We were first introduced to Cincinnati-style chili back in the States when our roommate brought back a few cans of Skyline chili from his hometown. Poured over spaghetti and topped with a mound of shredded cheddar cheese, the chili’s consistency was much thinner than the denser, Texas-style chili that we had come to cherish. Still, the finely ground beef and combo of spices made it a memorable one time experience before we packed up for China. At least, we thought it was a one time thing, since its lack of availability in California was a pretty good indicator that we probably weren’t going to come across it in Shanghai.
Fast forward five years and Shanghai now has its very own purveyor of Cincinnati chili in Munchies, a new eatery in Jing’an that had its grand opening the same day the Olympics kicked off. The menu includes specialties from a swath of regional American favorites, including hot dogs, sandwiches, burgers, and even some Tex-Mex. The New Orleans Cajun Po’ Boy (42 RMB) was a little disappointing, with the non-fried shrimp not abundant enough, but the jerk chicken sandwich (36 RMB) was pretty tasty, as were the chicken soft tacos (34 RMB). But what will keep us ordering from Munchie’s is the chili, which matches tradition here by coming in four different combinations (adding beans, cheese, and onions are options) served over spaghetti and is as greasy and meaty as we remember.
Munchies also has a decent looking selection of familiar desserts, smoothies, and milkshakes, though we have yet to try any of them. We’ll save it for next time when get the munchies for the chili. Too bad we usually get them after Munchies already closes.
Munchies – 974 Wuding Lu near Jiaozhou Lu (武定路974好近胶州路) Tel: 6218-4616, Hours: 10am-10pm.
Eric Hu is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news and gossip about Shanghai’s food scene to food at shanghaiist.com.