In the late 19th century a group of European pioneers founded a settlement by the side of the Missouri River at a point where it had been crossed by explorers Lewis and Clark. Not long after the Northern Pacific railway, in an attempt to attract German migrant workers to the area, renamed the community Bismarck. Some did arrive to work on the railway, but more arrived in droves after the discovery of gold nearby. That discovery turned Bismarck into the main hub for goods and equipment being sent downriver to the mining areas in the Black Hills. Even after the gold rush was over, Bismarck continued to grow as many manufacturers found its riverside location convenient for their factories. While many of the first Italian migrants in Bismarck worked in the factories, a few had different plans and set about opening their own restaurants and served the residents of Bismarck their first pizzas.
Just because Bismarck is known for thin-crust pizza doesn't mean you can expect the same round pizza every time you order one. The size and shape of the thin-crust pizzas in the Bismarck pizzerias can vary greatly between New York-style, grandma-style tray bakes, and Neapolitan-style. Thin crust pizzas adapt well to being used in various ways and are often the go-to base for pies like strombolis and calzones. They're also favored by pizza chefs who like to add gourmet toppings to their pies as the lesser amount of dough in a thin crust doesn't overwhelm the other ingredients.
To get the best delivery pizza in Bismarck you have to order from a pizzeria that works professionally while prepping your order and when sending it out. You'll find the pizzeria that works to a very high standard in Bismarck on both of those counts is Bruno's Pizza on East Front Avenue. Bruno's Pizza occupies an end premises in a row of stores in the Plaza shopping mall and while it might not be the flashiest of pizzerias, it's clean, well-maintained, and just as importantly, they know what to do to make a pizza great. You'll find plenty to choose from on their menu, especially in the specials section. If you're a fan of barbecue you'll probably find their Memphis Style Pizza right up your street.
If you've spent the morning browsing the exhibits at the North Dakota State Museum and Heritage Center, you may well be considering pizza for lunch. Luckily for you, you're a stone's throw from where you can get the best take-out pizza in Bismarck. Set your navigational app for North 3rd Street and when you're on it look for the Walrus Restaurant. The Walrus Restaurant occupies a premises in the Family Dollar shopping complex right on the parking lot so you won't have far to walk. Once you're inside you could be forgiven for thinking you'd entered an old-fashioned pub, but stick with it, these guys make exceptional pizzas. Particularly of note are their Polar Bear, Wal-rus and Ben Hur pizzas so give either one of those a try and you'll leave the Walrus feeling very happy.
Without a doubt when you live in Bismarck you're going to have to travel for at least an hour in any direction to find a place with anything interesting to do. Make the trip in a westerly direction and you'll arrive in Medora. Medora's one saving grace from being totally boring is the Theodore Roosevelt National Park which borders it. Rather than get out of your car and go hiking, the best way to see the incredible landscapes the park encompasses is to make the Scenic Loop Drive and stop off at the overlooks when you come across them. When you've completed the circuit drop in at the Badlands Pizza Parlor on 3rd Avenue for a pizza and a rest from driving.
Leave Bismarck and head north for an hour and you'll eventually arrive in Coleharbor which is a city close to Lake Audubon and the Audubon National Wildlife Refuge. Don't expect any sort of city-style cultural activities though as Coleharbor has less than a hundred inhabitants. Expect to spot more life in the wildlife refuge than you do wandering the streets of this North Dakota city. The refuge itself is pretty deserted of human life too so take a pair of binoculars and you might catch sight of one tramping across the prairies and grasslands. You'll have more chance of spotting migratory birds and a mouse or two. When you can't handle any more solitude, turn tail and run for the Harbor Bar where you'll find a smidgeon of civilization and a decent pizza.
If you're having a dreary Sunday afternoon and can’t think of anything fun to do, get in your car and head south from Bismarck to Fort Rice. You won't be overwhelmed with excitement when you get there, but it's better to do something than sit around twiddling your thumbs. Fort Rice is a State Historic Site and one of the first forts to be installed in North Dakota in the mid-19th century. Is any of it still standing? The answer is no, the only thing to see there are foundation lines and a pile of rocks marking the spot. Make sure you don't get deceived again by stopping at the Crow's Nest on the ND-1804 for a pizza on your way home.
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