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Ben's Chili Bowl

1213 U St Nw, Washington, DC 20009

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4.0 out of 5
43 member's reviews
3,662 people visited Ben's Chili Bowl
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Tribes: Who likes this place?

Who Likes This Place?

What the scores mean:
These scores tell you how well-liked a place is in each Tribe. Gogobot Tribes are groups who share a certain travel style, like Family Travelers or History Buffs.

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  • 98%
    Foodies
  • 86%
    Local Culture
  • 85%
    Budget Travelers
  • 73%
    History Buffs
  • 68%
    Trendsters
  • 60%
    Backpackers
  • 60%
    Family Travelers
  • 55%
    Business Travelers
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Member Reviews (43)

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  • Ben's Chili Bowl
    Ishmeet Grewal
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 4
    • Local Culture
    • Outdoor Enthusiasts
    • Budget Travelers
    • Foodies
    • Students
    • Backpackers
    • Adventure Travelers
    4 Apr 23, 2014

    This is the place to be when something big is going down in D.C. I've been told that Presidents have eaten here, and my cousin was present when said President was enjoying the delicious foods this place has to offer. Cheap too!

    Recommended for:Budget TravelersFoodiesLocal Culture
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  • Ben's Chili Bowl
    Charlotte P
    5 Mar 25, 2014

    "Ben's Chili Bowl is a landmark restaurant in Washington, D.C., located at 1213 U Street, next to Lincoln Theatre, in the Shaw neighborhood of northwest D.C. It is known locally for its chili dogs, half-smokes, and milkshakes, and has been an integral part of the neighborhood's history since its founding in 1958. It was frequented by both police and protesters during the 1968 Washington, D.C. riots, and is almost always visited by celebrities visiting the city, such as Bill Cosby, Chris Tucker, George Clooney, Piers Morgan, Beyonce, Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Matt Damon, Seth Rogan, Will Ferrell, Leonardo DiCaprio and almost every member of the Washington Redskins (!) among many others. The current President has been spotted there twice :)

    Recommended for:Budget TravelersBusiness TravelersFamily TravelersLocal Culture
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  • Ben's Chili BowlPro 2014
    Jason Planck
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 3
    • Local Culture
    • Outdoor Enthusiasts
    • Budget Travelers
    • Foodies
    • History Buffs
    • Adventure Travelers
    5 Feb 20, 2014

    This a hidden gem in the heart of Washington DC. It even opens up a 6 morning so I had to have a Chile dog. There is disability parking along side of the building. This part of the historical trail of the U street corridor.

    Recommended for:Budget TravelersFoodiesHistory BuffsLocal Culture
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  • Ben's Chili Bowl
    Charles Rollins
    2 Feb 13, 2014

    The experience is awesome and the food smell is enticing after a night out along U street; however, the half smokes are average and the chili is not all that great.

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  • Ben's Chili BowlCommunity ManagerPro 2014
    Alix F
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Budget Travelers
    Vegetarian
    + 2
    • Local Culture
    • Budget Travelers
    • Vegetarian
    • History Buffs
    • Art & Design Lovers
    4 Jan 21, 2014

    I'm so glad I visited this place before I became a vegetarian. The food is exactly what it is supposed to be - perfectly delicious and filling after a few drinks at 1 a.m., or as a casual weekend lunch. Be prepared for long waits on weekend nights, and to eat outside standing up when the booths (oh, what history those booths have seen!) fill up. This is a DC must-visit.

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  • Ben's Chili BowlPro 2014
    Jelena Budjevac
    5 Jan 21, 2014

    Tourist stops are touristy for a reason usually. This U Street corridor stop is a DC icon. Serving up half smokes with chili, onions and cheese sauce or fries laden with the same, shakes and sodas through the race riots to the Obama administration. Only two people eat for free: Cosby and Obama so bring cash. Because they don't accept credit. Queue up, place your order, and prepare to roll your sleeves up.

    Recommended for:History BuffsLocal CultureStudentsFamily Travelers
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  • Ben's Chili BowlPro 2014
    Travis Katz
    Member of
    Family Travelers
    Foodies
    Adventure Travelers
    + 1
    • Family Travelers
    • Foodies
    • Adventure Travelers
    • Trendsters
    4 Oct 24, 2013

    This is a famous spot in DC for Chili, Chili dogs, and Chili Cheese Fries. Its located on U Street, an area that was the center of black culture in DC for a time, that later became overridden with crime and has since seen a renaissance of sorts. Yum

    Recommended for:Budget TravelersFoodiesLocal CultureTrendsters
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  • Ben's Chili Bowl
    Yulree Chun "@GogobotLA"
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Budget Travelers
    + 12
    • Local Culture
    • Outdoor Enthusiasts
    • Budget Travelers
    • Business Travelers
    • Foodies
    • Wellness
    • Vegetarian
    • Green Travelers
    • Backpackers
    • History Buffs
    • Adventure Travelers
    • Nightlife Lovers
    • Spiritual Seekers
    • Trendsters
    • Art & Design Lovers
    5 Oct 21, 2013

    A MUST for anyone traveling to D.C. Yes, it's touristy, but it's also not. It's a favorite for the locals. And the food's got soul.

    Recommended for:FoodiesHistory BuffsLocal Culture
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  • Ben's Chili BowlPro 2014
    Kevin Chen
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
    Business Travelers
    + 3
    • Local Culture
    • Outdoor Enthusiasts
    • Business Travelers
    • Foodies
    • Wellness
    • Luxury Travelers
    5 Sep 13, 2013

    I was looking forward to coming to this place for a long time, and they did not disappoint! A week before visiting DC, I was able to chat w/ the owner (Sage). Extremely friendly and customer oriented and offered a few places to go during my visit. On my last night in DC, finally got a chance to drop by and it is such a convenient location (right across U Street Metro Station).

    Best chili cheese fries EVER! Chili and that awesome fake yellow cheese was just oozing and pouring out of the basket. Definitely a heart attack worthy plate! After leaving, I was a bit sad I couldn't bring some home with me.

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  • Ben's Chili BowlCommunity ManagerPro 2014
    Keane
    Member of
    Local Culture
    Foodies
    Backpackers
    + 4
    • Local Culture
    • Foodies
    • Backpackers
    • History Buffs
    • Nightlife Lovers
    • Trendsters
    • Art & Design Lovers
    5 Aug 10, 2013

    There are few moments in life when we're fortunate enough to pass upon food so glorious as to make the "List."

    You know the "List."

    You HAVE a "List."

    The List itemizes all the foods you crave daily. These are things you would travel miles for, and, if it came down to it, even kill for.

    Here is my List:

    1.) BBQ Beef and Chicken Plate, Yummy Korean BBQ, Honolulu
    2.) California Burrito, Santana's Mexican Grill, San Diego
    3.) Pizza, Ray's Pizza, New York City
    4.) Kashi GoLean Crunch, It's a cereal, Anywhere

    and the newest item to grace my List:

    5.) Turkey Burger, Ben's Chili Bowl, Washington DC

    This was honestly the best turkey burger I've ever had. Ever. The bread was delicately toasty, grilled on burger-end and lightly crisp on the surface. The cheese was slightly melted, and the vegetable-to-meat ratio was perfect. But the burger patty... I don't know where they got that turkey from, or if it's accurate that the item be listed under "healthy options," but it was moist and flavorful and oh, so divine. (My mouth is watering already.)

    Bill Cosby is known to frequent the place, and there's a half-smoke chili dog he made famous. It's alright, but not as spectacular as the turkey burger. Anyway, I wouldn't order it just because he said so. He says the darndest things...

    Recommended for:BackpackersBudget TravelersFoodiesTrendsters
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