When it comes to a delicious entree, nothing quite compares to the juicy, cooked-to-order perfection that is a steak. While you can order your beef from any run-of-the-mill, generic “steakhouse,” we advise against that and recommend visiting one or all of these 6 REAL South Dakota small-town steakhouses:
1. Hartford Steak Co. Tavern (709 N Mundt Ave., Hartford)
Located in the southeast South Dakota town of Hartford is the aptly named Hartford Steak Co., which is one of the highest-rated restaurants in the region! From their perfectly cooked steaks to tantalizing sides and even a full bar, you are sure to find a thing or two (or 5) to love at Hartford.
2. Whimp's Place (32028 White St., Burbank)
Burbank, South Dakota may be an unincorporated community, but what it lacks in size (though the friendly residents are anything but lacking!) it makes up for with the deliciousness that is Whimp's. This hole-in-the-wall gem has been attracting nearby USD students and Vermillion residents for more than 50 years.
3. Mad Mary's Steakhouse (306 N Veterans St., Flandreau)
Do you want to know my foolproof way for spotting the best restaurants? You look for the places that have a more worn exterior and a shabby (or sometimes busted) sign and voila: the best meal of your life! (After seeing this photo, can you even doubt me?)
4. Waverly Steakhouse And Lounge (121 1st Ave., Waverly)
The epitome of a small town is Waverly, South Dakota, which -- at last count -- is home to fewer than 40 people. Who needs a lot of residents, though, when you have a mouthwatering steakhouse and bar, which is exactly what you will find with the unexpected Waverly Steakhouse and Lounge!
5. Brandon Steakhouse & Lounge (1308 Rushmore Dr., Brandon)
Since small towns are typically considered to be any place with less than 10,000, Brandon (9,957) just barely made the cut but could not be overlooked! Case in point: Brandon Steakhouse & Lounge, which has "3 generations and over 50 years of experience grilling and preparing our own hand-cut, perfectly aged prime rib, steak & burgers just for you, the way you like it."
6. Tea Steak House (215 S Main St., Tea)
Editor's Note: Since the publication of this article, the Tea Steak House has permanently closed.
Next up is Tea, South Dakota and its unforgettable Tea Steak House, which bills itself as serving the best steak in SoDak (AND the coldest beer in town). On a more personal note, did anyone just drool a little while looking at this picture? Asking for a friend...
7. Deano's Steakhouse & Lounge (330 Main St., Claire City)
A little larger than Waverly is Claire City, which is home to 77 and, like the aforementioned community, houses a delicious steakhouse that is sure to make your mouth water. (On an unrelated note, I've never had hash browns with my steak but am considering it after seeing this picture.)
8. Bob's Steakhouse (29336 US-212, Gettysburg)
I can't stop and won't stop with these pictures of steak smothered in mushrooms! (And that Texas toast on the side? I have died and gone to heaven, gang.)
9. Homesteader (119 Main St., Gregory)
Another small town Main Street staple is the Homesteader, which "provides a fine dining atmosphere yet still has the hometown hospitality." We will gladly eat, drink, and visit for all of the above.
10. Oahe Sunset Lodge and Steakhouse (29218 104th St., Pollock)
Oahe Sunset Lodge and Steakhouse: Come for the clean and comfortable accommodations; stay for the cooked-to-order ribeye. (I don't think this is their official slogan, but it sounds good, doesn't it?)