If you grew up in Yankton, South Dakota, or spent any time in the Yankton area at all, what you're about to read will come as no surprise to you.

Growing up in Yankton back in the day meant a few things, one car dealership, hanging out at Lewis and Clark Lake on weekends, and very few fast food joints.

The first time our mom took us to A&W, we thought we had moved into another dimension! What was this place where you spoke into a funny little marquee speaker, told them you wanted a root beer float and it magically appeared on a tray they hung on your window? Only icy glass mugs for you, you little tire biters!

But wait! There was something even better in Yankton. And some of us only discovered it in middle school.

Willert's Drive-In, AKA Willert's Tastee Treat, was the place and the Tastee Beef Sandwich (with or without cheese) was the star!

No, it's not a burger, it is a loose meat sandwich made out of ground beef and rainbows! The secret recipe for this savory concoction is buried somewhere near Gavin's Point Dam, but no one's talking!

As long as you're having the Tastee Beef sandwich, make it 'the special,' with fries and a malt or shake.

Maybe you just need something sweet. Would a mile-high creamy, dreamy twist cone do the trick? Of course. Or maybe a Chocolate Cherry Sundae, or. . .

The list is too long to mention.

yankton Willert's Drive-In
Tastee Treet Drive-In, 413 W. 4th Street, Yankton, SD (Google Maps)

Just drive in, because it is a drive-in, after all. Think about it for a couple of minutes, then order. Whatever you get, you'll be glad you stopped for a nosh.

And you don't have to be in junior high school to love it.

Source: Only in Your State/South Dakota and Patty Dee

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Dives Worth a Drive in South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota

Almost every small town has a watering hole. It’s where the locals go to kick back a few brews and engage in conversation. Some of these establishments are located in buildings almost as old as the town itself. There might be a fresh coat of paint on the walls or new vinyl on the booth seats, but the ambiance is still reminiscent of a good ol’ dive.

If you think a dive bar is all about sketchy clientele and the smell of the Devil’s lettuce and stale Grain Belt, you’d be wrong. Not every dive bar has a bad reputation.

Let’s determine what makes a bar a dive bar.

  • A dive bar has character. Neon beer signs and local memorabilia adorn the walls.
  • There are usually only a few televisions.
  • You might even find a pool table, dart board, and a few video lottery machines.
  • The bartender knows everyone and all of the town’s gossip and they know what you drink.
  • Dive bars are known for their inexpensive heavy pours and happy hours.
  • Many dive bars don’t even serve food, except for the perpetual pickled eggs and maybe a pepperoni Tombstone.
  • Dive bars aren't fancy. You might see 70's-style wood panel on the walls and wobbly tables leveled with a folded napkin.
  • And, finally, the bathrooms. The bathrooms in dive bars are in a class by themselves and could be a whole topic on its own. 

There are several small-town dives in our area with friendly faces, cheap booze with a burn, and even really good food! We use the term "dive bar" in the most affectionate way. Here are some of our favorites. 

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