Restaurant of the Week: Super Chili Burger

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Super Chili Burger, 6090 Riverside Drive (at Magnolia), Chino

I’d heard about this place from a reader’s tip and decided to head down to Chino for a long lunch hour to check ’em out. It’s a few blocks east of Central Avenue in a standard fast food building.

The menu has burgers, chili, tacos, burritos, fried chicken and gyros, plus eggs, omelettes and pancakes for breakfast. It’s one of those burger places where you can get almost anything and is popular with students from the nearby junior high and high school. Oh, and I noticed that besides the three standard milkshake flavors, they also have pineapple.

Of course I ordered the namesake chili burger, the quarter-pound size, with onions, lettuce and tomato, in a combo with fries and a Coke ($5.97 with tax). A customer hanging out at the counter, a public defender named Bill, recognized me, as did the counterman, Jimmy. Believe it or not, this generally happens everywhere but restaurants.

Well, courtesy of employees Jimmy Alexandris and his brother, Nick, two cheerful, gregarious guys, I soon had the history of the family-run restaurant, founded circa 1987 by their parents, both Greek emigres. The whole family pitches in to operate the place and has watched the city change.

As for the food, I’m not a chili burger aficionado so I can’t compare the Super Chili Burger version to the competition. I’ve been to Tommy’s twice and got heartburn both times, which never happens to me. I did not get heartburn from Super Chili Burger. To me, that’s a plus, but your personal belief system when it comes to chili may differ. In any event, my lunch wasn’t a knockout, but it was messy, gooey and satisfying.

If nothing else, you might go just to meet the family.

Update February 2017: Needing a quick dinner in Chino recently, I returned to Super Chili Burger and got a chili dog combo. Cheese and onions– why not? The bun collapsed partway through, but that was okay. It was a good, cheap meal. Special note: It was heartening to see a pile of two or three newspapers left by customers, available to be read.

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  • Ted

    Super Chili Burger is one of the places that is in walking distance of my house, 200 more feet and you’d be in my front yard. Its unusual location does make it tempting but I’ve heard various reports of HEARTBURN and other things. When I attended Chino High we went to Chino Burger or Mc’D’s. Super Chili Burger was too far unless you had a friend with a car and it didn’t really have much action.

  • Dee

    I want to give credit where it’s due. Every Saturday Super Chili Burgers donates more than 50-plus hamburgers, with fries, to the volunteers at the Chino Planes of Fame Air Museum. My son thinks they are as good as McDonald’s (high praise, indeed, for a teenager).

  • SLy

    This place should be closed. Went there years ago and the Greek family that owns it are a bunch of mean bun holes. When I was there they had a small oil fire in which they used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire right on top of the grill. When I saw this I said to my friend that is on our food now. The son heard me and started to yell “You don’t have to eat here.” I said I will never eat here and left. This place should be done horrible place quality is not there.

  • Scott in R.C.

    I have frequented Super Chili Burgers a number of times and have always enjoyed the atmosphere. The food is pretty good, especially when compared to some of the fast food competition in the area. And the brothers and father are always very friendly and hospitable.

  • Doug Evans

    Whoo-hoo! Chino Hills! (This is more related to today’s column than the blog, but I think it still works.) (Well, OK, maybe it doesn’t.)

    [(We’ll wait here while you decide.) — DA]

  • Dee

    Whoops — my mistake. It’s the airport that donates the burgers.

    [OK. At least your teenage son still likes them. — DA]

  • John

    This place is AWESOME!!! I’ve been going there since I was a kid with my grandpa. Now I take my two young sons. I guess you can say it’s kind of a tradition. And they make a bomb breakfast burrito!!!

  • Matt

    My family has been going to Super Chili Burger for years. We were so fortunate to have found such a friendly place so close to our house with such delicious home cooking. We joke that Super Chili Burger is our home kitchen away from home. While our kitchen was being remodeled we were at Chili Burger almost every day! It is so nice to take a break from a hectic day and go to Chili Burger where I am always greeted with a friendly face, good conversation and good food. My hat’s off to the Alexandris family they are one of the hardest working families that I know.

  • Desdave

    Prior to 1987 is was called Art’s Drive-In, and yes, I would stop there each and every day on my walk home from Jr. High and get an order of Taquitos… I have yet to step foot in there since the name/ownership change, but that is mainly because I no longer walked home from Jr. High. I have, unfortunately, grown up!

  • Matt

    Didn’t this place used to be Art’s Burgers? I remember going there when I was in grade school at Cortez. It was great back then!

  • Maria

    Super Chili Burger is like going to CHEERS…everyone knows your name. The employees not only know your name but remember your ORDER.

  • El Bukey

    My beautiful city of Chino, let me spit the truth. Why, people have to hate SCB, knowing SCB is legit, when the word excellentia comes to mind. Check this out: Flavor is food, and that my friend, is Super Chili Burger.

  • Crawl

    I can never get enough of Super Chili Burger. Their chili is one of the best and I love their zucchini. They care about providing fresh quality food and will make it the way you like.

  • larry joe

    I remember when it was Art’s back in the ’70s. It was my favorite place to go on lunch break.

    I forgot the name until someone mentioned it here.