The Best Hot Dogs in the World

best hotdog in the world

best hotdog in the world

The World’s Largest Drive In and the World’s Best Hot Dogs

Everyone knows that we are completely obsessed with tacos, but a little known fact is that Bob is totally, 100%, completely infatuated with the chili hot dogs at The Varsity in Atlanta. To Bob, the best hot dog in the world is right in midtown at the 84 years old Atlanta institution, that has grown into one of his own family’s traditions. He loves them more than the famous hot dogs in Iceland and much more than the Dodger dogs at Dodger Stadium.

best hot dog in the world

Our most recent trip went a little something like this:

It hadn’t been more than 12 hours since we landed in Atlanta that we drove to The Varsity to order our weight in hot dogs, onion rings (which are made using pancake batter) and fries. Apparently the milkshakes and The Varsity “Orange” (a soda or frosty-like drink) is also super popular, but Bob doesn’t waste his stomach space for those.  While we are ordering Bob’s aunt rounds up a few Varsity hats and we all get into the spirit of the place. Not 8 minutes later are we walking out with a huge bag full of hot dogs (we had to bring them back for all the family members at home) and one very happy man ready to indulge in his favorite food.

Before we get back in the car, we’ve already polished off one side of onion rings, which happen to taste like a greasy pancake- a delicious greasy pancake- but still, you’ll need two napkins to wipe your fingers.  While driving conversation turns to how long Bob’s family has been eating these Varsity dogs and how he grew up eating them.

(Starting them at a young age, a little baby gets his first Varsity hat!)

must eat restaurant in georgia

(Located near Georgia Tech University, the design inside the two-story restaurant is reminiscent of an old school building, with desks for seating and vinyl floor that you’d find in a school cafeteria.)

While there may be many other things on the menu, Bob only orders the chili dog. I made the mistake of thinking the slaw dog sounding tasty  and he scoffed at me! I did end up ordering a couple but he didn’t even want the slaw dogs in the same container as his chili dogs incase any slaw accidentally touched his chili. These things are so precious to him!

We got back to the house and finished most of our order in less than 10 minutes. Bob wasn’t worried about whether or not we’d have left overs because these things freeze like a champ. Bob actually decided on this trip that he likes them better the next day and cold (kind of like cold pizza… I guess).  If you’ve never had one before, I will try to describe what it taste like: A very soft bun, almost melts in your mouth, with a small hot dog covered in chili and one stripe of standard mustard. To me, the chili is mild but hearty and pretty salty.  I actually preferred the slaw dog, but don’t tell Bob that- he might not marry me if he knew!

If you want to try it for yourself, The Varsity sells cans of their chili on the internet.

 Fun Facts about The Varsity:

  • It’s the World’s Largest Drive-In, able to accommodate 600 cars and 800 people inside the two-story building.
  • On Georgia Tech football game days, the Varsity usually sells food to 30,000 people.
  • Two miles of hot dogs are made daily
  • 300 gallons of chili are made from scratch daily
  • A “Heavy Weight” is a hot dog with extra chili
Have you been to The Varsity before? Where do you think has the best hot dogs in the world?

Jade Broadus is a spunky girl hailing from Jacksonville Beach, Florida. She’s addicted to traveling and has a strange obsession with maps and globes. A lover of dogs, fashion, fish tacos, marine biology, and college football, she has a broad range of interests. Jade has a strong passion for the film “Love, Actually” and has watched it 176 times. Her interests include singing really loud, impromptu dances, shopping, and dressing up in cute dresses and extravagant hats. She has written for Gadling, AOL Travel, Discover Los Angeles, LACOT, LandLopers, Wedding Nouveau, and The Vacation Gals. She is currently the social media and marketing director for Inside Out Media, a media company that owns TravelMindset.com and iExplore.com.

19 Comments

  • Reply August 30, 2012

    Tariq Mehmood

    Order and please send me some. Those look awesome. My wife will surely love it.

  • Reply August 30, 2012

    Sarah

    YUM! There is a hot dog place in Portland that is absolutely delicious- simple toppings but so, so good. Now I want a hot dog, haha.

  • Reply August 30, 2012

    Jackie Smith

    This goes on the bucket list for the next time we are there. What a delightfully sinful looking meal!

  • Reply August 30, 2012

    Caroline Eubanks

    For me, it’s always a naked dog and fries with a big Coke with the good ice.

  • Love hotdogs too no matter that they’re not healthy hehe I especially like chili dogs. Yum yum!

  • Reply August 30, 2012

    Average Traveller

    This has been on my list for a long time but I haven’t had an excuse to get to Atlanta to get this crossed off. If people keep showing me pictures of the food I might have to make the trip just to eat there! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply August 30, 2012

    Leigh

    It’s great to have a passion – even if it is hotdogs. I think I’d go for the slaw too – at least something somewhat healthy and definitely the onion rings. That would be my failing.Your description is mouthwatering.

  • the best hotdogs in the world huh? in my book, the best I’ve had are between Iceland and Germany. Then again, in Germany there more like sausages, so let’s say Iceland tops my list. Will have to check The Varsity’s out in order to see whether I agree with you or not! ;)

    - Maria Alexandra

    PS- Julie hotdogs are great ANYWHERE in my book.

  • I meant to say CHILI hot dogs. What the heck?! This voice recognition software goes so wacko sometimes! Gee…

  • Reply August 30, 2012

    Gina

    Those hot dogs sound amazing. I typically only eat hot dogs when I’m at sporting events or lose my willpower battle while shopping at Costco (they have SUCH good hot dogs!) but I think if I lived close to this place I’d eat them much more often. Especially the chili dogs. Chili makes everything better. :)

  • Reply August 30, 2012

    Ashley

    My hubby is obsessed with chili dogs! Me, not so much…was there anything on the menu that a vegetarian could snack on while everyone else devours hot dogs?!

  • Reply August 31, 2012

    Lisa

    They serve 30,000 people on game day?!? That’s a lot of hot dogs!! I’m not much of a hot dog connoisseur but have you had one in Copenhagen – I actually thought they were quite good!

  • Reply August 31, 2012

    Margaret

    I love learning about fun, local restaurants like this. These are the places I love to know about when I go somewhere.

  • Reply August 31, 2012

    Sabrina

    Would you believe I’ve lived in this country almost ten years and still have not had a single chili dog? :) Maybe the reason is we only have boring places like Wiener Schnitzel in town and not cool local stores like yours.

  • Reply August 31, 2012

    jenny@atasteoftravel

    Looks like I’m going to have to try and American hot dog when I’m next in the States..even better If I can get to Atlanta. They must be great – i can’t believe 30,000 are sold on one game day!

  • Reply August 31, 2012

    jan

    Wow – they are some huge stats. I have only had one American hot dog and that was at the entrance to Central Park. I cannot visualize how big The Varsity actually is!

  • I saw The Varsity featured on the Food Network recently on a USA hotdog roundup. I had to add it to my must see places to eat if I go to Atlanta. I couldn’t get over how huge it was and I loved the way the order takers ask “what’ll ya have”. It was also great how many of the workers have been there for so long. I loved the Icelandic hotdogs so I’m sure these would be good. How does this compare to Pink’s in LA?

  • Reply August 31, 2012

    Cathy Sweeney

    I think that family food traditions are great. Although hot dogs always smell so good when they’re being cooked, I never actually order them. However, I’d definitely give the Varsity chili dog a try — and the onion rings. No way I’d eat a cold hot dog though.

  • Reply September 1, 2012

    Sophie

    I lived in the USA for 5 years but never tried a chili hot dog. Strange, that…

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