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Alaska Salmon Bake, Fairbanks

Alaska, United States, North America: tuck into plates of wild salmon, halibut, cod, and prime rib at the Alaska Salmon
2300 Airport Way
Fairbanks , Alaska
Tel: 800 354 7274's insider take:

There are those who will say this is pure hokum—it is, after all, a salmon bake outside a theme park—but it's also a pleasant surprise. A salmon bake is an intrinsic part of the Alaska experience, and the recipe for a good one is simple: Get fresh fish, roast it over an open fire, eat outdoors if the weather allows. What make for a great salmon bake are the spice rubs and marinades used, and these are what set Alaska Salmon Bake apart as one of the best. The salmon, seasoned with lemon, butter, and brown sugar, is the main draw, but don't overlook the halibut or cod. (There's prime rib, too, but that's not why you're here.) It's also worth a trip inside Pioneer Park to see the dry-docked S.S. Nenana, a paddle-wheel ship (the type used to ferry gold during the rush) that's the second-largest wooden boat in the world.

They say bears can smell fish cooking from a distance of roughly two miles; it's worth going even further for a good salmon bake. If you have the time to travel a long way into the middle of nowhere, join the locals at the Tok Gateway Salmon Bake (Tok is located on the Alaska Highway, about halfway between Fairbanks and the Canadian border).—Edward Readicker-Henderson

Open daily 5 to 9:30 pm, mid-May through mid-September.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.