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“An iconic taste of America !”
Review of Ben's Chili Bowl

Ben's Chili Bowl
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Ranked #19 of 330 Quick Bites in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $7
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Takeout
Description: Virginia Ali is now 86 years old and she started the restaurant with her husband Ben when she was only 24. On August 22, 2019, Ben’s Chili Bowl will turn 61. But it’s not just a birthday for Ben’s, it’s a celebration of DC’s African American history, culture, and character. It’s a celebration of our city, and U Street’s resilience. Presidents, celebrities, neighbors and people from around the world have all enjoyed Ben's signature Half-Smoke, chili cheese fries, burgers and milkshakes.
Reviewed March 28, 2017

This place is a D.C. institution. I've been here twice and both times, I got the same thing: the original Chili half-smoke. Get it just the way they make it - don't deviate. It's amazing! A half-smoke is a certain kind of hot dog that is unique to D.C., I believe. It's got a terrific slightly garlicky, slightly smoked flavor and it snaps when you bite into it. It's the best Chili dog you'll probably ever have. There are a few locations in the D.C. Area, but go to the one on U street. It's the original and it's iconic -- presidents eat there! (Sit in the back room!)!Afterwards, go upstairs to their museum and gift shop.

Date of visit: March 2017
    • Value
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    • Food
Thank Cathrine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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299 - 303 of 2,107 reviews

Reviewed March 26, 2017 via mobile

Finally had a chance to visit Ben Ali's spot. What a great place and DC landmark. The vibe is so cool here and you can tell it's a favorite amongst the locals...
Depending on when you go, lines can be long but it's worth it... food is good, staff is awesome and you can feel the history just being there. I don't know if Mrs. Ali is there all the time... she was there when we visited... beautiful lady

Date of visit: March 2017
Thank Corwin_Hyman_Sr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 23, 2017 via mobile

Absolutely the finest chili-associated dishes available in our capital. The vegetation selection is a nice option - everything served is premier quality.

Date of visit: March 2017
Thank AlexK72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2017

Don't miss out one a fabulous bowl of chili - simple menu, friendly service. Place is small but larger table in the back that will seat larger groups.

Date of visit: March 2017
1  Thank Mawilber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2017

It's a famous neighborhood hang-out that some friends took me to. Apparently it's been visited by lots of celebrities and Obama liked to go there. They have hot dogs, fries, chili (of course) -- fairly ordinary stuff in that genre -- but it's good. Go there if you like that kind of food; the menu is limited.

People who work there are great. Would be nice if you could buy a beer to go with with food.

Date of visit: March 2017
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank WSThompson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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