Fodor's Expert Review Ben's Chili Bowl

$ U Street Corridor American Fodor's Choice

A U Street fixture for decades, Ben's serves chili—on hot dogs, on Polish-style sausages, on burgers, and on its own—to Washingtonians and visitors alike. The shiny, red-vinyl stools give the impression that little has changed since the 1950s (the original location still doesn't accept credit cards), but don't be fooled: this favorite of former President Barack Obama has rocketed into the 21st century with an iPhone app, an upscale Southern cuisine restaurant next door, and menu additions like turkey burgers and meatless chili that nod to modern times. Add cheese fries and a milk shake to your order if you dare. Southern-style breakfast is served from 6 to 10:45 on weekdays and from 7 to 10:45 on Saturday. Ben's has added spots on H Street NE and in Arlington and at Reagan Airport, too.

American Historical Casual Breakfast Lunch Dinner $ Family Fodor's Choice

Quick Facts

1213 U St. NW
Washington, District of Columbia  20009, USA


Known For:
  • Legendary half-smoke chili bowls
  • Southern-style breakfast
  • Cheese fries and milk shakes

What’s Nearby