Ben’s Chili Bowl is a Washington DC landmark, home to our world-famous chili, mouth-watering half-smokes, and milkshakes. We’ve been an integral part of the neighborhood’s history since its founding in 1958.
In 2004, the James Beard Foundation named Ben’s one of the “down-home eateries that have carved out a special place on the American culinary landscape”.
Michael Stern, a writer specializing in U.S. regional foods, penned a 2008 review raving “The half-smoke is sensational!” and “Ben’s serves one of the best sweet potato pies anywhere”, and describing the chili as “sensational stuff: thick, peppery, full-flavored and positively addictive”.
In January 2009, food magazine Bon Appétit named Ben’s one of the country’s ten “Best Chili Spots”, asserting, “No reasonable discussion of great chili joints can take place without mention of this U Street institution.”
In a 2016 Washington Post restaurant review, Ben’s received one star and the food was described as “awful.”