We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
New! Find and book your ideal hotel on TripAdvisor — and get the lowest prices

Ben's Chili Bowl

Certificate of Excellence
U Street Corridor
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
1213 U St NW, Washington DC, DC 20009-4442
+1 202-667-0909
07:00 - 04:00
Open now
All hours
Sun 11:00 - 23:00
Mon - Thu 06:00 - 02:00
Fri 06:00 - 04:00
Sat 07:00 - 04:00
More Info
Add Photo Write a Review

1,698 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 1,549: English reviews
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
170 reviews
129 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

No frills, nothing fancy. Good team behind the counters. Nice welcome, understood the Scottish accent and gave good advice on what we were ordering. We asked for Chili dog with fries and small bowl of chilli with fries. We got a piping hot, good sized portion of really nicely flavoured food. Great lunch

Thank johnw046
Lakeland, Florida
Level Contributor
44 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

While visiting the area for our Family Reunion Bens Chili Bowl was one out stops for lunch. Hot Dogs where good and so were the desserts .

Thank Sun4me1964
Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
58 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

It doesn't get much more iconic than this. If you're in DC, you have to go to Ben's Chili Bowl at least once. Get the chili dog and imagine all the people that have come through this location and enjoyed the same food that you're now enjoying. The chili itself is the highlight of the occasion with the right amount... More 

Thank heWhoIsAlwaysHungry
Memphis, Tennessee
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Once again, Chili Charters has outdone themselves to make our yearly SCUBA vacation purely delightful! Rene and his business partners/parents, Donna and Blondie work so hard to tailor our trip to our group--even helping some of us "old guys and gals" in and out of the water. We love you guys and will be back next year with more friends... More 

Thank memphisdiver2014
Springfield, Virginia
Level Contributor
244 reviews
96 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Some co-workers and I went to Ben's for lunch 1 day, wanting to try it and looking forward to it. I had a half smoke and a chili. The chili was almost like soup and had no flavor. There are too many better places to eat. The hot dog had to be the worst that I've ever had. The meat... More 

1 Thank DaveHom1796
Level Contributor
31 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW via mobile

Ben's chili bowl a classic in town. First time I tried it and liked it. Worth checking it out for a late night snack!

Thank Seb S
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
121 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Get off the "tourist trail" and make your way to this historic place in the African-American community. If you eat here only once order the "original chili half-smoke", a one-quarter pound half-pork and half-beef smoked sausage on a warm steamed bun with mustard, onions and spicy homemade chili sauce. That and some chips will set you back about $6.50. Yes,... More 

Thank Mark H
Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
150 reviews
74 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

short queue outside moved fairly quickly, and once served there were plenty of seats despite a birthday party in the back room. I had the half smoke chilli dog with cheese fries, my wife the chilli bowl. All absolutely excellent. The founder’s wife (we assume) an elderly lady came round to talk to us, making us exceptionally welcome.

Thank Loz97
Level Contributor
120 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I came here because I heard the chili was great. It is great but it is so much more. This is a historic eatery that has survived much and has pictures of anyone famous you can imagine. Everyone from Jimmy Fallon to Bono has been here to eat, along with presidents. Highly recommended for the food too.

Thank TexWorldTraveler
Marquette, Michigan
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I recently flew into DC and decided to try Ben's at the airport rather than make the trek on the metro to U Street. Had the half smoke, fries, and a bottle of Sprite. $13. Frankly, the half smoke was only OK. I realize now that what makes Ben's Chili Bowl is its original location on U Street -- it's... More 

Thank Dave P

Travellers who viewed Ben's Chili Bowl also viewed


Been to Ben's Chili Bowl? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
American, Fast food, Diner
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
Restaurant features
Takeout, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible
Good for
Local cuisine, Kids, Child-friendly, Cheap Eats
Open Hours
11:00 - 23:00
06:00 - 02:00
06:00 - 02:00
06:00 - 02:00
06:00 - 02:00
06:00 - 04:00
07:00 - 04:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 1213 U St NW, Washington DC, DC 20009-4442
  • Location: United States  >  District of Columbia (DC)  >  Washington DC>  > U Street Corridor
  • Neighbourhood: U Street Corridor
  • Phone Number: +1 202-667-0909

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Ben's Chili Bowl and other visitors
2 questions
Ask a question

See all questions (2)

Questions? Get answers from Ben's Chili Bowl staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?