When you want an icy cold beer, you can always find a bar in South Dakota, but some bars are special. An iconic bar is a place that people love to gather, and that has some special South Dakota quality. Whether you’re looking for an upscale, classy bar or a downright dive, you’ll find something on this list. They’re each iconic in their own way.
1. Icehouse Bar, Yankton
The building that houses The Icehouse Bar was once the Pure Ice Company, circa 1928. The bar is quite a dive, but it also has a quirky tradition - you'll want to sit on the loading dock and smash your beer bottle there when you're done drinking. This is such a long-standing tradition that the bar had to replace the brick wall underneath the dock when it began to crumble from years of abuse. This bar has been featured on The Late Show With David Letterman and in Esquire Magazine! You'll find it at 101 Capitol Street, Yankton.
2. Saloon No. 10, Deadwood
South Dakota's Black Hills hold some of the state's most fascinating history. Gold mine towns, with their Wild West past, are a draw for South Dakotans and tourists alike. In Deadwood, you can't get more historic than Saloon No. 10, patterned after the saloon in which Wild Bill Hickok was famously shot in 1876. While the saloon isn't the
actual saloon where Hickok was shot (it later burned down), this place is a combination bar/museum. The walls are filled with memorabilia and photos of Wild Bill, and the saloon proudly displays the actual chair that he was sitting in when he met his demise.
3. Full Throttle Saloon, Sturgis
Full Throttle Saloon proclaims itself as the "World's Largest Biker Bar," and who are we to argue? It certainly hosts the world's largest motorcycle rally every August. Sturgis is South Dakota's version of Mardi Gras, when thousands of people party in the streets until the wee hours of the morning (then they sleep for a couple hours, have a beer for breakfast and do it all over again). Full Throttle is located at 12997 South Dakota Highway 34 in Sturgis, but you won't need your GPS. Just follow the crowd and you can't miss it.
4. Monk's House Of Ale Repute, Sioux Falls
This locally-owned brew pub is the iconic spot in Sioux Falls for some great craft beer. You'll find 39 beers on tap here, along with one of the coolest vibes in town. Comfy decor, friendly service and good food accompany the really excellent brews. Bring your dog and dine on the patio in the summer months. You'll find Monk's House of Ale Repute at 420 E. 8th Street in Sioux Falls.
5. Sick N Twisted Microbrewery, Hill City
Sick N Twisted makes some of the best craft beer you'll ever try, and it comes with a sense of humor. Try one of their tasty brews with nearly pornographic names, like the Panty Dropper, Nut Hugger, or Barebutt Bock. The inside of the bar is a unique mixture of homey decor and quirky, witty signs and memorabilia. The brewery is located at the Naked Winery, and you can get a wine tasting or a flight of craft beer here. 23851 Highway 385 in Hill City.
6. Dakota Shivers Brewing, Lead
If you're looking for a teeny-tiny bar that just feels like home, Dakota Shivers Brewing is that place. This tiny bar is warm and cozy on even the coldest South Dakota winter night, and you'll be made to feel welcome the moment you walk in the door. The beer is incredible, too. With great names like Bison Breath Brown and Trekking Pole Porter, this place fully embraces everything South Dakota. 717 W. Main Street, Lead.
7. Carey's Bar, Vermillion
Every college town needs an iconic bar, and Carey's Bar is THE place for University of South Dakota fans. When you want to root for your team, head to this little gem at 18 W. Main Street in Vermillion. You'll be surrounded by a hundred or so of your people, and plenty of Coyotes swag.
8. Moonshine Gulch Saloon, Rochford
Rochford, South Dakota is a long way from the Appalachian Mountains, but you'll definitely get that Old Southern vibe at Moonshine Gulch Saloon. Every Sunday, enjoy the Sunday Jam Session with local musicians. This tiny place fills up fast, but the people here are as friendly as can be, and the music is downright toe-tapping. Meet the owner and learn some of the stories surrounding this unique building and its many quirky treasures. 22635 N. Rochford Road, Rochford.
9. Independent Ale House, Rapid City
There's nothing like the combination of beer and pizza, and when the best of both come together in one building, you've got a winner. Independent Ale House has some of the best pizza in the entire state, and also offers 40 of the best beers South Dakota has to offer on tap (and another 145 bottles to choose from). You'll love the friendly atmosphere and the eclectic group of patrons almost as much as you love the fabulous pizza and quality brew.