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Chili on spaghetti topped with shredded cheese.
Chili Mac from Hard Times.
Hard Times/Facebook

D.C.’s Best Bets for Chili, For Super Bowl Season and Beyond

Where to get a warm bowl of deliciousness

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Chili Mac from Hard Times.
| Hard Times/Facebook

Cold weather means chili’s a hearty, comforting option for diners. And the D.C. area’s a great place to find it, given its icons like Ben’s Chili Bowl and longtime chili-focused stalwarts such as Hard Times Cafe. Here are several places for a satisfying bowl, or cup, or sausage-topped-with chili around town.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Ben's Chili Bowl (Multiple Locations)

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1213 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 667-0909
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A D.C. icon, but more for chili atop half-smokes than chili in a bowl. That said, diners can enjoy Ben’s chili on its own in beef, turkey, and veggie varieties, or even atop rice or a salad. Online ordering here.

A person ladeling chili on top of two half-smoke sausages.
A half-smoke being topped with chili at Ben’s.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

2. Meats & Foods

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247 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 505-1384
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Try beef or veggie chili by the bowl at this Shaw destination, or find it in frito pie, atop potatoes, on a half-smoke, wrapped in a burrito (or as they call it, a chilito), and more. Chilito T-shirts are even for sale here. Pickup and delivery available through the website.

3. Republic Cantina

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43 N St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 997-4340
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Truxton Circle’s cactus-covered stop for Tex-Mex makes a meaty chili with ancho and pasilla chile powder, onion, cilantro, crema, and cotija cheese. Dig in to discover a surprise serving of caramelized cornbread at the bottom. In true Texas fashion, the bowl is bean free to let the beef brisket shine. Order takeout online.

A bowl of chili topped with white cheese on a wooden table with a silver spoon to the left.
Republic Cantina’s bean-free chili currently stars beef brisket, and some iterations loop in wild boar (pictured).
Republic Cantina/Facebook

4. Martin's Tavern

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1264 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 333-7370
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Billy’s beef chili is a mainstay on this Georgetown institution’s menu. It’s topped with tomatoes, onions, and cheddar and served with tortilla chips on the side. Online ordering through the website.

5. Clyde's (Multiple Locations)

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3236 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 333-9180
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Clyde’s keeps things basic with its beef and bean chili, also available at sister restaurant Old Ebbitt Grill. Online ordering on the website for individual locations.

A bowl of chili with a pack of saltines to the left and a margarita with a straw to the right.
A bowl of Clyde’s chili next to a margarita.
Clyde’s/Facebook

6. Vienna Inn

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120 Maple Ave E
Vienna, VA 22180
(703) 938-9548
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Chili dogs are the notable food item available at this suburban dive bar, which makes a red bean chili and a vegetarian chili. But you can also find the concoction atop chili mac, or on its taco salads, fries, and cheeseburgers. Online ordering here.

Chili atop spaghetti with shredded cheese and diced onions.
Chili mac from Vienna Inn.
Vienna Inn/Facebook

7. Cowboy Cafe

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4792 Lee Hwy
Arlington, VA 22207
(703) 243-8010
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Cowboy Cafe has been kicking around Arlington since 1990, and counts chili among its signature dishes. It comes topped with shredded cheese and chopped onions, and diners can request it with or without beans. Chili nachos, chili mac, chili-cheese half-smokes, and chili burgers are additional menu staples. Online ordering here.

8. Hill Country Barbecue Market

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410 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 556-2050
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Fans of the meat-centric, no-beans Texas chili can unsurprisingly find it at Hill Country. The New York import serves beef and pork chili as a side, and those in-the-know are sure to order chili cheese fries off-menu. Online ordering here.

9. Lost Dog Cafe

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5876 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22205
(703) 237-1552
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Lost Dog is primarily known for its pizzas and sandwiches (well, and its waffle fries), but the Virginia mini-chain also always has chili and veggie chili by the cup or the bowl. Online ordering here.

Dark red chili in an orange bowl topped with scallions and shredded cheese.
Chili from Lost Dog Cafe.
Lost Dog Cafe

10. Liberty Barbecue

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370 W Broad St
Falls Church, VA 22046
(703) 237-8227
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For chili with some smoky personality, go with the brisket chili at this Arlington joint, which gets topped with cheddar, sour cream, scallions, and tortilla chips.

11. Dogwood Tavern

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132 W Broad St
Falls Church, VA 22046
(703) 237-8333
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The chili at Dogwood features both beef and beans, and is topped with a blend of cheeses, scallions, and sour cream. It’s one of the topping options for the bar’s epic nacho plate, too. Order online here.

12. Hard Times Cafe (Multiple Locations)

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1404 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 837-0050
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If there’s one thing this Virginia restaurant is known for, it’s chili. This is a place that really drills down into the regional varieties of chili, whether it be Cincinnati-style, Terlingua red chili, Texas chili, and more. There’s a veg version, and just about anything gets topped with chili here: cilantro rice, tater tots, chili mac. Don’t miss the fun chili specials like the “Chili Changa,” frito pie, and the “Chili Bubba” (over cornbread with two types). Online ordering here.

Chili on spaghetti with a ton of cheese on top.
Chili mac from Hard Times.
Hard Times Cafe/Facebook

1. Ben's Chili Bowl (Multiple Locations)

1213 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009
A person ladeling chili on top of two half-smoke sausages.
A half-smoke being topped with chili at Ben’s.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

A D.C. icon, but more for chili atop half-smokes than chili in a bowl. That said, diners can enjoy Ben’s chili on its own in beef, turkey, and veggie varieties, or even atop rice or a salad. Online ordering here.

1213 U St NW
Washington, DC 20009

2. Meats & Foods

247 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

Try beef or veggie chili by the bowl at this Shaw destination, or find it in frito pie, atop potatoes, on a half-smoke, wrapped in a burrito (or as they call it, a chilito), and more. Chilito T-shirts are even for sale here. Pickup and delivery available through the website.

247 Florida Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

3. Republic Cantina

43 N St NW, Washington, DC 20001
A bowl of chili topped with white cheese on a wooden table with a silver spoon to the left.
Republic Cantina’s bean-free chili currently stars beef brisket, and some iterations loop in wild boar (pictured).
Republic Cantina/Facebook

Truxton Circle’s cactus-covered stop for Tex-Mex makes a meaty chili with ancho and pasilla chile powder, onion, cilantro, crema, and cotija cheese. Dig in to discover a surprise serving of caramelized cornbread at the bottom. In true Texas fashion, the bowl is bean free to let the beef brisket shine. Order takeout online.

43 N St NW
Washington, DC 20001

4. Martin's Tavern

1264 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007

Billy’s beef chili is a mainstay on this Georgetown institution’s menu. It’s topped with tomatoes, onions, and cheddar and served with tortilla chips on the side. Online ordering through the website.

1264 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

5. Clyde's (Multiple Locations)

3236 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007
A bowl of chili with a pack of saltines to the left and a margarita with a straw to the right.
A bowl of Clyde’s chili next to a margarita.
Clyde’s/Facebook

Clyde’s keeps things basic with its beef and bean chili, also available at sister restaurant Old Ebbitt Grill. Online ordering on the website for individual locations.

3236 M St NW
Washington, DC 20007

6. Vienna Inn

120 Maple Ave E, Vienna, VA 22180
Chili atop spaghetti with shredded cheese and diced onions.
Chili mac from Vienna Inn.
Vienna Inn/Facebook

Chili dogs are the notable food item available at this suburban dive bar, which makes a red bean chili and a vegetarian chili. But you can also find the concoction atop chili mac, or on its taco salads, fries, and cheeseburgers. Online ordering here.

120 Maple Ave E
Vienna, VA 22180

7. Cowboy Cafe

4792 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22207

Cowboy Cafe has been kicking around Arlington since 1990, and counts chili among its signature dishes. It comes topped with shredded cheese and chopped onions, and diners can request it with or without beans. Chili nachos, chili mac, chili-cheese half-smokes, and chili burgers are additional menu staples. Online ordering here.

4792 Lee Hwy
Arlington, VA 22207

8. Hill Country Barbecue Market

410 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

Fans of the meat-centric, no-beans Texas chili can unsurprisingly find it at Hill Country. The New York import serves beef and pork chili as a side, and those in-the-know are sure to order chili cheese fries off-menu. Online ordering here.

410 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20004

9. Lost Dog Cafe

5876 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22205
Dark red chili in an orange bowl topped with scallions and shredded cheese.
Chili from Lost Dog Cafe.
Lost Dog Cafe

Lost Dog is primarily known for its pizzas and sandwiches (well, and its waffle fries), but the Virginia mini-chain also always has chili and veggie chili by the cup or the bowl. Online ordering here.

5876 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA 22205

10. Liberty Barbecue

370 W Broad St, Falls Church, VA 22046

For chili with some smoky personality, go with the brisket chili at this Arlington joint, which gets topped with cheddar, sour cream, scallions, and tortilla chips.

370 W Broad St
Falls Church, VA 22046

11. Dogwood Tavern

132 W Broad St, Falls Church, VA 22046

The chili at Dogwood features both beef and beans, and is topped with a blend of cheeses, scallions, and sour cream. It’s one of the topping options for the bar’s epic nacho plate, too. Order online here.

132 W Broad St
Falls Church, VA 22046

12. Hard Times Cafe (Multiple Locations)

1404 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Chili on spaghetti with a ton of cheese on top.
Chili mac from Hard Times.
Hard Times Cafe/Facebook

If there’s one thing this Virginia restaurant is known for, it’s chili. This is a place that really drills down into the regional varieties of chili, whether it be Cincinnati-style, Terlingua red chili, Texas chili, and more. There’s a veg version, and just about anything gets topped with chili here: cilantro rice, tater tots, chili mac. Don’t miss the fun chili specials like the “Chili Changa,” frito pie, and the “Chili Bubba” (over cornbread with two types). Online ordering here.

1404 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314

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