“What’ll Ya Have?” at The Varsity


If you haven’t been to The Varsity . . .

On everyone’s list of top to-do’s in Atlanta, The Varsity is somewhere you have to visit.  With its retro decor, tiled walls and famous greeting of “What’ll ya have?” this little hot dog stand is a true Atlanta icon. Originally set up with nearby Georgia Tech students in mind, they have been serving customers since 1928.


The menu. This design has now been replaced by flatscreen LCDs.

Good to Know:

  • As the largest drive-in fast-food restaurant in the world, the Varsity covers almost two city blocks!

  • The most famous employee was Erby Walker, who worked there for 55 years until his death in 2008.  He worked his way up from sweeping floors to the kitchen to the line. His line was, “Have you’re money out and your food on your mind, and I”ll get you to the game on time.”

  • Two miles of hot dogs, a ton of onions, 2500 lbs of potatoes, 5000 fried pies and 300 gallons of chili are made from scratch every day.

  • If you don’t want chili and mustard, order a “naked dog.” And a Joe-ree is coffee with cream.

  • Nipsy Russell started his career here in the 40s as a carhop.  He earned extra tips telling jokes.


The Classics

The chili dogs are usually bought in twos. That’s Donny’s choice every time! Other popular items include burgers, fries, onion rings, and the famous Frosted Orange. This sweet, creamy, citrusy shake was aptly described by our friend Mike, in town visiting from Portland, as “a giant creamsicle in a cup.” The Varsity is a great place to bring out-of-town guests, you see. Oh, and they have homemade ice cream and fried pies to top it all off.



There are seven additional satellite locations in Georgia, but the one downtown is the original.

The Varsity Downtown
61 North Avenue
Atlanta GA 30308

Hours of Operation:
Sunday-Thursday 10:00am-11:30pm
Friday-Saturday 10:00am-12:30am

Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Phone: 404-881-1706

Website: http://thevarsity.com/

About the author

Tamara and Donny have wandered together since 2004, with no cure for their insatiable wanderlust. They write about discovering new destinations including beautiful photography, plus budget travel tips and how to give back through travel.