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Ballard's Iconic Mike's Chili Parlor celebrating 100 years

They started on a cart back in 1922. #k5evening

SEATTLE — Restaurants come and go. So to make it 100 years is an accomplishment few have achieved, especially when that place is dedicated to one particular item: chili. Mike’s Chili Parlor in Ballard is celebrating its 100th year of serving up Seattle's most famous chili. They started on a cart back in 1922 selling chili to fishermen and lumber workers in the area. They moved into their current location in 1939.

Credit: Mike's Chili Parlor
Mike's Chili Parlor in 1941.

The recipe for our chili hasn't changed in the last century. It's been passed down from my great grandfather to my grandfather, to my father, to me and it wasn't written down anywhere, it was passed down verbally,” said Mike Semandiris, the fourth-generation owner of Mike’s Chili.

“Basically our chili, it's a meat sauce. It's meat, spices, garlic, and onions. It's really almost simple. And we'll serve it over pasta or beans, fries all kinds of different stuff like that,” Semandiris said.

As good as the chili is, there’s something about eating it in their historic building that Mike clams makes it taste even better. 

“This building has its own heartbeat. And I feel when you eat it here, it tastes better than just walking outside eating it. Because there's something about being in this little atmosphere, the people, the heartbeat of this building that's been here for so long.”

Recently they added space behind the tavern they call the Chili Bowl where guests can hear live music, drink, play games, and of course eat chili. There will be events all year long commemorating their 100th birthday.

Credit: KING 5 Evening
Mike's Chili recently opened a new spot for guests out back called the Chili Bowl.

Mike's Chili Parlor


1447 N.W. Ballard Way
Seattle WA 98107
206-782-2802
Closed Sunday & Monday

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