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The Varsity ~ Downtown Atlanta GA

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What'll ya have! is the rallying cry being shouted across the huge lines at The Varsity  restaurant in downtown Atlanta. Perched right above the I-75/85 Connector from Georgia Tech, it is easily seen as you hum along the freeway. We kept passing it and it was intriguing, the first time we were in town. Then all of my Tennessee friends were Facebooking their cravings about The Varsity, telling us it quintessential Atlanta, so we had to drop by and do a LivingHistorySites.com restaurant review.

Definitely an experience!

We drove up and there was a line around the building, buses everywhere, kids, parents, it was a madhouse. We had been cruising around downtown Atlanta and were just not that into waiting, we were tired, cranky and definitely hungry. As we sat in the parking lot, digging around for maps and a different lunch location, someone noticed that the line was almost gone. Huh? Well over 200 people had been outside just a few minutes before...where did they go?

So we decided to take our chances and head in, after all, I owed it to my FB friends! When we walked in the door, we quickly realized how several hundred people could filter through so fast.  Close to 2 dozen cash registers and lines were before us, with red paper hatted, red shirted Varsity employees hollering "What'll ya have!" It looked like a squished airline ticket counter, with food flying off the counters as fast as folks could grab it.

We got excited and thought immediately of In-N-Out Burger back home in California. Was the Varsity like In-N-Out? The menus LOOKED similar....

Our line was quiet, but the lines around us, the Varsity Burger dudes were hooping and hollering, and just giving it a fun auction-carnival atmosphere. Definitely an experience that is different from anything we have had coast-to-coast!

Serving customers since 1928, The Varsity downtown is the World's Largest Drive-Thru. Amazingly, they can serve up to 30,000 people on Game Day (that would be Georgia Tech football, for the mortals who don't know!) Daily, they serve 2 miles of hot dogs, a literal ton of onion rings, over a ton of their fresh cut fries, 300 gallons of chili, and 5000 of their famous fried pies, made from scratch each day. 

We surveyed the menu and I went into A-I Diet meltdown - nuthin, absolutely nuthin that I wanted to put on the diet sheet I turn into my doctor. So, I decided to go for it and get whatever I wanted...within reason! Sometimes a living historian has got to DO what a living historian has got to do! (At my next appt, my doctor laughed and said YUCK, but agreed I HAD to eat there at least once! Whew ~ Wish NOW, I would have ordered a fried pie or the Frosted Orange! As it was, we ate through Atlanta and I had to admit it, writing down everything I chowed down on, and he was gracious! )

I ordered the #4 combo, Bacon Double Cheeseburger meal, with the onion rings I had heard so much about, and a Diet Coke. No unsweet tea in the house!  Dave got a #2 with a Chili Cheese Dog and a Chile Cheeseburger. Em got confused and ordered the same #4 combo I got, with fries. Combos run from $6-7.50.

We figured out where to sit - the place is HUGE, and spills over the parking lot, through nooks and crannies. Ketchup and mustard adorned the tables, and the burgers were plain, so we squeezed for the flavors we wanted.

Sorry to say, it was NOT In-N-Out Burger or even close.The food was, can I just be honest, greasy and kind of gross to us. Used to a very strict vegetable/meat diet, it was a bit troublesome for me, but we are glad we tried it nonetheless!

Definitely FUN and definitely an EXPERIENCE while in Atlanta!

Near everything in Downtown Atlanta, and close to Martin Luther King Jr's Home.

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. Christmas Eve hours 10:00am-9:00pm

Fax: 404-874-3989

Accepted Payment:
Cash, Visa, Mastercard
ATM on site