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Ben's Chili Bowl

1213 U St NW, Washington DC, DC 20009-4442 (U Street Corridor)
202-667-0909
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Ranked #251 of 2,626 restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $0 - $7
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Takeout, Late Night, Dessert
Neighborhood: U Street Corridor
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1,021 reviews from our community

69% Recommend
    363
    345
    199
    73
    41
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014 NEW

This place does a HECK of a business! There is a line, but it moves fairly quickly. It's cash-only, but they have an ATM inside...except on my visit it was out of order. Thankfully, there's a bank across the street. The food is good, not great. I guess living in Texas, I'm spoiled with REALLY good Chili, but I enjoyed... More

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Midland City, United States
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014 NEW

Well, all I talked about for four days during our trip to DC before we made the trip up to U Street was Ben's Chilly Bowl. I really wanted to eat at Ben's real bad. So after four days during our trip we went to Ben's. There was a long line & the atmosphere was loud( I could barely hear... More

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Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014 NEW

I was afraid that because this was a tourist trap, the food wouldn't be that good, but it really was. The staff was also very friendly too. I definitely intend to go back one day.

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Penang Island, Malaysia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014 NEW

I am from London, England and have never tried such cuisine. Bens chili bowl was a welcome surprise after seeing it in a magazine and we all agreed to give it a go. My two friends and I all enjoyed the food so much, we went back a second time within 4 days. Polite attentive staff in a family run... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2014 NEW

we loved bens chill bowl sooooo much we ended up going twice!!! first time i had the cheeseburger and the second time, after a recommendation from my friend to have the half smoked hot dog!! wow amazing flavour and taste. the restaurant is always busy, (so you know its good). it has a really good vibe!! and you will love... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Baltimore, Maryland
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2014

I went to Ben's Chili Bowl after listening to my CMO talk about it for 3 days straight. A note before I mention the food. We were in a rush to get back to the airport. We ordered knowing we only had about 25 minutes to get our food, eat, and leave. We were able to do that. The booths... More

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London, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

Bland, oversalted food. Maybe we made a mistake in choosing the chili bowl but presumed this would be the best when it tasted of very little. Not expensive, but definitely not worth it.

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

Most people from DC come to this place after a sporting event, or concert. The food is rather salty so keep this in mind if you have specific dietary issues.You can find some dishes that have turkey as protiens as well. They only take cash so plan accordingly. I love the half smoke, chili fries, and beef hot dog. The... More

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Madrid, Spain
Top Contributor
104 reviews 104 reviews
74 restaurant reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2014

We followed in the footsteps of President Obama, an uncomfortable-looking Sarkozy and smiling Carla Bruni whose photos adorn the wall, together with the rich and famous....We were here to test Ben's Classic Chili Dog with mustard, onions, Ben's spicy homemade chili sauce and French fries. Ben's Chili Bowl opened 56 years ago and has survived difficult times and major upheavals... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Top Contributor
139 reviews 139 reviews
104 restaurant reviews
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

Not a fan of chili but I thought hey why not try it since the French Prime Minister Sarkozy said it was great. He was right. The half smoke lives up to the hype. A must stop. Rice bowl with chili also was great.

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