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Reviews (2,130)
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Traveller rating
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309
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All reviews chili dog chili cheese fries turkey burger half smoke u street fast food worth the wait milkshakes institution virginia politicians neighborhood
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Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We loved the food! The half smokes were just delicious! They are half pork half beef sausage dogs with chili, mustard and onions. I had the onions left off. Our boys had junior dogs. Each came with a bag of Ruffles potato chips. I had...lemonade which was delicious. The girl who took our order thought I said 3 half smokes instead of two but I ended up eating the dog and skipping the bun and chili on the 3rd and ate most of the dog. It was spicy but not overly hot. I'd definitely eat there again. There are several locations across DC but this one is the original and I'm glad we ate here!More

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We loved the food (burgers, chili cheese fries) and atmosphere with pictures of customers and employees covering the walls. The employees were very kind with us (obvious tourists that stared at the menu for awhile). Highly recommend!

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed 10 May 2022

After hearing of and reading of "Ben's Half Smokes" over the years we decided to go there on this trip. It was great. Food, atmosphere, etc. Even got to meet Mrs. Ali while there for meal.

Date of visit: May 2022
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Reviewed 8 May 2022 via mobile

It was terribly tiny and small portion. I came here all the time before 2000. But I won't come back. Fries were soggy, no t fresh at all. The table was super dirty, I have to use 2 wipes to wipe down

Date of visit: May 2022
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Reviewed 30 April 2022

Busy but not over-crowded; short waits and the food as it was meant to be. Great vibe, decent seating. Would not want to miss!

Date of visit: April 2022
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Reviewed 20 April 2022

Menu Popular dishes View full menu Half Smoke Half Smoke 222 Photos 1078 Reviews Chili Dog Chili Dog 92 Photos 699 Reviews Hot Dog Hot Dog 25 Photos 680 Reviews Vegetarian Chili Vegetarian Chili 21 Photos 103 Reviews Ben's Original Chili Ben's Original Chili 38...Photos 72 Reviews Veggie Chili Veggie Chili 19 Photos 95 Reviews Smoke Sausage Smoke Sausage 4 Photos 63 Reviews Turkey Burger Turkey Burger 7 Photos 54 Reviews Location & Hours Map 1213 U St NW Washington, DC 20009 N 13th St & N 12th St U Street Corridor Mon 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM Tue 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM Wed 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM Open now Thu 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM Fri 11:00 AM - 2:00 AM (Next day) Sat 11:00 AM - 2:00 AM (Next day) Sun 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM Edit business info Other Burgers Nearby Sponsored Denny’s 110 2.7 miles away from Ben's Chili Bowl Adam J. said"So after reading reviews for this place, I was skeptical. I had actually even postponed coming here. However, it isn't fair to judge something based solely on others opinions so I had to try it. I'm glad I did. When I first pulled…"read more in Burgers Smashburger 31 1.2 miles away from Ben's Chili Bowl Tristan S. said"So I randomly drove by this place this morning on my way to Walgreens and thought to myself that has to be new. So i went during lunch and let me tell you this place slaps!! The burger was far from dry and the the fries had a great…"read more in Sandwiches, Burgers Amenities and More Health Score100 out of 100 Powered by Hazel Analytics Offers Delivery Offers Takeout No Reservations Bike Parking Masks required Help Improve Yelp Does this business provide reusable tableware? About the Business Ben's Chili Bowl is a black-owned American restaurant located in Washington, DC. Ben's Chili Bowl is a famous DC hot spot for American classics like half-smoked sausage, banana pudding, chili dogs, and even vegan chili. In part to our deeply rooted history, we've become a popular stop during tou… COVID-19 updates "To best serve our community during this difficult time, in accordance with the safety directives from our Mayor, Ben's will only be taking orders for delivery or curbside pickup at our U Street location for your convenience. We have always been here to serve our community…" Read more Posted on March 31, 2020 Ask the Community Ask a question Q: What kinds of gluten-free options does this restaurant offer? Are the fries cooked in a separate fryer and safe to eat? A: I'm unsure about the fryer situation. However, I believe all their food items except the standard buns and the Impossible Burgers are gluten-free. On their website, they also say they have gluten-free buns, but I have personally never ordered this. Jessica L. 2 years ago 1 person found this helpful Q: How spicy is the spicy chili half smoke? A: Well spicy can range from person to person. I'm from California and I love spicy salsa, wasabi and raw horseradish. So for me it has a nice spicy flavor but doesn't push the limits. The link has a spicy bite to it and the chili is awesome but not… more Joe P. 2 years ago 4 people found this helpful Recommended Reviews Your trust is our top concern, so businesses can't pay to alter or remove their reviews. Learn more. Search within reviews Search within reviews Yelp Sort English (3908) Mark N. T. Elite 2022 I stayed at a cheap capsule hotel near Ben's Chili Bowl. Before I checked in, I ate the legendary half-smoke. Basically, there was no parking here. The prices were super cheap. I was from Houston. You know everything is big and cheap in Texas. I was so surprised at the prices at Ben's. The order takers were kind and nice. It was very quick service. I got a table. I visited here on Monday, April 4th around 4 pm. The restaurant was empty. I was checking the decors. I really enjoyed the pictures of celebrities around the world. It was worth checking the pictures. The half-smoke is a basically hotdog. I was rethinking the price. I could buy a cheap hotdog for $1 in Houston. I paid $8 here at Ben's. This was the most expensive hotdog in my life. LOL.More

Date of visit: April 2022
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Reviewed 21 February 2022 via mobile

The half smoke chili dog and fries were worth the wait. Best chili dog I have ever had. The restaurant is filled with memorabilia of the restaurant’s history and high profile patrons. We were fortunate enough to be greeted by Mrs. Virginia Ali, co-founder. She...was so pleasant and made sure we were comfortable. I can see why this is a legendary establishment.More

Date of visit: February 2022
Helpful?1  
Reviewed 6 January 2022

Must visit and try the food, and U Street is also a great place to check out! Loved the milkshakes here, and the fries! Great vibes!

Date of visit: June 2021
Helpful?1  
Reviewed 30 December 2021 via mobile

Some tourist attractions rely on marketing and gimmicks to keep their venerable reputation intact. Not Ben’s Chilli Bowl. They are giving you no-frills excellence, served in an iconic bag. Don’t attempt to eat the chilli cheese fries while driving, you might mess up that nice...sweatshirt you got from the Howard bookstore. I will never not stop at Ben’s when I’m in DC. Name a better half smoke. I’ll wait.More

Date of visit: December 2021
Helpful?1  
Reviewed 28 December 2021 via mobile

This chili is truly the best. Mine was vegetarian, so even better. My sons loved their turkey burgers & beef burgers. Their fries were excellent. The staff is lovely. The ambiance old school classic.

Date of visit: December 2021
Helpful?1  
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
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|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
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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Frequently Asked Questions about Ben's Chili Bowl

Yes, Ben's Chili Bowl offers takeaway services.

Ben's Chili Bowl is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travellers:
  • Food: 4
  • Service: 4
  • Value: 4
  • Atmosphere: 4