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Popular South Dakota Foods You Have To Try And Where To Find Them

Raised in Rapid City and lucky to call it home, this outdoor enthusiast loves to explore the Black Hills with her husband and two dogs. When she’s not at work you’ll find her out hiking, at a local ice cream shop, or perhaps home taking a nap.

October 15, 2021

From the Chicago deep dish pizza to the Massachusetts clam chowder, every state has an iconic dish or two that you need to try, including South Dakota. Here are a few local restaurants where you can find some state specialties in Rapid City. 

Chislic

Plate of skewered chislic from Dakotah Steakhouse in Rapid City
Dakotah Steakhouse


It’s one of the most iconic and probably the highest recommended food in South Dakota. This cubed red meat, typically beef or lamb, is deep fried or grilled and served with a dipping sauce. Simple, yet utterly delicious. Here’s where you can get a taste: Dakotah Steakhouse, Tally’s Silver Spoon, Murphy’s Pub and Grill.

Walleye 

It might not be the fish dish you’ve considered trying before, but walleye is the South Dakota state fish and the local restaurants whip up some truly tasty plates with it. Treat yourself to the best walleye around at one of these locations: Dakotah Steakhouse, Colonial House, Vertex Sky Bar.

Pheasant

Hunting season for pheasants is a big deal in eastern South Dakota. While the western side of the state is more popular for wild turkey hunting, we do partake in sampling the delicious food made from South Dakota’s state bird the pheasant. If you’ve never had pheasant before, many describe it to be similar to chicken but with a more “gamey” and smokey flavor. Here’s where you can try it: Dakotah Steakhouse.

Bison

Buffalo meatloaf plate served at Murphy's Pub and Grill
Murphy's Pub and Grill


Bison is leaner and more tender than beef with a delicious, slightly sweeter, flavor but not “gamey”. Rapid City restaurants aren’t shy when showing off this meat and you can find it incorporated into many dishes around town: Tally’s Silver Spoon, Dakotah Steakhouse, Colonial House, Bokujo Ramen, Murphy’s Pub and Grill, Firehouse Brewing Company.

Kuchen

Pronounced as “koo-ken”, this is actually South Dakota’s state dessert. Kuchen is German for “cake” but that’s not all it is. This heavenly mixture of cake, pie, creamy custard and often fruit is a spoonful of melt in your mouth goodness. Get your hands on it here: Dakotah Steakhouse.

Local Rapid City restaurants are doing a whole of delicious things with these iconic South Dakota foods. They go above and beyond with every dish they make so don’t miss the chance of trying one or all. The Rapid City restaurants are continuously updating and refreshing their menu items so be sure to check online for their most recent version. Other local restaurants might not carry the above items on their menu all the time but do an excellent job of showcasing other local products.