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 29th, 2010
1:24 pm

I think it’s pretty good to be able to keep doors open in a small town in this economy. The economy does not show favorites. Metropolitan areas have many people, small towns do not. Larger areas have numbers, small towns have community. No one should assume anything, and negative, personal comments should be ignored and have no place on a review board unless they simply don’t like a product. Personal comments reveal a lot about the posters who have not walked a mile in a man’s shoes. Keep up the good work, Chuck and family. Yours is the most original business that I’ve ever seen and Rivals adds a great flavor to our growing town.


December 29th, 2010
1:24 pm

Rivals hot dogs in Loganville Ga . Best dog I have ever had . Homemade chili and slaw . This place
is best !!!!!!!! The hotest Hot Dogs in the world !!!!!!!!! Hell Hound !!!!!!!!!!!! HOT !!!!!!!!! Go see for your self


December 29th, 2010
1:25 pm

Barker’s at Windy Hill & Powers Ferry in Marietta!! Once you have one, you’ll start to crave them and need a regular fix. The onion rings are the best in town too!


December 29th, 2010
1:32 pm

Max Rica’s Lawrenceville, GA

Buffalo Transplant

December 29th, 2010
1:36 pm

Barker’s Red Hots in Marietta is the best! :)


December 29th, 2010
1:45 pm

Because I don’t eat beef or pork, and therefore, I have never visited Rivals for a meal (though I live in Loganville and visit that shopping center weekly), I will refrain from derogatory comments about the establishment.

However, I just thought of an interesting concept: How about a hot dog joint that sells hot dogs made from other ingredients (turkey, veggie, etc.) instead of just beef? I think that concept would work wonders in a town like Athens, or even Loganville. I always have a problem going to The Varsity because of this. I eat my hot dogs and brats at home because I can find turkey (for me) and veggie (for the wife).

How about serving domestic draft beer as well? Just a thought, and here’s to hoping the mom and pop establishments succeed…


December 29th, 2010
1:59 pm

I have live in Atlanta, Tampa, Denver, Chicago, Ft.Worth and Memphis. There is only one town that my family and I make certain we eat at when we come into town and that is the VARSITY in Atlanta. Mel’s in Tampa is number 2. Chicago has great hotdogs but I don’t remember any names. Just give me a Varstiy hotdog, onion rings and a PC!!!.

Gambling Gal

December 29th, 2010
2:03 pm

As a loyal Varsity patron for just about all my life, from the fifties, I have to put my plug in for CJ’s Hotdogs in McDonough. They are absolutely delicious !!! I’m also glad they moved to their new location on Hwy 20.


December 29th, 2010
2:07 pm

I am from New York and worked downtown for 9 years. The food including the dirty water dogs was great. I make my own. Start with an all beef hot dog and boil it for 5 minuits. Set the pot on simmer or lower and leave them in the water. Preheat your oven to 220 and after about 20 minuits it is time to make your dog. Tear off as many sheets of foil for the amount of dogs. Place buns out of the bag on the foil and put a wet dog in each. Add mustard and preheated Saurkraut ( you can buy the Sabretts onion sauce at Publix if you want to add it) and roll up each dog in the foil and put it in the oven for 15-20 minuits and they are done. Just like you bought them off the street and brought them back to the office!

Nelda F

December 29th, 2010
2:10 pm

CJ’s hotdog is the best you will ever eat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Donna F

December 29th, 2010
2:19 pm

CJ’s hotdog in Mcdonough, Ga. is by far the best hotdog around and the customer service is great..they know how to treat their customers…


December 29th, 2010
2:24 pm

Hotdog Heaven in Woodstock. Great dogs and friendly staff.

MR. 229

December 29th, 2010
2:27 pm


Nick (the Big Dog) Nickerson

December 29th, 2010
2:57 pm

The Varsity is legendary, but look out there is a new dog in town! CJ’s Hotdogs are the Best of the Best! Every kind of dog known to man, dressed anyway you like it, and served on a “buttered grilled bun”! It’s a Whole Nuva Level! Plus, Fresh Cut French Fries! It’s family owned and operated by Darren and his daughter Jordan, plus other family members and devoted staff. See you at CJ’s Hotdogs! Nick the Big Dog

Richard Bagge

December 29th, 2010
3:12 pm

Good heavens, one may not like the Varsity, but to say that Skin Thrasher’s in Greenville SC is in any way better, well, that’s just plain silly. My high school cafeteria served better than Skin Thrasher’s.


December 29th, 2010
3:18 pm

Brian – Man your missing out at Rivals! go and order the Sea Dog (affectionately known as a water wienie). It is a piece of fresh cod deep fried in beer batter served on a hot dog bun with slaw and tarter sauce. It sounds funky – but it is to die for.

CJs and Rivals

December 29th, 2010
3:30 pm

CJs and Rivals are closed for business, don’t waste your time.


December 29th, 2010
3:35 pm

CJ’s in McDonough has the best with Yellow Jacket coming in second.


December 29th, 2010
3:39 pm

Cj’s is not closed- they moved to 1421 Hwy 20 Mcdonough – across from JCPenney. Bigger space – looks great!!!


December 29th, 2010
3:42 pm

Rivals is great! And they are more than likely NOT closing.

Mcdonough and Loganville?

December 29th, 2010
3:45 pm

Kudos to CJs and Rivals owners for working this blog, hope that it helps you keep the doors open for a few more days.


December 29th, 2010
4:13 pm

Cj’s Hot Dogs in McDonough are great tasting and the staff is the best too! No one is as good as CJ’s!!

Deborah R Lucas

December 29th, 2010
4:14 pm

When you think hotdogs, you think (at least you should think) CJ’s Hotdogs!! Number 1 in McDonough or anywhere.


December 29th, 2010
4:17 pm

Rival’s slaw dog is the best thing that ever happened to purple cabbage and malt vinegar


December 29th, 2010
4:42 pm

RIVALS in Loganville, GA!!!! The polish victory lap is the best!!!! My husband calls them “Varsity on steroids”!!!


December 29th, 2010
4:44 pm

Rivals in Loganville gets my vote. Super Delicious dogs and the service is tops!

Phil from Florida

December 29th, 2010
4:46 pm

CJ’s in McDonough has a very, very good hot dog-toasted bun, tasty chili, and great fries that compliment the dog!!! Can’t go wrong here.


December 29th, 2010
4:51 pm

Rivals in Loganville !! The slaw is the best!!


December 29th, 2010
4:52 pm

Rivals is NOT CLOSED.We applaud Chuck for reconsidering the closing of Rivals.No one but Chuck and his family knows the reason for the decisions that have been made recently and further more it is no ones business WHY. Thank you Rivals.The citizens of Loganville need YOU.

Jim R

December 29th, 2010
5:01 pm

Heard somewhere Rival’s in Loganville has a good dog. Anybody been there? Any comments?
Yacht Dog at the Euclid Ave. Yacht Club is hard to beat!


December 29th, 2010
5:02 pm

Rivals in Loganville is the best I’ve ever had in the state, but I also like Monroe’s in Americus for sentimental reasons…

Randy McKnight

December 29th, 2010
5:02 pm

CJ’s Hotdogs in McDonough makes the best hotdog I have ever eaten by far!! The Varsity is an Atlanta tradition and I like their hotdogs but the CJ’s hotdog is much. much better! Their toasted hotdog bun and their chili is awesome!!!!!!!!!


December 29th, 2010
5:07 pm

I didn’t know they even had a “fish” dog. maybe brian should try it. Sounds like Rivals is pretty innovative. One time they posted a survey on our message board asking for original suggestions. many new varieties came out of that sampling. I’ve always said, anybody can make a pizza, BBQ or any type of food. What makes it successful is having products that others don’t sell. When I go to rivals, I always get either a fried pie or two with my meal. If I just wanted hotdogs, I could go to Dairy Queen, but I want fried pies and good service – so I go to Rivals!


December 29th, 2010
5:07 pm

Love the Varsity but Manuel’s serves a great dog as well.!!


December 29th, 2010
5:19 pm

Barkers Red Hots is by far, by far the BEST hot dog in Atlanta. The Varsity hot dogs are just skinny ball parks with store bought buns, it’s just mystery meat. Let me tell you about a place that has a real charcoal grill, cooks EVERYTHING to order. Your fries aren’t made and waiting 10 minutes before you arrive. They are made as you order them. It’s seriously the best place around.


December 29th, 2010
5:24 pm

CJ’s in McDonough. The friendly staff makes the dogs even better.

The Best

December 29th, 2010
5:25 pm

Barkers Red Hots – No one comes close. I have had CJ’s just OK.


December 29th, 2010
5:37 pm

Rivals Hot Dogs, Loganville GA!

carl h. manley

December 29th, 2010
5:39 pm

cj’s hotdogs McDonough,Ga.


December 29th, 2010
5:46 pm

BARKER’S IS THE BEST!!! All the food is cooked to order. Cleanest restaurant in GA and the best staff. I love the tunes and the feel it is really cool.

Green Egg

December 29th, 2010
5:51 pm

I love anything cooked over charcoal and BARKERS RED HOTS does it right. Grilled right in front of you over this oversized charcoal grill. They even sell lump charcoal Green Egg lovers – Cheap and you can buy their famous dogs and hot sauce for cookouts at home on your Green Egg.

Lisa Griffith Parker

December 29th, 2010
6:09 pm

Rivals in Loganville is the best! I happen to be long time friends with the owners of Rivals and they are honest hard working people…they would not cheat! So if you love Rivals dont let some overzealous fan keep you from voting for them!


December 29th, 2010
6:18 pm

Rivals in Loganville.


December 29th, 2010
6:23 pm

Rivals in Loganville, hands down the best hot dawgs ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


December 29th, 2010
6:36 pm

Rivals Hot Dogs in Loganville, GA!!!!!!!


December 29th, 2010
6:41 pm

Rivals in Loganville, Ga!!!! Chuck Sasser the owner KNOWS what makes the BEST hotdogs ever!!! They make all their sides from scratch- Nothing out of a can. The Slaw and chili are awesome and we love those hand cut fries!! If you want the best Hotdog, GO TO RIVALS IN LOGANVILLE, GA!!!!


December 29th, 2010
6:45 pm

We L-O-V-E CJ’s Hot Dogs in McDonough! They are the closest possible to the old Yellow Jacket Hot Dog that was down the street from the Varsity. We would go there first to get hot dogs then to the Varsity for the fries, onion rings and fried peach pies!!!!


December 29th, 2010
7:05 pm

Rivals in Loganville is the BEST EVER!!!!!!!!!!!


December 29th, 2010
7:24 pm

CJ’s Hotdogs in McDonough has not only the best hot dogs, but the friendliest service around!


December 29th, 2010
7:28 pm

Varsity may be a landmark but for a good dog …… make mine from Rivals. Chili dogs on a cold day …. they are the BEST!!!!!!