What’ll ya have? The Varsity named as one of ‘The South’s Most Beloved Burger Joints’

 The Varsity turns 90 years old in August 2018! On Aug. 18, the restaurant will celebrate with food, music and special guests. (Photo courtesy of The Varsity)

ATLANTA — What is your go-to menu item when you walk into the Varsity and get greeted with “What’ll ya have?”

Is it the hot dogs? Onion rings and frosted Varsity Orange? For Southern Living’s staff, you can’t go wrong with a classic burger.

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Southern Living named The Varsity among 20 of “The South’s Most Beloved Burger Joints” It’s the only place from Georgia to make the list.

Here’s why Southern Living chose The Varsity.

“Like McDonald’s signature double arches, the symbol for this Atlanta institution is unmistakable. As visitors travel along Interstate 75, a familiar giant red V signifies that they’ve made it to the city—and that it might be time to stop for a burger. Owned and operated by the Gordy family since 1928, The Varsity earned the title of the World’s Largest Drive-In in 1950, but now serves most of its guests inside its retro dining room with seating for 650. If you go, study up on the restaurant lingo before ordering. When you get to the front of the line, be ready to recite, “Steak, Strings, and F.O.” That’s a hamburger with ketchup, mustard, and pickles, an order of fries, and a frosted orange shake for the uninitiated.”


The Varsity has been an Atlanta institution for over 95 years. Frank Gordy leased a house off North Avenue and Peachtree Street in 1928 and build a small brick building in the front yard feature a counter and walk-up area.

The restaurant served 300 customers on its first day. It didn’t take long for the Varsity to take off and it eventually became the largest drive-in restaurant in the country.

Today, there are locations at the original in Atlanta, Bethlehem, Cartersville, Dawsonville, Kennesaw and Norcross. A seventh location will open soon in Rome.

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