The Best Places to Eat at Mount Rushmore and Beyond

All that history, patriotism, hiking, buffalo sighting, and scenery admiring makes a person hungry! It’s a good thing there is no shortage of hearty fare (even in summer) in and around southwest South Dakota. Here are the best places where we ate on our recent trip to Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, Rapid City, and beyond!

The Front Porch Restaurant, Keystone

After a day of driving and sightseeing, we worked up a hunger. We stopped in historic Keystone, near Mount Rushmore, and decided on The Front Porch Restaurant. My friend Denise got the most massive veggie sandwich, and I got the Mountain Man burger, complete with a patty made of buffalo, wild boar, elk, antelope, and deer! The restaurant has lots of seating inside and a large front porch (as you might imagine), so it’s almost a sure bet for a table at meal time.

Front Porch Veggie Sandwich
Mountain Man Burger with Veggies
Read next: 5 Reasons Why Food is Important to the Travel Experience

Wall Drug, Wall

I’ll be honest, this came up in nearly every blog, every list of things to do and places to eat, but the restaurant was just kind of basic. It was an experience, sure, and they did have a breaded chicken sandwich and a buffalo hot dog (actually a pretty good hot dog), but I would have probably chosen somewhere else if I had it to do over again. Their gift shop was extensive, though, and I found some beautiful earrings for my mom here!

Chicken Sandwich
Buffalo Hot Dog with Coleslaw
Want more? Keep eating on my World Foods Page!

Dakotah Steakhouse, Rapid City

So nice, we ate here twice! You have to eat at a steak house when you visit the American West, and just as importantly, you have to try an unusual-to-you meat. Sure, you can get a steak from a cow, but how many opportunities do you get to order bison skewers with a peanut satay sauce? Or elk ravioli in a delicious cream sauce? Unless you live where those things are local, I encourage you to try them here!

Why did we need to go twice? Because we had to go back when we found room for dessert! My friend Denise wanted to try out the Indian fry bread sundae–complete with sage ice cream, another new one on us. Fry bread is served practically everywhere in the form of rolls, tacos, and even donuts, like here. I needed to try out the Kuchen, which is South Dakota’s state dessert, which is historically German, brought over to the Dakotas by the pioneers. It’s a custard dessert that usually also involves fruit and is similar to a pie, but the one from Dahotah Steakhouse is their take on the Kuchen, which was amazing!

Bison skewers and Satay sauce, with Brussels sprouts
Elk Ravioli in Cream Sauce
Fry Bread Sundae with Sage Ice Cream
Kuchen with Strawberry Sauce and Whipped Cream
Keep reading: What to Do and See on Your Trip to Mount Rushmore and Beyond

Scooter’s Coffee, Rapid City

You know that wherever I go, I find the coffee! We stopped into Scooter’s for a “fun” coffee before our drive to Mount Rushmore. They have breakfast items, too, but I was there for the Turtle Latte. It was just the thing I needed to fuel my morning, and a great spot to sit and catch up with my friend!

Turtle Latte at Scooter’s
Read on: The Best Local Coffee Shops in the USA

Harriet and Oak, Rapid City

This was our favorite place out of the whole trip, and we just happened to have breakfast here before going to the airport on our last day. It’s the cutest coffee shop in downtown Rapid City, with the best breakfast options. I had the snickerdoodle latte (of course), and Denise, who is not much of a coffee drinker, chose the exotic Cleopatra iced tea. For breakfast, she picked an açaí bowl with lemon curd, and I got the breakfast bowl. We would recommend them both!

Cleopatra Iced Tea and Snickerdoodle Latte
Acai Bowl
Breakfast Bowl
Read on: Tips for Visiting Mount Rushmore

Silver Lining Creamery, Rapid City

You know the fun thing about traveling with a girlfriend? At some point, you’re probably going to have ice cream in place of a meal. Silver Linings Creamery has some of the most amazing ice cream either of us had ever eaten, and I love that they offer waffle bowls! Denise ordered a scoop each of chocolate and hazelnut, topped with Oreo pieces. I ordered the Oreo ice cream and hazelnut ice cream, topped with marshmallows. This is also where Dakotah Steakhouse got their sage ice cream!

The Best Ice Cream Around
More here: The Ultimate Foodie Destinations Around the World

Get more South Dakota tips on my dedicated United States Page!

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