Where to Eat in Sioux Falls in 2019

Chances are you’ve heard of Sioux Falls, South Dakota

But did you know that this often under-the-radar city is home to a bustling foodie scene? 

Not only are there over 700 restaurants in town, Sioux Falls has their share of award-winning chefs and features on both the Food Network and Bravo! We recently spent a long weekend checking out this vibrant culinary scene, and we can enthusiastically say that it lived up to the hype. And because the questions we get asked the most usually revolve around food, we thought we’d break down our favorite spots to dine, drink, and treat yourself in Sioux Falls… 

(Be warned: this blog will make you hungry!)

BREAKFAST/COFFEE

Josiah’s Coffee House: This hip and trendy new coffee shop reminds us of something we’d find in Los Angeles, but with some “South Dakota” charm. We love the freshly baked, homemade pastries and sweets, the extensive breakfast and lunch menus, and the friendly service. It’s the perfect place to meet your friends for brunch, or bring your laptop and get some work done, as there’s ample seating!

Coffea Roasterie: While we wouldn’t go as far as saying that we’re “coffee snobs”, we know a good cup of joe when we see it. This quaint little downtown coffee shop knows what they’re doing - so much so that we went every day while we were in Sioux Falls. (Sometimes even twice!) Grab a seat at the bar, get to know the knowledgeable and passionate baristas, and get ready for a really strong, smooth, and flavorful coffee experience. 

Ode to Food and Drinks: If you happen to visit Sioux Falls over a weekend, make sure this is your Saturday brunch spot. While the breakfasts are hearty, tasty, and locally sourced, the real MVP here is their famous Bloody Mary Bar. It has all of the fixin’s, from bacon and olives, to pretzels and shrimp! (While this thoroughly grossed Alli out, it was a dream for Bobby!)

Queen City Bakery: Maybe it’s the cozy brick lined interior, maybe it’s the fresh-out-of-the-oven baked goods, or maybe it’s the hot coffee that pairs so perfectly with their melt in your mouth coffee cake… whatever it is, this bakery is truly something special. We happened to enjoy it on a rainy morning, and it was just the kind of snug and inviting place we were hoping to find! 

The Source: An independent small-batch specialty coffee roaster, taproom, and wine bar all in one… Can we get an amen?! The Source is one of the newer coffee shops on the scene, and we have a feeling it’s only going to get more popular. Not only do they roast some quality coffee, but they also have an epic tap wall that features 16 unique styles of crafted beer from artisan breweries. And if you want wine, they have that too! Yep… this place is pretty darn legit.

LUNCH/DINNER

Bread & Circus Sandwich Kitchen: With a name like “Bread & Circus”, we weren’t sure what to expect. Toast on unicycles? Bagels doing tricks? Well, we have no clue what tricks the folks at this sandwich kitchen have up their sleeves, but whatever they’re doing, they’re killing it. From their Curried Cauliflower flatbread, to their Vietnamese Fried Chicken sandwich, everything they make is creative, high quality, and delicious. 

Sanaa’s: We love a good hole-in-the-wall Mediteranean restaurant, and Sanaa’s is exactly that. This no frills, order at the counter lunch spot is a favorite among Sioux Falls locals, and with one bite of baklava you’ll know why! For something really fun and different, try their Saturday lunch buffet! You might even meet Sanaa herself!

M.B. Haskett Delicatessen: This warm and friendly delicatessen takes their menu to the next level, with rotating daily specials and salads that have developed a cult following around town. Every day the menu changes, and every day the crowds come in droves! Some regular menu items worth trying are their housemade Muffaletta and the Cheddar and Bacon Crepe!

Mama’s Ladas: Homemade enchiladas and sangria… what a concept! This adorable enchilada shop is a must-try when in Sioux Falls, for multiple reasons. Their enchiladas are fantastic, their sangria is perfectly sweet and refreshing, and the ambiance is adorable! Not to mention, the entire menu is incredibly affordable. We know you’ll love it just as much as we do!

Parker’s Bistro: If you’re looking for an upscale date night spot, this is it. Parker’s Bistro is a chef driven restaurant that utilizes local ingredients to create unique and memorable cuisine from around the world. On Friday and Saturday nights they offer a “white table cloth fine dining experience”, and it’s unbelievably romantic!

DESSERT

Parlour Ice Cream House: Chic, chef driven, and artisanal, this ice cream shop is as Instagrammable as it is mouth-watering. Their chef Chris Hanmer (who won Top Chef on Season 2 of Bravo’s Top Chef: Just Desserts) takes ice cream to another level with flavors such as “Play Ball” (popcorn gelato with caramel and chocolate peanuts) and White peach Ginger Sorbet. Is your mouth watering yet?

C.H. Patisserie: Desserts are our love language, and it’s safe to say C.H. Patisserie has our hearts! This downtown patisserie specializes in everything from gourmet French macarons to homemade candies pastries, french press coffee, and more. It’s the kind of place where it’s impossible to order just one thing, and their macaron flavors are to die for! We’re still dreaming about their puppy chow macarons!

BARS

Carpenter Bar: One step inside the Carpenter Bar and you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped inside a stylish NYC bar, with well-qualified mixologists and picture-perfect handcrafted cocktails! Their extensive cocktail menu proves that they can make just about anything, too!

PAve: There’s no better spot to be on a warm summer evening then PAve’s glistening and energetic rooftop bar! This multi-level bar and restaurant has some of the best daily drink specials in town, and ½ price drinks from 1pm-7pm, Monday-Friday! We’ll cheers to that!

BREWERIES

Fernson Brewing Company: With two locations (the Brewery Taproom & the Downtown Taproom), this Sioux Falls craft brewery is a favorite among locals and visitors alike! We’re big fans of their Downtown location, which serves high quality shareable grub as well as their 12 Fernson beers on tap… and the cool, refined ambiance is on-point!

Remedy Brewing Company: This casual and welcoming brewery has it all - 23 rotating brews on tap, a full food, wine, and dessert menu, board games, plenty of space to sit, and live music and trivia nights happening weekly! Their beer is innovative and enjoyable (try the Cow Tippah Chocolate Milk Stout!), and the way they connect and inspire the Sioux Falls community is inspiring. We’d be here all the time if we were locals!

Now, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the culinary scene in Sioux Falls. There are SO many spots we have yet to check out and add to our list, so if you have a favorite that we failed to mention, leave a comment and let us know! You better believe we plan on coming back soon - and check out what we did in Sioux Falls (beyond eating and drinking) here!

Falling For Sioux Falls

If you’ve been following along on our Instagram, you’ll know that we just returned home from a long weekend in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. While we’re no strangers to South Dakota (we’ve been three times in the past three years - we LOVE it), this was our first time visiting Sioux Falls. Located in East South Dakota, only 15 miles from the Minnesota border, Sioux Falls is not only one of the most well-known cities in “SoDak”, but it’s also the most populated. Having spent the majority of our time in the sprawling Black Hills, we were pumped to see a different, more urban side of SoDak - and it blew us away! The charming downtown, the bustling outdoor festivals, the friendly locals, the lush bike paths, the hip coffee shops and breweries... Sioux Falls is just downright COOL. Here’s what we discovered:

THE THRIVING ARTS AND CULTURE

Sioux Falls is surprisingly metropolitan, with its big brick buildings, downtown trolley service, and chic shops and restaurants - but it also has that small town, tight-knit community feel. Local arts and culture are celebrated, and the Sioux Falls pride is undeniable. 

There’s the SculptureWalk, an exhibit of locally-crafted outdoor sculptures that are on display year-round in downtown Sioux Falls, where visitors can follow a map and vote on their favorite sculptures. The newest addition to the beloved SculptureWalk is the Arc of Dreams, a giant stainless steel sculpture that spans across the Big Sioux River. At the center of the stunning arc is a 15-foot gap, that represents the leap of faith that dreamers must take in order to pursue their aspirations. This gorgeous sculpture was just completed this past July, and it’s breathtaking! 

There’s the Washington Pavillion, an educational and entertainment center that has multiple museums, a performing arts center, a cinema, and more! Outside the Pavillion you can even test your strength with raising a sedan with some serious leverage. Bobby’s never felt so strong! 

THE BOOMING CULINARY SCENE

A recent trend that we’ve seen in up-and-coming cities is the surge of new high-quality cafes, bars, restaurants, and breweries. Aspiring local chefs and restaurateurs head to larger cities and schools for training, with the mission to return “back to their roots” and elevate the dining experience back at home. Sioux Falls is no exception, with an advanced and cosmopolitan culinary scene that boasts of places one would expect in New York City or Los Angeles. Just a few of the “stand out spots” (we’ll be posting a food-specific blog on Sioux Falls soon) are: 

Josiah’s Coffee House is a brand new coffee shop and cafe that has everything from homemade pop tarts to made-from-scratch soups. The decor is warm and welcoming, with contemporary touches and cozy elements - like their brick fireplace that was crafted by local artists. 

Parlour Ice Cream House is a chic, chef driven, artisanal ice cream shop that’s as Instagrammable as it is delicious. Their chef Chris Hanmer (who was awarded the title “Top Chef” on Season 2 of Bravo’s Top Chef: Just Desserts) takes ice cream to another level with flavors such as “Play Ball” (popcorn gelato with caramel and chocolate peanuts) and White Peach Ginger Sorbet. Is your mouth watering yet? 

Stepping into Carpenter Bar felt like we were stepping into one of our favorite NYC hot spots, with its stylish decor and lively bar… and the handcrafted cocktails were some of the best we’ve had in a long time! The staff are all well-qualified mixologists, and their extensive cocktail menu proves that they can make just about anything. 

THE OUTDOOR CONCERTS & FESTIVALS

Sioux Falls knows how to have fun. If you happen to visit in the summertime, chances are you’ll be able to catch at least a night (or two) of free live music! That’s right, FREE! Levitt at the Falls is a new state-of-the-art outdoor music venue that’s hosting free concerts throughout the summer (including 50 lined up for summer 2020!), and the setting couldn’t be more idyllic! We spent our first night in Sioux Falls grooving to the music and enjoying the warm South Dakota weather, and we instantly felt right at home!

We spent the next two nights (and afternoons) at the annual Sioux Falls JazzFest, a free (yep, this one was free too!) two-day jazz and blues festival held at the Yankton Trail Park. We danced and sang along with iconic bands like Tower of Power, the Jack Brass Band, and MarchFourth. We snacked on cotton candy and corn dogs, made friends with the people sitting around us, and watched as the sun set over the city.

THE PICTURESQUE PARKS AND TRAILS

Sioux Falls #1 attraction is Falls Park, a 123 acre park that features their namesake waterfalls, in which 7,400 gallons of water drop 100 feet over the course of the falls every second. That’s a lot of water!! Native Americans were the first to discover the falls, and they have been a landmark to the city since its founding in 1856. We loved exploring all around the iconic falls, and we even got to witness some fish jumping upstream!

Big Sioux River Recreation Trail: is a bike trail system that features a picturesque 19-mile loop that runs along the Big Sioux River. We rented bikes at the Nyberg’s Ace in downtown, and spent our Saturday morning riding about three miles up the trail, and absolutely loved it. Everywhere we turned was another photo opportunity, as it was so green!

THE SOUTH DAKOTA CHARM

There’s a reason why we keep coming back to South Dakota. It has a charm about it - a small-town, Americana charm that’s both intriguing and addicting. Sioux Falls is no exception. Whether we were grabbing drinks at a bar or settling down to listen to some live music, we made friends wherever we were. We realized quickly that everywhere we went had a story, and every sculpture we admired had a meaning. The pride in their city that the Sioux Falls locals had was addicting, and we left feeling like locals ourselves!

Whether you’re planning a road trip through South Dakota, or looking for a spot to spend a long weekend, we would suggest visiting Sioux Falls. It’s absolutely magical in the summer, and we can only imagine that the fall and winter months will be just as spectacular. (We’ve got to keep our SoDak visiting streak up, so let us know when you go. We just might join you!)

Essential Gear Spotlight - JOBY HandyPod Mobile

Bobby, here! In recent weeks we’ve been getting requests to share about our favorite gear, our “essentials”, if you will. As traveling content creators, we’ve found that we really appreciate and navigate towards gear that is extremely efficient. Efficient in doing its particular job well, and in saving space, as we’re often traveling out of the car and have enough between the two of us (not to mention Sally!).

All that to say, the JOBY HandyPod Mobile has been a recent addition that will undoubtedly be with us on every trip to come. It’s a small phone tripod that is ideal for mobile content creators like us, because of its compact and versatile design. The tripod is stable and secure for our phones, and it also has collapsable legs that then transforms it into a perfect handheld for selfies, video, etc.

We took it with us on our recent trip to Bend, and used it as we brewery-hopped around town with Sally. The built-in ballhead allowed us to capture both landscape and portrait shots. And a few family paw-traits as well :) One thing we were really impressed by was the stability of the tripod. The legs can stay secure in a variety of positions (based on how you’re balancing your phone/camera), and once you find your position, they are super sturdy.

Perfect for selfies

And family paw-traits!

After taking it on this recent trip, we’re sold. It’s easy to pack, easy to use, and it allowed us to capture content more effectively on the road. 

If you’re in the market for a simple, dependable tripod, we highly recommend JOBY and its phone tripods. Beyond that, we’ll also throw a shout out to our JOBY GorillaPod, that has gone all over the world with us from the beginning of Traveling Newlyweds!







Night at the Museum :: Why We're Obsessed With 21c Museum Hotels

Remember that Ben Stiller movie in which he plays a security guard at the Museum of Natural History, who discovers that the animals and exhibits come to life due to an ancient curse? It’s called Night At The Museum, and I (Alli) loved it (Not so much the sequels, but that’s for another day). Since that movie came out in 2006, I’ve always thought it would be cool to stay overnight in a museum. Sure, maybe not a museum filled with taxidermy and war scenes, but a museum filled with pretty pictures, whimsical sculptures, and art pieces that make you think. It’s a concept that I didn’t think existed… until we recently discovered the 21c Museum Hotels. And it’s as though all of my Night At The Museum dreams came true!

21c Museum Hotels were founded by Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, two art collectors and preservationists who have a heart for contemporary art and global culture. Every 21c property has a multi-venue museum that is not only free of charge, 24 hours a day (say what?!), but also boasts curated rotating exhibitions and site-specific installations by local artists. From watercolor, to animation, to still life like you’ve never seen before, the museums are as modern and contemporary as they are powerful and challenging. And the fact that they’re open 24 hours a day, and FREE of charge is absolutely revolutionary. But that’s only the beginning...

During our cross-country roadtrip we had the chance to stay at three of the eight 21c Museum Hotel properties, Bentonville, Nashville, and Durham. Beyond the mesmerizing and engaging contemporary art museums at each location, is the chic and luxurious boutique hotel that’s as beautiful and captivating as the museums! The rooms are spacious, elegantly designed (would you expect anything less?), and all of them perfectly capture the energy and culture of the city that they’re in. Plus, every 21c Museum Hotel has their own signature mascot(s) that float around the property - big plastic penguins, in varying colors. You might come across one at check in, or when you walk into your room, or even next to your dinner table. The staff is constantly moving them around, and it’s absolutely hilarious. They may be our favorite thing about 21c!

Let’s talk about the three 21c Museum Hotels we visited during our roadtrip...

BENTONVILLE, ARKANSAS

In Bentonville, Arkansas, the 21c Museum Hotel is a welcoming mix of Southern hospitality and thoughtful, contemporary amenities that will instantly make you feel at home. From the in-room original artwork, to the Nespresso coffee machines, to our favorite Malin + Goetz bath amenities, we could’ve easily stayed in our room all day and been totally content. Oh, and did we mention that all 21c Museum Hotels are dog friendly, too? 

Each 21c Museum Hotel has a stylish and acclaimed restaurant that serves modern dishes with a local flair, and The Hive in Bentonville is no exception! We sipped on seasonal cocktails, shared fresh salads with produce from local farms, and filled our bellies with locally caught fish and meat. And of course the surrounding artwork and decor was as elegant as the food! We’d go back to The Hive in a heartbeat!

So many fun pieces!

Downtown Bentonville is like a Hallmark movie

Sally was obsessed with the view in Bentonville!

Our favorite piece in Bentonville!

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

Located in the historic Gray & Dudley building in Downtown Nashville, just steps from Bridgestone Arena and the honkey tonks on Broadway, the 21c Museum Hotel in Nashville couldn’t be in a better location. The guest rooms are stylish and posh, with striking wood floors, high ceilings, and large windows with floor-to-ceiling drapery. We stayed in a Terrace King that featured a spacious outdoor patio with breathtaking views of the downtown. It was incredible!

We enjoyed breakfast (with the 21c signature penguins, of course) at their onsite restaurant, Gray & Dudley. And in true 21c fashion, most everything was sourced from Nashville area producers and craft purveyors. We even saw the mayor of Nashville enjoying his breakfast a few tables down from us - and if that’s not a sign of a good local restaurant, we’re not sure what is!

Sally felt right at home in Nashville

Incredible video art exhibit in Nashville

Obsessed with these views!

Breakfast with the blue penguin in Nashville

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA

We rounded up our 21c tour at the 21c Museum Hotel in Durham, North Carolina. Situated in the center of downtown Durham, in the historic Hill Building, it just might have been our favorite of the three! This 17-story art deco skyscraper is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as it was built in the 1930’s by the same NYC architecture firm that built the Empire State Building! The architecture is spectacular, and the way the team at 21c has modernized and renovated the building is really impressive. We stayed in a Terrace Suite, that had a separate living area, bedroom, and a large terrace with gorgeous views of downtown Durham. We joked that it was bigger than our house (and it almost was)!

Our final meal in Durham was enjoyed at the 21c’s Counting House restaurant, which highlights North Carolina’s fresh seafood and high-quality seasonal ingredients. The contemporary design of the restaurant, paired with the fresh and creative menu made it a meal to remember. And of course, the penguins joined us there, too!

Checking in in Durham

Views from our room :)

Sally started to love the elevator - but not alone

Play time in Durham

Can you see any similarities to the Empire State Building?

Sally loved the hotels, but was terrified of the penguins. This photo took awhile to get :)

We’ve now been to three of the 21c Museum Hotels, and we can’t wait to visit more. They have other properties in Cincinnati, Kansas City, Lexington, Louisville and Oklahoma City, and Chicago, Des Moines, and St. Louis are opening soon. And you better believe it’s our goal to visit them all. 

6 Must-Try Bend Spots for 2019

Ask us why we love Bend, Oregon so much, and we’ll immediately start gushing its praises. Chances are this “gushing” will last for several minutes and will end with us enthusiastically out of breath. Our friends, family, even our neighbors know how much we love this thriving and ever-changing mountain town… and if we’re being honest, they’re probably all waiting for the day when we announce that we’re officially moving to Bend. (It could happen!) 

In the meantime, we’ll find any excuse to visit. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter - Bend is a beautiful adventure no matter the season. The more we visit, the more we discover about Bend, and the more we see this town continue to grow and flourish - but all the while keeping a small town feel. We’ve got our favorite places that we keep coming back to (check out our Bend Guide), and we always try to branch out and explore new spots too. This time was no exception, we visited some of our tried and true spots, and mixed in some new places as well. 

Here’s 6 places that are on our radar (or should we say “Bend-ar”) for 2019:

COFFEE

Companion Coffeehouse: It was love at first sight with this hip, welcoming, and modern neighborhood coffee house. Maybe it’s the cool tilework, maybe it’s the friendly baristas, or maybe it’s their $3 kombucha (it’s double the price in California), but whatever it is - we’re big fans of this place. Oh, and they have overnight oats on the menu. We really love overnight oats. (Is that weird?)

Looney Bean: Contrary to the name, there is nothing “looney” about this place. Set along the Deschutes River, this tucked away coffee shop is a gem of a place… and we can’t believe we haven’t been before! Its homey vibe makes you feel like you’ve stepped into someone’s cozy lakefront cabin, and the spacious “backyard” is the perfect place to spend an afternoon!

Loving the vibes at Companion Coffee

Here for the coffee and the views at Looney Bean!

BEER

Boss Rambler Beer Club: They had us at “Beer Club”, and at the picture-perfect ambiance and stylish decor didn’t hurt either. This brand new brewery just opened in April, and it’s already taking Bend’s craft brewery scene by storm. From hazy IPA’s, to farmhouse-style ales, to their special “Collaboration” beers with other locals brewers, their beer menu is constantly changing and always exciting. 

Crux Fermentation Project: K, this spot isn’t new. But we couldn’t not include it. It’s our favorite. The open, contemporary tasting room has a fun and bustling energy, but their spacious outdoor area is where we always gravitate to. There’s food trucks, plenty of room for kids (and dogs) to play, and it’s one of the best places in Bend to catch the sunset. Plus their beer (and wine) is top-notch!

Boss Rambler is a delightful spot for a few beers :)

Crux is always our go-to

FOOD

900 Wall: Over the years we’ve heard a lot about this trendy New-American eatery, so we figured it was time we checked it out for ourselves! The raving reviews were right - 900 Wall’s menu is extensive, their food is delicious (try the French Onion Soup!), and the dimly lit setting makes it perfect for a date night or special occasion. Don’t leave without trying one of their many desserts!

Riff Cold Brewed Coffee: You might be wondering why a coffee spot is on our food list… and at first, we were a little confused as to what Riff Cold Brewed Coffee was. A coffee shop? With food? And cocktails? Exactly. Many of the items on Riff’s food menu is inspired by (and sometimes infused with) coffee - and it’s SO GOOD. Get the Hummus Trio and the Thai Chicken Bowl and you’ll never want anything else. Except maybe one of their Blondie Sundaes or Unforgettable Affogatos… 

Date night at 900 Wall

900 Wall yummies…

The beers are as good as the coffee at Riff

Our time in Bend was short, but so, so sweet. There’s no doubt we’ll be back soon, as our list of must-try spots keeps getting longer and longer. It’s a wonderful problem to have, and we’re thinking that our next visit should be for at least a week. And it most definitely will include a float on the river - something we STILL HAVEN’T DONE!! (We’ve been too busy eating, haha!)

We will definitely be floating next time!

Leave a comment and let us know where the cool kids are hanging, so we can keep our Bend list as fresh as possible!