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“Simply had to!”
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: US$0 - US$7
Cuisines: American
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, 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 30 April 2017

Being an avid foodie and in particular being a Man vs Food fan, hosted by Adam Richman, I simply couldn't have lived with myself if I visited DC without going to this place. The food, atmosphere and decor was glorious!

Date of visit: February 2017
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Thank TashanC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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274 - 278 of 2,107 reviews

Reviewed 27 April 2017

You don't go for the decor or the gourmet cuisine. You go to experience a local D.C. establishment that survived the 1968 riots following the assassination of MLK. It's owned by a local family -- the matriarch still greets guests with warmth and charm -- and the staff does its best to make every customer feel like their part of the family, too. I had a friend who ordered a turkey sandwich, which is definitely not the way to go. Order a dog or a brat smothered in chili or the cheese fries or both, especially if you plan a walking tour of the city. You won't get hungry again for a week.

Date of visit: November 2016
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Thank 865rita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2017

Old school top rated smoked and half smoked hotdogs like you never tasted them before. All American dining style entourage - joyful upbeat service. Great fries. No alcoholic beverages. Great collection of photo's of famous customers on the 'wall of fame'. Presidents Obama is the only one that eats here for free :-)

Date of visit: March 2017
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Thank Gerrit D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2017 via mobile

I think this place is famous for being famous and not for great food. I do like chili cheese dogs and sausage. The half smoke and fries were nothing special. The employees were more interested in talking to each other than helping you.

Date of visit: April 2017
Thank Traveler76AZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2017

You haven't truly visited Washington, DC, until you've grabbed a bite to eat from this long-time neighborhood establishment. It's a well-known fixture that has served presidents and celebrities alike.

Date of visit: July 2016
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Thank Grey-haire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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