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“Over rated! Disappointed.”
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, Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, 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 June 21, 2017

Contrary to what everyone says the food was so average, hot dogs, chili, fries...I personally thought it was salty. The service was horrible. We came as a group right after a concert nearby and it wasn't that late. 10pm, we were thinking that it would a nice and quick bite.

Date of visit: September 2016
    • Value
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Thank Custer2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nizam A, Owner at Ben's Chili Bowl, responded to this reviewResponded June 29, 2017

We always try provide great and fast customer service to everyone who comes through our door so it is disappointing to hear of the service you received. We can assure you we will continue to train our employees to provide fast and excellent service. We understand that we will not be able to satisfy everyone’s taste either, but thank you for taking the time to leave a review. We do hope you will decide to visit us again in the future!
Our Warmest Regards,
The Ali Family

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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257 - 261 of 2,107 reviews

Reviewed June 16, 2017

Ben's Chili Bowl is excellent. Very good food, great atmosphere. The Half-Smokes are awesome! This is a must stop every time we are in the area.

Date of visit: May 2017
    • Value
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1  Thank licorice2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nizam A, Owner at Ben's Chili Bowl, responded to this reviewResponded June 19, 2017

Thank you so much for the great review and recommendation! It is so amazing to hear you enjoy everything Ben's Chili Bowl has to offer- from the food to the atmosphere! We can't wait for you to be back in the D.C. area again!
Our Warmest Regards,
The Ben's Family

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2017 via mobile

Most cities, neighborhoods have a joint "famous" for something. Harry's Famous Rute 66 Burgers, Tammy Ann's Famous Hot Wings etc. etc. etc.

And when you try their "Famous" something you get a little disappointed every time right?

This place is exactly like that.

The "famous" chili ain't bad but just as good a gazillion other places that doesn't claim to be "famous" and the "homemade" coleslaw is everything but made in that kitchen.

Your money will be better spend elsewhere.

Date of visit: June 2017
1  Thank marloth2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nizam A, Owner at Ben's Chili Bowl, responded to this reviewResponded June 28, 2017

Dear Morten,
We are disappointed to hear that our food didn’t suit your taste. We can guarantee that everything we serve is made in-house and has been the same recipe since we have opened. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review and feedback. We hope that you will decide to visit again in the future and change your mind!
Our Warmest Regards,
The Ali Family

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2017

Ben's Chili Bowl is one of those traditional places - as no frills as you can get, but the reputation of the half-smoked sausages which become their signature chili dogs. It's a part of DC history, and besides locals and tourists, there is no doubt a majority of those walking the halls of the Capitol, federal offices and the White House have been here.

Date of visit: June 2017
    • Value
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2  Thank jglsongs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nizam A, Owner at Ben's Chili Bowl, responded to this reviewResponded June 16, 2017

Thank you for this amazing review! We love and appreciate the awesome description you gave Ben's Chili Bowl as we are definitely known for our half-smokes! We hope to see you in the future!
Our Warmest Regards,
The Ben's Family

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Reviewed June 10, 2017 via mobile

Ben's is a great place to eat. I had a half smoke with chili, onions and mustard. Lots of celebrities have eaten at Ben's Chili Bowl. The chili has great flavor, and the half smoke has the right amount of spice and snap for a sausage. The fries were good and crisp. If you like coney dogs you have to try Ben's Chili Bowl if you are in Washington D.C..

Date of visit: June 2017
2  Thank 353rudyk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nizam A, Owner at Ben's Chili Bowl, responded to this reviewResponded June 16, 2017

Dear Rudy,
It is so great to hear you enjoyed the classic combo of our Chili Half-Smoke and fries! Thank you for the wonderful review and comparison to a coney dog. We cannot wait for your next visit to Ben's Chili Bowl.
Our Warmest Regards,
The Ben's Family

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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