The ceiling and walls are adorned with enough Dale Ernhardt Jr. paraphernalia to make you dizzy, and a Jiffy Pop container hangs on the wall with the words “Bubba’s Red Neck Fire Alarm” penned below it. This is a hole-in-the-wall eatery that celebrates NASCAR and burgers.
“You need anything else? A chainsaw maybe?” says Kathie Valdez at the Sugar Shack as she hands over a sugar burger ($6.79). Located on the border of Lawerence and Pennington counties, the Sugar Shack claims to have the best burgers in the Black Hills. Valdez says: “There is no sugar in the meat — it’s named the ‘sugar burger’ for the sweet onions that are fried and put on top.”
The massive greasy burger is sweet, with cheese melted on top — it rivals the Paul Molitor burger at The Nook or a Juicy Blucy at the Blue Door. The patty is wide rather than thick; it sticks out over the edge of the bun all the way around so that you never have to take a bite of bread without the burger. Current owner Kerri “Bubba” Johnston has changed the recipe slightly since it first opened — all of the employees agree that the current recipe is the best it has ever been.
The Sugar Shack is open year round for the constant flow of regulars and tourists who are in the area to see Mount Rushmore or Crazy Horse. Fries are available for $1 and the sugar burger can become a deluxe for $0.75 more, which adds pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.
22495 US Highway 385
Deadwood, SD 57732
OWNER: Kerri “Bubba” Johnston
Summer: 7am-8pm daily
Winter: 7am-8pm Tue-Sun
BAR: Bottled beers
AVERAGE ENTREE: $6-$9