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Chili John’s: The Oldest Restaurant In Burbank, California is a Gas! The Oldest Restaurant In Burbank, CA

Posted on: October 30, 2013

  • Phone: (818) 846-3611
  • Website:
  • Monday - Friday: 11am to 7pm
  • Saturday: 11am to 4pm
  • Sunday: Closed
  • Open 10 Months of the Year: ( Closed July and August )

Since Retro Roadhusband helped out with a chili-related post recently, it seemed perfect timing for Retro Roadmap Reporter Keith Valcourt to represent the West Coast approach to chili. (And since the first person I heard about this place from was Allee Willis with her video visit to Chili John’s, I knew we were all on the right track!)

Chili John’s: The Oldest Restaurant In Burbank, California is a Gas!

By Keith Valcourt

There is retro. Then there is RETRO!! That’s just what Chili John’s in Burbank, California is.

Chili John's - Burbank, CA Exterior

Established in 1900 as an eatery to feed the farmer who used to work this once fertile land, this joint became a mecca for chili enthusiasts 67 years ago. Today this must see luncheonette remains the epitome of old school cool. How can you say no to a joint that has rocked the same orange leather swiveling stools since 1946? You can’t. The family owned eatery is low on pretension and high on fun. Just set (not sit) yourself on one of the counter’s 24 seats (no table here) and order up.

Chili John's - Burbank, CA Interior

The menu is simple: Chili (your choice of Beef, Turkey Or Veggie) served with various levels of heat (from mild to “Are You Sure?”) in 2 bowl sizes (Large and Super Bowl.) Add either rice, beans, spaghetti or a mix of any of the three. Or not. Fancy some shredded cheese and sour cream? Both are are available for an additional buck and a half. Chopped onions are free and there is a never ending supply of complimentary oyster crackers served in plastic decanters. Their slogan “Chili As You Like It” rings true. You are in full control of your dining destiny here.

My favorite is a Super Bowl with rice. I love the way the greasy goodness soaks into the long grains. I wash it down with a fountain drink, either Coke or root beer (comes with free refills!)

Chili John's - Burbank, CA Good Eats

There are also hot dogs and tamales if you require additional choices. Trust me, ordering more than just a bowl of chili with the fixins’ may lead to you having an “Eyes Bigger Than Your Stomach” moment. The chili is hearty without being heavy and is sure to leave you full and happy as you wipe away the meat sweats wondering if there is room left for a slice of their signature cream pie (available in lemon or pineapple.) If not? Force yourself! The creamy concoction comes complete with a homemade graham cracker crust and serves as an amazing palette cleanser. All in you’ll spend between $11.00 and $18.00 (per person) for your total meal.

Chili John's - Burbank, CA Neon Clock

Chili John’s is in close proximity to several movie studios and production facilities. You never know what stars you may spot sitting across from you at the counter. You could watch George Clooney or Kate Winslet. Okay, that’s a lie. But I have seen Robbie Rist (“Cousin Oliver” from “The Brady Bunch”,) Adult Film star Ron Jeremy and the guy who played Pee Wee Herman’s nemesis in “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” (his name? Sorry my IMBD is broken) here on several occasions. Never together though.

Chili John's - Burbank, CA - Counter Service

A visit to Chili John’s is sure to put a smile on your face and a feeling of deep satisfaction in your gut without draining your wallet.

Chili John’s
2018 West Burbank Boulevard
Burbank, CA 91506
(818) 846-3611

Open:Mon-Friday: 11am to 7pm

Saturday 11am to 4pm
Closed Sundays
Open 10 Months of the year (Closed July & August)