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Ben's Chili Bowl

Certificate of Excellence
U Street Corridor
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1213 U St NW, Washington DC, DC 20009-4442
6:00 am - 2:00 am
Open now
All hours
Sun 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Mon - Thu 6:00 am - 2:00 am
Fri 6:00 am - 4:00 am
Sat 7:00 am - 4:00 am
More Info
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1,581 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,447: English reviews
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

If you live in DC, you have to go to Ben's Chili Bowl at least once or five times in your life. One of the very few restaurants to survive and stay open during the 1968 riots on U Street, Ben's is open all night and is usually packed around 2 or 3am. I always get a chili cheese burger,... More 

Thank Michael J
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Ben's became one of Barack Obama's early faves after his first inauguration, but it was already a well loved institution in the "U Street Corridor." Don't expect any fancy atmosphere or complicated sauces, just delicious, honest, tummy-pleasing chili, hot dogs and other American traditional lunch fare at reasonable prices. Off the usual sightseeing beat, but worth the detour.

Thank drjbell221b
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

If you're coming here bring your rolaids. You have to get a milkshake, halfsmoke with chili and for the bold, chili cheese fries. Not the best, not the worst, but no trip to DC is complete without a stop here. It's an icon like Lindy's in New York - and like Lindy's the food is nowhere near as good as... More 

Thank Jared J
Chiclayo, Peru
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Food was delicious and the service was good. When we got there for an early dinner, it was crowded but we managed to get a table for 4 in a reasonable time. There are pictures of celebrities that have eaten there before including President Obama

Thank Fely1062
Washington DC, United States
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

If I had to leave DC for a year, my first meal upon returning would be a chili half smoke from Ben's with mustard and onions. That's all you really need to know. Philly may have their cheesesteaks, New York it's own style of pizza. We have Ben's chili half smoke. Not recommended for vegetarians or those with delicate stomachs.... More 

Thank Mike S
Killeen, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Had a pleasant surprise of meeting Mrs Virginia(owner)! Very sweet lady whom came right up to me and spoke so kindly. Her aura will brighten anyone's day! This was on my DC bucket list so we decided to stop in on our last day here. We weren't disappointed. The food was great. I had the chili rice bowl and the... More 

Thank Warnita F
Sammamish, Washington
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Bens chilli bowl was good. But not for the chilli, it was the atmosphere, maybe I had Texas chili and thought it was awesome. Bens is history, Ali was there even on the front of the fast-food section, lots of photos of celebs. Chili was runny, no beans, and a little watery. Maybe I don't get it. Did not do... More 

Thank bbmadw
Level Contributor
373 reviews
116 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

The chili dogs here are fantastic. The service was excellent, and they give you a lot of french fries. There's a gift shop next door.

Thank CaseyJones6325
West Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
154 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Highly recommended from Trip Advisor, I had to give this place a try. Great prices and real tasty food. Eating booths in the front and counter, tables located in the back. Outstanding chili, just the right spice,half- smokes are outstanding. Nice folks too! 5 Stars from California !

1 Thank 1Greg0007
Level Contributor
36 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Ben's was on my DC bucket list, and I am glad we went. I had the half smoke (with chile...of course) and my wife got a burger. Service was friendly and excellent. The manager spent a few minutes with us as well. Went on a Thursday, and had no wait shortly after noon.

Thank Michael D

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 stars
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    4 of 5 stars
Average prices
American, Fast Food, Diner
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Restaurant features
Takeout, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible
Good for
Families with children, Dining on a budget, Local cuisine
Open Hours
11:00 am - 11:00 pm
6:00 am - 2:00 am
6:00 am - 2:00 am
6:00 am - 2:00 am
6:00 am - 2:00 am
6:00 am - 4:00 am
7:00 am - 4:00 am
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 1213 U St NW, Washington DC, DC 20009-4442
  • Location: United States  >  District of Columbia (DC)  >  Washington DC>  > U Street Corridor
  • Neighborhood: U Street Corridor
  • Phone Number: 202-667-0909

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Ben's Chili Bowl and other visitors
2 questions
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Questions? Get answers from Ben's Chili Bowl staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?