Think Fast, Do You Know South Dakota’s Top 5 Fast Food Chains?
Fast food, almost every one of us has eaten it at least once, some of us, once a day, which would help explain the size of some us, right? Just ask our bathroom scales.
Fast food chains are a staple of the restaurant industry all over the country.
Did you know fast food restaurants actually became a big thing back in the 50s and 60s once America began to roll out its highway system? Americans needed a quick pit stop if you will, once they hit the highway on their long drawn-out journeys across the country.
That's why you see so many fast food stops like McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and countless others scattered up and down America's interstate highways. Not only are we in a rush to get where we're going, but we're also in a rush to find something to eat along the way.
Like most states, South Dakota has its fair share of fast food chains. We seem to have all the majors covered, and a few fast-food stops, that are not found in every state, a great example, is Taco Johns.
I have a friend that lives in California, every time he comes back to Sioux Falls, one of his first stops is TJ's, to get Potato Olés. I admit they're addictive!
At last check, only 22 states in the nation are blessed with Taco John's franchises and that crunchy potato goodness. Thankfully, South Dakota is one of them!
A website called Stacker compiled a list of South Dakota's most common fast food chains. They assembled the list by using data secured from Friendly City Lab at Georgia Tech.
The list ranks the number of fast-food locations throughout the state of South Dakota as of the year 2021. Granted this number has changed a bit, following the aftermath of the pandemic. COVID forced the closure of a number of restaurants throughout the country, so this current restaurant count might not be completely accurate at the moment. But at the time the data was secured, it showed there were 1,824 restaurants in South Dakota, of that number, 835 were fast-food chains.
Of the different fast food stops in South Dakota, Subway reigned supreme. Data showed there are (94) different Subway locations located throughout the state making it South Dakota's #1 fast food restaurant.
#2 is DQ! According to Stacker, there are (38) Dairy Queen locations scattered throughout the Rushmore State. Dairy Queen is the state's second-largest fast food chain. I guess South Dakota loves its blizzards, and not just during the winter months!
#3 is the aforementioned Taco Johns, with (37) different South Dakota locations. Never underestimate the allure of Super Nachos and Potato Olés with the average South Dakotan.
At #4 is Pizza Hut, with (31) South Dakota locations. Now I personally find this hard to believe. Not that I have anything against Pizza Hut pizza, it's one of my go-to pizza places, it just seems like there are not many dine-in Pizza Hut restaurants left to be found. Here in Sioux Falls, I am pretty sure all the Pizza Hut locations are either take-out or delivery now. COVID helped to put the kibosh on the Pizza Hut dine-in experience in this city and many others, sorry to say.
Finally, at #5, Mickey D's. The golden arches of McDonald's are an institution of fast food goodness in every state across the country, and South Dakota is no exception. At last check, we have (27) different McDonald's restaurants located throughout the state. The Big Mac and a side of golden fries continue to satisfy many a hungry appetite daily all over South Dakota.
I would be remiss if I did not give an honorable mention to Burger King (26) South Dakota locations, and Pizza Ranch with its (22) restaurants here in South Dakota. Both of those two chains are definitely some of South Dakota's fast food faves.
Road Trip-Worthy Restaurants Within 90 Minutes of Sioux Falls
Sioux Falls' Most Underrated Restaurants