Ben’s Chili Bowl is a legend in D.C. It’s located on U street, a huge nightlife area and has long lines at pretty much all times of the day and night. Everyone says to go there drunk, but I’m pretty sure this place tastes delicious sober as well. Unfortunately I can’t speak to this but I’m sure President Obama can.
Ben’s Chili Bowl is crowded, loud, and sassy. The party basically continues inside, the music is amazing (the whole place literally broke down into a sing-a-long to “I Believe I Can Fly,” from Southern frat boys to dancing Mamas), and the food is delicious. You don’t go for the service, you don’t even go for the food, you go for the experience.
I had the Chili Cheese Fries but also sampled the regular Chili. The cheese fries were delicious, my advice though is to go for the traditional chili in a bowl. Though the chili on the fries is similar, it’s a little less meaty/bean filled than the original. Additionally, if you want to skip lines, get a seat at the counter, stay for the party.