Why waffles put Mandan, North Dakota on the map

We were going to go to our lake cabin last weekend and open it up.

It’s a four-hour drive to my lakeside oasis in northeastern South Dakota, so it’s quite a hop, skip and jump. You should definitely give yourself enough time each weekend to make the drive worthwhile, especially with the price of gas these days.

We were leaving early Saturday morning with the boat tied to my truck when we heard a loud popping noise coming from the back of my truck just before the McKenzie exit on I-94. At that moment my steering wheel turned to the side and I knew I was going to have a blowout.

After getting my tire replaced with the spare and finding a place open to fix the blown tire on Saturday, I knew our time at the lake wasn’t going to happen at this point. It wouldn’t be worth it considering the time we waste changing our flat tire and repairing the tire.

So while we were waiting for my broken tire to be repaired in Mandan, I asked the lady if she wanted to get something to eat. She told me about a place in Mandan on Main that many of her colleagues had talked about before. “A waffle restaurant”.

I think: waffles? Count me in. By far my favorite of the three breakfast dishes that we put syrup on. Pancakes get soggy (not to mention syrup runs everywhere). French toast is a step up from pancakes. However, the “creme de la creme” of breakfast foods in my world is definitely waffles. And not the kind of waffles from the freezer, the thick waffles that perfectly hold your syrup in a reservoir of good flavor.

The waffle house in Mandan that people from all over the country visit is Copper Dog Cafe on Main Street.

Last Saturday morning there was a line out the door, and now I understand why. The atmosphere reminds me of a cafe in a big city like Minneapolis. It’s so strange. They specialize in waffles and coffee.

Copper Dog’s waffles are unique, custom made using only the finest wheat and flour from North Dakota.

You can tell that the Copper Dog is very proud of its North Dakota roots. They’re local and not afraid to tell you. As a lifelong resident of the state, I appreciate this, and it’s why I want to visit this business regularly (besides the delicious waffles).

I ordered a waffle with cinnamon, caramel, bananas, whipped cream and walnuts. Yes, it was to die for. Here’s a photo of it.

The service at the Copper Dog was excellent (despite being very busy), and I was very impressed with their staff. Everyone was so friendly, including the customers. Probably because everyone was so happy to be there.

Do yourself and your family a favor. Treat yourself to the Copper Dog in Mandan. I can’t believe I waited so long to do that.

For about an hour I basically forgot all my travel problems. Thanks, Copper Dog.


A new loyal customer.

Rik Ruiter

The 11 Best Sticky Caramel Rolls You’ll Find in North Dakota

WATCH: The 21 Most Popular Ice Cream Flavors in America

Stacker analyzed YouGov data and found the most popular ice cream flavors in the US. Read on to find America’s favorite flavors.

Gallery credit: Stacker