Where to find hearty chili in Vancouver

Rainy nights in Vancouver call for hearty bowls chili. If you’re brave enough to leave the house in search of a spicy stew, these local eateries serve up meaty and vegetarian varieties that are sure to warm you up and curb your hunger.

Chilli Tank (Food Truck)

Vancouver, BC

Chili Tank founder Steven Forster converted a World War II military soup kitchen into one of Vancouver’s most unusual food vendors. The army-green food truck (ahem, we mean tank) serves three different chili varieties – beef, chicken or veggie – at farmer’s markets and festivals across the city. Enjoy chunks of chicken or ground beef mixed with beans, tomato, garlic and onions, all topped with sour cream, shredded cheese and chives. The veggie-friendly harvest chili includes chickpeas, black beans, corn and butternut squash. Everything is served in eco-friendly biodegradable bowls with a crusty baguette from European Breads on the side.

Meet on Main

1
4288 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P9

Casual veggie-friendly comfort foods and boozy craft cocktails make this eclectic meat-free spot a popular neighbourhood hub, especially among alternative eaters. The house-made three-bean and ground round chili has a meaty consistency but is 100 per cent vegetarian. Thick and filling, it’s topped with cashew sour cream and corn fritters and your choice of cheese (or a dairy alternative). Meet on Main’s signature veggie chili also appears atop chili fries and the mountain burger, which sees a house-smoked veggie burger piled with a generous helping of chili along with lettuce, tomatoes and melted cheese atop a Kaiser bun.

Jethro's

2
3420 Dunbar St, Vancouver, BC V6S 2C2

Southwest-style chili reigns supreme at Jethro’s Fine Grub where the large portions and reasonable prices have kept crowds returning year after year. The American-style diner serves up a house-made Tex-Mex chili made with generous chunks of meat, diced onions, peppers, tomatoes and shredded jack cheese served with corn cakes and rice. For just $10, this is one affordable and filling dish! If you’re visiting on a weekend, be prepared to wait in line. You’ll find locations on Dunbar Street to the west and Fraser Street to the east.

The Wallflower Modern Diner

3
2420 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5T 3E2

Modern comfort foods are done right at this local diner on Main Street. Catering to vegetarian, vegans and meat-eaters alike, the menu features a variety of burgers, sandwiches, salads and home-style entrees that’ll remind you of Mom’s kitchen. Chef Nathan Szilagy is a vegetarian himself, which explains why his signature chili is so damn good. This tasty melange of beans, corn, peppers, celery, and onion gets an added hit of heat from the addition of hot sauce, paprika and cayenne. The nourishing bowl is topped with vegan cheddar cheese and served with a side of focaccia, or house-made gluten-free bread.

Save On Meats

4
43 Hastings St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G4

Why mess with an original. Save On Meats has been serving up home-style fare on the East Side for almost 60 years and its classic diner menu never disappoints. Grab a seat in a vinyl booth and take in the authentic retro interior, which features original glass butcher cases from the 50s, an old-fashioned jukebox and glowing neon signs. The menu features a range of gluttonous temptations (Tex-Mex poutine, pulled-pork macaroni and cheese), but we love the ground-meat chili – it’s mild, uncomplicated and available by the cup or bowl. There’s also a meat-free version available for vegetarians.

Max's Bakery & Delicatessen

5
3105 Oak St, Vancouver, BC V6H 2L2

Craving the delicious taste of a home-cooked meal without the hassle? This Oak Street delicatessen and bakery has you covered. Large display cases are stocked with more than 60 freshly prepared entrees and side dishes that can be enjoyed at home or in the on-site cafe. Max’s chili con carne (available in small, medium or large) is a not-too-spicy stew made with ground beef, kidney beans and fragrant seasonings. Be sure to check out Max’s other savoury selections; BBQ chicken, lasagne, samosas, pierogies, and numerous salads and veggie dishes will have you giving up your apron for good.

The Naam Office

6
2724 4th Ave W, Vancouver, BC V6K 1R1

Get your veggie chili fix at any hour of the day or night at this 24-hour spot in Kitsilano. With its funky bohemian vibe and all-natural vegetarian menu, The Naam is easily one of Vancouver’s most beloved dining institutions. Try the traditional veggie chili (available by the cup or bowl) or opt for the chili deluxe: a home-made black bean chipotle chili base topped with yogurt, salsa and cheese (vegan Daiya or regular). The lightly spiced stew has just the right amount of heat and is served with a side of bread (gluten-free is available) and fresh salad.

Deacon's Corner Diner

7
101 Main St, Vancouver, BC V6A 2S5

Fans of old-school diner food will certainly be familiar with Deacon’s Corner. Both the Gastown and Kitsilano locations serve up big all-day breakfasts and calorie-rich comfort foods designed to stick to your ribs. The meaty menu includes a Southern-inspired beef chili (available by the cup or bowlful) made with slow-cooked beef and topped with sour cream and crispy tortilla chips. Want to ramp it up a notch? Try the beef chili fries and enjoy crispy fresh fries loaded up with this savoury meat stew. Did someone say hangover cure?

Tartine Bread & Pies

8
770 Beach Ave, Vancouver, BC V6Z 3E2

Sweet dreams come true at this Beach Avenue bakery. But while Tartine might be known for its delicious baked goods and fruit-filled pies, you’ll also find a number of lunch items on the menu. Sandwiches, quiches, homemade soups, savoury meat pies and yes, a delicious beef chili, all make the perfect warm-up course to enjoy before tucking into a sugary treat. The hearty beef chili is available daily and manages to strike a perfect balance – it’ll fill you up without leaving you stuffed, which means you’ll have plenty of room for dessert.

The Templeton

9
1087 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1L4

This timeless diner on Granville offers a charming retro vibe (sadly the 50’s era jukeboxes at each table are no longer in working order) and a solid all-day breakfast menu. If you’re not in the mood for eggs, you can’t go wrong with a big bowl o’ vegan chili. It might be meat free, but this savoury stew is definitely filling. Order it as a meal in itself or as a side cup. If you’re feeling really hungry, opt for the chili cheese fries; these saucy fries come loaded with aged white cheddar and a scoop of vegan chili.

Tourism Vancouver’s annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival is back this winter from January 19th to February 4th. The 17-day culinary festival will see some of the city’s hottest restaurants serving an array of mouth-watering prix-fixe menus. If you want to take your significant other for a special meal, plan a date night at one of these romantic eateries. [Photo courtesy of Boulevard/Leila Kwok]
Tourism Vancouver’s Dine Out Vancouver Festival is back this winter from January 19th to February 4th. The 17-day culinary event will see some of the city’s top restaurants serving mouth-watering prix-fixe menus for lunch and dinner. If you’re looking for a kid-approved spot with a casual atmosphere and plenty of choices for picky eaters, book a table at these family-friendly restaurants. [Photo courtesy of Bufala]
Tourism Vancouver’s annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival is back this winter from January 19th to February 4th. The 17-day culinary event provides foodies with a great opportunity to eat at Vancouver’s most acclaimed restaurants for less. If you want an upscale meal in an elegant setting, these high-end spots deliver a great bang for your buck. [Photo courtesy of YEW Seafood + Bar]
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