It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it. The 605 team travels all around South Dakota finding hidden gems and statewide staples. The 605 Best Awards are given to people and businesses who 605 feels deserve some recognition, whether it’s experiencing the infamous Zebra Donut or hiking with thousands to see the face of Crazy Horse.

Readers and followers also take a vote for the 605 Best People’s Choice Awards. Here are the winners of 2023. 

605 Best South Dakota Delicacy

Ellis Donuts

Formerly Royal Bake Shop, Ellis Donuts in Centerville is the “home of the original Zebra Donut.” After over 25 years, the owners decided it was time for a rebrand—same owners (Keith and Janine Ellis), same products. The Zebra Donut was voted the Best Donut in South Dakota by Food & Wine magazine in 2021, and also has had accolades by Food Network. Usually gone by 9 a.m., the marbled chocolate and vanilla donuts are fried, glazed, then dunked in chocolate frosting. Want to place an order? Call and leave a message!

516 Broadway St, Centerville



Hitch’n Post

“Dacotah’s finest Western store” is located in Aberdeen. The family-owned business has over 53 years of experience to help customers find exactly what they’re looking for. Explore over 10,000 square feet of high-quality boots, jeans, shirts, and hats, along with local, unique merchandise. Hitch’n Post has been a go-to for South Dakotans and visitors alike, with the latest and greatest from vendors like Wrangler, American Hat Company, and CINCH. From infants to grandparents, there is something for everyone.

2601 6th Ave SE, Aberdeen 



Sunny’s Pizzeria
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1801 S. Walts Ave, Sioux Falls



Vinyahd Restaurant Group
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360 S. Main Ave, Sioux Falls
330 S. Main Ave, Sioux Falls
322 E. 8th St, Sioux Falls



Mister Smith’s

Quoted as having “the best bread in the world” by Amy Bloom of Oprah Magazine in 2002, one might assume Mister Smith’s in Vermillion would be found in a large brick and mortar. What actually adds to the charm (in 605’s opinion), is that the bakery, café, and catering company is in an unassuming location inside of Ace Hardware. The bread’s recipe is still that of the late Larry Smith, who started baking back when he was a police captain in Connecticut. He and his wife moved to Vermillion to focus on baking after Smith was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and his memory lives on in the popular sandwich shop today. Whether you’re a hungover student, a local, or a visitor, you can’t go wrong with the Big Smith, the Philly Cheese Steak (Beef or Chicken), or a Build Your Own sandwich. Mister Smith’s also offers breakfast (try the Punisher), catering, and baked items like cupcakes and cakes.

812 Cottage Ave, Vermillion


Louie Lalonde
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Rose Speirs
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Karla Santi

Blend Interactive CEO and founder, speaker, and mentor Karla Santi has used her 25 years in the digital agency space leading and growing teams in web design and development. Her passion for startups, mentoring, and cheering on women is nothing short of inspiring. Just a few accolades include EmBe’s Tribute to Women 2015 Sylvia Henkin Mentoring Award, the 2023 Umbraco MVP, the Top 25 Women in Business by Prairie Business Magazine, the 2022 SBA Small Business Person of the Year for South Dakota by the U.S. Business Administration, and the 2016 Dancing with the Sioux Falls Stars Champion. It’s not uncommon to see Santi at a groundbreaking for the Sioux Falls Skatepark Association one hour with a blazer and Converse Sneakers, and the next hour wearing a dress at a fundraising event. Her commitment to her community is hard to match.




Kasi Haberman of Southeast South Dakota Tourism
Since moving back to Yankton in 2016 from Omaha, Kasi Haberman has made an impact in the South Dakota tourism industry. During her time as director of Visit Yankton (now Yankton Thrive), Haberman took home the 2019 Ruth Ziolkowski Outstanding Hospitality and Customer Service Award. She then went on to work as the marketing and communications manager for the National Field Archery Association, assisting in large events like the first-ever World Cup hosted in the United States. In 2022, Haberman took the reins of Southeast South Dakota Tourism Association, making fast moves for a complete rebrand of the organization. This included everything from a new logo, website, and tourism publications. The Southeast South Dakota Tourism team accomplished this within months to reveal the rebrand in January 2023 at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Membership is growing, and so are Haberman’s goals and accomplishments.



Byron Banasiak
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Sioux Falls State Theatre
They say the show must go on, and that was definitely the case for the Sioux State Theatre.

Built in 1926 in downtown Sioux Falls to showcase silent film and vaudeville performances, the majestic venue wowed audiences with its iconic marquee and sophisticated Beaux Arts-inspired architecture.

After closing suddenly in 1991 due to outward migration of residents and businesses to malls and suburbs, The State Theatre slowly fell into disrepair. After community support and huge fundraising efforts, the landmark reopened in December of 2020 just in time for the holidays.

“I believe the community feels a sense of attachment and pride in preserving the State Theatre,” said State Theatre executive director Allison Weiland. “The sentimental value can’t be understated, but there is also the architectural beauty and the economic and community development aspect that can’t be overshadowed.”

The main floor was restored to replicate the design and color scheme.

“When we started renovation, the interior of the Theatre was pretty much all white,” recalled Weiland. “It was astonishing to see the true colors of the Theatre shine. Going back to the original design and colors was not easy, but it definitely was worth it.”

While it was very important to keep historical aspects, Weiland says it was also important to update the seating situation and modernize the equipment.

“As a cinema, we had to make sure we had comfortable seats,” said Weiland. “Our recliners are a fan favorite, along with our Barco 4k projector and our Meyer Sound system.”

To keep the historial dramatics, each film begins with the opening of the red curtain. Before certain showings, the title is projected on the curtains for extra flair.

“Watching the curtain open and close is so dramatic and really sets the mood that the show is about to start,”

said Weiland. “We also curated the preshow music to complement the feature and often show vintage movie trailers of upcoming movies.”

Memberships are available that include discounted admission, concessions, and merchandise. There are also exclusive members-only film screenings.

The State Theatre is open for movies Wednesday through Sunday and offers a variety of programming each week.

“From classics to new releases, from local to foreign films, our goal is to have something to appeal to everyone,” said Weiland.

A popular series is Late Night at the State, where one Friday a month is dedicated to show “a truly bizarre cult classic movie.”

The State Theatre currently has 155 reclining seats available, and Weiland says the goal is to expand their footprint by opening the balcony.

“We have made many milestones at the State Theatre over the last few years, and we look forward to growing within the community,” said Weiland. “Our work is not over as we still have a large amount of the theater that needs to be finished.”

During the month of December, the State Theatre will be open seven days a week showing holiday favorites and a few new releases. January will also be full of entertainment with some Academy Award season buzz, along with classic programming.

Even though there is still work left to do, Weiland says she has faith the people of Sioux Falls will continue their support.

She said, “We know that with the support of our community we will be able to thrive well into the future and continue to bring the magic of cinema to everyone in our community and beyond.

316 South Phillips Ave, Sioux Falls



Golden Hour Supper Society
The “creative dining and authentic community” was created by Kirsten Gjesdal and Rachel Meyer. While in quarantine, the friends missed the conviviality of gathering and especially missed exciting food offerings. The following year, they launched Golden Hour Supper Society—a “curious community of food lovers that dine together.” Focused on the Brookings area, the pop-up gatherings have a new space for each event and also have new chefs and styles of food every meal. The themes also change, and the prix fixe menus are meant to spark curiosity and create conversation at a family-style table. Come as an individual, and leave as a member of the society.




The spring and autumn event is a South Dakota bucket list item. The Crazy Horse Volksmarch is the most popular organized hike in the United States, with 15,000 walkers in a record year. Bring friends or family or go solo to follow the dirt trails and gravel roads up to the Crazy Horse mountain carving. An epic moment, the turnaround point is on the arm of Crazy Horse directly in front of the nine-story- high-face. The 38th annual spring event is happening June 1 (2024) and the fall event is September 29. Enjoy breakfast at the Laughing Water Restaurant, which opens at 6 a.m. for the Volksmarch and also serves lunch and dinner.

12151 Avenue of The Chiefs, Crazy Horse



The Splash Bark By Smoken Dakota Kennels
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SDK South, 27246 SD-115, Harrisburg



The Bank Hotel Deadwood
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1314 N. Elk Vale Rd, Rapid City



Startup Sioux Falls
Lon Stroschein had been working in the corporate world for 15 years when he realized he needed a change.

“When I left [my job] I didn’t necessarily know what I wanted to do, but I just knew that I was ready for something else,” he said. “Low and behold a few months later, I realized that there are a lot of people who have done well in their professional life that decided that they are interested in trying something else, so now I help people figure out if they are ready and help them pivot to whatever else they want to do for the rest of their lives.”

The coaching company is Normal 40, and Stroschein began working out of his house. It wasn’t long until he missed the office setting.

“I realize that there are some great reasons to work from home, but I knew I wanted an office and to work where there are a whole bunch of people working together, but also independently on their own businesses,” he recalled.

He approached Startup Sioux Falls to become a mentor, and soon saw all of the benefits to the community that prides itself on empowering founders. Located in a repurposed train depot on Phillips Avenue, the building is newly renovated, but the non-profit has been around for decades.

“Our coworking space opened February 1, 2023, but our non- profit’s roots go back to 2002 when we were formed by the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce and the Sioux Falls Development Foundation to help incubate talent and new businesses to contribute to creating economic development,” said Startup Sioux Falls community coordinator Amos Buelow.

Since 2002, the non-profit has evolved from the South Dakota Technology Business Center, to the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship, to a merger with Startup Sioux Falls— a startup community organization founded by entrepreneur Matt Paulson.

Everyone is welcome to be a member who identifies as a
remote worker, including creatives, entrepreneurs, and business professionals visiting Sioux Falls. No matter what stage that person is in their process, Startup Sioux Falls can help with the next step.

“It’s a community and a building that you can rely on to be here working through problems that you can count on having on your own journey through solo-preneurship or entrepreneurship or just working remotely,” said Stroschein.

Memberships can vary, with Startup Social at $25 a month, Hot Desk at $100 a month, and a Dedicated Desk at $300 a month. There is also an option for a Day Pass.

Along with physical space to rent, the Startup Sioux Falls community is also an asset with over 7,000 members in the Facebook community, events with doers and innovators, and a newsletter with news and opportunities. There are also programs to apply for to test out ideas and/or to grow a member’s business.

Stroschein, who is one of the office tenants, says Startup Sioux Falls members get what they make out of it.

“I will attend after hour events on occasion and I will meet people who are in a startup setting,” continued Stroschein, “and I express to them that they can come in and grab a coffee or a scenario like that because I have been there and I realize that you get what you give, and if you are willing to give a little bit you can have a lot of great relationships.”

Buelow says from the offices, to the desks, to the conference rooms, to the communal kitchen and lounge area, the well-thought out building was made for work and collaborations.

“When you walk in, you will find a dedicated work area, connections happening naturally, and events and workshops fueling the environment,” he said.

And the goal is to keep on marching forward, one startup at a time.

He added, “Our mission is to empower founders and ignite innovation. Our vision is to help people 100,000x and help 100 Startups grow by 2034.”

100 E. 6th St, Sioux Falls


Three22 Kitchen & Cocktails
Available 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. Three22 Kitchen & Cocktails in Aberdeen offers elevated dishes with items like their popular bruschetta boards and wood-fire pizzas. On Sundays, enjoy Three22’s unique brunch, including the Breakfast Monte Cristo, Sticky Chicken & Noodles, and Beignets. Don’t forget to order their other specialty—craft cocktails.

322 South Main Street, Aberdeen



Tally’s Silver Spoon
Known for its “modern take on fine dining,” Tally’s Silver Spoon in Rapid City is also known to have a line outside the door, especially in the summer. The family-owned business is headed by executive chef Benjamin Klinkel, who is also the culinary creative behind Delmonico Grill, The Gaslight Dining Saloon in Rockerville, and The Pack Mule – Provisions and Grocery locations in Hill City and Rapid City. Serving breakfast every day until 2 p.m., try the Special Breakfast (Tally’s Original) with one pancake, egg, bacon or sausage, or the Salmon Benedict or the Cinnamon Swirl French Toast. For dinner, try the Foie Gras of the Moment or the Blueberry Bison. Can’t decide? Let the chefs create a tasting menu for you.

530 6th Street, Rapid City



Lost Cabin Beer Co.
Co-founder and head brewer Tom Silbernagel and co-founder and CEO Jesse Scheitler started Lost Cabin Beer Co. in Rapid City in 2016, and since then they have made a name for themselves in the South Dakota beer scene. Their craft beer list is ever-changing, but some favorites include the Bruce Banner APA, the SoDank IPA, and the Jackalope Hunter Hazy IPA. The Rapid City Taproom on West Omaha Street has become a go-to hangout, whether it’s to watch live music, to catch up with friends, or to try whatever is “new” on the chalkboard. In 2023, Lost Cabin Beer Co. opened the Hill City Beer Garden with a large outdoor patio on Poplar Street. Bring your own food or check the calendar for food trucks at both locations, which are kid and dog friendly. They just ask that all are housebroken.

1401 W. Omaha St. #3, Rapid City
150 Poplar St, Hill City

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