City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Best hot dog

The tasty dogs at Barker's Red Hots, your pick for best in Atlanta, sizzling away on the grill.

The tasty dogs at Barker's Red Hots, your pick for best in Atlanta, sizzling away on the grill.

1. Barker’s Red Hots
You say, “Barker’s – No one even compares. Water pulls the flavor out of the dog. Barker’s are grilled over real charcoal. Try their signature dog!! Dogs made by a 142 year old meat packer out of Buffalo, N.Y. Awesome rings and fries and their Bomb Italian Sausage – unbelievable. Wash it all down with a Loganberry and you died and went to heaven.”

2. Rivals
3. CJ’s Hot Dogs
4. The Varsity
5. Skip’s
6. America’s Top Dog

A pair of yummy dogs from Brandi's in Marietta, our pick for the best hot dog in and around Atlanta. Photo: Jon Watson

A pair of yummy dogs from Brandi's in Marietta, our pick for the best hot dog in and around Atlanta. Photo: Jon Watson

1. Brandi’s World Famous Hot Dogs
The AJC dining team’s Popular Eats specialist Jon Watson says, “Open only for lunch, you will always find this small diner-style hot dog shop in Marietta packed to the brim with regulars, and for good reason. Their spicy chili dogs are the epitome of a Georgia-style hot dog, and the best that I’ve had in the city.”

2. Holeman & Finch
3. Barker’s Red Hots
4. America’s Top Dog
5. The Varsity

566 comments Add your comment


December 28th, 2010
4:57 pm

Barkers Red Hots on Windy Hill and Powers Ferry.

Simply the best. Cooked over lump charcol like god intended. Like cooked in your backyard but better. Sorry, the Varsity or no Chicago Dog compare. Great Italian Sausage too. They are opening a second location in Roswell in March.

Have the fun of going to Barker’s is watching Glenn tend to the dogs on the grill. I guarantee anyone trying Barker’s would be hard pressed to say the Varsity is better.


December 28th, 2010
4:59 pm

I’ve had dogs from the Varsity, Mike’s, Skips, Barkers, Costco, The Earl, and several other local places too numerous to name. America’s Top Dog on Chamblee-Tucker, hands down, has the best quality, best variety, and best tasting hot dogs in town. They also offer a huge variety of toppings if you like to dress your own dog. I’ve been eating Varsity dogs since the restaurant was named the “Yellow Jacket”. They clearly have the best tradition, but America’s Top Dog has the best hot dogs.


December 28th, 2010
5:00 pm

I’m gonna try Skips in Avondale. I see they claim to have Chicago style hot dogs… we’ll see!


December 28th, 2010
5:01 pm

Sams club tucker


December 28th, 2010
5:02 pm

I enjoy eating hot dogs year round. I always find the best ones at Quik Trip……yes QT! These dogs are amazing and they are only $1 each. I also love Varsity hot dogs but getting to midtown for one is inconvenient but there are QT locations all over the area.


December 28th, 2010
5:03 pm

I think that quiktrip has the best hotdogs i dont like the varsity. i dont eat hots dogs from anywhere else


December 28th, 2010
5:04 pm

NuWay All the Way! I twas on the travel channel for top five hotdogs in the country and it is located in Macon,Ga.


December 28th, 2010
5:04 pm

All this talk about hot dogs is making me want a hot dog!!! lol. Too bad it’s snowing and flights are getting canceled because I would try my best to get on the next flight so i can get a “true” and “real” hotdog!


December 28th, 2010
5:12 pm

Barkers on Windy Hill….Best dogs out of Buffalo, New York!!!

Hotdog Lover

December 28th, 2010
5:13 pm

Brandi’s World Famous Hot Dogs on Church Street, Marietta, beats them all. The dogs are so tasty, she goes through hundreds every day, and you can barely get in the door between 12 and 1 because of the crowd.

Jim Davis

December 28th, 2010
5:16 pm

For the South’s best, you have to drive to Birmingham where Pete’s Famous has done business for about a zillion years. Sends hot dogs all over the world. No one close and I’ve had all those listed above


December 28th, 2010
5:19 pm

COSTCO! $1.50 for a foot long including a drink. You pay that much for the grease alone at the Varsity.


December 28th, 2010
5:21 pm

Yeah! Ollie’s Trolley and Lum’s with those schooners of beer, boy those bring back some tasty memories. Do you remember Franksville? Try the grilled chili dog at Scratch in Alpharetta! I’ve occasioned The Varsity for 50+ years but not often, mostly for nastalgia. What I would like is for someone to prepare some true Jersey’s dogs, crusty deep fried quality beef dogs. Also are there any decent fries in Atlanta?


December 28th, 2010
5:28 pm

Rivals in Loganville has the BEST dogs!!!

dam ny yankee

December 28th, 2010
5:31 pm


December 28th, 2010
5:32 pm

Barkers Red Hots – Windy Hill Cooked over real charcoal…awesome!!!

dam yankee

December 28th, 2010
5:33 pm

just go to any nathans o by the way their fries are also great.


December 28th, 2010
5:34 pm

DOG DAYS in Norcross…the Chicago or the Dog Sled….yum yum!


December 28th, 2010
5:35 pm

Rivals in Loganville rocks!!!!!!!!!!

JImmy G

December 28th, 2010
5:38 pm

Guido’s in a shopping center on Barrett Parkway between the mall and Hwy 41 has the best Chicago dog in town. Probably because the owner is from there. And his name isn’t Guido. A Greek guy names Tosos owns it. A Greek owning a restaurant. How strange.


December 28th, 2010
5:43 pm

Varsity does not have good hot dogs only good history. Georges Deli has a good grilled dog with all the trimmings. Yeah Burger is not bad, Whatever the stand was that was in front of the GA Pacific building downtown (Barkers?) was good and flame kissed. Good dogs MUST be grilled on a flat top or open grate. Without char they are a weak weenie. You flaccid Varsity lovers should recognize this phenomena. Only exception is boiled in beer then grilled, if one can spare it. (the beer that is)

Top Dog

December 28th, 2010
5:43 pm

Barkers – No one even compares. Water pulls the flavor out of the dog. Barkers are grilled over real charcoal. Try their signature dog!! Dogs made by a 142 year old meat packer out of Buffalo, NY. Awesome rings and fries and their Bomb Italian Sausage –unbelievable. Wash it all down with a Loganberry and you died and went to heaven.


December 28th, 2010
5:45 pm

Skip’s in Avondale Estates. I’m an Atlanta native and the Varsity can be summed up in one word: OVERRATED. In all honesty, a pack of Nathan’s hot dogs and a can of hot dog chili from the grocery store is better than a Varsity hot dog.


December 28th, 2010
5:49 pm

In a couple of weeks a new entry: Just Dogs opening at 5151 Hwy 278 in Covington with custom dogs, brats, etc and every topping imaginable… I’ve had a sneak preview.


December 28th, 2010
5:58 pm

The Varsity – hands down. Gimme a chili dawg walking!!!


December 28th, 2010
6:02 pm

Went to the varisty tried a Chilli dog. HORRIBLE. How can anyone screw up fixing a hot dog? Did they boil it in old hamburger grease! That was in 1996. My stomach is still sick! Orange Julius best hot dogs beside my own.


December 28th, 2010
6:08 pm

Barkers!!! Great dogs, great people. Wish they would open one in Gwinnett.


December 28th, 2010
6:09 pm

Brandy’s in Marietta, nobody even comes close. The Varisity is just a place to take people when they come visit. Barkers on Windy Hill is also great because you can’t beat a hot dog cooked over hot coals.


December 28th, 2010
6:12 pm

Patak meats in Austell makes fantastic hotdogs and sausages. Great on the grill or steamed with beer. Great crunch when you bite them. Don’t know if any restaurants serves them.


December 28th, 2010
6:17 pm

ATL Cook

December 28th, 2010
6:30 pm

Sam’s Club $1.50 special, including a huge drink cup. About what a teacher can afford these days. Don’t have to be a member to go to food court. I took it to all the football games this year for my HS.

But, the Varsity is #1 even though I can no longer afford it. Maybe a part time job there would be good.


December 28th, 2010
6:31 pm

Rivals hot dogs in loganville!!!


December 28th, 2010
6:35 pm

The best place in Spalding County is Griffith’s Drive-In… Friendly staff and consistently good!! Been around for YEARS!!


December 28th, 2010
6:37 pm

I know everyone says Varsity from here in Gerogia but they simply do not compare to a Chicago, a New York, or especially a Sahlens hot dog in Western New York. Actually the closest I have come is Five Guys believe it or ot. They have a great size dog grilled in half and topped with everything you could want.


December 28th, 2010
6:44 pm

Currently the best is a chili slaw dawg at the Varsity. To those newcommers who have gotten sick there, it is because their system is just being cleansed of all that pretend food from up North.
I have to agree with the other old timer, the Yellow Jacket on North Ave. had the VERY BEST. Their toasted buns were great.
Once again, I will say, if you don;’t like it here, Delta is ready when you are or our Interstate highways do run in both directions.


December 28th, 2010
6:45 pm

Before I get hate comments, Barker’s serves a pretty good dog as does the place in McDonough. That said, there is nothing of tubular merit in town, at least that I’ve had the pleasure of eating. First, a good hot dog has to still have the casing, bite is all important. Sabretts is the best and there are other good regional brands. The bun isn’t as important; but, it should be steamed, just not to the point of mush. Stuff for it? NO KETCHUP or CATSUP unless the diner is under the age of ten; this is non-negotiable. After that, it’s all what you’ve had and like or love. In my order of love: 1) NYC street dog with mustard and the red onion sauce. 2) A Detroit Coney Island. 3) Many of the places in Los Angeles (Pinks is on the bottom of the list). I’ve never been able to appreciate the dogs in Chicago or Cincinnati. Feel free to hate on me – Varsity hot dogs are close to inedible. The only time they should be eaten would be when you feel like a Krystal – you’ve indulged more than you should and need to put something in your stomach, too far gone to show your face in a real eatery.


December 28th, 2010
6:46 pm

Zesto’s! PERIOD!!


December 28th, 2010
6:47 pm

Dog Days Chicago Hot Dogs in Norcross! I live in Snellville and drive over there a couple of times a month to get a good hot dog.


December 28th, 2010
6:49 pm

#1 Chili Dog at the Varsity; #2 Dog All the Way at 4-Way Stop in Cartersville


December 28th, 2010
6:53 pm



December 28th, 2010
6:57 pm

Betty’s in Marietta is my # 1…if you have never been. GO and see why it keeps getting votes.. It is a step above the Varsity..I know that is almost blasphemy , but its true. If I lived closer I’d go monthly to Betty’s.. Its a Varsity chili style……………… one, well maybe 5guys, beats Varsity fries!
Sam’s #2 big plump and cheap!
Varsity #3 easy for me to get to……

Alpharetta Greta

December 28th, 2010
7:08 pm

Flying Biscuit hands down.

Not a Georgian

December 28th, 2010
7:10 pm

While I understand the emotional attachment to Varsity, there is NOT….I repeat NOT a real dirty water dog stand anywhere in Georgia. Nothing beats a New York streetcart with Sabrett hot dogs!!!!


December 28th, 2010
7:25 pm

I have never been to NY, but the dogs are raved about. Wonder why someone hasn’t opened a “streetcart” in Atlanta/metro in malls? Seems like there would be a huge market for it.


December 28th, 2010
7:34 pm

The Varsity??? Come on now……a skinny beefless hot dog dropped into boiling water served on a tastless bun without much choice of condiments.

Congrats to all the posters who showed us their tastless culinary expertise.

Most of you would also vote for Mcdonalds cardboard hamburgers as the best one too.

Enjoy eating your crap.


December 28th, 2010
7:36 pm

The Iberian Pig sold bacon wrapped hot dogs late at night for a while, I don’t know if they still do. Those were the best, but anything wrapped in bacon is automatically “the best” anything.

jimbo jones

December 28th, 2010
7:38 pm

The Varsity by far is the worst hot dog I have ever had. I don’t see why people thinks that place is so great. An elementary school cafeteria can serve up a better dog. Bobby G’s in Alpharetta and Mikes in Sandy Springs are great places to get a dog.


December 28th, 2010
7:40 pm

Come & Get It in Marietta (they used to be “Fat Boys” from Smyrna) serves up the Yellow Jacket style dogs with toasted buns. Great dogs.


December 28th, 2010
7:41 pm

Barkers in Marietta!! I’m from NJ and they make a hot dog equal to what I used to get down by the shore! Always perfectly cooked buy a perfectionist who really knows what he is doing.


December 28th, 2010
7:56 pm

You ATL natives don’t get out much if you think the Varsity has the best hot dogs. Best ones I’ve found around here include Bobby G’s, Guido’s in Kennesaw, Barker’s Red Hots, and most recently, kudos goes to America’s Top Dog. I too did my brief stint with Varsity dogs after I moved here from up north, but I can truly say that there are much better dogs out there, and I’ve had hot dogs in many places all over this country. Heck, even Skin Thrasher’s in SC beats the Varsity!