Throw Sum Mo", is filmed at Moonlight Rollerway near Los Angeles, California.
- 2016 - Gwen Stefani's music video, "Make Me Like You", which is the first "live" video recorded during the 58th Annual Grammy Awards on February 15 and was filmed at Warner Bros. Studio's Burbank, California.
Roller skating, like skateboarding, has created a number of spin-off sports and sports devices. In addition to rollerblades/inline skates, there have also been:
- Soaps, normal-looking street/skate shoes with a concave plastic plate in the sole to allow grinds.
- Heelys, normal-looking street/skate shoes with a single retractable wheel in the heel of each shoe, allowing the wearer to perform unique rollerskating-like moves at leisure while still walking normally when the skating functionality isn't desired (and the wheel is mostly retracted into a recessed slot in the heel). The fact that skateboarding and related wheeled sports are outlawed in many cities and suburbs makes the low key and spontaneous nature of Heelys all the more enticing to the same demographic. Heelys were later also combined with Soaps into a single hybrid shoe.
- Freeline skates, a class of unattached skates that wearers place under their normal street or skate shoes. They typically have 2 closely set inline wheels set with a short base under a small squarish plate (usually surfaced with grip tape about the same width as the rider's shoe). This arrangement allows for a range of motion similar to single-wheeled skates like Heelys. Due to the lack of straps on the contact plate, freeline skates require constant motion to stay on, and are a particular challenge for novices.
- Two-wheeled skates: there are also other lesser seen two-wheeled skate arrangements. Some resemble inline skates but with 2 very large wheels bolted in at an angle from the outside rather than a center-balanced row of 4 smaller wheels underneath of inline skates. Others resemble freeline skates in that they have a small squarish platform, but with 2 medium-sized wheels on either side, somewhat between a freeline skate and roller skates (but with inline-skate-styled wheels).
- Orbit wheel skates, another spiritual relative of the freeline skate whereby the skate stands on a grip-tape-surfaced platform (just slightly larger than a freeline skate's) inside of a large hoop that contains a trapped wheel that can freely rotate under the grip plate each foot is planted on. The foot plates normally rest on the trough of the inner surface of these orbital wheels, with the toes pointing orthogonal to the rotation of the ringed wheel. It's said the experience of riding them is somewhat similar to skateboarding, and there are variants with the two wheels connected so the rider is fixed in a skateboarding-like stance.
Media related to Roller skating at Wikimedia Commons
Nothing takes the sting out of a cold, dreary day quite like a warm bowl of chili. No matter how you like it—extra spicy, vegetarian, sans beans, or hidden by a topcoat of cheese and sour cream—the perfect bowl of chili is out there waiting to be discovered. These are some of the best options in all 50 states.
1. ALABAMA // CHRIS' HOT DOGS
Location: Montgomery, Alabama
For over a century, Chris’ Hot Dogs has enticed presidents, movie stars, and regular folk with its famous franks and legendary chili sauce. Founded by Chris Katechis, a Greek immigrant, the restaurant uses a secret family recipe to make 10 gallons of chili every day. Not only can you cover your hot dog or hamburger in it or order it by the bowl, you could also take home a pint ($5), quart ($9.50), or gallon ($35) to satisfy any off-hour cravings.
2. ALASKA // BREAD AND BREW
Courtesy of Bread and Brew
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
This hip sandwich shop pours their hearty Alaskan Reindeer Chili into a bread bowl. You'll find reindeer sausage, kidney beans, tomatoes, green peppers, and onions in this savory blend.
3. ARIZONA // CRACKERS AND CO. CAFE
Location: Tempe and Mesa, Arizona
Head to Crackers & Co. Cafe for lunch, where everything on the menu is made from scratch. The soup selection is impressive, and the cup of chili is flavorful and a delightful half of a soup-and-sandwich order.
4. ARKANSAS // IZZY'S RESTAURANT
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
This family owned Little Rock restaurant creates all its recipes, grows its own herbs, and even has a honey bee and Monarch butterfly garden. Their fantastic chili is made with fresh certified Angus beef, pinto beans, and tomatoes, and can be ordered on its own or as a topping for Izzy's tamale platters.
5. CALIFORNIA // MARTY'S HAMBURGER STAND
Location: Los Angeles, California
Near Rancho Park in West Los Angeles, Marty's Hamburger Stand is a tiny, cash-only spot that has served Vienna beef burgers and hot dogs since 1959. The chili at Marty's has a thick, spreadable consistency that works perfectly atop chili cheese fries and burgers.
6. COLORADO // WEST END TAP HOUSE
Location: Denver, Colorado
The West End Tap House makes a fine Wild Boar Sloppy Joe and raved-about "Lambsicle" appetizers, but for a hearty bowl of chili on a chilly day, you can't beat their elk chili, made with ground elk, black beans, and tomatoes and topped with plenty of cheese and onions .
7. CONNECTICUT // VANILLA BEAN CAFE
Courtesy of Chip Riegel and Vanilla Bean Cafe
Location: Pomfret, Connecticut
Located in a restored barn dating back to the early 1800s, Vanilla Bean Cafe is a cute place with some killer chili. Their award-winning, traditional beef chili contains lean ground beef and chorizo, and it's topped with grated cheddar cheese, scallions, and tortilla chips. And if you can't make it to Connecticut, the full 20-ingredient recipe is available here [PDF] if you want to make your own.
8. DELAWARE // THE DOG HOUSE
Location: New Castle, Delaware
As you might be able to ascertain from its name, The Dog House isn't fancy. But the old-fashioned hot dog dive has an under-$5 foot-long chili cheese dog that has had generations of fans coming back for more.
9. FLORIDA // THE STONE SOUP COMPANY
Courtesy of The Stone Soup Company
Location: Tampa, Florida
This gourmet soup and sandwich shop in the Ybor City Historic District serves healthy, amazing food. Play some dominoes or checkers as you wait for your Ybor Chili. Available in a cup, bowl, or quart, this meaty chili contains ground beef, Italian sausage, and pulled Cuban mojo pork.
10. GEORGIA // NU-WAY WEINERS
Location: Multiple locations, Georgia
With locations in Macon, Warner Robins, and Fort Valley, you're never too far from a Nu-Way Weiners. Since it first opened in 1916 (making it the second-oldest hot doggery in the U.S., after Nathan's Famous in New York), Nu-Way has made a comforting bowl of chili, and it now serves a mouthwatering chili-cheese coleslaw hot dog.
11. HAWAII // ZIPPY'S KAPAHULU
Location: Multiple locations, Hawaii
This famous diner with two dozen locations throughout Hawaii sells insane amounts of its fantastic signature product, Original Recipe Chili. Get the chili with chicken or a frank, over rice, atop cheese fries, or as a burrito—the choice is yours!
12. IDAHO // DAWG ON GRILL
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Dawg On Grill is a hot dog establishment where you'll find plenty of "dawgs"—corn dogs, brats, sausages, and "puppy dawgs" for the kids. The chili dog with grilled onions, peppers, and nacho cheese will satisfy your cravings, but if a simple chili topping isn't enough, you can get a bowl for just $3.50.
13. ILLINOIS // BISHOP'S FAMOUS CHILI
Location: Westmont, Illinois
The cooks at Bishop's Famous Chili (currently the fourth generation of Bishops making the recipe "Grandma Bishop" used to open the doors in 1925) spend 24 hours making each batch of chili, and you can taste that time and effort with every flavorful bite. If you're feeling ravenous, get your chili with a tamale and a side of cornbread.
14. INDIANA // LOUGHMILLER'S PUB & EATERY
Courtesy of Loughmiller's Pub & Eatery
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
This fun pub hosts live music and celebrates Colts home games with drink specials and tailgates. The chili is full of ground beef and kidney beans, and pairs well with a beer and Pepper Jack Stuffed Pretzels.
15. IOWA // QUINTON'S BAR AND DELI
Location: Multiple locations, Iowa
Residents of Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, and Coralville know that Quinton's Bar and Deli makes a mean homemade chili. The bread bowl chili is meaty and topped with diced red onions and shredded cheddar.
16. KANSAS // WOODYARD BAR-B-QUE
Location: Kansas City, Kansas
Three words: burnt end chili. The three-bean chili at this beloved barbecue restaurant is a stew of black, red, and kidney beans, plus a generous amount of paprika and cayenne. It's topped with burnt ends, those gloriously fatty, flavorful pieces of brisket, which really add a punch to the classic dish.
17. KENTUCKY // THE CAFE
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Don't let this cafe's simple name fool you: The food is complex, thoughtful, and memorable. Situated in a former warehouse in Paristown Pointe, The Cafe serves a rustic West Yellowstone Montana Chili with diced green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, and banana peppers.
18. LOUISIANA // DOE'S EAT PLACE
Courtesy of Doe’s Eat Place
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Carnivores will love Doe's Eat Place, which has been cooking sensational steaks and tamales since 1941. Go for dinner and get a half-dozen all-beef tamales, which come with a cup of Doe's delightful homemade chili.
19. MAINE // GEAGHAN'S PUB
Location: Bangor, Maine
Craft beer, live Celtic music, and hearty chili can all be found at Geaghan's Pub. The bowl of beef chili is served with tortilla chips—perfect for dipping—and they also top their nacho salad with it, in case you'd like some greens as well.
20. MARYLAND // ONE-EYED MIKE'S
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Take one step into this gastropub in Fell's Point, and you'll see thousands of Grand Marnier bottles, each belonging to one member of the pub's Grand Marnier club. The fantastic chili here, though, will make you forget all about your boozy surroundings. It's served with tortilla chips, sour cream, and cheddar cheese.
21. MASSACHUSETTS // GRENDEL'S DEN
Courtesy of Grendel's Den
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Customers rave about the chili at Grendel's Den, a popular restaurant near Harvard Square. The Five Bean chili is unique and spectacular, thanks to the cilantro pesto and cornbread that accompany it.
22. MICHIGAN // CHELI'S CHILI BAR
Location: Detroit, Michigan
This sports bar is owned by Chris Chelios, a former ice hockey player for the Detroit Red Wings. The three-time Stanley Cup champ clearly knows his way around the ice and a bowl of chili. Order the original, chicken, or vegetarian chili, and spice it to your liking with additional jalapeños.
23. MINNESOTA // THE LOON CAFE
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Loon Cafe is seriously crazy about chili. A few of the many options include Pinto's Diablo Chili (ground beef, vegetables, and kidney beans) and Turkey White Bean (lean ground turkey breast and garlic tomato sauce). Various chilis are served with Texas toast, flour tortillas, or jalapeño cornbread.
24. MISSISSIPPI // MUGSHOTS GRILL AND BAR
Location: Multiple locations, Mississippi
At Mugshots Grill and Bar, the people are friendly, the flavors are sufficiently Southern, and the chili is criminally good. The Walker's Texas Ranger chili is full of beef, bell peppers, onions, and diced tomatoes. For a bit more crunch, try Spencer's Nachos, which are piled high with beef chili and cheese.
25. MISSOURI // BLUEBERRY HILL
Timothy K. Hamilton, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
This restaurant and music venue in the Delmar Loop has given locals the perfect place to chow down since 1972. Its award-winning spicy chili, garnished simply with cheddar cheese, isn't the restaurant’s only draw. If you recognize the name, it's likely in connection with rock pioneer Chuck Berry, who kept a standing monthly set at the venue for more than 17 years, up until his death at age 90. Don't forget to check out the impressive collection of pop culture memorabilia on display before you leave.
26. MONTANA // CASEY'S WHITEFISH
Courtesy of Casey’s Whitefish
Location: Whitefish, Montana
Located just outside Glacier National Park, Casey's Whitefish is a pub and grill that serves an extraordinary elk chili made with pinto and black beans, green onions, and mild cheddar and jack cheese. When the weather’s warm, head upstairs to enjoy the view at the area’s only rooftop bar. After you enjoy your chili, you can try your luck at the casino games on the restaurant’s first floor.
27. NEBRASKA // HI-WAY DINER
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
This diner on the south side of Nebraska's scenic Highway 2 is open 24 hours a day, keeping customers happy day or night with plenty of comfort food. For the perfect road-trip snack, get the homemade chili on its own, or try the chili omelet, served with onion and cheddar.
28. NEVADA // BEEFY'S
Courtesy of Beefy’s
Location: Reno, Nevada
All the beef at Beefy's comes from Reno's own Ponderosa Meat & Provision Co., and you can taste the quality with every bite of chili con carne. Made fresh each day, the chili is topped with parsley and cheddar cheese. You can order it on its own or on top of a hot dog, burger, omelet, or fries.
29. NEW HAMPSHIRE // RED ARROW DINER
Roger C. Goun, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Location: Multiple locations, New Hampshire
When you eat at Red Arrow Diner, you're dining at a place with history. The first location opened in Manchester in 1922, and today, its chili dishes are famous across New England. We recommend the chili hash browns and the Five Alarm chili.
30. NEW JERSEY // OCEAN CAFE
Location: Multiple locations, New Jersey
With four locations across Central New Jersey, Ocean Cafe is a casual restaurant chain that focuses on healthy offerings like salads, wraps, and smoothies. The chicken chili is a highlight of the menu thanks to its sweet-and-spicy flavor and generous portions of meat.
31. NEW MEXICO // FRONTIER RESTAURANT
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Finding the best bowl of chili can be challenging in a state known for its peppers, but in New Mexico, look no farther than Frontier Restaurant, an Albuquerque staple just off the University of New Mexico campus. Its green chile stew is so beloved that many fans try to make it at home, but nothing compares to the real deal. You can order it by the bowl or on top of your burrito or enchilada. The stew is also on the menu at Frontier’s sister restaurant, Golden Pride, which has four locations across Albuquerque.
32. NEW YORK // CHAMPS DINER
Location: Brooklyn, New York
You'll find stellar comfort food like chili cheese fries and milkshakes at this Williamsburg diner, with a twist: Everything on the menu happens to be vegan. Take a break from meaty chilis and get a bowl of the three-bean version at Champs. We recommend washing it down with a cookie dough shake.
33. NORTH CAROLINA // ROSETTA'S KITCHEN
Courtesy of Rosetta's Kitchen
Location: Asheville, North Carolina
The best chili in North Carolina also happens to be meatless. This vegetarian soul food restaurant crafts thoughtful, creative dishes using local produce and top-notch ingredients. Their chili is a spicy vegan option that will warm you up in no time. If you don't want it in a bowl, the chili cheese fries are hand-cut and smothered in vegan queso.
34. NORTH DAKOTA // DOGMAHAL DOGHAUS
Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota
DogMahal DogHaus is a hot dog and sausage joint with a spunky vibe. Though it specializes in franks, it also does a mean chili. The Under Dog is a quarter-pound beef frank brimming with hot chili, onions, and cheese. If you're aren't feeling the dog, you can get the chili on its own, too.
35. OHIO // CAMP WASHINGTON CHILI
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
This chili parlor in Camp Washington might be the ultimate destination for chili lovers. The restaurant's renown chili is available by itself, over spaghetti (a local delicacy), on a burger or fries, or topped with beans or cheese. With so many options, you'll definitely need to make multiple trips back.
36. OKLAHOMA // IKE'S CHILI
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Ike Johnson and his nephew, Ivan, opened this chili establishment back in 1908. Over a century later, their famous recipe still delights customers (and Martha Stewart). You can order the original beef chili or opt to get it with beans, spaghetti, or mac and cheese.
37. OREGON // BALDY'S BARBEQUE
Location: Redmond and Bend, Oregon
Central Oregon's Baldy's Barbecue is the place to get some truly magnificent meat. Voted one of the best barbecue joints in the area, this family-owned restaurant serves its spicy smokehouse chili with cheese, diced onions, sour cream, and a side of cornbread.
38. PENNSYLVANIA // DOUBLE WIDE GRILL
Location: Multiple locations, Pennsylvania
The Double Wide Grill knows how to entertain vegans and meat lovers alike. Nosh on the spicy Jailhouse Beef Chili (no beans, for you chili con carne purists) or the equally spicy grilled vegetable chili, which contains beans, tomatoes, and corn. Its three locations in the Pittsburgh area boast bar trivia, karaoke, and live entertainment, and its South Side restaurant has been voted one of the best outdoor dining options in the area—it even has a special dog patio featuring a separate menu just for Fido. (Sorry, that one doesn't feature chili.)
39. RHODE ISLAND // BEN'S CHILI DOGS
Location: Newport, Rhode Island
The state might be known for its clam chowder, but Ben's Chili Dogs has been serving up the red-meat favorite since 1969 (though yes, they also serve clam rolls and chowder). To get a true Rhode Island version of the classic chili dog, sprinkle some celery salt on top.
40. SOUTH CAROLINA // PAWLEYS FRONT PORCH
Location: Columbia, South Carolina
Relaxing on a porch is a distinctively Southern experience, and Pawleys Front Porch injects that kind of laid-back hospitality into its food. Located in Five Points, this restaurant is known for its patio, food truck, and thick burgers. The chili, which is divine, is available in a cup or bowl, or atop hand-cut fries.
41. SOUTH DAKOTA // PHILLIPS AVENUE DINER
Courtesy of Phillips Avenue Diner
Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Phillips Avenue Diner boasts a jukebox, milkshakes, and some of the best diner chili anywhere. Enjoy the retro vibe as you dig in to a big bowl of homemade ground beef and beans, either as-is or loaded with tasty toppings.
42. TENNESSEE // ELWOOD'S SHACK
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Elwood's Shack is a down-home establishment that serves barbecue, fish tacos, and burgers. Their outstanding chili is made with Texas beef brisket, Guinness Stout, and curry powder.
43. TEXAS // THE SHADY GROVE
Courtesy of The Shady Grove
Location: Austin, Texas
Located near Barton Creek and the Colorado River, The Shady Grove is a casual restaurant with a huge patio and plenty of shade from a nearby grove of pecan trees. The roasted vegetable chili contains diced onions, jalapeños, and jack and cheddar cheese.
44. UTAH // THE MOAB BREWERY
Courtesy of The Moab Brewery
Location: Moab, Utah
As Moab’s only microbrewery, The Moab Brewery has a natural advantage when it comes to blowing people's minds and tastebuds. Sip on their popular Dead Horse Ale as you wait for a cup of the chunky vegetarian chili, which is chock-full of healthy vegetables.
45. VERMONT // LANGDON STREET TAVERN
Location: Montpelier, Vermont
This Irish watering hole has a pool table, Vermont-brewed beers on tap, and some of the best homemade chili in the state. The southwest-style chili is topped with cheddar-jack cheese and served with a hunk of garlic bread.
46. VIRGINIA // STATION 2
Courtesy of Station 2
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Located in a former fire house called Engine Company 2, Station 2 cooks gourmet burgers made from natural, Virginia-grown beef. Get a side of firehouse chili with your burger, or go all in with the chili cheeseburger or "American nachos" (a.k.a. potato chips under a blanket of chili and cheese).
47. WASHINGTON // HOLE IN THE WALL BARBECUE
Courtesy of Hole in the Wall Barbecue
Location: Seattle, Washington
Barbecue and chili often go hand in hand, but this barbecue spot has perfected the art of tangy sauce, smoky meats, and spectacular chili. Chuck's Railroad Chili is a thick, spicy red stew bursting with black beans and ground beef.
48. WEST VIRGINIA // CUSTARD STAND
Courtesy of Custard Stand
Location: Multiple locations
Custard Stand started out in 1991 as a take-out dairy bar, but customers loved their chili so much that the company shifted focus. The founders appeared on Shark Tank in 2016, and today, you can enjoy their beefy hot dog chili or chili soup with beef and beans.
49. WISCONSIN // RED ROCK SALOON
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Mouthwatering barbecue, live rock and country music, and a mechanical bull make Red Rock Saloon a wild place to hang out. Try their famous Red Rock Chili, or get the brisket chili atop the Frito Pie Burger.
50. WYOMING // CHUGWATER SODA FOUNTAIN
Location: Chugwater, Wyoming
This cute soda fountain is Wyoming's oldest operating soda fountain, and you can feel the history oozing from the walls. Choose between their famous Chugwater Chili or green chili, both of which pair well with a hand-dipped ice cream shake.