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The best places to eat in each city of the Black Hills

by Matt, May 2022

A good vacation includes good food! If you’re visiting the Black Hills, you’re in luck, because there are many great restaurants to eat!

There are MANY good places to eat all over the Black Hills; you’re never far away from good food. Custer seems to have most of the popular restaurants, but the most popular restaurant might just be the Alpine Inn, located in Hill City. The most common dishes in the Black Hills are steak and bison burgers.

We have eaten at some of these restaurants, but we compiled this long list of places to eat based off of:

  • Our own experience
  • Recommendations from viewers of our YouTube channel
  • Online reviews

Let’s go!

Where to eat in Custer, SD

Skogen Kitchen

The reviews here are insanely high. People love the chefs, Joseph and Eliza, but they love the food even more.

Black Hills Burger and Bun

A little less formal and costly than Skogen Kitchen, people really do love the burgers here!

Pouding Fathers

We ate here and had no complaints at all. With pictures of the presidents “pounding” their beer and burgers, what’s not to like?

Calamity Jane Coffee Shop & Grill

This is a simple little grill that seems to be quite popular, located in a old-timey strip mall.

Dakota Chicken

The reviews were off the hook here, so we had to try it! It serves the crispiest chicken you’ve ever had.

NOTE: Dakota Chicken is takeout only.

Buglin Bull

One of our viewers really liked the Buglin Bull for it’s bison burgers!

For Dessert: Purple Pie Place

After you’ve had your fill of bison at one of the local joints, head on over to the Purple Pie Place (you can’t miss the bright purple building!) for some Peanut Butter Pie or Raspberry Rhubarb ice cream.

Where to eat in Custer State Park

There are four restaurants located in lodges run by the state in Custer State Park. They offer fine dining, chuckwagon cookouts, and lake-side snacks.

These are Blue Bell Lodge, State Game Lodge, Sylvan Lake Lodge, and Legion Lake Lodge.

Where to eat in Mount Rushmore

Carver’s Cafe

This is located inside the Mount Rushmore Memorial. It is the only restaurant inside the memorial, though next door is Memorial Team Ice Cream, where they serve a vanilla ice cream recipe created by Thomas Jefferson!

Carver’s Cafe claims to be the only certified 4-star green restaurant in the Black Hills. It’s run by Xanterra, a major concessionaire for the National Park Service. This company manages restaurants in many national parks, and they do a great job.

NOTE: Carver’s Cafe closes early, at 4:30!

Where to eat in Hill City, SD

Alpine Inn

Opened in 1886, this restaurant and hotel has been around for a LONG TIME. It is unique in that it serves German food.

People really rave about this place!

Desperados

Walleye, New York Steaks, Bison Burgers, and Chili Fries are some of the favorite dishes for those who eat at this western-themed restaurant.

Where to eat in Keystone, SD

Peggy’s Place

The outside doesn’t make it look special, but this is a popular and well-respected restaurant that has been around a long time. We’ve eaten here and we recommend it.

Breakfast is popular here.

Where to eat in Deadwood, SD

Customer reviews for restaurants in Deadwood aren’t as good as Custer, but here are a few places that stand out.

Bully’s

Bully’s is located in the historic Bullock Hotel, and only serves breakfast. It’s named after Teddy Roosevelt, who used to say “Bully!” when he was excited. Teddy was a friend of Seth Bullock, who was one of the first sheriffs in Deadwood and founded the Bullock Hotel.

Legends Steakhouse

Located in the Silverado Hotel and Casino, this serves breakfast and dinner in the only Las Vegas-style buffet in town.

Latchstring Inn

Located in nearby Spearfish Canyon, this offers fine dining in a gorgeous setting, with a nearby waterfall you can check out before your meal to work up your appetite.

Where to eat in Rapid City, SD

Juniper

Fine-dining in a low-key city. Really, people just rave about this place.

Jambonz Deux

You wouldn’t think a Louisiana Restaurant would be found in Rapid City, SD, but there is one here! And it gets really good reviews.

Where to eat in Sturgis, SD

Uncle Louie’s Diner

This is an unassuming little ma and pa place, but gets the highest reviews in Sturgis and seems to be the place locals like the most.

One-Eyed Jack’s Saloon

A popular beer and burger place where some crazy stuff happens during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally!

Where to eat in the Badlands

Cedar Pass Lodge

Cedar Pass Lodge is the only place to eat inside Badlands National Park. It can be a nice little stop in the middle of your Badlands day. Their popular dish is Sioux Indian Tacos – fry bread topped with beans and bison meat. They also have vegetarian dishes.

Wall Drug

Located in Wall, SD, just outside of Badlands National Park, the store named Wall Drug is a fully-immersive tourist trap experience! It’s famous for being tongue-in-cheek tacky.

It has a cafeteria, and the donuts are popular. We don’t really enjoy the restaurant, but it’s part of the insane Wall Drug experience.

Where to eat near Devil’s Tower, WY

Buffalo Jump Steakhouse

Located between Devils Tower and Deadwood, the Buffalo Jump Steakhouse gets really high ratings and is a welcome pit-stop on the way into or out of the Black Hills.

It’s named after the Buffalo Jump nearby, an actual place where Native Americans spooked bison into running off a cliff. You can visit the Buffalo Jump to see the excavation and bones.

Devils Tower Gulch Cafe

This little cafe is located right at the base of Devils Tower. It really doesn’t have any competition, which makes it’s high reviews quite impressive.

77 Steakhouse and Saloon

A local told us this is easily the place to eat at near Devils Tower! But it is a little out of the way.

Need help planning your visit to the Black Hills?

If you need help planning your trip to this dauntingly large area, watch this trip planner! Trust us, you’ll be glad you did.

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