Restaurant Guide–South Dakota

Restaurant Guide Main Index


  • Date indicates the most recent update of the restaurants listed
  • Bold indicates my recommendations; others come from what I consider to be good sources

Aberdeen

Palm Garden Thai–602 S. 3rd St. (Thai) Closed Sun.  Curry seems to be a good option but expect it to be too sweet and not spicy enough if you are used to authentic food (but I think you can request more spice than the default). Restaurant \seems to have good coconut and pineapple flavors, though. Stir fry dishes look good from the photos. Tom kha soup is said to be spicy (I think on soups you can’t adjust the spice level). Map (Dining room is open 10-14-22)

Roma–104 S. Main St. (Italian) Closed Sun; closed Mon lunch (and closed from 2 to 4:30 pm).  This looks very good, very authentic, and has a very comprehensive menu. The chef, Raffi, grew up in Italy and had a restaurant in the Dallas area before coming here. Has daily specials (although not because there is a lack of good choices on the regular menu). Serves brick oven handmade New York style pizza. Map (Dining room is open 10-14-22)

Belle Fourche

China Garden–614 5th Ave. (Chinese) Open 11 am to 8 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Many American style dishes, but reviewers say you can get close to San Francisco quality dishes. Map (Dining room is open 10-9-22)

Brookings

Wok n Go–1722 6th St. (Chinese) Closed Mon.  Food looks genuinely good–has bright colors from the vegetables and other ingredients (not from food coloring). Some of the items that look more on the authentic side include mei fun and beef or chicken with black bean sauce. Has “Szechuan Specialties” which may or may not be authentic, but I would try the pork with garlic sauce (this is something I almost always find to be good at Chinese restaurants). Map (Dining room is open 10-14-22)

Burbank

Whimp’s Place–32028 White St. (Steak House) Open Daily.  Menu is steaks, ribs, catfish, chicken, etc., along with pasta. Serves breakfast Sat & Sun 9 am to noon. Good reviews for almost everything. Very popular place that attracts diners from nearby towns such as Vermillion. Map (Dining room is open 10-13-22)

Custer

Hjem A.M.–308 Mt. Rushmore Rd. (New American) Open 8 am to noon (closed Mon & Tue).  Sister restaurant to Skogen. Sausage is made in house–food is said to be very good. Map (Dining room is open 10-9-22)

Laughing Water–12151 Ave. of the Chiefs (Native American) Open daily 11 am to 4 pm. Located near the Crazy Horse Memorial and the Indian Museum of North America. Serves Lakota dishes including tatanka (buffalo) stew and and wojape (a deep purple berry sauce) usually made with chokecherries, a summertime fruit. Has a buffet that presumably includes several Native American dishes but regular menu mainly has more familiar items such as country fried steak, BLT, and burgers.  Map (Dining room is open 10-9-22)

Purple Pie Place–19 Mt. Rushmore Blvd. (Pie Shop).  Chicken pot pie is popular. There are several berry pies including bumbleberry, and many other flavors are available. Map (Open in summer and fall only 10-9-22)

Skogen Kitchen–29 N. 5th St. (New American) Open 5 pm to 8 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Reviewers say it has a big city menu in a small town. Dinner has fine dining items at high prices (steaks, lamb, etc.). Diners here do not mind the prices because they say the food is worth it. (Soup and appetizers also get excellent reviews and might be worth trying if you are on a budget). Map (Dining room is open 10-9-22)

State Game Lodge–13389 US Hwy. 16A (American) Open Daily (open May through Mid October).  Upscale food in a very pleasant setting. Not too expensive for the quality provided. Map (In 2022 has buffet only breakfast & lunch; limited menu for dinner 10-9-22)

Fort Pierre

Drifters Bar & Grille–325 Hustan Ave. (American) Open 4-9 pm (closed Sun & Mon).  Has a popular riverfront patio, and food gets good reviews. Ribeye, walleye, and fish & chips are popular. Map (Dining room is open 10-14-22)

Note: Fort Pierre is on Mountain time while times for Pierre are Central

Hartford

Hartford .Steak Co–709 N. Mundt Ave. (Steak House) Dinner only (open daily).  Has good reviews, and low prices by 2022 standards. Prime rib and filet mignon are recommended (prime rib only served Fri & Sat). Map (Dining room is open 10-14-22)

Huron

Mercy Thai–2357 Dakota Ave. S. (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 2:30 to 4:30 pm).  Very good reviews. Some people say the food is almost authentic but it is a big hit for a small town, and people say the flavors are very good. A plus here is that if you order it spicy they will give it to you that way. Noodles, curry, and stir fry dishes all have good reviews. Map (Dining room is open 10-14-22)

Thai Cuisine–1524 Dakota Ave. S. (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 2 to 4:30 pm).  Reviews are about the same as for Mercy Thai. I think (from reading the reviews) that it is probably more authentic than Mercy Thai and has more menu items that sound like the real deal. Like Mercy Thai it allows you to choose your spice level. Map (Dining room is open 10-14-22)

Keystone

Powder House–24125 Hwy. 16! (American) Open daily (serves breakfast).  Specializes in wild game. Trout was excellent. Map (Open in summer only–dine-in is available 10-14-22)

Mitchell

Cows N Canoes–23297 452nd Ave. (American) Open Thu-Sun (closed at 7 pm Sun).  Small menu, but if you don’t want a hamburger they have an Italian steak sandwich and an Italian meatball sandwich. Serves breakfast all day. I think they must have items other than the sandwiches but I did not see reviews for anything else. Reviewers recommend the ice cream and homemade chocolate. Map (Dining room is open 10-14-22)

Pierre

Branding Iron Bistro–420 W. Sioux Ave. (American) Breakfast and Lunch only (open daily).  Breakfast is not the typical greasy spoon style (has veggie omelettes, gluten free bread, etc.). Lunch menu has panini and wraps (bacon and kraut is popular). Espresso bar is popular. Map (Dining room is open 10-14-22)

Mad Mary’s Steakhouse–110 E. Dakota Ave. (Steakhouse) Open 5-9 pm (closed Sun).  Steaks are said to be very good, but pork loin is also popular. Map (Dining room is open 10-14-22)

Rapid City

Everest Cuisine–2328 W. Main St. (Indian) Closed Tue (and closed from 2:30 to 4:30 pm).  A seemingly Nepalese owned restaurant that serves mostly Indian food. Reviewers say it is very good, mostly because of the quality of the meat, vegetables, etc. Menu is more varied than in many large city Indian restaurants, and in addition they have a few Nepalese items. Map (Dining room is open 10-12-22)

Pacific Rim Cafe–1375 N. Lacrosse St. (Vietnamese) Open Daily.  Has better reviews than other Vietnamese restaurants in the city to the point that I think this may actually be authentic and worth trying. A unique feature here is that they have a Vietnamese style pad thai. (Note: the Thai restaurants in town have better reviews than this restaurant, except by people identifying themselves as Asian). Map (Dining room is open 10-12-22)

Wine Cellar–513 6th St. (European-Californian) Dinner only (closed Sun & Mon).  Said to be more expensive than other restaurants in town but not super expensive, and worth the money. Has European dishes (mainly Italian including pizza). From looking at the older reviews and the current menu, it seems that the menu is much smaller than it used to be. What they do have looks upscale and good quality. Map (Dining room is open 10-12-22)

Sioux Falls

CH Patisserie–309 S. Phillips Ave. (Pastry Shop) Open Daily.  Pastry and coffee shop opened by the season 2 winner of Top Chef Just Desserts. Macaroons and French Press coffee are especially popular. Map (Has tables for dine-in 10-14-22)

Lam’s–1600 E. Rice St. (Vietnamese) Closed Mon.  Reviews indicate that this may be the best Asian food in the Sioux Falls area). May diners recommend getting the bun bao along with the meal. Map (Dining room is open 10-12-22)

PAve–130 S. Phillips Ave. (Bar) Lunch, dinner, and late night (closed Sun).  Bar that seems to have better reviews for the food than for the drinks. Much of it is bar food (nachos, pretzels, burgers, dogs, etc.). A popular dish that is a local specialty is the chislic (deep fried sirloin served with garlic aioli). Map (Dining room is open 10-9-22)

Phnon Penh–1010 N. Minnesota Ave. (Cambodian) Closed Sun & Mon (and closed from 2 to 4 pm).  Lemongrass noodle and papaya salad are popular items. Apparently some of the dishes are more Americanized (sweeter), but these are also said to be full of flavor. Map (Dining room is open 10-14-22)

Sanaa’s–401 E. 8th St. (Lebanese) Lunch only (closed Sun).  Reviewers say it has a large menu, is authentic, and has big city quality. Map (Dining room is open 10-12-22)

Sisseton

Rosalie’s–9 8th Ave. E (American) Breakfast & Lunch daily; Dinner Thu-Sat.  People say it tastes like home cooking. Some menu items include steaks, sandwiches, Minnesota wild rice pilaf, chicken and dumplings, and Indian tacos (Tue only). Has a breakfast menu on Sun. Map (Dining room is open 10-15-22)

Spearfish

Basecamp Kitchen–541 W. Jackson Blvd. (Indian) Closed Mon.  Serves Indian and Nepalese food. Reviewers say this is the real deal. Vegetarian menu is extensive, and meat choices are even more so (partly because they have both Indian and Nepalese choices). Map (Dining room is open 10-13-22)

Killian’s Food & Drink–539 W. Jackson Blvd. (Steaks) Open Daily.  Has very good ratings (like the Indian restaurant next door), and also has Asian and Middle Eastern items such as Thai curry noodles and Moroccan spice lamb chops. Entrees include steak but has much more variety available. The restaurant likes to create unique “one-off wonders” that cannot be found anywhere else. Prices are very reasonable and food looks very good. Map (Dining room is open 10-13-22)

Summerset

J.R.’s Rhodehouse BBQ PIT–7201 Infinity Dr. (BBQ) Open Wed-Sat 11 am to 7:30 pm.  Brisket and mac & cheese are popular with reviewers on Google Maps. Texas style BBQ, but goes beyond the traditional dishes with items such as brisket nachos. Some of the items sell out well before closing time. Located just west of Rapid City. Map (Dining room is open 10-9-22)

Vermillion

Café Brulé–24 W. Main St. (French) Open daily 8 am to 3 pm (temporary hours).  French bistro style. Menu also contains chili burger, cubano, gyro, Greek chicken wrap, and a number of other non-French items. Map (Dining room is open 10-13-22)

Hartford Steak Co–7 Court St. (Steak House) Dinner only (closed Sun).  Has another location in Hartford (a suburb of Sioux Falls). The most popular item seems to be the prime rib served on Fri & Sat (comes in 6 different sizes ranging from 6 to 27 oz). Price also seems to be extremely good. Map (Dining room is open 10-14-22)

Silk Road Cafe–12 W. Main St. (Korean) Open 2 pm to 8 pm (open Wed-Sat).  Korean restaurant that also has Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Japanese items. I ate at at the former Chae’s that was in this location, and their dishes are still served here (so I can attest to the fact that this is good food). Map (Dining room is open 10-13-22)

Wall

Wall Drug Store–510 Main St. (American) Open daily 8 am to 6 pm.  Tourist trap that is so over the top that people actually like it (it is built like an Old West town). For food, the buffalo burger and donuts are popular. Map (Dining room is open 10-13-22)

Watertown

Downtown Sushi–18 N. Broadway (Japanese) Closed Sun.  Sushi is said to be very good. Has other items such as teriyaki box, hibachi, and tempura. Map (Dining room is open 10-14-22)

Page’S Place–700 W. Kemp Ave. (American) Open daily (closed from 2 to 4 pm).  Said to have home cooked style comfort food. Hamburgers are popular, but has several specials such as pasta night (Tue) and rib night (every Friday). Map (Dining room is open 10-14-22)

Wolsey

Rollin Wheel–601 Commercial Ave. (American) Open 6 am to 9 pm (except 6-2 on Sun).  This is standard American food except that they get everything they can from local farms. BLT and prime rib are recommended. The Sunday buffet is especially popular. Map (Dining room is open 10-14-22)

Yankton

Czeckers Sports Bar and Grill–407 Walnut St. (Czech & American) Open daily 11 am to 11 pm. Chicken tenders, wings, etc. get good reviews. The real star here (that not many seem to discover) seems to be the Beseda Dinner, a “traditional Czech feast” available after 5 pm (mashed potatoes and dumplings are also available on Fri & Sat). Also has Chislic made with sirloin steak.  Map (Dining room is open 10-15-22)


  • For additional explanation of this list see Index
  • Please feel free to leave your own comments or suggestions.

Note About “50 States, 50 Dishes” (Condé Nast)

Condé Nast published an article on Jul. 3, 2018 using various sources to compile a “list of the dishes that capture the hearts, souls, and (oh, yes) stomachs of these 50 states (plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico), and where you should order them.” For South Dakota it was chislic, large chunks of stew meat on fondue sticks, placed in hot oil until it is crispy on the outside and cooked through. People like to top it with Worcestershire sauce or Heinz 57.

The dish is popular in the eastern part of the state and is mostly available in bars. One that the editors recommend is PAve in Sioux Falls (serves beef, but lamb and venison are also considered to be traditional and are available at other places). I think PAve has also modernized the traditional topping by serving garlic aioli.

Note About “50 States, 50 Cuisines” (Condé Nast)

Condé Nast published an article on Sep. 14, 2020 explaining how they set out to go beyond a previous article that had identified the signature dish for each state, and to find food that goes beyond the classics and “to highlight a cuisine worth traveling to each state for, much of which you truly can’t get anywhere else.” For South Dakota it was Lakota cuisine which centers on Indigenous food sources.

For a taste of the cuisine they recommend Laughing Water Restaurant just north of Custer which offers tatanka (buffalo) stew and dessert featuring wojapi, a berry sauce usually made with locally growing chokecherries.


Sources:

Chowhound (former web site)

Condé Nast Traveler “50 States, 50 Cuisines: The Food Worth Traveling For in Every State”

Condé Nast Traveler, “50 States, 50 Dishes: America’s Favorite Foods and Where to Get Them”

Eater “Top Chef Just Desserts’ Chris Hanmer to Open a Patisserie in Sioux Falls, SD”

Google Maps

Lovefood.com “The Best Barbecue Restaurant in Every US State”

Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)

 

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