Ben's Chili Bowl celebrates 65th anniversary with free half smokes

Ben's Chili Bowl, the iconic D.C. restaurant known for its famous chili and half smokes, is celebrating its 65th anniversary with fun and free food.

Ben and Virginia Ali opened their restaurant on U Street on August 22, 1958.

Over the years the restaurant has served locals as well as tourists, celebrities, and even presidents. After Ben’s death in 2009, Virginia and their children carried on.

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Ben's Chili Bowl

Tuesday’s celebration will begin at noon at the Original Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street and will include Go-Go bands, dignitaries, and celebrities.

A free meal (choice of half smoke, beef dog, turkey dog or veggie dog with a bag of chips and a soda or bottled water) will be offered to guests starting at 1:30 p.m. while supplies last. There is a one free meal limit per guest and will only be served in-person at Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street.

U Street, from 12th Street to 13th Street in the northwest, will be closed from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.

More details about the celebration can be found online.