Great Arctic Eats – Nome, Alaska

Great Arctic Eats – Nome, Alaska

Are you a diner who loves to eat, but is skittish around people? Do you feel naked going outside without a parka or, at the very least, a good sweater? Do you want to see huskies race across a finish line? If you answered yes to these questions, then you owe it to yourself to fly to Nome, Alaska where the beaches are never crowded and the seafood is oh so fresh.
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There are 15 restaurants listed in TripAdvisor(tm)! Let’s dine at the top five eateries.
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The most exciting establishment is Pingo Bakery – Seafood House. This eatery really is the place to go to if you only have time for one meal in Nome. (Although why you’d travel all the way to Nome for just one meal is beyond me. However, to each his own.) It has charming service, quaint atmosphere, fresh items in their outstanding bakery, and homemade ice cream. However, their seafood remains the star of this establishment. They serve seafood omelettes, for goodness sake.  (You can even order a half-size omelette.) You get a choice of roasted halibut or red king crabmeat. And there’s three seafood pizzas: salmon and artichoke heats, roasted halibut, and crab with roasted garlic and mushrooms. Can you get these culinary wonders at your local pizzerias? No, I didn’t think so. They also serve Belgian waffles and if you’re adventurous, the Chef’s Surprise Breakfast. Go there!

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Second on our restaurant tour is Bering Tea Co. They earned a perfect 5.0 rating. Congratulations, Bering Tea! They are known for their great coffee and tea. Especially their coffee. People love their coffee. They will make coffees to your specifications and with your choice of toppings and other ingredients. They offer wonderful handmade snacks. Go there early for tasty omelettes as they sell out quickly. Bering Tea has a reputation for being the friendliest eatery/cafe in town. And it’s next to Pingo Bakery. Is this a great town or what?
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Winning the bronze medal is Milano’s Pizzeria. This restaurant serves the best pizza in all of Nome. The atmosphere is rustic and local. Milano’s serves up many other cuisines beside pizza including sushi, Korean, and lobster. If you want to tour the world without ever leaving your table, this is the restaurant to visit. And it’s all served up by a friendly staff.

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Next on our Arctic food-lovers tour is the wonderfully named Polar Bear Cafe, a favorite with the locals. You can’t beat its view. It’s only a few feet away from the turbulent Bering Sea. It’s known for its large servings of crab legs and breakfasts all served  by a friendly and efficient staff.
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Special mention goes to Board of Trade Saloon.  Apparently, you haven’t had the full Nome experience unless you drink beer here and then go outside to pee in the frigid Bering Sea. Honest.
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The best way to reach Nome is by air, probably Alaska Air.

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Be sure to visit Carrie M, McLain Memorial Museum. Don’t let the lack of official, accessible websites fool you, visitors love it. It’s charming, informative, and multi-sensory. Well, visual and audial. You’re on own about touching the exhibits. Find out about the fascinating traditional and Gold Rush times of Nome.

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Then hop, skip, and jump or even take an all-terrain vehicle to the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve (BLBNP). But the most popular way to get there is by bush plane. There’s also trekking or sledding if you’re really resourceful. It sports great, informative displays. The staff is friendly and helpful. And there is no better place to learn about mammoths and mastodons. You can see a remnant of the great land bridge connecting Asia and North America. Our Asian ancestors used this land bridge to settle the Americas. But why, I keep asking myself, what possessed these worthy humans to go so far north? It had to be double-dang cold even back then. It’s a mystery, but one you can investigate at the BLBNP.

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Then get a friend in an ATV to take you to the White Alice Site. You can even hike there if you’re hardy enough. I have no idea why it’s called White Alice. Were they talking about Alice’s ethnicity? And why Alice’s heritage? Why not someone else’s? Did Alice see a ghost? Did Alice run naked here after taking an oatmeal-milk bath? It would have been cold for poor, mad Alice. And no one would have been brave enough to brave the frigid air to see her, just like Lady Godiva. Anyway, the site boasts of beautiful scenery and a panoramic view of Nome and the Bering Sea. Be sure to investigate the Cold War early warning communication site.

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Visit Katirvik Cultural Center. It’s in the same building as the McLain Memorial Museum. Hit two must-see places at once, Learn about native ways from the past millennia. The center has great interactive exhibits. The staff is friendly and helpful

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Finally, shop at Maruskiya’s. Buy amazing Alaska Native bead work and walrus-ivory carvings for your loved ones and dear friends. Buy the inevitable touristy t-shirts for everyone else.

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As always, “Good eating. Good traveling.”

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– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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