By Edith Leung
Nothing says “America” like a hot dog, and that’s more true at Ben’s Chili Bowl than anywhere else. The Washington establishment, which has 54 years of history, is as famous for its American politics and celebrities as it is for its hot dogs.
The restaurant, at 1213 U Street, is well-known for its chili dogs, half-smokes and milkshakes. It has been an integral part of the neighborhood since its founding in 1958. The restaurant is in a historically African-American neighborhood, a stone’s throw away from Howard University. Inside, the walls are covered with photos of celebrities including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and comedian Bill Cosby (who took his future wife to Ben’s when they were dating).
President Obama has also visited the restaurant, which is known to attract Obama supporters.
So how did this eatery become such a popular hangout for political buffs?