Corn dog and fries at Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois on Route 66

Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois

Home » Roadside Attractions Blog » Illinois » Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois

A juicy hot dog skewered on a stick, coated in a thick corn laden batter, and deep fried to a crunchy golden brown. Get a taste of history at this Route 66 institution: Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois. Just don’t call it a corn dog.

Corn dog and fries at Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois on Route 66

Cozy Dog doesn’t sell corn dogs, they sell Cozy Dogs. Yes, their signature item is a battered and fried hot dog on a stick, but they make it clear that Cozy Dogs preceded the modern corn dog and are superior in quality and taste to your normal cornmeal dipped fair dog.

This corn drenched hot dog on a stick was invented and perfected by Ed Waldmire Jr. while he was in the Air Force during World War II. He was inspired by a food item he’d encountered in Muskogee, Oklahoma called a “corn dog.” But this corn dog was far from the festival fair we know today. This sandwich-like creation consisted of a wiener baked into cornbread. Similar flavors but without that signature stick or golden fried crunch. He set out to create a new version that was just as tasty but quicker to prepare.

With the help of his friend Don Strand the modern day corn dog was born.

Inside Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois on Route 66

Ed originally called the creation a “crusty cur,” and it quickly became popular at the local USO club. After he was honorably discharged in 1946, Ed returned home and decided to continue selling his snack in his hometown of Springfield, Illinois. There would just be one change. At the urging of his wife, the moniker of “crusty cur” was changed to a more friendly sounding “Cozy Dog.”

Waldmire began selling his Cozy Dogs at the Lake Springfield Beach House and at the Illinois State Fair. In 1949 the Cozy Dog Drive In opened on Route 66, and, while it has moved a few times over the years, you can still find these treats on the Mother Road today. In fact, the recipe hasn’t changed since the 1940s, they still use the same equipment from the 1960s, and the business is still family owned, now being run by a third generation of Waldmires.

Put a stick in it, we’re done here. But not before eating another couple of Cozy Dogs.

Corn dog and fries at Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois on Route 66
Corn dog and fries at Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois on Route 66
Corn dog and fries at Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois on Route 66
Corn dog and fries at Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois on Route 66
Corn dog and fries at Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois on Route 66
Sign for Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois on Route 66
Inside Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois on Route 66
Eating a cozy dog corn dog at Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois on Route 66
Eating a cozy dog corn dog at Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois on Route 66
Inside Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois on Route 66
Inside Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois on Route 66
Corn dog dancing cutout at Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois on Route 66
Sign for Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois on Route 66
Oustide of Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois on Route 66

Cozy Dog Drive In

Address: 2935 S 6th St, Springfield, IL 62703
Hours: Open Monday – Saturday 8am – 8pm
Visit the restaurant’s official website for up to day hours and menus.

Pin this Illinois Route 66 attraction:

A juicy hot dog skewered on a stick, coated in a  corn laden batter, and deep fried to a crunchy golden brown. Get a taste of history at this Route 66 institution: Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois. Just don’t call it a corn dog. Visit this attraction on a Route 66 road trip through Illinois.  #RoadTrips #RoadTripStop #Route66 #Route66RoadTrip #IllinoisRoute66 #Illinois #IllinoisRoadTrip #IllinoisRoadsideAttractions #RoadsideAttractions #RoadsideAttraction #RoadsideAmerica #RoadTrip
A juicy hot dog skewered on a stick, coated in a  corn laden batter, and deep fried to a crunchy golden brown. Get a taste of history at this Route 66 institution: Cozy Dog Drive In in Springfield, Illinois. Just don’t call it a corn dog. Visit this attraction on a Route 66 road trip through Illinois.  #RoadTrips #RoadTripStop #Route66 #Route66RoadTrip #IllinoisRoute66 #Illinois #IllinoisRoadTrip #IllinoisRoadsideAttractions #RoadsideAttractions #RoadsideAttraction #RoadsideAmerica #RoadTrip

Plan your road trip

Use the links below to book your hotel and rental car, plan your route, and more.

Book your road trip:

This section contains affiliate links from which we might make a commission from your purchases, at no cost to you.

Book your hotel at Booking.com

Rent a car at RentCars.com

Plan your road trip:

Road Trip Planner

How to Plan a Road Trip

Road Trip Budget

What To Do on a Road Trip

Road Trip Stops

What to Wear on a Road Trip

Road Trip Packing List

Road Trip Luggage

Road Trip Cameras

Val

Val is the founder and head road tripper at Silly America. Having grown up near Berwyn's famed car kabob, The Spindle, and a restaurant with a cow on its roof, her fascination with roadside attractions started early. Today, Val has visited over 300 roadside attractions across 31 states and is constantly on the lookout for the next BIG thing!

Val also blogs about her life, travels, and cats on her personal blog, Choosing Figs.

View stories