You might not realize it, but there’s a lot going on in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Situated near the borders of Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota, it’s the largest city between Denver and Minneapolis, and it serves a much wider population than the 250,000 who call the greater metropolitan area home. It boasts a talented food and drink community that’s proud of its roots and has earned a loyal customer base.
As Wes Eisenhauer of local coffee roaster The Breaks says, “People ask why we stay, but there’s an opportunity to have a real impact here.”
It’s not hard to come across Breadico’s long-fermented loaves at some of the best restaurants in the city, but visitors need to stop by the bakery itself to try one of their celebrated breads fresh from the oven. You’ll also find Naples-style pizza made in a wood-fired oven built by hand, along with bountiful sandwiches and fresh pastas. If you’re looking for a drink to go with your meal, try Fernson Brewing Co., the stellar microbrewery next door.
Winner of season two’s Top Chef: Just Desserts, Chris Hanmer chose the charm of Sioux Falls to display his world-class baking skills. CH Pâtisserie sells macarons, croissants, chocolate confections and petit gâteaux you’d be lucky to find in Paris. Hanmer’s next project will be a European-style ice cream shop, Parlour Ice Cream, set to open next year.
This unpretentious all-day eatery epitomizes everything Sioux Falls. The deli offers coffee from The Breaks, bread from Breadico, bison burgers and tacos stuffed with with local walleye from the Big Sioux River. The breakfast crêpes at M.B. Haskett are a favorite, as are their muffalettas, a sandwich popularized in New Orleans that has also become omnipresent in Sioux Falls. Don’t miss the bargain three-course, prix-fixe dinners on Fridays and Saturdays, when chefs Michael Haskett and Sarah Langenfeld offer everything from Jamaican goat curry to Japanese takoyaki.
Prairie Berry East Bank
Fruit wines can be a dubious proposition, but the Vojta family has been making them in South Dakota since they emigrated from Moravia, Czechoslovakia, in 1876. For over a century now, they have applied their winemaking knowledge to the wild “prairie berries” of the Great Plains. The fifth-generation winemaker, Sandi Vojta, makes complex wines from wild plums, black currants, rhubarb, buffaloberries and chokecherries. More traditional wines come from locally-grown grape varieties like Brianna, Catawba, St. Pepin, and Frontenac Gris. At Prairie Berry Winery’s Sioux Falls outpost, more than 30 Prairie Berry wines are available, with a large assortment of charcuterie and cheese from small producers throughout the U.S.
Monks House Of Ale Repute
This bar’s debut 10 years ago kicked off a craft-beer boom that has spawned a host of local breweries, including their own Gandy Dancer Brew Works, a “nano-brewery” whose beers are only available on-site. With 150 beers from around the world and 39 rotating taps that feature South Dakotan and Midwest breweries, Monks House Of Ale Repute is one of the hottest after-work and weekend destinations downtown.
The city’s first wine bar of this scale, Bin 201 sports an extensive list of hard-to-find wines, offering dozens via a card-operated, self-serve system. There’s also a wine education room for tastings, hosting visiting winemakers and special events. Adjoining Bin 201 in the same building are owners Jamie & Tim Kant’s Stogeez Cigar Lounge and Eastwold Smoke Shop. It’s a sort of “choose your own adventure” for wine, whiskey and cigar enthusiasts.