Look, sometimes you only have time in your trip for the highlights, the summary, the “Best of”. We’ve outlined the most iconic Brookings food and drink spots, old and new, including the well-known college haunt Nick’s Hamburger Shop, the newer Pints & Quarts that the locals know and love as a staple, and a historic Greek Pizza joint with homemade everything: George’s Pizza. These humble family restaurants will knock your socks off in the best way possible. Here’s where you go if you want to go to Brookings.
Nick’s Hamburger Shop
Nick’s Hamburger Shop is the most iconic food stop in all of Brookings yore of South Dakota State University history. Everyone has been there before, and if you haven’t, what are you even waiting for? Pick a stool and slide up to the diner bar, get your torn piece of parchment paper as your plate, and start ordering these delicious little burgers right off the grill, one at a time. Everyone is welcome, the price is right, and there is even an impressive patio seating area if you want to catch some rays with your bag of burgers.
Pro Tip: Arrive right when they open for lunch – there will be a line every day!
Pints & Quarts
The moody, poppy exterior of Pints & Quarts sets the tone well for what you’ll find inside. This downtown craft beer bar and restaurant was clearly a local favorite when we stopped in on a Jacks game day- There wasn’t a seat in sight open, except at the bar! P’s & Q’s features an impressive array of SD craft brews, classic mixed drinks, and elevated bar food. When inside, you’ll feel like you disappeared into a dark sports bar speakeasy that you’ll want to stay tucked into all afternoon!
Pro Tip: Check their social media for specials!
Wow, wow, wow. That was our reaction once we stepped into this iconic little pizza joint on Main Street Brookings. Of all the pizza joints we’ve seen… George’s is truly special. You can feel the history and pride that has been poured into this family restaurant for decades right when you walk in the door, and the scent of freshly-made pizza straight from the vintage ovens is an ever-changing olfactory experience every time a different flavor comes out. We tried the Greek pizza and were completely blown away by the bright flavors, and the pizza crust was crusty and pillowy without a single drip of grease in sight. Think pizza isn’t exotic enough for your single-trip meal when you pass through Brookings? Think again. It’s on our list.
Pro Tip: Get the Greek Pizza. And, get here early – the locals are in on the secret of how good it is, and there aren’t many tables.