HOME > Chowhound > General South Archive >


Atlanta--The Varsity?

  • d

we're headed to Atlanta for a trip and just saw a piece on The Varsity on the Food Network. Is the food good or is it a place that is famous for being historical?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I think everyone should experience the Varsity. This isnt the place to go if you are into "good for you" food! If you like hot dogs, burgers, fries, onion rings then you can't go wrong here. For a first timer it can actually be a little nerve racking if the place is busy. Try a Heavy weight or two (hot dog with extra chili), some strings or rings (fries or onion rings) and a frosted orange. The slaw dogs and chili burgers are favorites of mine too. I always end with a peach pie, then wonder why I have eaten so much when I am done. :) It's one of those places that you get a craving for every so often and you just have to go. You could people watch for hours here too so try em out. I am adding a link to their website so you can check out the Varsity lingo too. Hope you have a good trip here in Atlanta!

    Link: http://www.thevarsity.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: Christopher

      ahhhhh.....the Athens varsity....how I miss it....

      can still hear "what'll ya have what'll ya have" to which I would reply "2 naked dogs walking thru the garden" - which of course means 2 plain hot dogs with cole slaw to go.

    2. Ooooooooh. The Varsity. You have to go! It is an institution -- and the food is good and greasy. I always get their Vidalia onion rings and a chili dog. Be prepared to order though -- when you step up to the counter, they are going to yell at you -- "What'll ya have?" It's one of those places you get a taste for every so often.

      1. n
        Newcomb Girl

        I agree that it's a "must-do." However, stick to the tried and true favorites as mentioned by other posters: dogs (esp. with chili or slaw), burgers, strings and/or rings, and fried pies. Wavering from this to some of the newer menu items is a waste of taste buds. Also order an F.O. - a frosted orange. It completes the experience.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Newcomb Girl

          i once went to the varsity while in atl on biz and ordered fries and onion rings.. delicious!!! :)

        2. If you go to The Varsity make sure you go to THE Varsity, that is, the one next to the GT campus. I once went to another location of the Varsity and it wasn't good at all.

          1. The Varsity is more about the show than the food--yes, it's food that probably isn't all that healthy to eat a lot--they do fry in canola oil, tho, to make it healthier.
            It's a historical place that is fun to people watch, particularly the talented counter people who can keep a few different orders straight at one time in their head, plus the unique lingo they call out to the cooks "..Naked dog walkin sideways, ring one, and a bag o'rags..."
            So go there and see an American fast-food institution.

            1. Don't count on a memorable taste sensation. The dogs are pretty ordinary, but the atmosphere is worth a trip.

              1. The food is poor quality. Go there to walk around and see the trippy atmosphere. Walk out and eat somewhere else.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Art

                  I don't think anyone goes to The Varsity expecting a "gourmet" meal! If you eat at one of these places you pretty well know what you're gonna get.

                  1. re: Art

                    I agree with Art - I would eat all my fingernails down to the quick before I'd go there again.

                  2. I don't get the Varsity. It's incredibly crowded, and the hot dogs were some of the blandest things I've ever eaten. We're talking cheap little generic buy-in-bulk steamed wieners in a soggy generic white bun, and that's it. Overpriced too. I guess it's an institution, but I don't really see why. Go if you want the experience of waiting in line to buy food at Disneyland, without all the rides.

                    1. It is an experience that should not be missed. Chili dog is a must. You will enjoy.

                      1. I wonder how many replies this will get??? No matter, expect about an equal number of "It's fantastic!" posts as "It's awful!" It'd be worth the trip just to see what side you'd be on.

                        BTW...I had a glorified chili-cheeseburger and a large FO for lunch....followed by a peach pie. Mm-mmm.

                        1. Skip the dogs and go for the pimiento cheese. Its all hot and melty and goooood. The fries are decent too.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: leighleigh

                            Agree. On occassion, I'll get a pimento cheese burger and rings, eaten immediately. The rings turn into a soggy mess in 10 minutes. It's not gourmet, but ok once a year or so. I don't dig their chili.

                          2. The Varsity is a traditional atlanta landmark, and is worth checking out if you feel like its a must see...However, most Atlanta natives consider it a novelty for tourists rather than a place to eat. If you are looking for a good, authentic Atlanta place for lunch, i would suggest considering either the Flying Biscuit (by piedmont park) http://www.flyingbiscuit.com/ or, if you want authentic southern food, Mary Mac's may be worth considering http://www.marymacs.com/ ...they are both in that general vicinity.

                            1. I enjoyed an FO with a hit of vodka before many a Tech game...ahhh the memories! :-)

                              1. Wait for summer and go for a frosted orange and a fried pie.