We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Ben's Chili Bowl

1213 U St NW, Washington DC, DC 20009-4442 (U Street Corridor)
202-667-0909
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Ranked #280 of 2,649 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
Write a Review

1,055 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    376
    356
    204
    74
    45
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
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2014 NEW

The first place we planned to go in Washington, D.C. was Ben's Chili Bowl. We were not disappointed. Small--the main room/counter seats less than 40 people--Ben's is old-school fast food. The dogs are grilling and the chili is replenished constantly. My Mrs., who does not like hotdogs, LOVED the half-smoked sausage with chili. The dog/sausage comes with chips but the... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Naples, Florida
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2014 NEW

I saw Ben's Chili Bowl on TV and made a note about it. We went here twice. First we went and had the Bob Cosby special and it was fun place and crowded. Our grand daughter heard we went and we had to go back. Fun and we met Virginia, owner, and everyone there was very friendly. Cash only! Been... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Honolulu, Hawaii
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2014 NEW

A colleague recommended that we go to Ben's because it was the thing to do in DC. I ordered the half smoked and a lemonade. The service was great. Unfortunately, my chips tasted stale and the half smoked didn't seem that special. My friends ordered the slices of cake. One took a bite and declared it came from a box... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2014

Best time at Ben's Bowl. A) you need not be a snob and understand what your are going for. It's chili and hot dogs, people. B) be patient. They can only work so fast on 8 hour shifts with people there every waking moment.... Good fast food from 1958!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Bucharest, Romania
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2014

You can hit two spots with a visit to Ben's Chili Bowl: see a restaurant with historic values/American fast food authenticity and get a delicious hot dog meal. I tried tried the half smoked chili dog which I understood it's a Washington specialty seasoned with the famous Ben's Chili sauce and some fries dripping with melted cheese. Not the healthiest... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Montreal, Canada
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2014

So we only had 1 day in DC and read about the famous spot where Bill Cosby eats his chilli. Being a fan of chilli myself, I decided this is where we'd go for lunch. WOW! I loved everything about the place. The chilli was of.course delicious but the spot had a nice ambiance and best of all was the... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Beijing, China
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

I wouldn't know the long history of this hot dog stand used to be if I didn't come. The hot dog, half pork-half beef, was delicious, but too salty and greasy. The staff was quite humorous and friendly. It's indeed a must try.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
New York City, New York
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

Been going to Bens for as long as I can remember. For lunch, snack after the club..never disappointed. Chili cheese fries are the bomb so is the Chili dogs. Cheeseburgers and Half Smokes are awesome. Every time I come back to DC tjis is a must stop.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Brisbane
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2014 via mobile

One of the highlights of DC. Casual, cheap and delicious. We tried a bit of everything on the menu - the chili was sensational and the chili fries were the best. The chili is naturally gluten free! Service was great. A must-do in DC.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
The Burg
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2014

Was curious about the Chili Dogs so after checking into the hotel this was my first stop. Parking is limited but I called our order in. Go inside and Chuck Brown was blaring out the speakers. Line was already forming inside but I didn't have to wait long. Chili Dogs were as advertised and will frequent this establishment whenever I'm... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1

Travelers who viewed Ben's Chili Bowl also viewed

 
Washington DC, DC
 

Been to Ben's Chili Bowl? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Ben's Chili Bowl, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.

Manage your listing