Does 5 Cent Coffee Still Exist?

Yes it does, Travel Bugger.  It exists at Wall Drug.  What is Wall Drug?  Take a tacky, roadside souvenir shop and then make it the size of a city block.  And then add some creepy animatronic robots singing cowboy songs and a place where you can pan for gold and a “train station water show.”  That’s kind of what it is.

It’s in South Dakota, mere miles outside of Badlands National Park, and very close to Mount Rushmore, so if you map it right, you can hit all three on your road trip.  What really compelled me to visit Wall Drug was their promise of five cent coffee.  All along the drive on Interstate 90, they have signs advertising for the place.

One sign (unfortunately one I was unable to take a picture of while driving) promised five cent coffee.  I like coffee, and I like a good deal, so they had me.

Sure enough, when I got there, there it was.  Five cent coffee.  Though buying it is more of an honor system than I would have liked.  I wanted a receipt that told me I spent five cents for coffee.  It would have been the complete opposite of this receipt.  Instead of paying at the cash register, though, you put a nickel in a little box.

Was it good coffee?  No.  It was pretty bad.  I may have overpaid.  But they didn’t promise good five cent coffee, so it wasn’t false advertising.  I will say, though, when driving through rural Washington, I got a cup of coffee at a gas station, and boy, was that not as good as a cup at a local coffeeshop.  It was a buck or so more expensive than Wall Drug’s, but still.  It was at a gas station.  They know how to brew a Cup o’ Joe in Washington, even next to an aisle of Slim Jim’s.

But it didn’t look like this.  For this, you have to drive into Seattle.

Oct 2012
POSTED BY travelbugrobert

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