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A Vegetarian’s Guide to the Black Hills

South Dakota is definitely a ‘meat and potatoes’ kind of state, but there are a few restaurants that serve creative and healthy vegetarian food! Afterall, you don’t want to end up eating a side salad for dinner (again)!



When I saw the vintage burger joint vibe at Rapid City’s Sickies Garage Burgers & Brews, I didn’t have high hopes about my dinner choices. But it turns out that any of the beef burgers at Sickies can be substituted for a veggie patty! Sickies has some crazy combinations like the “Bunless” burger with 2 lettuce leaves instead of a bun, the “Eggstraordinary” burger with eggs and cheese (order without bacon), and the “Fifth Wheel” which comes with three patties stacked on top of each other. There is even a “Glazed Doughnut Burger” that uses glazed doughnuts instead of a bun!

If you’re venturing near Custer State Park, check out the Black Hills Burger and Bun Co. Huffington Post named this family-owned and operated joint as the best burger place in America in 2014. Get there early because it is always packed by midday! There are two vegetarian burgers on the menu: The Lousy Hunter and the Loaded Hunter.


Spearfish’s Bay Leaf Cafe prides itself on using only the finest and freshest local ingredients to make healthy dishes. The menu has a large variety of nutritious vegetarian options. Afterall, it’s not healthy to only eat veggie burgers and greasy fries! Every appetizer is vegetarian with options like Hummus, Mediterranean Plate, Spinach Pie, and Tabbouleh. For entrees, there is a cold veggie sandwich, a veggie grilled cheese, veggie burger, and black bean burger.

Harriet & Oak is the hippest new coffee shop in Rapid City. The centerpiece of the shop is a full-size sky blue VW bus situated among the tables! In addition to a veggie sandwich, Harriet & Oak serves buddha bowls that are packed with vegetables, quinoa, beans, tofu, and spices. The Sweet Potato Burrito is veg and is to die for!

Indian Taco

A visit to South Dakota is not complete without trying an indian taco! This Native American culinary staple utilizes traditional taco stuffings served on fluffy fry bread, the official state bread of South Dakota. Vegetarian versions of the Indian taco are served with black beans in place of meat.

The Cedar Pass Restaurant near Badlands National Park serves authentic Indian tacos with the option of either buffalo meat or spicy black bean burger.

Cheyenne Crossing, a cozy little restaurant in Lead, serves up famously delicious Indian tacos. The meat can be substituted for beans.

Chain Restaurants

Rapid City’s Ruby Tuesday has an amazing salad bar with a huge variety! They also serve Spaghetti Squash Marinara, unique salads, and several other pasta dishes. There is another Black Hills location in Gillette, Wyoming.

Fuddruckers serves a veggie burger that can be piled with veggies and other fixings.

Indian Food

When all else fails, Indian food saves the day! There are plenty of fantastic Indian restaurants in the Black Hills that have extensive vegetarian options. My favorites are Everest Cuisine and Kathmandu Bistro, both of which have locations in Rapid City.


By Kelsey Sinclair

Originally posted on