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We’d like to thank Visit Springfield for hosting our visit to Cozy Dog Drive In. As usual, all opinions are honest and our own.
If you come to Springfield, Illinois, to check out the Abraham Lincoln attractions, don’t forget to put some old Route 66 highlights on your itinerary. One of the best Route 66 stops in Illinois is the Cozy Dog Drive In. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time to the 1950s as you enjoy the original fresh-dipped corn dog on a stick.
Cozy Dog History
According to the history page on the Cozy Dog website, Ed Waldmire, Jr. and his wife, began selling the corn dogs on a stick in Springfield in 1946. These Cozy Dogs also made their first appearance at the Illinois State Fair later that year. Before he began selling the version on a stick, Waldmire had tasted a dish in which hot dogs were baked into cornbread. After a friend developed a recipe for a special batter, Waldmire began dipping hot dogs on a stick into the batter and frying them like a French fry. The Cozy Dog was born.
Before the Drive In existed, Waldmire owned two Cozy Dog Houses in Springfield. The Cozy Dog Drive In opened in 1949 on Route 66. In 1996, the Cozy Dog Drive In moved to its current home next to the original Drive In spot. Cozy Dog Drive In is still owned and operated by the Waldmire family.
The Cozy Dog Drive In
When you enter the restaurant, you can head straight to the counter to place your order. The menu is on the wall behind the counter.
As you wait to place your order, you may get a glimpse of Cozy Dog production in action.
The restaurant itself is a fun place to explore. The walls are filled with Route 66 memorabilia and Cozy Dog history.
Trying the Cozy Dog
While there are some other items on the menu, Jeff and I felt compelled to try the famous Cozy Dogs. They offer a family basket of four Cozy Dogs and their homemade fries. Bring it!
I’m not usually a corn dog consumer, but I gave these a try. Oh my goodness! Goodness is the word. The batter was fried beautifully; it was crisp on the outside and moist on the inside.
It was the best corn dog I’ve ever tasted. I dipped mine into mustard.
Jeff frequently eats corn dogs, and he said Cozy Dogs rank among the best corn dogs he’s ever had.
Kristin had the kids’ chicken strips, and she said they were yummy, too.
You can even wash your meal down with some Cozy Dog craft root beer. I can’t think of a more perfect drink to go with my Cozy Dog.
We loved our Cozy Dog visit! In fact, I know if I’m even remotely close to the area, I will make another trip to this fun place. I loved the Route 66 decor, and the corn dogs are yummy. If you’re heading to the Springfield area, don’t forget to put the Cozy Dog Drive In on your list of must-dos!
Click below to read about other fun places to eat across the country!
The Pirates’ House in Savannah, Georgia
Central BBQ in Memphis, Tennessee
Poe’s Tavern in Charleston, South Carolina