For five decades, Ben’s Chili Bowl has been a hangout for locals ranging from Duke Ellington to Ella Fitzgerald, Bill Cosby, and now, Barack Obama, whose visit sparked headlines. This former pool hall is famous for its chili-smothered hot dogs, burgers, and cheese fries. Check out what Ben bills as his “crazy hours,” meaning chili is always served up, even at 6 a.m. breakfast. Unchanged since it opened in 1958, Ben’s counter, booths, and stools are all original, and the fresh homemade chili is still made with love, using the same secret recipe. Lunch runs from $3.25 to $7.40.
1213 U St. NW
(202) 667-0909
www.benschilibowl.com