Since Sumas is tucked up right against the Canadian border, you might not make it there often. But if you’re looking to get out of your neck of the woods, heading to Sumas can make for a great day trip.

The handful of restaurants in town cover a good amount of ground, and visitors are certainly welcome: the rains of November 2021 overwhelmed the town, and the flooding made national news. There are still reminders everywhere you look, from businesses that had to shut down, to ghostly lines across windows and walls that show exactly how high the waters rose.

But the floods don’t define Sumas — the survivors do. And it just so happens that they have some tasty treats to tempt you into making the drive.

Edaleen Dairy
908 Cherry Street

With its popular products in local grocery stores, and shops of their own spread across Fairhaven, Ferndale, Blaine, and Lynden, Whatcom County residents know what to expect from a visit to Edaleen. But its Sumas location adds a little more to the menu. Alongside the ice cream, you’ll also find sandwiches made to order. There are coolers full of their other dairy products, as well as shelves devoted to everything you need to create some baked goodies or top your ice cream at home. Felicia Moorlag, granddaughter to the founders of the company, points out that all of Edaleen’s products are the real deal, and are made locally. “Our soft serve is not frozen yogurt, it’s ice cream made from our own milk,” she says. “All of the milk goes straight from our own farm to our own plant, then to here. And the farm and the plant are only about a mile from here.”

Erica Zimmers (left) and Felicia Moorlag scoop ice cream and make sandwiches at Edaleen’s. Photo credit: Steven Arbuckle

Nori Teriyaki & Sushi
520 Cherry Street

Most Whatcom County sushi is found in Bellingham, but once you get out past Lynden, the only other place to find those delicate flavor combinations is at Nori. Its teriyaki, soups, and noodles are certainly popular with the locals, but the real excitement is on the other side of the menu, where you’ll find the sushi and sashimi. The eatery opened just six months before the floods, which brought waist-high water into the dining room and left its mark along the outside of the building. Then Nori spent three months rebuilding, and the results have earned the two-year-old restaurant the highest marks on all of the customer-review websites.

There are plenty of soups and noodles on the menu, but Nori is the area’s only source of sashimi and sushi. Photo credit: Steven Arbuckle

La Gloria Groceries & Taco Truck
444 Cherry Street

La Gloria is a Whatcom County staple with outposts scattered all over the local map. Whether it’s a standalone taco truck along a rural highway, or the flagship location on the guide, visitors are guaranteed to find proper Mexican food — and goods — on hand. In Sumas, locals get both a taco truck and a grocery store. The truck turns out hot and savory favorites to visitors on the sidewalk along the main street, and the store holds a broad variety of staples and specialty items. Piñatas hang from the ceiling and the tempting aroma of pan dulce wafts from a self-serve cabinet. There are meat counters along with frozen foods, as well as other merchandise ranging from tea to toys.

The La Gloria taco truck is a common sight along the roadways of Whatcom County, and Sumas has theirs in the middle of downtown. Photo credit: Steven Arbuckle
Meats, seafood, and piñatas are all at home inside the La Gloria grocery store. Photo credit: Steven Arbuckle

Bob’s Burgers & Brew
819 Cherry Street

Bob’s has a total of 13 locations, with four in Whatcom County. But the Sumas operation is a little bit different than those in Bellingham, Blaine, and Lynden. For starters, the large lobby also serves the Sumas Mountain Lodge upstairs. Also, the bar is separate from the rest of the restaurant and feels more like a neighborhood watering hole. Owner Rick Kildall describes Sumas as “the gateway to Canada,” and is glad to see out-of-town traffic picking back up after the devastating combination of COVID and flooding. “I think that broke a lot of habits,” he says. “People couldn’t come for two years, and now some still don’t. We’re definitely not recovered yet, but we are in the process of it.”

There’s no mistaking this Bob’s location for any other since it shares a building with the Sumas Mountain Lodge. Photo credit: Steven Arbuckle

El Nopal
625 Cherry Street

This family-owned and family-friendly Mexican restaurant may boast the largest, most open dining room in Sumas — and there’s a lot to discover in its colorful decorations, multiple rooms, and large bar. The business began in Everson 27 years ago before moving to Nooksack. It then moved to a small location in Sumas and has been in its current home for the past 10 years. Susana Garfias explains that the room fills up on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and that they concentrate on making sure their clients are taken care of. “Good food, good drinks, and good service is our main thing.”

Susana Garfias is a part of the team that prioritizes customer service at El Nopal, and people respond by filling the place regularly. Photo credit: Steven Arbuckle
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