3000 Windy Hill Rd., #128, Marietta
If the scent of a charcoal grill beckons your taste buds, Barker’s Red Hots is sure to satisfy. These dogs are scored, placed on a hot charcoal grill and turned continuously to create a slightly crunchy char. The “original” hotdog is served with hot sauce, onions and pickles. Kid meals are available (age 10 and younger) for a mere $2.99 and include a side (fries, carrots & ranch, mandarin oranges), juice and a cookie. The Crystal Beach Crinkle Cut French Fries (washed in vinegar) and sweet onion rings are addictive. Don’t say you’ll share; you’ll want these all to yourself!
664 N. Highland Ave., NE Atlanta
If you’re into locally sourced food, check out the hot dogs at HD1. Poncey-Highland locals rave about Top Chef All Star Winner Richard Blais’ signature Haute Dog, served on a big Texas Toast-like bun with beef chili, pimento cheese and sweet onion for $5.50. Kid meal selections include grilled cheese, corn dog or chicken fingers served with waffle fries for about $4. Vegetarian hot dog lovers can indulge in a field roast veggie frank dressed with veggie chili, walnut mayo and fried shallot rings for $6.
1377 Church St. Ext. NW, Marietta
Thirty years ago, it was known as Betty’s World Famous Hot Dogs. About 10 years ago it became Brandi’s World Famous Hot Dogs and the locals breathed a sigh of relief that nothing but the name changed. There’s often a line of folks with cash in hand (no plastic accepted here!) as the door opens at 10 a.m. and it can be a challenge to navigate the tiny gravel parking lot, but the food and old-time diner ambience is worth it. At $1.25 each, Brandi’s offers simple, old-fashioned hot dogs. The house favorite is a chili dog, and this dog can bite with chili that packs a powerful punch. Afraid you’re not up to the challenge? Ask to have the chili drained and add cool, crisp cole slaw to top off your dog.
48 N. Avondale Rd., Avondale Estates
No need to book a flight to the Windy City to get a good, Chicago-style hot dog. Head over to Skip’s in Avondale Estates for a Vienna Beef hot dog with requisite tomato, peppers, relish, pickles and mustard served on a poppy seed bun. Not a Chicago-style dog enthusiast? No worries, other toppings include sauerkraut, cheese, chili or cole slaw.
North Avenue Downtown
Other locations: Hartsfield-Jackson Airport; Town Center; Kennesaw; Athens; Dawsonville; Alpharetta; Gwinnett
With over two miles of hot dogs, a ton of onions and 300 gallons of chili made from scratch daily, The Varsity is the premier place to bliss out on a Hot Dog (chili and mustard), Heavy Weight (extra chili), or Yankee Dog (mustard only). Washed down with an ice-cold Coca-Cola, FO (Frosted Orange) or PC (chocolate milk), you simply can’t go wrong here!
– Dana diLorenzo