Watertown, South Dakota, is the fifth biggest town in the state, and people come from all over the country to visit the zoo and the Redlin Art Center, which is home to some of the best wildlife artwork in the country. You’ll have to eat while you’re there, though, and Watertown has you covered for that, too. If you like steak, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our ten favorite restaurants.
If you’re looking for healthy food, trying to accommodate a specific diet, or just hungry for a delicious meal, Good to Go Market and Grill is the place to go. It’s Watertown’s favorite stop for exciting flavors put together in new ways, and the kitchen is more than happy to work around your needs, whatever ingredient you need to avoid. You might find a bit of a wait at lunch, because people come from all around to try the soups, salads, and sandwiches. The owner has been in the business for a long time, so you can trust her and her coworkers to give you the best service and a great overall experience.
To get to Minerva’s, head out to the Ramkota Hotel at the Watertown Events Center. Because it often welcomes out of town guests, Minerva’s is used to providing high quality, classic dishes in a refined atmosphere. Minerva’s takes pride in its steaks, and you can count on them to be excellent. You’ll have a difficult time deciding what you want, though, because all of the choices are so mouthwatering. Depending on the season and the availability of the ingredients, you’ll always have different choices to check out. How about the blackened salmon salad, or the balsamic rib tips? There’s something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for a great start to the day or a pick-me-up while you’re struggling to get through it, come to Past Times Coffee House & Restaurant to try fresh soups, sandwiches, and, if you get there in time, breakfasts. The omelets and breakfast sandwiches will give you the energy to really seize the day, and if you come in for lunch, you’ll be floored by all the great sandwich options. There’s even gluten-free bread and home cooked kettle chips that come with every meal. If you can save room for dessert, you’ll love the bread pudding (made from a secret recipe – so don’t even ask!).
Can you handle a calzone from Dempsey's? | Courtesy of Dempsey's Brewery Pub & Restaurant
Wheel Inn has been open for 50 years as a local, family-owned business, and it has always loved feeding the good people of Watertown with the absolute best in home cooking and comfort food. Wheel Inn serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and it’s all classic dishes done right – the best sort of dinner. Check the website for the daily specials, which always include a main dish and at least one of the scrumptious soups.
Dempsey’s Brewery Pub & Restaurant has been around for 15 years, which makes it the second oldest brewery in the state. The beers Dempsey’s produces are worth the trip, including a full range of stalwarts plus seasonal beers and even a root beer for the kids and drivers. If you’re coming for food as well, which you should, know that it has the only brick oven in the city, and the pizza chef was certified at a major Italian culinary school. The menu also includes items from across Europe – Ireland in particular, and Dempsey’s does it all with style.
Based on the name, you can probably take a guess at what people come to Clifford’s for. Clifford’s really knows how to cook a piece of meat, no matter which animal it’s from, so the steak, chicken, and seafood choices are all tender and flavorful. Its claim to fame is the chicken ‘Hot Wangs’ – pictures of which are proudly displayed in the store. Clifford’s has weekly specials, and if you follow the Facebook page, you’ll drool at the posted information about, for example, the stuffed shrimp or filet mignon with crab meat.
The Goss Opera House is a destination in itself, so the restaurant, Charley’s, is the perfect place for a big night out in Watertown. The menu isn’t long, so you can imagine the amount of thought, preparation, and expertise that has gone into putting together each menu item. It’ll take you on a journey from the Pacific to the Caribbean and beyond – how about starting with the Hawaiian Porkquitos, having the jambalaya pasta, and trying your friend’s chicken cordon roulade? There’s also a menu for the little ones, so all the family can enjoy their meal.
If you couldn’t tell already, Watertown is a great place to get a steak, and Off the Clock Chop House falls right into that pattern. It keeps the recipes simple but flavorful, opting for quality over pretension. Some of the sides are also house favorites, like the cheese sticks. For the non-steak eaters among you, the coconut shrimp come highly recommended, but it’s still the steak that takes center stage. If you manage to make it through to the end with room left in your stomach, go for the blonde brownie dessert – you definitely will regret not getting one if you happen to see it being delivered to another table.
If you’re looking for something a little spicier, head over to Guadalajara for the best Mexican food in the area. The restaurant is colorful, warm, and welcoming, and the friendly service will only confirm that further. The food always comes out fresh, and you’ll generally be able to take home leftovers from the large, filling meals. And, of course, you’ll be greeted with chips and salsa as soon as you sit down. This is a great place to try that favorite Mexican dessert, flan – don’t be put off by the texture; it’s delicious!
Just outside of Watertown you’ll find the Waverly Steakhouse, a low-key and informal restaurant where you can get delicious meat at low prices. Waverly has all of your favorite cuts of meat, but its true specialty is the prime rib. If you’re looking for a different flavor, Waverly also has baby back ribs and walleye filet, which you can even get with Cajun seasoning.