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Dear Skyline Chili: Give me breakfast or give me death

The Cincinnati airport's Skyline is the only Skyline with a breakfast menu.
The Cincinnati airport's Skyline is the only Skyline with a breakfast menu.

I’m an Ohio convert.

My father’s family has lived in the Dayton area for nearly 300 years, but I was the first generation to be born and live outside the Buckeye State. So, like a moth to a flame, I had to follow the footsteps of the Ankeneys before me and spend some time in Ohio.

I quickly found some local traditions to love.

Skyline Chili is a polarizing cuisine. The less-than run-of-the-mill “chili” doesn’t look or taste anything like the chili I had been used to growing up. Most people are put off by the strange texture of the dish and the decision to put it over a bed of spaghetti.

Not me.

I won’t bore you with the classic ooh-ing and ah-ing over Cincinnati-style chili, but to say that I’m an absolute fanatic, is an understatement. So, when Skyline announced a breakfast menu for its Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG) location, I was thrilled.

Knowing I had a flight home for Thanksgiving, I eagerly awaited the announcement that the CVG Skyline would be open in time for me to have a 6 a.m. feast on breakfast chili. After a short interaction with Skyline on X, the app formerly known as Twitter, I was secure in my belief that it would be open.

Photo by Devin Ankeney | The Miami Student
Above is the conversation between Ankeney and the Skyline Chili's social media team.

Then, they confirmed it. Step one: complete.

On the morning of Saturday, Nov. 18, I made my way to my early flight with a massive grin and an empty belly. 

I approached the ordering counter of the brand new Skyline, nearly trembling from the suspense, before seeing the array of beautiful options available only at this one Skyline location.

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I settled on the “Breakfast Way” and the “Breakfast Coney.” The former is exactly like Skyline’s regular 3-Way except with hashbrowns instead of spaghetti, and the latter is exactly like a Coney except it uses a sausage instead of a hot dog.

I’ve never eaten a meal faster in my life; I ate so fast I didn’t even have time to grab pictures. The delectable delight was magnificent, and I nearly started licking my plastic tray clean after scooping as much chili and hash browns as I could with the provided fork.

The hash browns were delicious and perfectly spiced — somehow proving a worthy opponent to the traditional spaghetti. The breakfast coney was quite good too, but didn’t differentiate much from the standard coney.

I spent my entire Thanksgiving break thinking about that Breakfast Way and the hash browns used. I spent many moments pondering the Breakfast Chilito and everything else Skyline had to offer at CVG.

To describe with words the extent to which my expectations were exceeded would be journalistic malpractice against the beloved chili chain in a manner that I cannot deem fair. 

However, there is one massive, unbelievable, fatal flaw in Skyline’s breakfast offerings.

It isn’t served anywhere outside the CVG airport.

This delicious treat is only sold in the morning hours of the day and only at the airport location of Skyline. It’s an absolute travesty of justice to not bring this gift from the heavens to those of us not traveling by plane at the correct hours of the day.

I write this as an open letter to my dear Skyline Chili: please, please allow us all some breakfast Skyline at more locations. You need not even change your hours. Simply serve the breakfast offerings during your standard hours. I guarantee many Breakfast Way sales at all hours of the day.

Consider these words as a written manifestation of me begging on my knees, willing to sell my soul to acquire some tantalizing breakfast Skyline outside the grip of needing to have a flight before 10:30 a.m.

I am not alone in this desire. The writers at The Miami Student want this. The people of Oxford want this. The whole of Greater Cincinnati wants this. We need it.

You, alone, can deliver.


Devin Ankeney, Opinion Editor

Luke Macy, Digital Managing Editor

Reece Hollowell, Entertainment & Audio Editor