Month: November 2016


Ben’s Chili Bowl celebrates 58 years in business with the launch of “Eat, Sip, Snap & Win“, a memories and photos contest running from November 13, 2016 through December 31, 2016. Participants are invited to visit to share a ‘memory or milestone’ at Ben’s Chili Bowl, or take a selfie and share it on social media while visiting a Ben’s Chili Bowl location, for a chance to win a grand prize trip to include airfare and hotel, among other great prizes.

Eat, Sip, Snap & Win invites fans, friends, and guests to participate for a chance to win in one of two ways:

  • Visit to upload a photo and caption of their ‘memory or milestone’ at Ben’s Chili Bowl;
  • Visit Ben’s Chili Bowl’s U Street, Arlington, H Street or DCA locations to snap a selfie, tag it with the hashtag #BensSelfieSunday and share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or via Ben’s Chili Bowl’s in-store app, available on iTunes and Google Play.

“The Original Ben’s Chili Bowl’s 58th anniversary marks what would have been my parent’s 58th wedding anniversary. Our family has shared some wonderful memories and milestones throughout the years and now we would love for our fans, friends and community to share theirs,” says Nizam Ali, youngest son of founders Ben and Virginia Ali, and co-owner of Ben’s Chili Bowl and its affiliated restaurants. “We created this photo contest as a fun and exciting way to celebrate this legacy, and we hope participants enjoy sharing their experiences with us and others.”

#BensSelfieSunday will be hosted every Sunday at all Ben’s Chili Bowl locations as well as Ben’s Next Door and Ben’s Upstairs. Guests may snap a selfie of themselves with family or friends enjoying Half-Smokes and other favorites and share using Ben’s in-store app for a chance to win prizes. Ben’s Chili Bowl is further promoting the contest with ‘Half-Smoke Happy Hour,’ which takes place during the campaign every Monday through Friday from 3pm -5pm. During Half-Smoke Happy Hour guests can enjoy a Half-Smoke and get a Coke free.

Contest prizes will be awarded as a part of ongoing promotions and giveaways online, in the community and in-store for the duration of the contest. A grand prize, and second and third place prize, will be awarded for the favorite memory and milestone shared and for the favorite selfie shared. Prizes include round-trip tickets from Delta Airlines, free Coca-Cola products, Marriott Hotel stays, tickets to Howard Theatre, gift certificates, and more.

Participants may enter in both the ‘Memories and Milestones’ online contest and the #bensselfiesunday contest at Ben’s Chili Bowl U Street, H Street, Arlington and DCA locations, Ben’s Upstairs, and Ben’s Next Door from November 13, 2016 through December 31, 2016. A panel of judges will review entries and award the grand prize in early January. Additional contest rules are available at


About Ben’s Chili Bowl

Opened in August 1958, Ben’s Chili Bowl is a DC landmark, and home to our world-famous chili and mouth-watering Ben’s Original Half Smokes. Ben’s not-too-secret recipe of friendship, family, food and fun had led to new-comers discovering the joys and resonance of U Street’s history, culture and community, symbolizing all that is great about this country and serving as a force of stability during tough times.

Generations have sat on the same stools, at the same counter, eating the same homemade secret recipe Chili Sauce on the same Chili Dogs, Chili Half Smokes, and Chili Burgers, making Ben’s Chili Bowl one recognized world-wide as the “must go” place to eat when visiting Washington.  The Ben’s Chili Bowl family of restaurants also includes Ben’s Next Door and Ben’s Upstairs.

Ben’s Chili Bowl Hosts A Unique Half Marathon With A Half-Smoke!

Can you imagine how hungry you would feel while running a marathon or half-marathon? Well, how about eating an original Ben’s Chili Bowl world-famous half-smoke at the halfway point? That’s right—runners will complete 6.55 miles, stop and eat a half-smoke with chips at Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street, and then finish up the run!

As we celebrate the year of our 58th Anniversary, we are excited to host the 5th Annual Ben’s Chili Bowl DC Half and Half Marathon on Saturday, November 5th starting at 8AM, and the bulk of the eating will take place at Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street around 9AM!

The inspiration for the Ben’s Chili Bowl DC Half and Half Marathon came to two local brothers while driving home after competing in a food challenge in Raleigh, NC.  “It was about time DC had a real challenging food race,” said Chris Magnuson of Washington, DC. “When we thought of food and DC, we naturally thought of Ben’s Chili Bowl and the half-smoke.  Half marathon was the perfect distance to accompany it.”

For the past four years, runners have started at Second Wind Crossfit (5509 14th St NW) near Carter Baron Amphitheater and then have cruised through Rock Creek Park, headed down through Adams Morgan and then ended up at Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street. That’s where the fun begins—runners complete their meal and then head back out the door to finish where they started.  The course is a beautiful run through Rock Creek Park and on open city streets due to the small number of runners.

“We are very excited that about 150 runners have participated each of the past four years,” said Pete Magnuson. “We are especially thankful to Ben’s Chili Bowl for agreeing to sponsor and host this crazy idea! Honestly, without Ben’s this would not be happening!”  DC United has also been supportive. “They came to us right after we announced the run and have offered tons of support.”   DC United mascot, Talon, will be on hand inspecting empty plates as runners exit Ben’s Chili Bowl!

The Ben’s Chili Bowl Foundation proudly supports ScholarCHIPS! Proceeds from the event go to ScholarCHIPS (, a scholarship fund for students of incarcerated parents. Chris Magnuson chose to support ScholarCHIPS because one of his former students, Yasmine Arrington, started it as a junior at Banneker High School while she was looking for ways to fund her own college education. Her father was incarcerated for 16 years and she hoped to find financial support for students in her situation, but she came up short. To this day, ScholarCHIPS has awarded over $80,000 to students of incarcerated parents in the DMV area, coupled with needed mentorship as they head off to college.


Media Contact:

Vida Ali – Ben’s Chili Bowl: 310-859-4730

Chris Magnuson: 202-368-4883

Pete Magnuson: 703-801-9925