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This post was sponsored by Rudy M. Navarrete’s but all opinions are my own

Food on a table with the Rudy Navarrete's Logo

Where to Find Tex Mex Food in Sioux Falls

If you’re visiting Sioux Falls and looking for a recommendation on where to get a bite to eat, you’ve come to the right place! Today I’m going to review Rudy Navarrete’s Tex Mex Restaurant. This post was sponsored by Rudy’s but all opinions are my own.

You can find Rudy Navarrete’s Tex Mex Restaurant in Sioux Falls, SD. There’s easy access to the restaurant via I-229 on the Western Avenue exit. Rudy’s is situated on a major intersection in Sioux Falls making it easy to get to with many things to do nearby.

Set a little back from the corner of Western Avenue and 57th street, it’s near The Bridges at 57th. After you finish enjoying a meal here you can do a little shopping at the boutiques located at The Bridges at 57th.

If you’re more of an outdoor lover, Rudy Navarrete’s is close to Yankton Trail Park. Here you can find a beautiful and well maintained bike trail system that circles the entire city.

If none of that interests you, Rudy’s is also near the I-229 exchange. This makes getting to other area attractions in the city is convenient and easy. But I still recommend checking out the nearby areas mentioned above.

Angie, Charlene and Rudy Selfie

Why Shop and Eat Local?

Now then, why am I talking about Rudy Navarrete’s Tex Mex Restaurant today? Among other reasons, it’s because they have a menu that’s filled with homemade tasty goodness.

There are over 700 restaurant options in Sioux Falls. Having that many options means it can be a bit overwhelming to narrow down the playing field. My roots are currently planted in Sioux Falls and when I’m not out exploring new areas I like to explore my own city. There are so many options in Sioux Falls that even I don’t always know where I should go grab a meal.

Sure, Google can help you do a quick search. Maybe you would search for something like “restaurants near me”. Or even search for a specific type of cuisine like “Chinese food near me”. These are both helpful searches that will give you plenty of options to choose from. Then again, google doesn’t do as good of a job in helping me narrow my options to local owned or brand new places.

Part of the fun of eating out when traveling is to discover the off the beaten path places to eat. The mom and pop shops that have great food but are a little more difficult to find. Sioux Falls has some gems. Some very well kept secrets. I love to discover these places when I’m traveling to other places. When I’m not traveling I love to help others discover these places when they are visiting my turf. But WHY? That’s a great question with several reasons.

Community Giving

Local owned family restaurants can be more likely to give back to communities in ways that bigger chains may not. I’m not saying this is always the case, but statistically speaking, I find this to be true. They may be more likely to support the local non-profits, local churches and even the local entrepreneurial market.

When you’re traveling it may not be something that’s at the top of your mind, but it should be. Caring about other local economies helps them to grow and prosper. This means that they will be there and thriving to return to in the future. You’re support helps support people in need in the communities you visit.

When talking about Rudy Navarrete’s Tex Mex Restaurant in Sioux Falls, they take this to heart. Every Monday 10% of their proceeds are donated to a local charity. They helps promote and advertise the charity and give back monetarily based on sales. This type of community involvement pays dividends economies of places you visit. Your patronage is touching lives in ways you couldn’t imagine.

Supporting local helps small businesses that do this survive. Small business survival means that other people will get to have a fun, unique and positive experience like you did. When you give support to small businesses, they will want to give back to you. Those businesses do that in many way. I find this to be true again and again in communities that I visit.

Customer Service Experience

Let’s face it, customer service isn’t what it used to be. This shows up across almost any industry. In my opinion, substandard service is the new normal. When I’m not traveling, I spend a lot of time working with businesses. We can track this trend through almost any industry.

Have you ever noticed the customer service at a small local owned establishment? If you’re in the right place, the service can be exceptional. Usually places like this exist because the owner is passionate about their dream. These business owners look for staff that are going to support their own values and vision. The benefit for you and me is an experience with staff that is willing to go above and beyond. It’s also common that the owners themselves are there and are the ones helping you out or waiting on you.

I’ve been to Rudy Navarrete’s Tex Mex Restaurant in Sioux Falls a few times now. The owner, Rudy Navarrete has been there every time. The customer experience each time has been the same. I’ve watched the service I see others reveive and the service I receive each time. It always makes me want to go back for another experience.

Unique Sense of Local Identity

Now let’s talk about what makes the places we visit unique, fun and worth our time. You guessed it. Once again it’s those small mom and pop shops that we come to love. Can you imagine if you lived in a place that was only inhabited by chain restaurants and big box stores? A place with no boutiques or restaurants that are worthy of a visit from Guy Fieri?

You may not be aware of a place in your hometown that’s worthy of a visit like that, but if you don’t go check out the local cuisine, you’ll never know. I mean, I can’t think of a time when he’s featured an Olive Garden or Applebee’s on his show. Not that there’s anything wrong with these places, you always know what to expect. There’s something to be said for that. Yet, it’s not the experience that I’m typically after when I’m traveling. Honestly, it’s usually not the experience I want even when I am looking for a night out with the family.

Rudy Navarrete’s offers that unique sense of local identity. There’s no other restaurants in Sioux Falls that have his recipes or menu options. The recipes are passed down from generation to generation in his family.

Luckily, when you head out to Rudy Navarrete’s for your first experience, they will make sure that you know exactly what you’re ordering. They make sure of this by explaining the unique menu options to you. It’s part of the stellar customer service they offer.

These unique options bring something special to the Sioux Falls community. These are options that you won’t find in other places, unless you head down to Sioux City. There is a where he has family that owns a similar place called Rudy Navarrete’s Mexican Food.

Sense of Community

Bring all these elements together is what makes a place unique. You get the chance to experience the lifeblood of the community you are visiting. In my experience, this is what makes traveling so amazing.

When these elements are present, you find a place that is comfortable, welcoming and relaxing to be in. This is all true for Rudy Navarrete’s Tex Mex Restaurant in Sioux Falls. I’ve never been to (non-franchised) sister establishment in Sioux City. If you head that way, drop me a note and let me know if it’s as awesome.

I know I know, you’re thinking “that’s great and all, but how’s the food at Rudy Navarette’s?” Am I right? It’s what I’d be thinking. So let’s talk about the food.

The Food at Rudy Navarrete's Tex Mex Restaurant

Rudy Navarette’s Tex Mex Restaurant in Sioux Falls is, as the name implies, Tex Mex food. They make almost all their food from scratch. Food that’s based on recipes that have been handed down through generations. Giving an honest review of the food I would say that most of it is top notch.

Why most and not all? Have you ever gone to a restaurant and loved everything on the menu? Me either. In fact, I’m fairly picky about my food, kind of like a 5 year old. Ok, just kidding, but seriously. Let me give you the skinny on my experience.

My first experience was stopping in for a light lunch. While browsing the menu chips and salsa were brought to the table. The chips were still warm which was nice. The first time I stopped in I found the chips to be a little heavier on the grease than I liked. The next time the chips were great. Even the greasiness of the chips didn’t stop me from eating them because the salsa was worth it!

I ordered the tacos. These were fine. There’s nothing special about them. I’ve had better tacos at other establishments in town and even my own kitchen. So again, they were nothing spectacular but they were OK. You could walk in, eat the tacos and still have a great experience. If you did, you likely wouldn’t rave to your friends and family about the awesome place you found. But let me tell you about the food that is spectacular so you can rave about the awesomeness of it all.

Plate with Food on a Table with the Rudy M. Navarrete's Logo

The Rudy's Special

Yep, you heard right. The Rudy’s special is a menu item for order. You can order a full or half portion of this option. The 1/2 order is plenty of food and is by far my favorite item on the menu. It’s full of cheesy goodness, so not the meal for you if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant. However, if you eat and tolerate cheese well, this is the meal for you. The cheesy goodness oozes from this dish. It’s smothered in chili gravy which is a secret family recipe and amazingly delicious. The dish has layers of tortillas and the top has a little crunch that take the dish over the top. Can you say YES PLEASE!?!?!

The Tamales

I’m not sure how I have gone my entire life and never eaten a tamale before. Weird right? But it’s true. That means that I don’t have a reference point to compare this food to, but I don’t know if I need one. It was superb and has set a high bar for any other tamale tasting experience I may have in the future.

Chicken Mole on a plate on a table with the Rudy M. Navarrete's logo

The Chicken Mole

I’ll cook if I have to but my preference is on easy to prepare foods. Cooking is not at the top of my list of how to spend my time. Making Chicken Mole right takes time and frankly more effort than I’m willing to put in. Luckily, I have found Rudy Navarette’s Tex Mex Restaurant because they make a wonderful chicken mole. This is one of those dishes that, if the Rudy’s special didn’t exist, would likely be my staple food here.

So, in conclusion, when you visit Rudy’s it may be best take a friend. You can each order something different and share your plates. This way you can get the best of all worlds. If you need a friend to take with, drop me a note. I’m always up for making new friends. A bite or two from everything should work to curb any Tex-Mex cravings that you may have had before you stopped for a meal. While you’re at it, don’t forget the guacamole. This glob of green goodness is the perfect complement to any of the dishes on the menu.

Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date on the latest reviews. As I continue to explore the businesses that make your travel experiences epic I promise to keep you up to date!

 

**All photos provided by Charlene Rose of the Rose Meadow Photography.

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This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Kim Kay Blake

    I love finding hidden gems like this when I travel. It makes for a better experience. The food looks tasty.

  2. Hillari

    I 100% agree with you! Your statement that, “part of the fun of eating out when traveling is to discover the off the beaten path places to eat” rings true in my experience as well. Some of the best restaurants in my memory have felt more like special, hidden gems.

    … and now I really want a Rudy’s Special!

  3. Lisa

    We would have never thought of Tex-Mex in South Dakota, but that food looked AMAZING!!!

    1. Angie

      I know, me either. And I live here. It is good though!

  4. Stephanie

    Mom and Pop shops are the best food there is hands down! I still need to find more of those in my hometown as well, although we have a couple good ones we like to go to now. If I ever make it to that area I definitely will stop there. Our favorite food to eat is tex mex, the trouble is always finding the best ones!

    1. Angie

      Supporting small businesses in a community is so important, even if you do just frequent the same ones over and over. Small businesses are the lifeblood of any community! So glad you have some that you enjoy.

  5. Jason Gowin

    I may not ever get to this place but if I do it’ll be because of your tantalizing review!

  6. Eva

    Looks delicious, might have to start my lunch break early! haha

  7. Debbi H

    Great post! I love what you say here about the benefits of finding the smaller, family-run restaurants. And the food looks amazing–so, I’m hungry now, thanks. 😉

  8. Roy and Jan Bliek

    Just ate here last night. We had the Rudy Special and the Chicken Mole!! So, so good! Nothing tops the Rudy Special! We added beans for only $1.25. Made for a perfect meal!! Rudy came out and talked and explained the menu to us. The restaurant was clean and inviting! We will stop again!

    1. Angie

      It’s great right?!?! Next time I’ll add the beans and give that a try.

  9. Stephanie

    Eating at mom and pop places is one of my fav things to do when traveling. This place looks and sounds amazing!

  10. Jaci

    Looks good! I’m from New Mexico, so I’m never too sure how Tex-Mex restaurants will be, but am always willing to try! Never been to Sioux Falls, so I’m adding it to my list!

  11. Misty

    Reading this when I’m starving was a bad idea…….🤣

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