The Black Hills area gets a lot of credit as a summertime vacation destination, and for good reason. The scenery is gorgeous, national and historic landmarks abound, and there are tons of outdoor activities everyone can enjoy. One thing rarely talked about, however, is the food in the area. From Rapid City to Deadwood, Hill City to Custer, the Hills have a variety of fantastic dining options.
We’ve highlighted Rushmore Shadows Resort before as it’s the perfect home base from which to explore the Black Hills. Rushmore Shadows is a short drive from all the restaurants below, but we’ll add mileage so you can plan your trip accordingly. There are a lot of things to see around the area, but don’t forget to try at least a few of the options below. You won’t be disappointed.
1. Alpine Inn, Hill City, SD (16.6 Miles from Rushmore Shadows)
This is number one on many people’s Black Hills dining lists. Originally the Harney Peak Hotel, the building operated in the rough-and-tumble Wild West of the late 1800s. It survived numerous fires and disasters until shutting down in 1934. The current owner bought the building in 1974 and turned it into the Alpine Inn in 1984. The lunch menu features many delicious German options (try the Reuben), and the dinner menu is a simple choice between either a 6 or 9 ounce filet mignon. They do have a large dessert menu (try the Tiramisu). Just be sure to bring cash, credit cards aren’t accepted.
2. Stonewalls Kitchen, Rapid City, SD (7 Miles from Rushmore Shadows)
This family-owned restaurant conveniently located on Highway 16 is a great spot to wind down after a busy day. Featuring only fresh ingredients, Stonewalls features a diverse menu, including succulent steak, seafood, stone-oven pizza, pasta and more. It’s a relaxed yet upscale atmosphere where you can take the whole family.
3. Black Hills Burger and Bun Co., Custer, SD (30 Miles from Rushmore Shadows)
This is another small, family-owned establishment you’ll have to try if you’re venturing to Custer State Park. It’s often rated as the best burger in the Black Hills, and is affordable at under $9 for most menu items. Beware, they are closed on Sundays.
4. Deadwood Legends Steakhouse, Deadwood, SD (51 Miles from Rushmore Shadows)
If you’re taking a trip to Deadwood, be sure to stop by Legends Steakhouse at the Silverado Franklin. There’s a lot of history around this hotel, as famous names like Teddy Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, John Wayne and Kevin Costner have stayed here. Of course, try the steak, but they also have a breakfast menu if you’re around in the morning.
5. Tally’s Silver Spoon, Rapid City, SD (11 Miles from Rushmore Shadows)
This is hands-down the best breakfast place in Rapid City (dinner isn’t bad either). Located in downtown Rapid, Tally’s started in the 1930s as the Bright Spot Café. It’s now owned by chef Benjamin Klinkel, who dubs it a “fine diner,” meaning it has the atmosphere of an upscale dining car but features exquisite dishes. Try the Breakfast Special (not on the menu) where you’ll get a pancake, eggs and bacon or sausage for only $5.
6. Prairie Berry Winery, Hill City, SD (13 Miles from Rushmore Shadows)
Don’t worry, you can take the whole family to Prairie Berry. Although known for their variety of wines (which you can certainly sample), the dining is delicious as well. Featuring artisan dishes with locally-grown ingredients, Prairie Berry has a kind of California feel. Try a flatbread pizza or a corned beef sandwich.
7. Sugar Shack, Deadwood, SD (30 Miles from Rushmore Shadows)
We’ll admit, from the outside, the Sugar Shack on Highway 385 is nothing spectacular to look at. One taste of the burgers here, however, will have you wanting more. They serve breakfast, brunch and dinner, and are known for their large, succulent burgers. This is a well-known spot in the area. Give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed.
8. Independent Ale House, Rapid City, SD (11 Miles from Rushmore Shadows)
Just so you’re aware, this isn’t the best place to take kids. It mainly operates as a bar, with a wide variety of ales and delicious, specialized pizzas. Try the Spicy Chicken, or expand your horizons with the Lucky Luciano. In our humble opinion, it’s the best pizza in Rapid City.
9. Powder House Lodge, Keystone, SD (9 Miles from Rushmore Shadows)
Last but not least, we’ll check out an option located conveniently on Highway 16 near Rushmore Shadows. The Powder House has a log cabin-type feel and offers the best prime rib dinner in the Hills. You can also try wild game, pasta and seafood.
If you have any favorite spots in the Black Hills that we missed, feel free to let us know in the comments below. Enjoy everything the Hills have to offer this summer, including the food. Happy exploring!