A longtime Salina eating establishment has been named the “most iconic” restaurant in Kansas.
The Yahoo! website this week published what it has deemed to be every state’s “most iconic” restaurant. It deemed Salina’s Cozy Inn as the most iconic in Kansas.
Here is what was written about the Cozy:
“You know who’s sold a lot of sliders? White Castle. That company is also a Kansas product, like Raef LaFrentz. Yes, that Raef LaFrentz. But while Salina’s famed slider shop doesn’t have nearly as many locations as Harold and Kumar’s favorite fast-food joint, The Cozy Inn stays popular to this day with their no-frills meat sandwiches topped with cooked onions and steamed buns.”
To qualify for this list, a place had to have been around for 30+ years (all have been in business since at least 1980) and still be a crowd favorite. And while some of the restaurants may not have the best food or be tourist-free, they’re all famous.
According to the Cozy’s website, in 1922, Bob Kinkel began frying his onion-laden, coin sized burgers in a tiny space located at 108 North 7th Street. Kinkel obtained the concept from White Castle, which opened the previous year in Wichita, Kansas. Kinkel’s hamburgers sold for five cents and were known as “sliders”, most likely from the practice of sliding the steamy sandwich down the counter on a slip of waxed paper. The six-stool diner was a success, feeding area diners seven days a week, remaining open late each night for hungry patrons leaving late night movies and dance halls in downtown Salina. 93 years later the Cozy is still open, in the same location.
The Cozy Inn has received multiple awards over the years. . In January of 2009, the Cozy Inn was featured on the Travel Channel’s “101 Tastiest Places to Chow Down”, coming in at #69. Shortly after that, the Travel Channel featured the Cozy Inn on “Americas Top Ten Hamburgers”, coming in at #6. In October of 2010, USA Today picked the Cozy Inn as the “Best Burger Joint in Kansas”. And in August of 2012, the Cozy Inn received a Diamond Award from AAA.