This Route 66 Diner Is Home to the Original Corn Dog

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Ever wonder where the corn dog originally came from?

This small, unassuming diner along the iconic Route 66 that claims to have invented it! You've got to hear the cool backstory on the Cozy Dog Drive-In and their crispy, deep-fried dogs on a stick.

A food sign at the Cozy Dog Drive In, home of the original hot dog on a stick

This little roadside spot has been pumping out corn dogs before they were even called corn dogs - we're talking 75+ years of delicious history. Read on to get your fill on some little-known American comfort food lore.

The Birth of the Corn Dog

Home made corn dog fried sausage skewer with mustard

Along America's famous Route 66 in Springfield, Illinois, is a little diner that holds an outsized claim in American food history — it's the birthplace of the corn dog. The Cozy Dog Drive-In first opened in 1946 when founder Ed Waldmire decided to put battered hot dogs on a stick and fry them up.

He had seen a similar concept served at the state fair and realized he was onto something good. Ed experimented with the batter and preparation until arriving at the now-classic corn dog combination.

An Iconic Route 66 Stop is Born

The rotating sign at the Cozy Dog Drive In, home of the original hot dog on a stick

Word soon spread about these delicious hot dogs on a stick, and the Cozy Dog Drive-In became a must-stop spot along Route 66. For over 75 years, people have been pulling off the Mother Road to sink their teeth into some extra crispy, mouthwatering corn dogs.

As you're already on Route 66, why not learn more about its iconic history? Read more about it here: The Tragic History Behind Route 66’s Forgotten Ghost Towns

Staying True to Its Roots

The Cozy Dog doesn't rest on its historical laurels alone, though. To this day, they still serve those original corn dog recipes using the same secret-recipe batter prepared as Ed Waldmire first perfected it. That trademark crunch when you bite in is the definition of corn dog perfection.

A Delicious Blast from the Past

From the vintage neon sign out front to the nostalgic roadside diner interior, enjoying corn dogs at The Cozy Dog Drive-In still feels like taking a tasty trip back in time.

Beyond the famous corn dogs, their menu has also expanded over the years to serve hot sandwiches, chili, ice cream, and more to hungry travelers.

A full belly is just the start — get more road trip tips you need to know by reading our guide here: 37 Tips That Will Make Your Road Trip a Success

Customer Reviews Speak for Themselves

Carolinebrothertonra, all the way from the U.K., was super impressed. The staff treated them well and even rustled up some veggie options for their crew.

Sherylstallman visited in August 2023 and said the food was top-notch, especially the fries. Plus, the place is loaded with cool old stuff to check out.

Kirt V was there in August too, and liked the food and all the Route 66 stuff. Mindy L thought it was spotless, the service was friendly, and the nostalgia was off the charts.

First-timer I5028KPidap found it on Trip Advisor and was stoked about the good prices, tasty corn dogs, and friendly vibe.

Make Sure to Stop at an American Classic

So whether you're already a corn dog connoisseur or have yet to try one, The Cozy Dog Drive-In deserves a spot on your Route 66 stops.

After sinking your teeth into one of their handmade original corn dog creations, you'll agree that this little diner serves up some of America's classic comfort food.

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