Skip to main content

Food in South Dakota

Meat and potatoes fare, with a good selection of game meats, and grains from the farms in the grasslands.

No exotic food in South Dakota. Clean air, clean water, clean towns, and and American meat and potatoes fare. Hunting is a popular sport here, so one can easily find elk, deer, quail, pheasant and other game meat on the dinner table. Since the card processing business started in the 80s, Sioux Fall social life increased very much and the city offers the widest variety of food.

The Missouri River divides the land in half. The west side of the river is hilly and includes the Black Hills and the Badlands. The east side is flat and covered with grassy plains, which are perfect for pheasant.

Droughts, grasshoppers and dust storms destroyed huge areas of farmland in South Dakota during the 1930s and many families had to move out.

Food processing is an important industry in South Dakota, but it goes after tourism.

The crime rate is low, so do not be surprises if, even in the cities, people leave their cars running while shopping for food and groceries during the cold months.

South Dakota foods

There is a distinctive cowboy heritage. People on the west side of the Missouri tend to be ranchers, while east side residents are more likely to live in a city or dedicated to farming. South Dakota is a major producer of beef cattle and hogs. Important crops include wheat, corn, soy beans, and sunflower seeds.

…and food events

Schmeckfest (German festival), Freeman, South Dakota, March or April

Recipes from South Dakota

Cornmeal mush with molasses and cream.

South Dakota
Land of Infinite Variety
Capital: Pierre
State animal: Coyote
State bird: Ring-necked pheasant
State insect: Honeybee
State tree: Black hills spruce

South Dakota sites

South Dakota oficial site
South Dakota tourism


The Corn Palace, in Mitchell. The name comes from the murals on its outer walls, as they are made of corn, while the building is decorated with bushels of corn, and nearby lampposts spot corn cobs.

The Mounth Rushmore monument, featuring the faces of American presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Rooselvet and Abraham Lincoln, and the Crazy Horse monument on Thunder mountain.

Other South Dakota facts

Wall Drug, Wall, jus outside of the Badlands, is a popular tourist spot.

Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of Little House on the Prairie, family settled in De Smet, South Dakota, after living in other midwestern states.

Much of the movie Dancing with Wolves was filmed in South Dakota.