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The Varsity

61 North Ave., Atlanta, GA - (404) 881-1706
Posted By Michael Ellis on 11/17/2007 11:18:00 PM
Being a native Atlantan, I grew up first knowing the "mothership" Varsity on Spring Street at North Avenue. There are the busy times when you will be asked to step aside if you do not have your order perched on the tip of your tongue. As a youngster, my order was always the same because it was easy to remember and easy to say. "A naked dog and a hobo soda." Translated: a plain hot dog, and a water.

Later, after moving to the 'burbs, we frequented the Varsity Jr, near the corner of Cheshire Bridge Road, on Lindburgh Avenue. This was run the very same way by the owner's daughter. I miss the old drive-up of yesteryear, and the likes of Flossie taking our orders. I believe at one time "back in the day" Nipsey Russell had even been a carhop there in Midtown Atlanta.

I find that my tastes have changed a bit, and prefer the yellow-streaked chili dog, rings and an FO. This equates to a chili dog with mustard, onion rings, and a frosty orange drink, which is like a liquid Creamsicle. The hot dogs are divine; try them anywhere from plain to loaded with chili, slaw, pimento cheese, onion and mustard... and forget the fries, the onion rings are the thing to have!

Gourmet? Perhaps not, but the total atmosphere and experience is a work of art nonetheless. The last time I drove 1000 miles to visit my hometown of Atlanta, The Varsity was on my "to do and eat" list!

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Rate this place
A beautiful food pyramid, including pork (hot dog), beef (chili sauce), grain (bun), spice (mustard), vegetable (onion rings), and fruit (fried peach pie).
"A beautiful food pyramid, including pork (hot dog), beef (chili sauce), grain (bun), spice (mustard), vegetable (onion rings), and fruit (fried peach pie)."
Michael Stern





The Varsity's signature dish: a chili dog with a yellow streak.
"The Varsity's signature dish: a chili dog with a yellow streak."
Michael Stern


Once the peach pie is pulled apart, it gets pretty messy. Be sure to grab extra napkins when you carry your tray to a table.
"Once the peach pie is pulled apart, it gets pretty messy. Be sure to grab extra napkins when you carry your tray to a table."
Michael Stern


Thousands of peach pies are fried and served daily at the Varsity. Despite the mass production, they are Roadfood par excellence.
"Thousands of peach pies are fried and served daily at the Varsity. Despite the mass production, they are Roadfood par excellence. "
Michael Stern


The Varsity's crunchy onion rings are neatly arranged in the boat from big to small.
"The Varsity's crunchy onion rings are neatly arranged in the boat from big to small."
Cliff Strutz


Can you hear these rings crunch? No matter what else is on your tray at the Varsity, this tidy cluster needs to be there.
"Can you hear these rings crunch? No matter what else is on your tray at the Varsity, this tidy cluster needs to be there."
Michael Stern


Frosted Orange technically is a beverage, but it is thick enough to demand a spoon.
"Frosted Orange technically is a beverage, but it is thick enough to demand a spoon."
Michael Stern


Fried pies are popular throughout the South and the Varsity's peach version is especially good.
"Fried pies are popular throughout the South and the Varsity's peach version is especially good."
Cliff Strutz


The Varsity menu
"The Varsity menu"
Michael Stern


When we walked in to The Varsity, most of the ordering stations were open, so we approached the young lady who called out ''What'll you have, what'll you have'' the loudest.
"When we walked in to The Varsity, most of the ordering stations were open, so we approached the young lady who called out ''What'll you have, what'll you have'' the loudest."
Cliff Strutz


A rare sight:  the Varsity counter without a crowd.  This picture was taken in the morning, 30 seconds after opening.
"A rare sight: the Varsity counter without a crowd. This picture was taken in the morning, 30 seconds after opening."
Michael Stern


The drive-in area of the Varsity glows at night with neon and the giant red 'V' is easily visible from the nearby interstate.
"The drive-in area of the Varsity glows at night with neon and the giant red 'V' is easily visible from the nearby interstate."
Cliff Strutz


Exterior of Varsity, August 2007.
"Exterior of Varsity, August 2007."
Elaine Anderson


The world's largest drive-in.
"The world's largest drive-in."
Michael Stern



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