While the number of restaurants in Lead is relatively small, the quality of the food is high. The best breakfast by far is at Cheyenne Crossing (21415 U.S. 14A, 605/584-3510, www.cheyennecrossing.org, summer Mon.–Wed. 7:30 a.m.–4 p.m., Thurs.–Sun. 7:30 a.m.–8 p.m., winter Thurs.–Sun. 7:30 a.m.–8 p.m., breakfast $7, lunch $9, dinner $9–13), with sourdough pancakes, buttermilk biscuits, buffalo sausage, and homemade cinnamon rolls among the items to choose from. Lunch and dinner are great as well.
The house specialty is Indian Tacos, which start with a homemade base of WoodenKnife Indian Fry Bread, a family recipe from Interior, South Dakota, topped with a wide variety of options including pulled pork, veggies, shredded roast beef, or traditional taco toppings (ground beef, lettuce, red onions, tomato, olives, cheese, picante sauce, and sour cream).
The dinner menu includes salmon, cod, top sirloin and rib eye steaks, and shrimp. On the lighter side, choose from chicken dishes, fish, and beef sandwiches. The restaurant also has a very nice wine selection. It’s a real country-style kind of restaurant—cozy and warm with delicious food.
Food and theater go together at the Black Hills Round House Restaurant (106 Glendale Dr., 605/722-1901, www.blackhillsroundhouse.com, summer Mon.–Sat. lunch 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m., dinner seatings 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; winter Tues.–Sat. 11:30 a.m.–8 p.m.). Meals are served in a train environment, where staff include a conductor, a wandering hobo, and waiters dressed in Victorian attire. If you sit in the right train seat, you may see scenery passing by your window as you dine. Lunch ($8.99 adult, $4.95 child) is a buffet with a nice variety of meats, salads, and side dishes.
Dinner ($24.95 adult, $9.95 child) is a five-course, fixed-menu, gourmet meal, with three or four main course options. The menu changes from time to time, but dinner selections include the likes of beef tenderloin with mushroom cream sauce, Cornish game hen with pineapple coconut dressing, lobster fettuccini, and pork tenderloin with peach salsa.
For the best burgers in town, go to Lewie’s Saloon & Eatery (711 S. Main St., 605/584-1324, daily 11 a.m.–11 p.m., $7), located just south of Lead on Highway 85. A rustic bar, most famous for burgers and beer, Lewie’s is also popular locally as the host site of a trivia competition held on Friday nights during the winter months (Oct.–early spring). The long-running competition has been held at various venues in Lead over the years; Lewie’s has been hosting the games since 2005. Watch the local teams compete (Uncivil Servants, Bumper Car Cowboys, and Alcohol Was Involved, among others) or chime in!
Another great dining and drinking locale is the Stampmill Restaurant & Saloon (305 W. Main St., 605/584-1984, www.thestampmill.com, Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–3 p.m., lunch $7, dinner $13). Located near downtown, the Stampmill is housed in a 1897 historic sandstone building that was originally a boardinghouse. The inside is brick and light wood, and in the winter, there’s a roaring fire. Everything served is made from scratch, and the beef is from nearby Harding County. Dine inside or outside on the patio in the summertime. The owners are originally from Louisiana, though they’ve been out West for more than 20 years. The menu features sandwiches, soups, and salads for lunch. Dinner entrées include steaks, fish and chips, and several pasta dishes. Try the Cajun food!
© Laural A. Bidwell from Moon Mount Rushmore & the Black Hills, 1st Edition