Some of you may have never heard of Cozy Inn in Salina, Kansas. If you’re from Kansas and you’ve ever traveled west of Topeka or know anyone who has, you’ve probably heard of the place. A quick Google Search for "Cozy Inn Salina, KS" turns up over 6,000 results. Sadly, I am one of those sheltered Kansans who never heard about the Cozy Inn until I was in my 20s, even though my dad graduated from high school in Salina and I’m sure, indulged in his fair share of Cozy Burgers back in his day.
The restaurant opened in 1922 as a tiny 6-stool diner in downtown Salina. Three months after opening the business was sold to a former semi-pro baseball player named Robert Kinkel. The hamburger trend was just beginning in America at this time and the first White Castle actually opened in Wichita, Kansas in 1921, so Kinkel wanted in on the action.
Cozy Inn doesn’t serve anything fancy and special orders are a big no-no. If you want a burger from Cozy Inn, you’re going to get a slider-sized burger topped with a pickle, grilled onions, mustard and ketchup. That’s it! No cheese, no bacon, no fries. Just the basics at the Cozy Inn. Because of the crazy onion smell, they even have a walk-up window so people can avoid smelling like onions until their next shower.
Back in the good old days, each burger was a nickle. Today, they’re 75 cents a piece or you can get 6 for $4.50, 12 for $9.00, 24 for $18.00 or a value meal of 6 burgers, chips and a can of soda for $5.51. I’m told that most people order 6 burgers.
Josh grew up near Salina, in Marquette, KS, and we stopped at the Cozy Inn for my first Cozy experience on the way to his family Christmas this year. Here’s Josh looking excited about his Cozy burger.
The building really is tiny. I would probably ask to work alone if I worked there. I didn’t get to see the inside though because I stayed in the car.
You can see the size of the burger in comparison to my hand. It’s not a large burger, but they were really good. I’m looking forward to more Cozy Inn stops in the future.