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“Great chili, great atmosphere” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Chili John's

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Chili John's
2018 W Burbank Blvd, Burbank, CA 91506-1319
(818) 846-3611
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Ranked #32 of 372 Restaurants in Burbank
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: American, Mexican
Restaurant details
Fullerton, California
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Great chili, great atmosphere”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2014

You can get a bowl of chili straight or you can get it with your choice of spaghetti, hot dog, beans or even a hand made tamale. It's counter seating only which is part of its charm. I recommend getting it with some heat but that's me. This is a must if you are visiting Burbank.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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25 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    10
    10
    3
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Weeelll...didn't think the chili was something I ever wanted again.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013

Chili preferences are highly subjective. I'd heard so much about this place that I was truly excited to try it. I have to say I was deeply disappointed in the place.

Now, first let me say that it's a nice place, nice people, and they are serving dishes that appear to be quite authentic. There just was something that seemed way off to me about the chili. It's been a while since I was there, but I think I also had a tamale, which also wasn't really good, either.

Also, I found the prices to be outrageous.

I think with this place, you just are going to have to try it and see if it matches your idea of what chili should be.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anthem, Arizona
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
“Excellent chili; excellent service!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

I'm in Burbank for 2 days/nights business. Usually when I visit an unfamiliar city on business (not so much with the fam), I like to see if there are any DDD-reviewed locales nearby. As fate would have it, this was the closest, and since I wasn't terribly hungry, some Texas-style chili sounded right up my alley!

I drove 6 mins (from the Burbank Marriott) over to Chili John's and was disappointed to see that it closed at 7p (it was around 7:20p when I pulled up--who closes at 7p?).

I parked and walked up to take a pic (for all my Facebook friends, lol) and noticed the front door was left ajar. I saw a dude behind the counter wave me in, so I went through the door and asked "who closes a restaurant at 7p?". The guy asked if I wanted some to go and I said, "Sure!". In any event, he dishes me up a regular bowl of the spicy Texas style, along with some oyster crackers, chopped onions, and banana peppers to go. I over-tipped him and headed back to the hotel to chow down.

I consider myself a bit of a chili afficionado. Back in DC, it was always Hard Times Chili (preferred location--Old Towne, of course, even though I lived out in Lowes Island and for many years, there was one in Reston), and this place absolutely rocks it!

This was the best chili I've ever had, and of course, the way the dude did me right, it's aces for service as well. I may go back there again for din-din tomorrow night, but will be sure to get there before 7p.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“As good as chili gets”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

Why not a five? Well, no reason really. I went in there yesterday and the place was almost full. The staff was super friendly and when I asked how hot the hot chili was, she gave me samples on a plate. Very user friendly. I ordered the spicy chili and beans and the spicy chili and spaghetti to go. Delicious all around. When I am in Burbank again, I will delve further into the menu

  • Visited October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Porterville, California
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Nostalgic Place, So-So Chili”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

A friend of mine, who knows what a fanatic I am about chili, told me about this place after seeing in on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. I happened to be visiting Burbank on business so I made sure I checked it out. I stopped by on Monday evening around 5:30 and was 1 of only 3 customers there. However, by the time I left there wasn't an empty seat in the place (I'd estimate they could accommodate about 25 people at a time). Like me, most of the people appeared to be here for the first time. The restaurant is set up with a large horseshoe bar in the middle of the dining room and provides the only seating. All the ingredients are in a steam table at the center of the horseshoe. The nice lady that helped me explained a little about the chili itself and eventually offered my a small sample (a spoonful each) of the 4 varieties of chili they serve. They included Beef Hot, Beef Mild, Chicken, and Vegetarian. These varieties can be served over pasta, tamale, hot dog, or a few other options including with beans or just a bowl of chili. I went with the purest form - a bowl of "medium" chili without anything extra. They don't actually have a so-called "medium" chili so what they do is serve a scoop of hot and a scoop of mild that I then stirred together myself. They offered me fresh onions, crackers and cheese, but I declined all. Back to the samples though... The four spoonfuls of chili where served to me on a flat plate. The hot was a dark redish brown, the other three were all a similar shade of medium brown. All four samples had a pool of oil/grease/fat under them after she spooned them on to the plate. I tried all of them and the flavors were all similar except for the hot version that had a substantial bite to it. The blended hot & mild together (that makes their medium chili) produced just enough heat to be enjoyable as a meal. Unfortunately, the chili didn't live up to the reputation they have somehow established, at least to my palette. I found it to be too greasy and lacking in the rich, Texas-style red chili flavor that I prefer. Perhaps this is a style of chili that the folks in Southern California prefer and so Chili John's has survived as long as they have. I'm not saying it was bad, just not the style of chili I favor. I did enjoy the company of the servers and the other customers in the place seemed to be enjoying themselves so my trip was at least a pleasant one. I wish them all the best and hope they continue to thrive. I even bought one of their t-shirts just because I enjoyed the experience.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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