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A chili-covered half-smoke from Bold Bite.
A chili-covered half-smoke from Bold Bite.
Bold Bite

Beyond Ben's: 11 Takes on D.C.'s Iconic Half-Smoke

Try these classic snappy sausages around town.

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A chili-covered half-smoke from Bold Bite.
| Bold Bite

Aside from Senate navy bean soup, the half-smoke is considered to be one of the signature dishes of D.C.

Made of a blend of half pork and half beef with a special blend of spices inside a natural casing, most go to Ben's Chili Bowl for the classic. There they get it griddled to crispness with a topping of chili, mustard and onions.

And like any classic regional dish, it's found at many restaurants and up for reinterpretation. Even local producers like Logan's Sausage Factory in Alexandria, Va., have gotten into the game. Head to these spots to get a fix on this local favorite.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Bold Bite

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50 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(301) 951-2653
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Get a quarter pound half-smoke and go for the traditional onions, mustard and chili at Bold Bite. For nontraditionalists there are other half-smokes options, such as the DC Guac with pico de gallo, guacamole, cilantro lime sauce, Monterey Jack, and crispy tortilla chips or the DC Asian with Asian slaw and hot sauce.

2. Boundary Stone Public House

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116 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 621-6635
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Want a Meat & Foods half-smoke in a sit-down bar atmosphere? Grab the chili cheese half-smoke at Boundary Stone with a house made chili and aged Vermont cheddar with a side of fries.

3. ChurchKey

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1337 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 567-2576
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Like its sister restaurant Red Apron, Churchkey features its own half-smoke. Have a roasted one on a poppy seed bun paired with one of the dozens of beers on tap. (Correction: Red Apron's half-smokes are not served here).

4. DCity Smokehouse

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8 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 733-1919
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A half-smoke with barbecue sounds like a match made in heaven. At DCity Smokehouse, the half-smokes are topped with a smoky brisket chili, cheddar and jack cheese, onions and mustard.

5. Florida Avenue Grill

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1100 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 265-1586
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Been craving the combination of breakfast food with a half-smoke? Head to Florida Avenue Grill to get a spicy half-smoke with eggs, or order one as a side to accompany your pancakes or French toast.

6. Meats & Foods

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247 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 505-1384
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Owners Scott McIntosh and Ana Marin make Meat & Foods' own half-smokes (and supply them to other restaurants). Get it from the source with chili, mustard and onions. Want something even more heart stopping? Top it with bacon or grilled peppers and onions.

7. Ollie's Trolley

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425 12th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 347-6119
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Ollie's Trolley was originally a chain in the 1930s, but now there are a few locations left in Kentucky and one in D.C. And now the location has taken on local flavors in the form of half smokes and chili half-smokes. Enjoy them with the thin fries sprinkled with 26 herbs and spices.

8. The Partisan

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709 D St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

Nathan Anda's Red Apron supplies the Neighborhood Restaurant Group with all varieties of sausage and charcuterie. On the menu at The Partisan is a pickled half-smoke with porter and mustard. Pick up some from Red Apron on the way out to enjoy at home.

9. The Source by Wolfgang Puck

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575 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 637-6100
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A half-smoke makes a very nontraditional appearance in the District Bloody Mary at The Source's Saturday brunch. Find it with a black pepper-celery salt rim.

10. Weenie Beenie

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2680 S Shirlington Rd
Arlington, VA 22206
(703) 671-6661

Aside from Ben's Chili Bowl, Weenie Beenie is considered to be the next best thing when it comes to a chili half-smoke. Formerly a chain of six stands, one remains in Shirlington and has a song named after it on the first Foo Fighters album.

11. Straw Stick & Brick Delicatessen

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5111 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20011
(202) 316-0916
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Three Little Pigs is changing its name to Straw Stick & Brick Delicatessen, but here's hoping their popular, made-from-scratch half-smoke won't change. Toppings for the half-smoke include chimichurri sauce, onions, mustards, pickled red onions and baked beans.

1. Bold Bite

50 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

Get a quarter pound half-smoke and go for the traditional onions, mustard and chili at Bold Bite. For nontraditionalists there are other half-smokes options, such as the DC Guac with pico de gallo, guacamole, cilantro lime sauce, Monterey Jack, and crispy tortilla chips or the DC Asian with Asian slaw and hot sauce.

50 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

2. Boundary Stone Public House

116 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

Want a Meat & Foods half-smoke in a sit-down bar atmosphere? Grab the chili cheese half-smoke at Boundary Stone with a house made chili and aged Vermont cheddar with a side of fries.

116 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

3. ChurchKey

1337 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

Like its sister restaurant Red Apron, Churchkey features its own half-smoke. Have a roasted one on a poppy seed bun paired with one of the dozens of beers on tap. (Correction: Red Apron's half-smokes are not served here).

1337 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

4. DCity Smokehouse

8 Florida Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

A half-smoke with barbecue sounds like a match made in heaven. At DCity Smokehouse, the half-smokes are topped with a smoky brisket chili, cheddar and jack cheese, onions and mustard.

8 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

5. Florida Avenue Grill

1100 Florida Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Been craving the combination of breakfast food with a half-smoke? Head to Florida Avenue Grill to get a spicy half-smoke with eggs, or order one as a side to accompany your pancakes or French toast.

1100 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

6. Meats & Foods

247 Florida Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

Owners Scott McIntosh and Ana Marin make Meat & Foods' own half-smokes (and supply them to other restaurants). Get it from the source with chili, mustard and onions. Want something even more heart stopping? Top it with bacon or grilled peppers and onions.

247 Florida Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

7. Ollie's Trolley

425 12th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004

Ollie's Trolley was originally a chain in the 1930s, but now there are a few locations left in Kentucky and one in D.C. And now the location has taken on local flavors in the form of half smokes and chili half-smokes. Enjoy them with the thin fries sprinkled with 26 herbs and spices.

425 12th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

8. The Partisan

709 D St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004

Nathan Anda's Red Apron supplies the Neighborhood Restaurant Group with all varieties of sausage and charcuterie. On the menu at The Partisan is a pickled half-smoke with porter and mustard. Pick up some from Red Apron on the way out to enjoy at home.

709 D St NW
Washington, D.C. 20004

9. The Source by Wolfgang Puck

575 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

A half-smoke makes a very nontraditional appearance in the District Bloody Mary at The Source's Saturday brunch. Find it with a black pepper-celery salt rim.

575 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

10. Weenie Beenie

2680 S Shirlington Rd, Arlington, VA 22206

Aside from Ben's Chili Bowl, Weenie Beenie is considered to be the next best thing when it comes to a chili half-smoke. Formerly a chain of six stands, one remains in Shirlington and has a song named after it on the first Foo Fighters album.

2680 S Shirlington Rd
Arlington, VA 22206

11. Straw Stick & Brick Delicatessen

5111 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20011

Three Little Pigs is changing its name to Straw Stick & Brick Delicatessen, but here's hoping their popular, made-from-scratch half-smoke won't change. Toppings for the half-smoke include chimichurri sauce, onions, mustards, pickled red onions and baked beans.

5111 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20011

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