10 Best Restaurants In Mount Rushmore And Keystone, USA

Discover the 10 best restaurants in the Mount Rushmore area and in Keystone / Pixabay
Discover the 10 best restaurants in the Mount Rushmore area and in Keystone / Pixabay
Photo of Graziano Scaldaferri
9 February 2017

South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore is one of the world’s best-known and most striking landmarks. Discover the 10 best restaurants in the Mount Rushmore area and in Keystone, a small town nearby that welcomes the monument’s many tourists.

Carvers Café

Cafe, Restaurant, American, $$$
Carvers Café, Keystone
Carvers Café, Keystone
Carvers Caféis Mount Rushmore’s official on-site restaurant. The commanding view of the monument that can be enjoyed from the outdoor patio is unparalleled by any other diner in the area. A buffet restaurant in a cafeteria-like setting, Carvers offers several stations of hot and cold dishes, from simple bites to full course meals. The meals, for a tourist restaurant such as this, are of surprising good quality and at unusually convenient prices. Stop at Carvers to refill during your visit at the Mount Rushmore memorial. Or, visit the cafe early in the morning for a hearty breakfast while soaking up the view of the sun rising behind the world-famous sculpture.

Ruby House

Restaurant, American, $$$
Ruby House Restaurant, Keystone
Ruby House Restaurant, Keystone
Leave modernity behind – step inside Ruby House through its saloon-like doors and journey back to the glorious Old West in this out-of-the-ordinary restaurant. Red velvet draperies, beautiful wallpapers with floral patterns, turn-of-the-century cabinets containing exquisite pieces of china, antique weaponry and period print and pictures in vintage frames adorn the restaurant’s dining room. If this kind of ambiance is not to your preference, come here to enjoy the succulent food. The dinner menu offers prime ribs, buffalo steaks, several types of seafood and other tantalizing delicacies, including the house’s flagship buffalo stew. At lunch, it’s a triumph of sandwiches, wraps, salads and the popular Indian tacos.

Powder House Restaurant

Restaurant, American
Tucked away in the relaxing setting of the Black Hills woods, only four miles away from Mount Rushmore, the Powder House Lodge offers a number of enchanting wood cabins for lodging purposes. The complex also comprises a renowned restaurant set in a charming wood structure similar to the cabins. The restaurant has a reputation of serving some of the finest prime ribs of the Midwest, as well as a selection of finger-licking buffalo entrees. The ribs of the Buffalo BBQ Short Ribs dish, in particular, are slow-cooked for more than 13 hours in a special barbecue sauce, which makes the ribs beautifully tender and multi-layered in flavor. Powder House Restaurant also offers a full service bar, and has one of the greatest selections of wine in the area.

Garden Café

Sports Center
One good way to enjoy Mount Rushmore is to get on a tramway and set your sights on the monument while floating in the air. The Rushmore Tramway Adventures enterprise has been providing this exact experience for almost 50 years, and in 1999 a pleasant surprise was added for visitors. Once disembarked at the end of the trail, guests can now enjoy the spectacular aerial views of Mount Rushmore, which is only two miles away from the spot, while savoring tasty fare at the Garden Café restaurant. Grab one of their lip-smacking grilled buffalo or beef hamburgers, or maybe a lighter salad. Accompany the food with a fresh beer and sit outside to admire a fantastic view of the United States‘ best-known national memorial.

Peggy’s Place

Keystone is a very small, unevenful town, with a population of no more than 500 regular residents. All activities in town, restaurants included, are there mostly to welcome the tourists passing by on their trips to Mount Rushmore. You will not find fancy restaurants here, but down-to-earth, authentic venues serving genuine, local, lovingly made food, such as Peggy’s Place. This is one of the best spots in town to enjoy a hearty, traditional breakfast of eggs cooked to order, bacon, delicious hash browns or a tasty sandwich.

Peggy’s Place, 434 Hwy 16a, Keystone, SD, USA, +1 605 666 4445

Island Oasis Hawaiian Shave Ice

Hawaiian shave ice in the middle of the Black Hills? As strange as it may sound, it’s all true: Island Oasis brings the most refreshing, delicious Hawaiian shave ice to the good people of Keystone and its visitors. Choose among the many eclectic combinations on offer, like the rainbow mix of strawberry, blue raspberry and banana; the mango, guava and orange in the Sunset Beach variation; or the Big Island, a tropical combination of papaya, mango and pineapple. Ask for a scoop of vanilla or macadamia nut ice cream to the bottom, and top it all off with your favourite syrup for a sensational dessert!

Island Oasis Hawaiian Shave Ice, 220 1/2 Winter Street, Keystone, SD, USA


Teddy's Deli

Deli, American, $$$
If there is one reason why any visitor in Keystone should make a stop at Teddy’s Deli, that is their sumptuous Reuben sandwich. A Reuben sandwich is a delicious mix of grilled corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing between two slices of rye bread. The Reuben that Teddy’s Deli prepares is one to try. It’s the perfect place for a quick lunch in Keystone as its menu is filled with many inviting bites like wraps, hot dogs, sandwiches and buffalo chili. In addition to good food, you can expect a cozy ambiance, friendly service and an overall homely atmosphere that makes a lunch here a delightful experience.

Grizzly Creek Restaurant

Bar, Restaurant, American, Mexican
Keystone’s Grizzly Creek is one of those restaurants that keep it simple, and do a great job at it. Seen from the outside, this bar and grill can easily be overlooked, but Grizzly Creek serves unpretentious but delicious and well-cooked American and Mexican staples. Dishes include burgers, ribs, quesadillas, burritos and tacos. Known for its friendly and prompt service, Grizzly Creek is surrounded by the pristine nature of the Black Hills. The best idea is to sit on the outdoor patio and enjoy the fresh mountain air along with the mouthwatering food, and maybe a pick from their small but quality selection of beers. Mount Rushmore is not far away from here; in fact, it can be seen from the patio.

Big Time Pizza

Restaurant, Italian, $$$
Big Time Pizza, 206 Cemetery Road
Big Time Pizza, 206 Cemetery Road
Patrons love Big Time Pizza for its convivial atmosphere and delicious food. Robert and Mary Davies, the friendly owners of this family-run restaurant, enjoy chatting to their customers, but what they like the most is to prepare their scrumptious, homemade pizzas for them. Select your favorite pizza from the menu, or build your own, choosing from the great variety of tempting toppings available, and get ready for a large, round piece of deliciousness. A contender for best pizza joint in town, Big Time Pizza also provides a surprisingly fine selection of domestic and imported beers, including the popular Baltika beer from St Petersburg, Russia.


Bar, Restaurant, American, Pub Grub, $$$
BaRLee's food and drink, Keystone
BaRLee's food and drink, Keystone
Restaurant and bar BaRLee’s takes pride in serving homemade food prepared entirely from scratch. The lunch menu lists honest and tasty fare like wraps, salads, burritos, burgers and chicken strips. At dinner, the restaurant specializes in a range of smoked meat entrees. The downstairs lounge, found beneath the large dining area on the second level, has exactly the kind of atmosphere you would expect of an authentic, local bar. It has dim lights, pool tables, dartboards hanging on the walls, TV screens and the occasional live entertainment. In other words, BaRLee has all the right ingredients to relax in the company of friends and a few pints of ice-cold beer.

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