Cozy Dog offers friendly workers and tasty food


Photographs courtesy of Tiffany Chin

Tiffany Chin, Photographer

Cute, comfy, and convenient is the perfect description of Springfield’s Cozy Dog Drive In.

A family-owned business that started in 1946 in Springfield, the Cozy Dog is a popular stop for travelers on the famous Route 66, which runs from Chicago to Santa Monica, California.

According to an employee, a majority of the travelers are motorcycle clubs, but they also have long-time customers, who went there as a kid, that travel back to Springfield to visit the Cozy Dog.

Along with their constant travelers stopping in for food, they also have their regulars who have been loyal customers of many years.

Their most popular menu item, of course, is the Cozy Dog, a creation only found at this drive-in and at the Illinois State Fair.

The term “Cozy Dog” is the official and only acceptable name for this delicious creation, according to Mary, an employee at Cozy Dog, though it was first referred to as the Crusty Cur.

A Cozy Dog is a hot dog on a stick that has been coated in a special batter and then french-fried.

This process of french-frying the Cozy Dog occurs by submerging a clamp, holding three Cozy Dogs, in hot oil. It is different from the typical corn dog due to its special batter, which allows it to be cooked faster than a corn dog.

During my trip here, I enjoyed a Cozy Dog and a chili cheese dog for about $5.

In comparison to the typical corn dog, the breading for the Cozy Dog is much better. This delicious breading is light but still thick, very crispy, and it contained the perfect amount of sweetness.

Though the breading was heavenly, the hot dog quality was not the best. The hot dog seemed to have a high water content and was made of turkey and chicken, which I was personally not fond of.

Though I was not in favor of the type of hot dog, it did maintain the overall lightness of the corn dog. Although I would have preferred the hotdog to be beef, the Cozy Dog is still delicious and worth giving a try. The batter that is used to make the Cozy Dog is enough reason for me to go back to the diner.

The chili cheese dog was also delightful, but again the type of hotdog created an odd contrast between beef chili and a chicken/turkey hot dog.

Along with their food, Cozy Dog is also unique in the way that it is run, decorated, and set up. Every inch of the wall is covered in sentimental décor, almost as if you were walking into someone’s home.

This diner has the classic look and comfy feel of an old-fashioned diner. Customers walk up to the register to order, similar to a fast-food establishment, then the food is either brought to your table or your name is called out for you to pick it up.

They had three friendly servers working in the front that day and to my surprise, I was told that majority of their workers are within the Waldmire family that started the business.

Overall, I was pleased with my visit to the Cozy Dog Drive In. It is affordable and the experience in general is worth the trip.

They also have a decent-sized menu, which ranges from breakfast items to lunch/dinner items.

They are located at 2935 S. Sixth Street and are open Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.