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Reviews (2,106)
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Traveller rating
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All reviews chili dog chili cheese fries burger half smoke great chili president obama famous chili an institution fast food worth the wait hole in the wall bens jukebox virginia metro politicians joint
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Reviewed 1 October 2020

We ordered the cheese fries, they were pretty good, the half smokes, which were wonderful and a rice bowl which was very bland, it needed some spice to it. Overall, I would eat there again for the half smokes.

Date of visit: September 2020
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Reviewed 30 September 2020

I orders cheese fries that cost 5.99 and this is what I got. Normally it is covered with nacho cheese but not today. I didn't even eat it. Horrible. If they did not have the nacho cheese sauce they could have told me when I...went to pick it up.More

Date of visit: September 2020
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Reviewed 7 September 2020

Ben's is a DC institution. On this visit I wanted to see how they were adjusting to Covid. Like most restaurants, take-out is your primary option however they do offer outdoor seating.

Date of visit: September 2020
Helpful?2  
Reviewed 25 June 2020 via mobile

Stopped by Ben’s Chili Bowl during a quick stop in DC. Sadly we didn’t get the full experience of sitting down in this iconic DC spot due to the Covid 19 changes. Take out only. The food was ok, the half smoke with chili was...good as were the chili cheese fries. The only issue with the cheese fries is they were put in the take out bag upside down which caused a mess. As for the chili, it was good, but overpriced for the portion. The best part of the experience was visiting a landmark. Would’ve loved to sit down to enjoy a meal. Maybe next time.More

Date of visit: June 2020
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Reviewed 3 April 2020 via mobile

You can’t go to DC without going to Ben’s Chili Bowl. I did have to make a huge line but once I ordered everything else was quick. The staff was very nice and the owners run a tight ship. I personally enjoyed the chili more...with something versus on its own. Ex. Chili fries and the chili hotdogMore

Date of visit: November 2019
Helpful?6  
Reviewed 28 February 2020 via mobile

I heard some hype about this old school diner that I needed to check out. I went for lunch and the place was packed but service was still good. I chose the classic meal which was a half smoked chili dawg with fries and a...shake. The food was pretty good but what really made it was the environment. They have a jukebox that was blasting old jams like Chuck Berry and Sade and had the whole place dancing and laughing, genuinely enjoying themselves. Really happy I heard the buzz about this place and had a chance to check it out.More

Date of visit: February 2020
Helpful?2  
Reviewed 28 February 2020

Great Chili Dog! Love the history of Ben's Chili Bowl and the Prince mural on the side! Ben's is a charming historic restaurant, probably the most famous in Washington DC. Now is this going to be the best meal of your life? No. Keep your...expectations in check. It's good old fashioned comfort food, recipes unchanged from the 1960's. The chili dog (half-smoke) is very good, I could have easily eaten a second one. For those that don't know, half-smokes originated in DC, they are basically just a quality smoked brat (mix of pork and beef). They cover the brat with onions, mustard, chili, and cheese if you want. It's basically just a chili dog on top of a smoked brat. This would be very easy to replicate at home if you tried. Quite a few celebrities have eaten here over the years. Anthony Bourdain, President Obama, Chris Rock, and others (unfortunately Bill Crosby). I've heard their bowl of chili is also good, obviously, a place called Ben's chili bowl should have a pretty solid bowl of chili. The food is all a little expensive for what you get, but whatever. They have a few locations scattered around DC. Even a location in the Airport if you run out of time on your visit. But I would recommend going to the original location, it has a ton of charm and local history. Located a short uber ride from the National Mall.More

Date of visit: February 2020
Helpful?2  
Reviewed 12 February 2020

Love the chili, love the history of this place. Although prices have gone up a lot over the years....

Date of visit: February 2020
Helpful?2  
Reviewed 2 February 2020

I. LOVE. BEN'S. If I lived in D.C., I would eat every meal at Ben's. It has a hole-in-the-wall feel with memorabilia of its famous diners, including presidents. I had a chili bowl with cheese and sour cream. Sweet tea was on the menu, and...being from the South, I am accustomed to Southern sweet tea, so I asked about it before ordering. It was the best sweet tea I've had of any restaurant! I picked a great time of day to go because the owner/founder was there. She was a doll! She spoke to me about the history of the restaurant and her past as well. It was a great experience!More

Date of visit: January 2020
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Reviewed 29 January 2020

We got here right as they opened the doors...No line, great seats and pretty quick service. Very friendly. Take time for a short tour of the diner and enjoy their history through pictures on the walls. Gift shop is upstairs and seemed kinda a hassle...to get to. Our food (half smokes and shakes) was great! Highly recommend!More

Date of visit: January 2020
Helpful?2  
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Questions & Answers
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12razirivi
1 January 2021|
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Response from L4775EOsueh | Reviewed this property |
Not that I know of
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P6952LOjoeyc
29 January 2020|
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Response from WizardofAz60 | Reviewed this property |
Yes there are beans in the chili.
1
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Alecia W
27 August 2018|
AnswerShow all 7 answers
Response from Betty P | Reviewed this property |
Looks like you already have an answer but the half smokes with chili is the main reason to go. The best ever! There is a Bens 2 right next door that serves really great margaritas but you miss the atmosphere of the original... More
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