Ben’s Chili Bowl Opening 2nd Location on H St, NE

by Prince Of Petworth April 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm 22 Comments

Big news for fans of Ben’s Chili Bowl.

@HStreetDC_ tweeted the good word last night:

“It’s going to be @benschilibowl! On the first floor at 10th/H. Second floor will have open kitchen with seating/bar.

@Benschilibowl does not intend to serve booze at the downstairs section of the resto at 10th/H, only upstairs.”

10th and H St, NE was the former home to George’s Place Mens Wear.

  • Anyone can find a hot dog. Where will we get our XX Large Sizes of the Latest Fashions, I wonder?

  • Anonymous

    Told you they were trying to make H Street the new U Street….literally.

  • NoLongerNew2CH

    They will fit right — and do gangbusters business — in on H Street, which seems to be (with a few, but not many, exceptions like Granville Moore) all about hip/cool concept and interesting-in-theory places instead of good, you know, cuisine.

    [And while I can understand the appeal of Ben’s on U Street, that appeal is rooted largely in its vibe and history; take Ben’s away from that location, and all you have are expensive, mediocre hot dogs and terrible chili].

    • anon


    • KS

      I agree that they’ll do great business and that their food is mediocre, but I disagree that places with good food are the exception, not the rule, on H. I’ve had great meals at Granville Moore’s, Toki Underground, The Atlas Room, Smith Commons, Ethiopic, Boundary Road, Taylor Gourmet, Philadelphia Water Ice, Shawfel, Big Board, and The Queen Vic. I also loved the tacos from Tacos Impala when they were operating out of the Philadelphia Water Ice space and I have high hopes that the restaurant will be equally as good.

      I think the food at Khan’s and Liberty Tree is good, as well.

      • dave b

        i’ve been a big fan of liberty tree lately. had a pizza with runny egg on it the other day and another one with thinly sliced sweet potatos.

        H St went through it’s faze of gimmicky/hip restaurants: H St CC, Biergarten, Star and Shamrock. Star and Shamrock does make good sandwiches though. Toki is a little too hip, but the food is good.

        Khan’s is fills a very functional niche. Good amount of fast, reasonably-priced food that isnt unhealthy. Oh yeah, and they have giant TVs and a patio. And sometimes really cheap beer. I dont go there much but when I do, I think “I should go here more”.

        • KS

          I am the same way with Liberty Tree as you are with Khan’s. Every time I go I think I need to make it there more often. And I do agree that H Street went through a wave of mediocre restaurants and that many of them are still around, but I think the good places are the rule now and the bad are the exception.

          • Anonymous

            I agree that Ben’s is mediocre at best. I’ve never understood what the fuss was about. As far as H St, I would say that it has some of the best (and definitely buzziest) restauarants in D.C. right now. Although, admittedly, that’s not saying much.

      • NoLongerNew2CH

        To be fair, I have to try some of those places. Of the places I’ve tried, I really loved Granville Moore’s and I also was a fan of Argonaut, but haven’t been there in some time. Smith Commons I thought was gorgeous and had an awesome atmosphere, but I did not like the food at all. Toki Underground, I thought it was pretty good food-wide, but certainly not great (just do not understand the waits), although again, absolutely love the decor / concept, super cool space. Star and Shamrock is flat-out awful, I thought, will never go back. Taylor Gourmet is way, way overrated, solid enough, but I simply never got the hype. I have been wanting to try Queen Vic, Boundary Road, and Ethiopic, but H Street (sort of like U Street), I’ve never really heard referred to as a place you go to for food, but rather more for entertainment / scene / drinks / nightlife. But again, I have to try some of the newer spots.

    • SF

      I offer Atlas Room, Boundary Road, Ethiopic, Queen Vic, Toki Underground, Soukand Liberty Tree as a rebuttal.

      It’s not all H Street CC over here anymore. The number of quality dining establishments has skyrocketed in the last two years.

    • Anonymous

      nice try. as mediocre as the chili is, Ali followers go DEEP. just ask Bill Cosby.

    • frickorfrack


      Their chili gave me the green apple quick step for three days

    • Half-smokes aren’t hot dogs

      • LD

        Perhaps not, but they are prettayyyy, prettayyyy, prettayyyy similar.

  • Just what all the late night vomit on H street needed. Chili.

    • monkeyrotica

      Agreed. H Street needs more upscale vomit to keep away the riffraff.

  • JoeEsq74

    There is space along H Street to accommodate all kinds of retail / restaurants. The name recognition of Ben’s will be good for H Street’s continued development. (Busboys next location H Street? I would say Matchbox but they are already close by)

    So tired / bored today, I have posted more today than I have in a year.

  • I’m happy for the owners (they’ll do well), but this place “jumped the shark” long ago. I’ve got to agree that the food quality at Ben’s is middling at best – if it wasn’t such a magnet for yuppies trying to prove their DC/U Street credentials, it probably would be far less busy than it is.

  • Anonymous

    I’m dumbfounded by these comments – they have much to say about which overpriced-hipster du jour resto-concept-space offers the right food-to-“vibe” ratio, but what about the disappearance of George’s? The shop is anchored in the community and culture of H Street, one whose erasure becomes all the troublesome with the next opening of a bakery-bar-art-space. It’s hard to witness the rapid over-gentrification of H Street and find any sign of it integrating, much less catering to, the community that used to occupy the street. Debates about which food tastes better or whether an organic dry cleaner’s is forthcoming just feel hollow to me.

    • Anonymous

      maybe someone can sprinkle some chicken bones on the street for the rats to choke on so that the old neighborhood character can be preserved. I mean, c’mon, really?!

      • Anonymous

        WOW. I’ll let other readers take in this comment. But really, wow.

        • anonnnnnn

          yeah i agree with anon 11:49 pm. the place was a hell hole before. real talk.


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