Neighborhood Eats: Ben’s Chili Bowl

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.

-March, 2008 

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.