There is nothing like a warm bowl of chili to warm you up on those chilly D.C. winter nights. Read below to find out where you can find some of the best bowls of chili in and around the District.
Hours: Mon-Thu 6–2 a.m.; Fri 6–4 a.m.; Sat 7–4 a.m.; Sun 11 a.m.–11 p.m.
The ultimate bowl of chili can be found at D.C.’s favorite U street neighborhood joint. Loved by all, Ben’s Chili Bowl is always crowded, and for good reason. Featuring a number of different kinds of chili, the most exciting part is that you can get your chili with cheese, onions, on a bun or even on fries. What can be better than a basket of crispy, golden fries covered with a heaping of warm, hearty chili and smothered with melted nacho cheese?
The BBQ Bus
Location changes daily, see website for current location
One of the best bowls of chili in D.C. comes right off of a truck. An earthy blend of black beans, kidney beans, white beans, corn, onions, peppers, chilies and tomatoes results in a nourishing and satisfying bowl of chili, with just the right amount of spice. The buttermilk cornbread biscuit served on the side only makes everything taste better.
Hours: Tue-Wed 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Thurs 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Mon closed
Serving a spicy, three bean chili served over brown rice and with fresh-baked cornbread, this is a nourishing and healthy chili, but also delicious and savory. Great Sage may be a hike from D.C., in Columbia, Maryland, but it is worth the trip to sample their perfect chili.
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat 9 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
One of its most popular dishes, the chili at Georgetown’s Peacock Café is robust, flavorful and served with nutty cheese, creamy sour cream and crunchy tortilla chips. You can also get the chili over nachos, with guacamole and fresh tomato salsa.
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight; Fri 11 a.m.-3:30 a.m.; Sat: 9 a.m.-3:30 a.m.; Sun 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
Find this wholesome chili at the H Street store or on the popular Dangerously Delicious Pie food truck. The chili is made with a unique combination of brown rice, roasted vegetables, spices and a sweet, smooth tomato sauce. Served in a flaky pie crust, this is a fun and exciting way of devouring one of America’s favorite dishes.
Need more spice? Check out the best Mexican food in D.C.
Priya Konings is a child welfare attorney and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her restaurant reviews can be found here.