Whenever I’m visiting DC, I make an effort to stop by Ben’s Chili Bowl. Located on U Street, DC’s historically black neighborhood that is undergoing hyper-gentrification, this venerable institution still stands. It survived the 1968 riots in the wake of MLK’s assassination and is looking like it will survive gentrification to remain a staple of the black community and larger DC community. This restaurant continues to play a large role in the community by serving locals, celebrities such as Bill Cosby, and Presidents Obama and Sarkozy of France.
Ben’s has also expanded to open Ben’s Next Door, which is next door, to provide a more formal dining experience. The food is great there too-and they serve their famous half-smokes there too!
Please check out the story of Ben’s here: The History of Ben’s Chili Bowl. When in DC, you owe it to yourself to visit this piece of our nation’s history!