Ben's Chili Bowl
1213 U Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
Neighborhood: U Street/Shaw
Cuisines: Diner, American, Breakfast, Deli/Quick Bites
Open Monday through Thursday 6 AM to 2 AM, Friday 6 AM to 4 AM, Saturday 7 AM to 4 AM, Sunday 11 AM to 11 PM.
Nearby Metro Stops: U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo
Price Range: Inexpensive
Noise Level: Rowdy
Reservations: Not Accepted
Chili hot dogs and half-smokes with mustard and chopped onions; chili burger; fries; two-egg breakfast with bacon and a biscuit; pancakes.
Burgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches, $3.25 to $7.40.
Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald used to hang out at “the Bowl.” A former pool hall with Formica tabletops and the original stools from when it opened 50 years ago, Ben’s is very much a local fixture. Chili-slathered hot dogs with mustard and chopped onion are everything they should be, and half smokes—bigger and spicier than a regular dog—are one of DC’s contributions to the culinary hall of fame. Thick shakes are mighty fine, too.