Ben's Chili Bowl

Ben's Chili Bowl

1213 U St NW (at 12th St. NW), Washington, D.C. 20009, United States
Open until Midnight (Show more)
  • Mon–Thu
    • 6:00 AM–2:00 AM
  • Fri
    • 6:00 AM–4:00 AM
  • Sat
    • 7:00 AM–4:00 AM
  • Sun
    • 11:00 AM–Midnight
$ $ $ $
Brunch, Lunch
Credit Cards:
Yes (incl. American Express & MasterCard)
Outdoor Seating:

Based on 703 votes

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320 tips. Filter by taste:

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  • chili
  • obama
  • bill cosby
  • good for a late night
  • veggie chili
  • halfsmoke
  • burgers
  • milkshakes
  • breakfast food
  • landmarks
  • great value
  • good for a quick meal
  • spicy food
  • smoked sausages
  • casual
  • family-friendly
  • sweet tea
  • cake
  • French toast
  • jukebox
  • Travel Channel

    The half-smoke is a half-pork, half-beef sausage native to DC, generously covered with Ben's chili. The result – unparalleled deliciousness. – Adam Richman, Man v. Food Read more

    Travel Channel · November 15, 2010
  • Eater

    An iconic Washington establishment, Ben's Chili Bowl is well-suited for late-night half-smoke cravings. [Eater 38 Member] Read more

    Eater · July 28, 2011
  • Jonathan H.

    Head to Ben's Chili Bowl, grab a chili half-smoke

    Jonathan Hensley · March 16, 2009
  • BeBlogalicious

    Bring cash!

    BeBlogalicious · April 16, 2010
  • DC After Five

    They pour grease over the hotdogs. So good!

    DC After Five · November 14, 2010
  • Victor Z.

    The line is optional if you know what you're doing.

    Victor Z · June 2, 2009
  • kimberley s.

    Go to Ben's and get a chili half smoke, fries, and a shake. Yes, it's worth the wait in line! Also, keep an eye out for the list of people who get to eat there for free.

    kimberley shults · March 6, 2009
  • GourmetLive

    Past customers read like the end of an African-American history book: Ellington, Carmichael, Cosby, and now, Obama, who ordered what every guide book would recommend: chili, sweet tea, & cheese fries.

    GourmetLive · October 18, 2010
  • Ernie

    Order a Chili Half Smoke with mustard and onions

    Ernie · March 6, 2009
  • BET

    During the riots, black activists obtained permission to allow Ben's to stay open past curfew. Celebrate Black History by checking out amazing African American contributions:

    BET · January 31, 2013
  • James W.

    Three words: Chili Half Smoke

    James Walker · January 29, 2010
  • Josei ==> @ShoesNFood w.

    Landmark. Happy staff = Happy customer

  • Honey B.

    U can't walk on U St. Without stopping at Ben's Chili Bowl.

    Honey Bear ♛ · January 31, 2013
  • Foodspotting

    Try the Half-smoke with chili and cheese fries

    Foodspotting · November 27, 2010
  • Justin S.

    Get the Chili Half Smoke w/ Mustard & Onions -- even if you don't like mustard, onions or chili. Heck, even if you don't like meat. This is why God made Ben.

    Justin Schuck · February 4, 2011
  • naveen

    a must-hit when in D.C. Cosby, Obama and family eat free; everyone else, cash-only.

    naveen · July 6, 2013
  • Rob B.

    Get the half smoke all the way and an order of chili cheese fries all the way. You'll be good to go for a week! I <3 Ben's

    Rob B · January 31, 2013
  • Amy W.

    Half smoke. No doubt. Make sure you know what you want and don't be in the way.

    Amy Whitelaw · May 23, 2010
  • Jaineen B.

    Try the cakes!!

    Jaineen Brown · April 19, 2010
  • Vincent G.

    Half smoke baby!

    Vincent Gallegos · July 17, 2010
  • Tim B.

    Go to Ben's Chili Bowl and get chili half-smoke.

    Tim Brown · March 12, 2010
  • Joseph K.

    Go to Ben's Chili Bowl and get a Chili Half Smoke. Bring cash, though. Ben's doesn't take cards. Read more

    Joseph Kahn · January 16, 2010

    Get the half smokes, a beef-and-pork sausage that's lightly smoked and served with mustard, onions and, of course, chili. Read more

    USA TODAY · August 5, 2013
  • FiOS 50

    The line winds out the door at Ben's Chili Bowl at what seems like all times of day. Try the chili half smoke - Ben's signature dish and a favorite of Bil Cosby's!

    FiOS 50 · November 23, 2011
  • Belle B.

    Get a chili half-smoke!

    Belle Basnight · August 17, 2011
  • Nahom S.

    Half smoke is where its AT!!

    Nahom SGC Productionz · April 8, 2010
  • Travel + Leisure

    A 60-plus-year-old institution known for its no-frills grub. Our favorite: the Chili Half Smoke, a pork-and-beef smoked sausage on a steamed bun with mustard, onions, and Ben’s signature chili sauce.

    Travel + Leisure · January 4, 2013
  • Keith M.

    One of the best "greasy spoon" comfort food restaurants in the nation.

    Keith Malkin · October 25, 2011
  • Curb

    Eat a half smoke after bars close. Then skip the all-out melee for a cab by booking with Taxi Magic. Schedule pickup around the corner (13th & V, maybe) and outsmart the crowds.

    Curb · August 12, 2011
  • Jura K.

    Half smokes, fries, people watching

    Jura Koncius · February 23, 2010
  • Christy P.

    Bring Cash!

    Christy Poppy · March 12, 2010
  • Michelin Travel & Lifestyle

    Sloppy chili dogs, thick milkshakes & chili cheese fries are universal pleasers at the inexpensive Ben's Chili Bowl. Or try comedian Bill Cosby's favorite, the chili half-smoke. -- Green Guide Editor

    Michelin Travel & Lifestyle · August 12, 2012
  • Greg R.

    if you need a tip you're in the wrong place - late night, get a chili dog, chili half-smoke and chili cheese fries...heaven

    Greg R · August 16, 2011
  • Ghostly International

    This place is incredibly famous and deserves it's fame. The chili here is, of course, delicious and it's run by a family, so the atmosphere is fun and relaxed. Chili fries are the best.

    Ghostly International · July 14, 2011
  • michelle z.

    Saw it on man vs food. Dinner!

    michelle zambrana · April 23, 2010
  • Khang N.

    Get there early. Line is long!

    Khang Nguyen · April 10, 2010
  • Dan M.

    Get the chili half smoke. Bring cash. Look for the president Read more

    Dan Michaels · March 22, 2010
  • Alex N.

    A little pricey but, still, nothing can beat a split chili half-smoke with mustard and onions.

    Alex Nguyen · March 5, 2010
  • Andy W.

    Highly overrated. Avoid.

    Andy White · February 15, 2010
  • Lisa

    No wrong options here. Don't be shy...have the chili half-smoke (spicy hot dog they R famous 4) with everything. Get a med-drink for free-refills. All fresh, made to order. Will ship nationwide

    Lisa · August 26, 2013

    Located on U Street and open until 4:00 AM on the weekends, Ben’s consistently has lines out the door until early morning hours. Their chili cheese fries and dogs hit the spot late night. Read more · January 3, 2013
  • National Car Rental

    Open late and located in the popular U Street area, this 54-year-old landmark is just minutes away from the National Mall by car or metro. Try the chili grilled cheese!

    National Car Rental · October 7, 2012
  • CBS Local

    No trip to DC is complete without a stop at Ben's. Try their chili over fries, with cheese. Just trust us. - CBS DC Read more

    CBS Local · February 17, 2012
  • Andrew S.

    Skip the line and sit at the counter - much faster service.

    Andrew Schantz · January 4, 2012
  • Justin T.

    Go there late at night and get a chili half smoke, chili cheese fies & some fruit punch. You won't be disappointed.

    Justin Thorp · October 2, 2011
  • Thomas

    best (if not only) place to grab a bite after partying it up on U St. after hours!

    Thomas · March 10, 2011
  • arish

    if ur a veggie, have the veggie chili cheese fries

    arish · February 11, 2011
  • 25 M.

    You have to get the chili fries w/cheese

    25 Magazine · July 28, 2010
  • Hugo S.

    Go here for some BEAST ass hotdogs

    Hugo Salvatierra · April 15, 2010
  • Eli M.

    Bypass the line and grab a seat in the back. They table service is solid and you get to enjoy you food in a leisurely manner.

    Eli M. · March 14, 2010

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