Petro’s Chili & Chips

Top 8 Things You Didn’t Know About Petro’s

gourmet petros
Only at Petro’s Chili & Chips can you discover the unique taste of a mouth-watering Petro! The Petro has continued to serve as a delicious meal for people all across Tennessee, and has even branched out to other locations in the United States. To help you learn more about us, we’ve put together a list of the top 8 things you didn’t know about Petro’s.

1. The Petro made its debut at the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville.

The Petro first made its debut at the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. It was served in a Fritos bag that was sliced open and piled high with chili and mounds of toppings. In keeping with the energy theme of the World’s Fair, the meal was initially called a “Petroleum Belly,” but was later shortened to just “Petro.”

2. The first permanent Petro’s opened in 1985.

Brothers Dale, Keith, and Randy Widmer took the Petro from the World’s Fair and developed a concept around it, opening the first permanent Petro’s on September 13, 1985. The new location was in Knoxville’s West Town Mall. This was also when we introduced our Hint-of-Orange Iced Tea, which has now become a fan favorite.

3. It was the first outside branded food concept in Thompson-Boling Arena and Neyland Stadium.

In the early 2000s, we partnered with the University of Tennessee Athletics and became the first outside branded food concept in both Thompson-Boling Arena and Neyland Stadium. Fans of Tennessee basketball and football can enjoy a famous Petro while they watch a game! 

4. You can purchase some of our products at Food City stores.

If you can’t make it out to a Petro’s location, don’t worry! You can purchase some of our products at Food City stores. Our signature chili is available, as well as our famous Hint-of-Orange Iced Tea!

5. Our chili is made with chicken.

Did you know that our signature chili is made with chicken? We also offer a vegetarian chili that’s made with soy. Our Original Petro comes with Fritos, chili and toppings, or you can get it with pasta instead of corn chips! We also offer a Lite version, which is low-fat ground chili and low-fat toppings.

6. We offer a catering experience.

You can enjoy Petro’s at your big event! We offer a unique catering experience in the Knoxville and Tri-Cities areas. There will be a professionally set up buffet that has a variety of ingredients you can use to make your own Petro’s, such as Frito’s corn chips, our signature chili, cheeses, tomatoes, sour cream, green onions, black olives, jalapenos, and hot and mild sauces. You can choose from a suggested buffet option, or you can create your own custom order!

7. You can earn rewards with our Petro’s Loyalty Program.

Customers love our Petro’s Loyalty Program! All you have to do is give the cashier your phone number to sign up at one of our participating locations, and you’re all set! For every purchase you make, you’ll earn points. Every 50 points you earn is worth a $5 reward!

8. You can buy our tumbler for $10.99 and get 99 cent refills.

Everyone loves our Hint-of-Orange Iced Tea. It’s been voted the Best Sweet Tea in Knoxville for multiple years! How would you like to get refills of it for only 99 cents? When you buy one of our Petro’s stainless steel tumblers for $10.99, you can enjoy 99 cent refills. Our steel tumbler is stylish, reusable, and refillable! Any of our previous mugs or tumblers are also eligible for 99 cent refills. Even the very vintage ones!
Now that you know more about us, it’s time to enjoy our delicious Petro. Find the Petro’s location nearest to you and visit us today!