Summit Leaguers: Welcome! Here’s where to eat in Sioux Falls

A big part of visiting a new city, whether for a work trip, a quick overnight on your way somewhere (preferably warmer), or a vacation to cheer on your favorite college basketball team, is trying our the local food scene. At least it always is for me.

So with that in mind, I thought I’d throw together a little Food Falls primer for those of you visiting. Here we go:

Welcome, basketball fans. I hope your stay here in Sioux Falls is a fun one. There is a lot of good food in this city, and I’m here to help you find it. First, the area of our city you’ll likely be spending most of your time in (the area around the Arena) is called the Sports and Entertainment District. It’s developing, but as far as food goes, this area has little to offer other than the Buffalo Wild Wings across the parking lot, which will surely be popular.

One other suggestion would be to hit up Jono’s Bar and Grill, 1700 W. Burnside, for some friendly pub fare, daily specials and some of the only Lamb Chislic in town (a local delicacy). Other than that, you’re going to need to drive just a bit.

But fear not! Sioux Falls is easy to get around and not THAT big a city. So you shouldn’t have to travel too much for some of these suggestions. And, you can avoid most of the usual “travel” fast food:

Downtown is just a five minute drive from the Arena, and has a variety of spots you should check out:
- Phillips Avenue Diner: Classic diner feel, great food, shakes and malts. Try the Hot Mashed Potato And Fried Chicken Wrap or the Hot Roast Beef Sandwich. My favorite: the Chicken and Waffles. And be sure to make room for, or at least share, a shake/malt. 121 S. Phillips Avenue
- Queen City Bakery: Just outstanding. Grab a quiche, a scone or any of the offerings here with a cup of coffee for one of the best, “simple” breakfasts in the city. If you happen upon anything brioche or croissant, consider yourself lucky and pick one up. 324 E. 8th Street
- Bros. Brasserie Americano: Looking for something a bit more upscale but still casual? (Though seriously, there isn’t a place in town that will bat an eye at you walking in in jeans.) Check out Bros. for twists on everything from a basic burger, to fish, scallops, steak, pork and duck. The Pork Belly is one of my favorite dishes in the city, and the Hangar Steak is outstanding. Plus, they have a great list of tap beers.
- CH Patisserie: Don’t miss out on a chance to pick up some sweets from Top Chef: Just Desserts winner Chris Hanmer’s place. The Macaroons alone are worth the stop. Any number of goodies here for you, and something unique and fun to help remember your trip by.

If you are in one of the many hotels along the western side of Sioux Falls, here are some places likely within a short drive of your hotel:
- Shahi Palace: Indian food. Great lunch buffet if that’s your thing. And it should be with all the great variety offered. Get some Garlic Naan and any number of spicy lamb, beef or chicken dishes. Also, many vegetarian options. 2527 S Shirley Ave.
- Firehouse Subs: Yep, it’s a chain. And yep, it’s a sandwich shop. But I’m a fan of the grilled sandwiches, tasty meats and Coke Freestyle machine. It’s not Gregg’s Sub Station, but you’d have to venture a bit for that. 3504 W 41st St.
- Carnaval Brazilian Grill: Gaucho-served, all-you-can-eat Brazilian meals of meat, meat and more meat. And a great salad bar. And grilled pineapple. Really pretty great. Just keep it under control or you’re going back to the hotel with the meat sweats. And nobody wants that. 2401 South Carolyn Ave.

Other places to consider:
- Gluten-free options: Many places in town cater to the GF crowd, but two I’d suggest are Taste of the Big Apple pizza (600 N. Main) and Sanaa’s 8th St. Gourmet (401 E 8th Street).
- Mexican: The best Mexican food in town is at Jacky’s Restaurant over at 702 E. 8th St. Get the fish tacos, Chirrasco or a Wet Burrito.
- Coffee: Skip the Starbucks, won’t you? Hit up Coffea, a local joint with two locations and delicious coffee.
- Breakfast: Skip the Perkin’s and hit up Original Pancake House instead. You won’t be disappointed. 2715 W. 41st St.

Really, that’s a brief list highlighting some of my favorites. And with just a little bit of effort, you can improve your stay greatly. You can also browse this blog if you want somewhere different. Or hit me up with a question. I’m usually quick to respond.