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Duckies Roadside Cafe: Siouxland's newest restaurant!

Starting January 28th, 2023, Siouxland families have a delicious new option for dinner! Here's what you should know about the fresh place to eat in Merrill, Iowa:

in background, Pho nachos from Duckies Roadside Cafe in Merrill Iowa. In foreground, "guide to Duckies Roadside Cafe" and ""

Where is Duckie's Roadside Cafe?

Duckie's is located at 117 Main Street in Merrill, IA in the same place as the former Emma Rae's Cafe. It's less than a half hour from downtown Sioux City via 75 north, or about an hour and a half south from Sioux Falls. There is free parking on the street in front of Duckie's.

What kind of food is served at Duckie's Roadside Cafe?

Duckies believes "Food Feeds the Soul" and specializes in comfort food including American, Asian and fusion fare, like her signature Pho nachos, which include fried rice noodles, pho seasoned meat and the other toppings you'd find in a pho but served on tortilla chips instead of in broth! On social media, Duckies Roadside Cafe has been sharing photos of some test items and they include things like smoked pork butt, salmon eggs benedict, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink pasta salad, Norwegian kumla, pizza fries, a hybrid cheeseburger/grilled cheese sandwich that looks divine, and fried chicken leg "lollipops" with sauces including bbq, sweet thai chili, and garlic parmesan. I can't wait to see their longterm menu, and I'll post again after I get to try some of it!

pho nachos from Duckies Roadside Cafe in Merrill Iowa
Duckies Pho Nachos, photo used with permission from Sandy Puterbaugh

Who is Duckie?

Duckie is Sandy Puterbaugh, a longtime Siouxland resident who grew up initially in Vietnam and later the US with her Vietnamese mother and American soldier father. She's a mom of six, grandma of 8, and has 2 cute "fur grandkids," so she's a pro at multitasking and showering lots of people with love at the same time! Sandy had a pet duck who followed her around in Vietnam as a toddler, which led to her father nicknaming her Duckie. As an adult, she spent several decades working as a nurse, then switched to working with overside load truckers in the 2010s. On the road, she started feeding the people around her, to high acclaim. The trucking community loved her delicious food and started referring to her vehicle and food as "Duckies Roadside Cafe." They encouraged her to find a brick-and-mortar home for her delicious meals so they could eat there more often and send their friends and family to try her food. With help from family, Sandy opened a food truck in 2022 based in Le Mars and Duckies Roadside Cafe in Merrill in 2023!

Hours and events

Duckies Roadside Cafe is holding a FREE grand opening meet & greet on January 28th, 2023, from 5pm to 9pm with "drinks and vittles," and then opening with regular hours and open table seating beginning February 1st. 
Duckies Roadside Cafe will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 11am to 2pm for lunch and 5pm to 9pm for dinner, and on Sundays for brunch buffet from 8am to 1pm. Duckies Roadside Cafe is closed on Wednesdays and Saturdays. 
On February 18th, 2023, Duckies will be handing out meals at the Warming Shelter with Pattie's Pit Stop and the public is welcome to attend.

More information

To find out more about Duckie's Roadside Cafe or hire Duckie to cater an event, check out  or call the cafe at (712)938-6300.


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