Take a drive through the heart of midtown Atlanta and you can’t miss the eye-catching red and white glow of The Varsity. As if to serve as a signature welcome to those visiting Atlanta, The Varsity sits just off the North Avenue exit 249D with its giant “V” sign overlooking the Downtown Connector of I-75/85.
One of the most iconic restaurants in Atlanta, The Varsity also just happens to be the largest drive-in fast food restaurant in the world. As an Atlanta blogger, my goal is to share fun things to experience throughout the South so it was only a matter of time before The Varsity made an appearance here.
On an afternoon of scattered summer thunderstorms, I threw on my ultra-comfortable Vionic Hattie Sneakers, a great pair of jeans I found at Old Navy, and a basic white top I picked up from Shein for a ridiculously inexpensive price to meet up with my dear friend and fellow Atlanta blogger Erica (Eating With Erica) for a classic Atlanta meal. We spent the afternoon catching up, chowing down and shooting pics around The Varsity. After we finished eating and because I drove my #littleredjeep, we decided to take our chances and grab a few pics in between the summer showers with the beautiful Atlanta skyline decorating the background.
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Opened in 1928, The Varsity’s original location at the intersection of North Avenue and Spring Street is still standing strong with six other locations sprinkled around Metro Atlanta and Athens, Georgia. The Varsity was originally named “The Yellow Jacket” as it was founded by Frank Gordy who briefly attended Georgia Tech whose mascot is the yellow jacket. You could actually see The Varsity from my dorm when I was in school at Georgia Tech and I used to walk there with friends all the time. Not that I eat there very often these days, but it is the kind of place you’ll want to make sure you’ve experienced at least once… kind of like visiting In & Out Burger in California. Especially when game day rolls around at Georgia Tech!
When you’ve wrestled through Atlanta tourists, local diehards, and plenty college students to finally make your way to the counter, you’ll be greeted with the signature welcome, “What’ll Ya Have? What’ll Ya Have?” With the expected list of burgers, hotdogs, fries, and other fast food staples, The Varsity has become an Atlanta institution for a classic drive-in (or dine-in) fast food experience and one that you cannot miss. There are a few must-try menu items like the hotdog with mustard and chili or the Varsity Orange drink.
Beyond the food, there’s a lively spirit in the air that’s almost contagious the second you walk in the retro designed doors of The Varsity. The familiar retro decor doesn’t change, and the sincere welcome you receive from the staff is Southern hospitality at it’s best. So the next time you’re in Atlanta, consider a pitstop in midtown at The Varsity… Just look for the giant “V” sign overlooking the interstate and plan to enjoy a bit of classic food and fun!