Ben's Chili Bowl
D.C. may be an expense account kind of town, but where do you eat if you're seeing the sights and don't want to spend a bundle?
President Barack Obama likes to stop at this popular U Street dive. Since it opened in 1958, Ben's Chili Bowl has seen its share of history but has managed to remain much the same. Customers still sit on 1950s red barstools and belly up to the Formica counter.
The jewel on the simple menu is Ben's Original Chili Half-Smoke. A cousin to the hot dog, the plump, slightly spicy smoked sausage is grilled and then cradled in a steamed bun and topped with mustard, onions, and homemade chili sauce. It's messy but delicious and truly worth the trip.