Cozy Dog Drive-In
If there were a Mount Rushmore of Route 66 restaurateurs, the late Ed Waldmire’s face would surely be on it.
While serving in the Air Force during the 1940s, Waldmire invented what he called a “crusty cur” — a wiener dipped in cornmeal batter, impaled on a skewer, and deep-fried. His wife, Virginia, later convinced him to change his creation’s name to “Cozy Dog.” According to the official Cozy Dog Web site, the Waldmires began selling the deep-fried delicacies at the Lake Springfield Beach House in 1946.
More than 60 years later, Waldmire’s grandchildren help their mother run the Cozy Dog Drive-In at 2935 S. Sixth Street in Springfield, Ill.
In addition to Waldmire’s world-famous, much-beloved corn dogs, the Cozy Dog offers skin-on French fries and some of the best cheeseburgers on the road, along with plush Cozy Dog souvenirs; batter mix; and gorgeous pen-and-ink artwork by Waldmire’s son Bob, an ethical vegetarian, itinerant artist and longtime hippie who inspired the character Fillmore in the movie Cars.
Below is a rat-terrier’s-eye view of a Cozy Dog just seconds before our faithful sidekick, Scout, swiped it right off the stick:
If you’re traveling through Springfield on Route 66, the Cozy Dog is not to be missed.
The Cozy Dog Drive-In is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Closed Sundays and significant holidays. For more information, visit the Web site or call (217) 525-1992.
Route 66 Spirit: A+