Spice Up Your Summer at Chili's American Restaurant & Bar

By That's Shanghai, May 13, 2021

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The Place

Set on the Pudong bank of the river looking back over the Bund, Chili's American Restaurant and Bar is a US institution, famed for its sizzling fajita plates, Texas-size Baby Back Ribs, Big Mouth Burgers, buffalo wings with your choice of sauce, the tasty, tasty margaritas and much, much more.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

WechatIMG455.jpegImage by Chili's

It all started with a dream to create a place guests would want to spend time with good friends over a burger and a beer. The first location opened in 1975 in Dallas, Texas where a post office was converted into a funky little joint named Chili's. Since then, they've boldly claimed their place as the Texas-inspired restaurant beloved worldwide. Today, they can be found globally with over 1,700 restaurants in 30 countries, including the most recent of which opened right here in Shanghai in 2019. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Food 

Chili's is an unadulterated taste of Americana, pure comfort in all of its nostalgic glory. The sprawling menu of Big Mouth Burgers are no exception. Made with Australian Angus beef, these burgers are hand-smashed then grilled on a flattop grill to seal in all of the flavors, and served on a toasted brioche bun with melted cheese and fries. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Chili’s Bacon Burger (RMB98) lives up to its name as a behemoth, layered with bacon slices, cheddar, pickles, lettuce, red onion, tomato and garlic aioli. Other burger options include the Southern Smokehouse Burger (RMB108), the Guacamole Burger (RMB98) or the Bacon Avocado Grilled Chicken Burger (RMB78).

Image by Chili's

Perhaps Chili’s biggest claim to fame comes in the form of their Smoked Baby Back Ribs (RMB98). Using a secret recipe perfected over 30 years, the ribs are smoked in house, low and slow over pecan wood with a clandestine blend of herbs and spices. 

Diners can choose between Original Flavor, Texas Dry Rub or – our preferred sauce – a sweet and spicy Honey Chipotle. Each serving comes with Mexican-style roasted sweet corn on the cob topped with chili-seasoned mayonnaise, parmesan and lime plus oven roasted pumpkin, pickled jalapeño peppers and garlic bread. 

DSC00720.jpgSeared Blackened Salmon (RMB108) with chimichurri garlic sauce, loaded mashed potatoes and broccoli, Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Known for their Buffalo Wings (RMB68/8 pieces), it’s no surprise that Chili’s offers a wing and beer deal – 16 wings and two beers for just RMB128 – essentially a full meal for two people, with your choice of sauce: Garlic & Herb, BBQ Sauce, Creamy Jalapeño, Buffalo Sauce, Honey Chipotle or Mango Chili

DSC00708.jpgImage by Sophie Steiner/That's

Perfect for sharing, the head-turning Sizzling Fajitas (RMB78-98) are a heaping portion of your selection of chicken, tiger shrimp or steak, coupled with potatoes, bell peppers, onions, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo and warm flour tortillas.

WechatIMG468.jpegImage by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Shrimp Cilantro Pesto Pasta (RMB88) is a lighter alternative for the upcoming summer season – a colorful bowl of penne pasta tossed in creamy chimichurri sauce, crowned with grilled prawns, pico de gallo and green onions. 

Chili’s also offers a wide variety of kids’ meals, from Roasted Tomato Pasta (RMB38) to Chicken Crispers (RMB45), there’s definitely something to keep the little ones satisfied. 

WechatIMG456.jpegImage by Chili's

Chili’s Famous Molten Chocolate Cake (RMB68) is worth throwing your diet in the trash. The heat of the molten chocolate center melts the cooling vanilla ice cream on top, creating a liquid avalanche of sugary goodness. 

DSC00712.jpgImage by Sophie Steiner/That's

There is no shortage of deals at Chilis, at all hours of the day, starting with their lunch special of RMB68-98 for your choice of entrée – like Chicken Crispers, Chili’s Classic Oldtimer Burger or Smoked Baby Back Ribs – with a bonus soup or salad and a drink.

Throughout the day, on the beverage side of things, Chili’s surely doesn’t skimp. With a variety of hand-shaken margaritas to choose from, along with classic cocktails, beers, wine and spirits, only a crazy person would bypass their daily 12-9pm happy hour that sees a 20-30% discount across the board on all cocktails. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

We splurged on the classic, top-selling margarita, The Presidente (RMB68/regular, RMB48/happy hour), Chili’s most famous libation that sees nearly 3.5 million glasses served each year. Other margaritas include the addition of blueberry and pineapple, strawberry or grapefruit and jalapeño, while classic cocktails span Long Island Iced Tea, mojitos, gin & tonics and whiskey sours. 

In the evenings, all appetizers are half price after 9.30pm every Sunday to Thursday. Get ready for some late-night munching on everything from Jalapeno Cheese Poppers (RMB68) and Pineapple Grilled Shrimp Tacos (RMB78) to Awesome Blossom Onion Rings (RMB48) and Golden Fried Calamari (RMB78)

The Vibe 

The lunch deals bring in a steady flow of eaters for a leisurely feed, while nightfall sees the venue turn into a watering hole, with people sticking around to drink off a long working day or get together with family and friends, followed by a sumptuous dinner. With the ever-improving weather, there’s always a gaggle of people on the patio, sipping coffees in the morning, sweetened iced teas in the afternoon or cocktails in the evening, ensuring a crowd at all hours. 

1732169320.jpgImage courtesy of Chili's

Chili’s offers a fresh spin on the classic American favorites; and there’s something comforting about that. Yet, the expansive front and back patio, plus the stellar Bund views remind you instantly that, Dorothy, you’re not in Kansas anymore. 

Price: RMB70-160
Who’s Going: Families, the Pudong lunch and dinner dining crowd, post-work happy hour drinkers, celebrators of special events
Good For: Casual American fare cravings, feeding the family, nighttime friendly gatherings, long ‘Bund view-inspired’ lunches or express lunches for those needing to get back to the office quickly

See a listing for Chili's American Restaurant and Bar. Read more Shanghai Restaurant Reviews.

[Cover image by Sophie Steiner/That's]

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