The 15 Best Spots To Eat And Drink In South Dakota's Black Hills

An iconic all-American road trip destination, the Black Hills of western South Dakota are known for their epic parks, shimmering lakes, and iconic stone-carved monuments, but the region is also an underrated mecca for unique restaurants, bars, and breweries. A lush and fertile region flowing with streams and teeming with farmland, the Black Hills boasts a thriving culinary landscape rich with local ingredients, Native American heritage, timeworn saloons, and whimsical comfort foods, from Thomas Jefferson's original vanilla ice cream recipe to bagel sandwiches in a glass-blowing studio.

Home to 1.25 million acres in southwestern South Dakota (via Travel South Dakota), the Black Hills are much more than mountains. Comprised of towns and small cities like Rapid City, Deadwood, Custer, and Hill City, it's a region filled with history and restaurants old and new; a place where hip rooftop bars and chic steakhouses are juxtaposed by Wild West-style barrooms and native ingredients like bison and fry bread. With a diverse and singular taste of Americana, here are the best places to eat and drink in South Dakota's Black Hills.

Vertex Sky Bar - Rapid City

As the largest city and primary urban hub in western South Dakota, Rapid City is rife with unique restaurants, bars, and cafés worth a stopover. Chief among them is Vertex Sky Bar, perched atop downtown's historic Hotel Alex Johnson. The bi-level rooftop lounge is one of the best hotel restaurants in the U.S., boasting panoramic views of the city and a glimpse of the Black Hills in the distance.

Outfitted with indoor-outdoor seating and crackling fire pits, Vertex Sky Bar features food and cocktails that are just as stunning as the vistas. The menu emphasizes locally sourced ingredients with shareable plates that include elk ravioli, crispy walleye fingers with Sriracha tartar sauce, and bison osso bucco burly enough for the chilliest South Dakota evenings. Along with masterfully mixed classic cocktails, seasonal drinks include summery sips like a boozy huckleberry lemonade. And, in case the views weren't entertaining enough, there's a live vinyl DJ several nights each week.

Harriet & Oak - Rapid City

An idyllic place to rise and shine in downtown Rapid City, Harriet & Oak is a lofty, brick-clad café and coffee shop that sets itself apart from the caffeinated herd in both décor and food. For starters, it's not too often that a coffee shop contains a vintage van parked in the middle of the dining room, making this the rare spot where you can sip a latte in a vehicle that looks fresh out of "Scooby-Doo."

In addition to coffee strong enough to fuel the most rigorous Black Hills trek, Harriet & Oak features an impressively diverse menu that includes drinks like turmeric-tinted golden lattes and New Orleans-style café au lait, along with sweet potato breakfast burritos, Nutella toast, and pasties (aka English meat pies, per Delighted Cooking) stuffed with ham, egg, and cheese. Don't sleep on the rotating pastries, either, or you'll miss out on strawberry muffins, brown sugar and cinnamon pop tarts, and apple hand pies.

Bokujo Ramen - Rapid City

An authentic taste of Tokyo nestled in the heart of downtown Rapid City, Bokujo Ramen is a hip and intimate noodle den open for brunch and dinner, blending local ingredients with Japanese traditions — stewing it all together in fragrant, soul-stirring broth. The word "Bokujo" translates to "pasture" in Japanese (via WordHippo), and that certainly fits the restaurant's focus on sourcing ingredients from local farms and purveyors like Wall Meats, Cedar Creek Gardens, and Black Hills Mushrooms. The result is a South Dakota-meets-Japan menu of bao buns, dumplings, and hearty noodle bowls.

Along with fun rotating specials like turkey buns adorned with cranberry mayo, arugula, and fried onions, the playful ramen restaurant features BLT bao, oxtail gyoza, and plant-based BBQ jackfruit buns. Naturally, brothy noodles are the star, with unique options like bison brisket ramen, spicy miso with wood ear mushrooms, and chilled veggie shoyu with mushrooms, cabbage, corn, soy sauce, eggs, and scallions. Come brunch, B.E.C. (bacon, egg, and cheese) buns and sake Bloody Marys join the party.

Snitches - Deadwood

A true blast from the Wild West past, Deadwood is a historic small mountain town on the northern edge of the Black Hills that feels utterly preserved in a bygone era that was ruled by brothels, gold rushes, and gunslingers like Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane (via It's no wonder, then, that the town's old-timey cobblestone-clad Main Street is lined with vintage saloons and decadent steakhouses. Even more recent additions, like the ritzy Snitches in the Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort, feel like a swanky time warp.

Although newer than some of the town's stalwarts, the sophisticated and stylish restaurant is a tasteful homage to Deadwood's gunslinging heyday, with gilded décor that feels downright Great Gatsby and an upscale menu of chef-driven steakhouse stylings. This includes elevated riffs on Americana classics, like wedge salads and whiskey-glazed beef tips, along with balsamic-drizzled rib-eyes, lemon-herb salmon, and garlic butter lobster tails with loaded baked potatoes.

Saloon No. 10 - Deadwood

Saloons are a dime a dozen in Deadwood, but none can hold a candle to the quirky singularity of Saloon No. 10. It's a sprawling bar where the floors are still covered in sawdust, taxidermy and black-and-white photos cram every inch of the wooden walls, and re-enactments of Wild West-style shootouts take place right outside the front door. The bar is also home to the chair that Wild Bill Hickok was sitting in when he was shot dead (via, and it's the kind of hyper-specific décor that should clue you in to the sheer originality of Deadwood's most immersive watering hole.

The main floor of the saloon, anchored by a huge bar toward the front and outfitted with red vinyl booths and chairs, is the American Whiskey Bar, boasting a bevy of spirits and craft beers to choose from. The whiskey and bourbon selection is dizzying, with more than 150 bottles on supply, and the rotating beer list emphasizes local Black Hills breweries on draft, like Cadillac Couch lagers from Sawyer Brewing Co. in Spearfish and Riley's Irish Red Ale from Dakota Point Brewing in Rapid City.

Deadwood Social Club - Deadwood

Located upstairs from Saloon No. 10 on Deadwood's historic Main Street, the Deadwood Social Club is a debonair dining room offering high-end cocktails and Italian-accented American cuisine in a polished, wood-filled setting reminiscent of a bygone brothel. That makes sense considering Deadwood's sordid history with brothels (via Deadwood History).

Open for lunch and dinner, locally sourced ingredients share menu space with wild game, hearty pastas, and prime steaks. Start with fried buffalo sausage ravioli or crispy Brussels sprouts strewn with cold smoked pork belly, blue cheese, and dragon fruit balsamic, then amp things up with lamb burgers, wild boar Bolognese, and bone-in pork chops. The whiskey-centric cocktail program is high-caliber as well, with smoked drinks and sphered ice aplenty. The restaurant is one of the rightfully more popular spots in town, so tables (including those on the rooftop patio) are in high demand, but the bar is first come, first served, and a great spot to sidle up for a drink and leisurely chitchat with a neighbor.

Pump House at Mind Blown Studio - Deadwood

Located in an old service station that now doubles as an artful glass blowing studio, Pump House at Mind Blown Studio is one of the more offbeat places to order coffee and breakfast in the Black Hills. The funky, colorful place, lined with vibrant glass pieces and filled to the brim with eccentric knickknacks, is open morning through early evening for all your fresh brew needs — be it coffee or beer — and a curated selection of sandwiches and pastries.

The indoor-outdoor café (garage doors open up to an umbrella-shaded patio) is a few blocks away from Deadwood's Main Street, offering a quieter dining nook and the unique opportunity to watch glass blowing in action while savoring its offerings. The coffee is locally roasted, and morning snacks include pastries, bagels, and bagel sandwiches filled with eggs and sausage. Come afternoon, beer and wine join the roster for a leisurely alternative to the clamorous saloons downtown.

Buglin Bull Restaurant and Sports Bar - Custer

The charming town of Custer, nestled near the famed Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park, offers a quaint taste of pure Americana and big Black Hills vibes, as evidenced by the myriad historic restaurants, cafés, souvenir shops, and bars lining the town's main strip. Among the standouts is Buglin' Bull Restaurant and Sports Bar, a lodge-like spot that far exceeds sports bar standards with both its food and drinks.

Comprised of multiple rooms and a bar lined with polished wood chairs, the lively watering hole offers sports bar staples with a Black Hills twist. This means flatbreads come topped with pheasant confit, burgers with South Dakota buffalo and elk, fried walleye splashed with dill hollandaise, and buffalo filets are wrapped in bacon and spiked with bourbon demi-glace. Be sure and try the tatanka chislic — the state "nosh" of South Dakota (via Travel South Dakota) — made with succulent morsels of local buffalo marinated in "special sauce" and heaped with Parmesan-dusted fries. To drink, choose from ample local beers and quenching cocktails like Gold Mine Mojitos and Sylvan Sours.

Purple Pie Place - Custer

When visiting an all-American destination like the Black Hills, it only makes sense to treat yourself to some all-American sweets at one of the most charming bake shops in the region. Purple Pie Place scratches that itch with a lineup of fresh fruit pies, offering a wholesome slice of Americana a la mode in the town of Custer.

As the name implies, the cute cottage-like café is housed in an all-purple building that looks like something out of a fairy tale. Inside, the bakeshop offers a surprisingly lengthy menu of savory sandwiches, chicken pot pie, mac & cheese, and soups, but what you're really here for is dessert. Along with sundaes and floats, Purple Pie Place specializes in whole pies and pies by the slice in fruit-centric flavors like rhubarb, peach, cherry, blueberry, apple, and blackberry. For something spicier, try the raspberry-rhubarb-jalapeño, and mellow out that heat with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Miner Brewing Co. - Hill City

The brewery scene in the Black Hills is booming, as evidenced by the surplus of local beers on draft lifts in bars and restaurants throughout the region. Among them, Miner Brewing Co. reigns as one of the craftiest of the bunch, with a pastoral taproom — and robust food menu — to boot.

Located in the bustling small town of Hill City, the brewery is perched on a hill with sweeping Black Hills views — including of Black Elk Peak, the tallest mountain in the state (via Travel South Dakota). The brewery and taproom are located inside an enormous barn-like building with seating available indoors and on a large covered patio or picnic tables across the manicured bright-green lawn. Beer offerings rotate seasonally and run the gamut in styles, from Miner Strawberry Dream Whip Beer Cone Smoothie to a potent chili beer called Miner Honey, I'm Spicy. For food, Miner has periodic food trucks parked on-site, along with its own elevated pub grub that includes green goddess chicken salad sandwiches and hummus plates.

Prairie Berry Winery - Hill City

Beer and whiskey aren't the only boozy options in the Black Hills. At Prairie Berry Winery, a vast winery, tasting room, and restaurant in Hill City, the family-run business has grown exponentially since its 1999 debut, accruing hundreds of industry awards and expanding its wine selection to include a plethora of grape varietals and different fruits.

Helmed by the same owners of next-door Miner Brewing Co., Prairie Berry is a massive mecca for oenophiles, offering a retail section, tastings, and tables for drinking and dining on-site. Wines include Syrah rosé, a Concord grape wine named after local vigilante Calamity Jane, a cherry-crab apple wine, and a pear wine named Gold Digger. Customers are welcome to order flights so they can taste their way through the numerous options. They're best when paired with a snack or two off the kitchen menu, which includes charcuterie and cheese boards, sandwiches, soups, salads, and a chocolate torte.

Alpine Inn - Hill City

Decked out like a Swiss chalet, replete with ornate wood detailing and snazzy light fixtures, Alpine Inn reigns as one of the most destination-worthy fine dining spots in the Black Hills. Within the rustic-chic boutique hotel of the same name, the property features elegant European cuisine, drawing particularly from the Alps, for both lunch and dinner.

German recipes are Alpine Inn's bread and butter, exemplified by the deliciously authentic breaded pork schnitzel with spaetzle, sauerkraut, red cabbage, and German bread, and the spaetzle primavera, a medley of buttery German dumplings and Swiss cheese layered with fresh vegetables. Other options include bratwurst, smoked pork chops, liverwurst, and Reuben sandwiches, along with some familiar American favorites like club sandwiches, bagels, and steak fajita salads. Off the lengthy dessert menu, apple strudel and Alpine-style tiramisu — golden pound cake soaked in amaretto, brandy, and cappuccino, topped with Italian cream and cocoa — are worth saving room for.

Laughing Water Restaurant - Crazy Horse Memorial

Throughout western South Dakota, and especially in the Black Hills, Native American history and heritage are on full display. It's evident in the area museums, memorials, and monuments, and in the cuisine. Nowhere is this more prominent than the Crazy Horse Memorial, the long-in-the-works mountain carving of Oglala Lakota warrior Crazy Horse, whose likeness is steadily taking shape on private land near Custer State Park (via Black Hills Visitor). Along with extensive historical displays in the visitor center, Native American context can be experienced at the memorial's full-service restaurant, Laughing Water, which serves up Indigenous cuisine with a prime view of the monument itself.

The restaurant's serene setting is an opportunity to sample local recipes and learn about dishes like wojapi (a Native American berry sauce, per A Bakers House), fry bread, and tatanka stew, a chili-like bowlful of Black Hills buffalo, carrots, sweet peas, onions, and potatoes. A signature dish here is the Native American taco, which piles fluffy fry bread with taco meat, refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, salsa, and sour cream. For something sweet, the same fry bread can be paired with wojapi, cinnamon, or honey.

Memorial Team Ice Cream - Mount Rushmore National Memorial

One of the most uniquely recognizable monuments in the entire country, right up there with the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a requisite visit on any Black Hills vacation. And if there's one thing you need to eat while gazing at the presidential mountain carving in the town of Keystone, it's vanilla ice cream inspired by Thomas Jefferson's own recipe (via Mount Rushmore National Memorial).

Available at Memorial Team Ice Cream toward the front of the monument, TJ's vanilla ice cream (as it's listed on the menu) uses his original recipe from 1780. Buttery, rich, and sweet, the ice cream is available in a cone or cup or as part of a sundae. Other flavors include cookies-n-cream, strawberry cheesecake, and mint chocolate chip, all best enjoyed from the expansive stone patio out front that affords a grand view of the monument over a sea of ponderosa pine trees. It doesn't get any better than eating Thomas Jefferson's ice cream while making eye contact with Thomas Jefferson.

Sylvan Lake Lodge - Custer State Park

Nestled in the forest of Custer State Park and just up the hill from picture-perfect Sylvan Lake (a popular destination for hiking and water sports), Sylvan Lake Lodge is an idyllic retreat perched at the apex of a meandering scenic roadway. Sylvan Lake Lodge Dining has fast-casual and full-service food options that are just as cozy as the lodging. Here you'll find local specialties served up in an upscale space bedecked with hardwood floors and a stone fireplace.

The restaurant specializes in locally sourced American fare, but with rigorously local ingredients that sometimes skew into wilder terrain like the crostini with rabbit-rattlesnake sausage and smoked gorgonzola mousse or buffalo chislic (blackened and fried buffalo sirloin trips with chipotle hollandaise and balsamic). You can also get your buffalo in burger form or as a buffalo tips entrée with mushroom-barley risotto, a sunny-side egg, and more of that redolent chipotle hollandaise. For drinks, cocktails offer newfangled takes on the classics, beers lean heavily on local breweries, and the wine list is robust.