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“Don't have to be a president to eat here... but you might see one!!”
Review of Ben's Chili Bowl

Ben's Chili Bowl
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Ranked #18 of 346 Quick Bites in Washington DC
Price range: $0 - $7
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Breakfast, Takeout
Description: Ben's Chili Bowl is a black-owned American restaurant located in Washington, DC. Ben's Chili Bowl is a famous DC hot spot for American classics like half-smoked sausage, banana pudding, chili dogs, and even vegan chili. In part to our deeply rooted history, we've become a popular stop during tourist visits to the National Museum of African American History & Culture. We attract locals, tourists, and celebrities such as Barack Obama, Anthony Bourdain, and more. Stop by Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street for your favorite American classics, or book us for catering in the Washington, DC area.
Reviewed August 22, 2016

A TRUE DC institution. BCB was the only place allowed to stay open after curfew during the 60's riots. Great anytime, expect to wait and truly amazing after a night on U Street NW. Hope you make it soon!!

Date of visit: September 2015
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Leland524
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 19, 2016 via mobile

I've wanted to try Ben's Chili Bowl for years,probably even before Obama ate there, but something has always kept me away.

While the food isn't bad, the experience is more about being there than experiencing a culinary delight.

I had the famous half smoke. It's like a chili dog with a sausage instead of a wiener.

The chili is tasty, but more of an emulsion with a bit of meat in it as opposed to really meaty chili. It does have a tasty flavor, but I like mine meatier.

Everything seems to come with Ruffles-like potato chips, but they also off get fries. I liked the fries quite a bit. Also tried a bite of a chili cheeseburger.

I had no real problem with the food, but it didn't wow me. I did think it was abut expensive... But it was... An experience.

Date of visit: August 2016
Thank EdRockster
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2016 via mobile

Bens chilli bowl exceeding my expectations massively.

As soon as I got to the door there was a que which is always a great sign. No space to sit and people coming in and out got me excited for the hotdog I had waited for so long to eat.

Served by bens daughter in law the service was impeccable, conversation was great, she was very polite and suggested what to eat and how to have it. I always love it when speciality restaurants do this as it really gives you the true experience. I ordered the pork and beef sausage chilli dog with a side of fries.

It was delicious! The sausage was cooked perfectly and so flavoursome. The chilli and onions worked so well on top I devoured it in minutes. What made it even more special was we were able to meet Bens wife and understand more about the family and company.

The service was amazing
The food was fantastic and the company of bens family we are was priceless. Would change my experience for the world and state that you HAVE TO VISIT if you're in DC.

Date of visit: August 2016
1  Thank pavanpaul01
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2016 via mobile

I've always wanted to hit this place and after hanging out on U street decided to stop in for a late night snack after a night of alcohol consumption. I had 2 Jumbo Turkey Dogs with chili and a side of fries and it was delicious. Of your in the area this is a must hit place.

Date of visit: August 2016
Thank Anthony T
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2016

Ben's is a very small diner with a lot of history. We had the "half smoke" and the chili which were both very good! Excellent service!!

Date of visit: September 2015
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank mikeshappywife
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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