Rapid City, South Dakota, has a unique food culture influenced by European and Native American influences. I think that eating local food is one of the greatest ways to experience a culture. While you’re traveling through Rapid City, South Dakota, take time to try the local fare!
South Dakota’s multicultural history has helped influence the local cuisine. When I travel with my family, I skip over the chain restaurants and let my kids try the local offerings. Here are Four Must-Try food experiences to try while vacationing with your family in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Rapid City, South Dakota, lies east of the Black Hills in South Dakota. It is a popular tourist destination and home of Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, Wind Cave National Park, within the driving distance of Badlands National Park and Devils Tower in Wyoming.
Here are Four “Food experiences” I highly recommend you have while you’re vacationing in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Crazy Horse Memorial
12151 Ave of the Chiefs, Custer, SD 57730
When I took my trip to South Dakota, I knew I wanted to try some Native American Cuisine. I found some tasty Native American Cruisine at the Laughing Water Restaurant at the Crazy House Memorial, including Tatanka Stew and a Native American Taco.
Tatanka Stew is a Native American Stew made with bison, peas, onions, potatoes, and carrots. It is served with American fry bread.
A Native American Taco is similar to an American taco, but it is served on crispy Native American Fry Bread.
You will need to pay to get into Crazy Horse Memorial to dine at the Cafe, but it is worth it! When my family spent several hours at Crazy Horse Memorial, and we enjoyed it a lot!
Fort Hays Chuckwagon Dinners and Shows
If you are visiting Rapid City with kids, spending an evening at the Chuckwagon Supper and Music show is a must! Arrive 45 minutes before the show starts, tour the Dances With Wolves Movie Scene, step back in time, and check out old tools from the days of the Cowboys. You will then get served a traditional Cowboy Dinner and stay to watch some old-fashioned western music.
Chuck Wagon Supper and Show will have some fun photo ops around their grounds, activities for the kids, and a lot to look at. The music is entertaining, and the food is rustic and fun to eat! We especially liked the homemade applesauce!
Donuts from Wall Drug
510 Main St, Wall, SD 57790
If you’re driving to Rapid City, South Dakota, from the east, then you can’t miss the signs for Wall Drug. Wall Drug is East of Rapid City, near Badlands National Park. Wall Drug is cheesy, but I recommend you take your kids to Wall Drug for a few hours and get some donuts and free ice water. Check out the sights while you’re there. There is so much for kids to look at! Several shops have souvenirs, ice cream, hot dogs, nachos, tacos, donuts, and areas for the kids to climb and play.
I recommend getting your family some free ice water and donuts to tide you over while driving the rest of the way to Rapid City!
4. Eat some Bison
American Bison is native to South Dakota. If you wake up early while in Rapid City, South Dakota, and head over to Custer State Park, you might get lucky and be able to view a Bison herd walking by. There are over 30,000 Bison in South Dakota. You will see them roaming, and they are also farmed. Over the last few decades, Bison started replenishing themselves in the Great Planes, and they started becoming a regular food item in South Dakota.
What Do Bison Taste Like?
Bison tastes very similar to beef, but it is much leaner and grass-fed.
There are several restaurants in Rapid City that serve Bison. You can find Bison stew, steaks, burgers, and kabobs. I highly suggest you try some Bison while traveling in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Did you try any of these foods during your trip to South Dakota? Let me know by commenting below.
What is your favorite thing to eat in Rapid City, South Dakota?