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The 15 Best Restaurants in Alaska in 2024: Where to Eat in the Last Frontier

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When it comes to travel, I am a huge proponent of the Anthony Bourdain philosophy: you can understand the world and its people through the food they eat. Every destination – every city, state, and country – has a unique approach to food that shapes its culture, and the relationship is reciprocal. Even within the U.S. we all know that there are different foods and different food approaches that help make the world a more diverse and interesting place to live and connect.

Much like California cuisine differs from New York-style specialities and New Orleans is a world of its own, Alaska has a distinctive culinary culture, and it’s essential to try it when you are visiting. I’ve written restaurant guides for many of Alaska’s cities and communities, but I thought it was about time to create a list: the best of the best on Alaska’s culinary scene.

Best Restaurants in Alaska Hero

While I’ve been sad that some of the restaurants I would have included as the best in years past have since closed (RIP, 229 Parks Restaurant near Denali and Enchanted Bowl in Talkeetna), I think this list is full of enough great choices to impress even those travelers with the highest standards – compensating for Alaska’s unique casual dining attitude and local flavors, of course.

Below, you’ll find my picks for the best restaurants in Alaska, but the list is up for debate: if you have opinions about where to eat in Alaska that I should add to my list or consider for future updates, I’d love to hear them in the comments!

Pssst! Several restaurants, chefs, and restauranteurs were named James Beard nominees in 2024… Read all about them here.

In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the traditional lands of many Alaska Native groups, including the Aleut, Athabascan, Haida, Inupiat, Tlingit, and Yuit peoples. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.

Anchorage: 49th State Brewing

Whenever I offer restaurant advice, 49th State Brewing is the first place I recommend to everyone – because it has something to offer everyone and has among the best views in town. Since most travelers visit Anchorage during their Alaska trip, it’s an easy recommendation that helps almost everyone.

You see, 49th State Brewing (which actually started up in Healy, near Denali) took over a restaurant spot occupied by the Snow Goose when I was a kid growing up in the Anchorage area. The Snow Goose was a white tablecloth kind of place with insanely good views to the north – you could easily see Denali on a clear day.

The Snow Goose eventually closed, and 49th State Brewing wisely scooped up the spot. They stripped it down to the brick walls and wood beams, finished out a second patio with views, and now offer the all-around best menu of American pub-style food with their line of great craft beer. I’ve eaten here many times – almost every time I visit Anchorage now – and am always happy to go back.

To be clear: 49th State Brewing is my #1 restaurant recommendation in the downtown Anchorage area. You really can’t go wrong here.

Denali: Moose-AKa’s

In writing these lists of where to eat in various parts of Alaska, I always find it easy to come up with one place I recommend to literally anyone and everyone. I typically call this the “Best in Show” restaurant since my experience there was so good that I can’t imagine anyone having a bad experience. In Denali, that place is Moose-AKa’s, a restaurant I was genuinely uncertain about and almost skipped.

Moose-AKa’s is an Eastern European taverna in the heart of Alaska and somehow manages to beautifully balance these dichotomous styles. The menu is truly stunning, the interior is both charmingly rustic and transportive – you literally don’t remember you’re in Denali when dining here.

And it’s really the menu that shines here – this is what brought me in the door and I guarantee will blow your mind. I’ve eaten Eastern European food in Eastern Europe that wasn’t as good or traditional as what you’ll find at Moose-AKa’s. Best of all, the service is European style; there’s no rushing you off the table to turn it over. The servers are there to serve you as a team, and this makes the whole meal low-pressure and no-rush.

To be honest, the prices are higher than you might find at most other restaurants in Denali, but it is 100% worth it. Step inside that little log cabin and you’ll thank me later!

Fairbanks: Pump House

The Pump House is a Fairbanks institution and is located in the old Chena Pump House which was built in 1933 to help with gold mining.

Today, the restaurant embraces its heritage, with Gold Rush-era memorabilia inside and a classic white tablecloth menu – with an Alaskan twist. On it, you’ll find fresh Alaskan seafood, shellfish, and reindeer, as well as Alaska-grown produce and other ingredients, and daily specials are sometimes more adventurous (I had bacon-wrapped moose tenderloin during my visit!).

It’s a great option for special occasions and rich flavors; it’s more high-brow than most spots in town, but doesn’t necessitate packing a blazer for men or nice shoes for women (unless that’s what you want to wear!).

Girdwood: The Double Musky

When I was growing up in Alaska, there was one restaurant my parents would eat at to celebrate their wedding anniversary each year: The Double Musky.

Never mind that it was a 45-minute drive each way to reach the restaurant from our home. Never mind that they had to wait for a table because they don’t accept reservations. The food is that good, my parents said – and (as in most things), my parents were right.

Mr. V and I finally had the chance to dine at The Double Musky during our September 2021 trip; everything about The Double Musky is worth seeing, experiencing, and tasting. The interior of the restaurant is like a huge iSpy book; the menu features incredible American, Cajun, and Creole dishes, and their full bar can serve you literally anything you want to pair with your dinner.

Hands down, if you only eat one place in Girdwood, it should be at the Double Musky.

(The formal name is the Double Musky Inn, but I can’t figure out if they even have rooms for rent and I don’t know anyone who has ever stayed there…)

Haines: Old Field Kitchen

During the summer of 2022, I visited Haines twice – quite a lot for this small Southeast Alaskan community. My second trip included about 24 hours in Haines where I tried to sample as much as possible before setting out on my Alaskan rafting adventure; I didn’t realize it at the time, but my rafting group had dinner at Old Field Kitchen on our first night together – we weren’t told that was what it was called though! In any case, our meal here was amazing, and I highly recommend having dinner here if it’s open during your Haines trip.

As you can see, our menu featured many summer ingredients and flavors: sockeye salmon, rockfish, and locally sourced farm greens, among others. The menu at Old Field Kitchen does change seasonally based on what’s available and what’s reasonable; the winter 2023 menu is inspired by Japan with ramen, donburi, and edamame for food (plus weekly specials) as well as sake and Sapporo beer.

If you’re looking for fresh, hyperlocal food, this is the spot.

Homer: The Kannery

When I discovered The Kannery as part of my research before visiting Homer the first time, I definitely underestimated two things: how good this restaurant is – and how popular this restaurant is. During the summer months, you absolutely need a reservation to visit The Kannery; I was lucky to squeeze in at the bar (“The Green Kan”) as a solo traveler but I wouldn’t risk it if I was even a couple traveling together.

While it isn’t out on the Spit and doesn’t look like it from the outside, The Kannery is easily my favorite spot to eat and the food that comes out of the kitchen is top-notch – hence the “Best in Show” accolade.

At the bar, I ordered from a smaller menu (the bao buns and kimchi were fantastic though my mouth was also watering for the burgers ordered by people on either side of me); the full summer menu features tons of local ingredients in both classic American and more interesting Asian presentations. Also, they oysters looked incredible – and I say that even as someone who got food poisoning the last time I had bivalves!

The cocktail menu is also delightful, should that be your thing. I had the Alaskan Mai Tai with spruce tip syrup; y’all know I love tiki drinks and this was the closest I found to a well-made classic tiki cocktail in The Last Frontier.

Juneau: Deckhand Dave’s

In Juneau, my “best in show” place is Deckhand Dave’s, which I can’t not stop by when I’m in town. Their fish tacos are absolutely fantastic, and the location – with other businesses all in a food park – is great fun.

After having tried all of their fish tacos, I can confidently say that the blackened rockfish ones are best – but if you’re making your first visit, give the fish taco sampler a try first to find your own favorite, then order more of the ones you love. (The blackened rockfish tacos are part of the sampler!)

In addition to fish tacos, be sure to try the oysters and champagne, grab a s’more from Captain’s S’more & Brew, or try a crepe from Alaskan Crepe Escape. There is also a separate bar where you can grab a drink and pretty much just hang out as long as the weather holds out.

Ketchikan: 108 Taphouse

During our most recent trip to Ketchikan, Mr. V and I split up our research: he set out to explore the town on his own for a bit, while I was on a few Ketchikan shore excursions. When we met up later, he had excellent news to report: he found us a spot for pre-drinks and for dinner before we reboarded our cruise ship. (This is why he’s the best!)

We went to 108 Taphouse for dinner, and as the cruise ship day was winding down, I’m pretty sure we were the only non-locals in the joint; that’s the kind of place I always want to eat. Between the full Alaskan craft beer lineup and the menu of interesting options (I went for the frybread burger, it was freakin’ awesome!), I really didn’t want to leave, and it is my top recommendation for people who say they want to eat while visiting Ketchikan – even if you’re visiting by cruise ship as we were and don’t have a ton of time.

If I were giving out accolades in this restaurant guide (as I’ve done in some others for Alaskan cities), 108 Taphouse would get my ‘Best in Show’ category!

Seward: The Cookery

Photos courtesy of The Cookery

I’m going to be totally honest with you: I have not personally eaten at The Cookery in Seward, but I feel confident adding it to my list of the best restaurants in Alaska and naming it as the best in Seward..

The Cookery does Alaskan fine-casual dining at its best; the menu includes seafood and locally farmed meats, produce from the Kenai Peninsula, and foraged ingredients for a special, hyper-local flavor. As such, it handily earns the ‘Best in Show’ award that I give to a restaurant I’m confident can’t go wrong. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just looking for a really good meal after a really good day of adventure, The Cookery won’t disappoint.

Only open during the summers, The Cookery is actually undergoing a remodel and should be an even more stunning setting for dinner when you’re in Seward. As such, the general advice I’ve always gotten – you need a reservation – is as essential for 2024 as ever.

Sitka: Beak Restaurant

If you’re looking for a spot to sample the best that Sitka has to offer, Beak Restaurant is the place. Focusing on local ingredients wherever possible, Beak is one of those spots that’s popular with locals in part because most visitors don’t actually make it there – so forgive me, Sitka residents, for spilling the beans!

In any case, be sure to plan a meal at Beak during your Sitka visit; they are open for lunch and dinner, as well as brunch on Sundays. Speaking of brunch, if you are visiting on a Sunday, be sure to arrive early (they open at 10am) to snag a few of their handmade donuts – everyone loves them and they sell out every week.

As we missed the donuts on our first visit, I got creative when I realized our second visit wouldn’t be on a Sunday; I called on Friday and ordered Sunday donuts for pickup on the following Wednesday – sure they were stale, but they were still delicious! (Go for the spruce tip and fireweed donuts!)

Skagway: Red Onion Saloon

Much like tiny Talkeetna (next on the list), it’s a bit hard to say there’s a “Best in Show” restaurant in Skagway; it just doesn’t have quite enough options (or honestly, a stand-out with high enough quality) to merit the award. However, if I had to name the place you should eat in Skagway if you only have time for one spot, it’s the Red Onion Saloon.

The Red Onion Saloon dates back to 1897, and was originally one of the finest bordellos in Skagway (and really, all of Alaska at the time). Today, the historic building has two main parts: the downstairs, where you can stop for a bite and drink during your visit, and the upstairs, where tours of the old bordello rooms are let by ladies “of the night” – or at least dressed in the historic attire to make you think so.

The food menu focuses on classic American options, including sandwiches (pulled pork!), pizzas (try the “Madam Jan” or “Big Dessie” depending on whether you like meat or hate it), and Prospector Chili (it’s no surprise I loved chili so much as a kid growing up in Alaska – it’s on every menu!).

Talkeetna: Talkeetna Spinach Bread

I try to be as honest as possible here on V&V, and that means admitting that I don’t know it all. As you have noticed, I haven’t actually eaten at some of the best restaurants in Alaska in these various communities because I – like you – have limited time (and stomach space) when I’m visiting.

So while I ate at a ton of places in Talkeetna during my visit in summer 2022, I did not make it to Talkeetna Spinach Bread… I honestly can’t remember if they were open at thetime. However, this was my mistake – and you should not repeat my mistakes!

Talkeetna Spinach Bread is consistently recommended to me by past travelers as the best place to eat in Talkeetna in the kind of “oh, I’m so sorry you didn’t make it there” tone; they also had the longest line I’ve ever seen at the Alaska State Fair. If both locals and visitors are raving about it, you don’t need to trust me – you just need to go.

Valdez: The Fat Mermaid 

Photos courtesy of The Fat Mermaid

Ask anyone where to eat in Valdez, and they immediately reply: The Fat Mermaid. A favorite with the locals, The Fat Mermaid is regarded as one of the best sit-down places in town. It has an extensive food and drink menu to satisfy a wide variety of appetites. There are crispy fries, yellow curry, calamari, salmon, sandwiches… you name it.

They also have a nice kids’ menu at a good range of prices, and if you got a picky eater they have Mac & Cheese. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but the food’s quality is worth every penny.

Whittier: Swift Water Cafe

Given the limited options for where to eat in Whittier, there are still some great spots, especially if you’re looking for fresh seafood in a casual dining atmosphere. Topping the list of those options, Swift Water Cafe should be on your list whether you need lunch or dinner while visiting Whittier. It’s operated by the Inn at Whittier, which is another great Whittier restaurant (but more on that below).

Their menu features all the fresh catches you’d expect: calamari, shrimp, halibut, and crab, prepared in a variety of ways: fish and chips, crab cakes, sandwiches, and salads. If seafood isn’t your style, they also offer chicken as a substitute in most cases (such as chicken and fries or a Caesar salad with chicken instead of halibut).

The best part of Swift Water is the location though – if you arrive early enough, you can sit looking out over the Whittier boat harbor to watch the folks working hard to put the incredible ingredients you’ll find on your plate. On a sunny day, there’s basically no better view in town.

Wrangell: Stikine Inn & Restaurant/Stik Cafe

Where to Eat in Wrangell - Stikine Inn

Wrangell is small – and the list of places to eat in Wrangell is correspondingly small – but there’s one place I feel confident mentioning year-round: the Stik Restaurant & Lounge and the Stik Cafe, both inside the Stikine Inn. I’m pretty sure that while I stood in line to order, there were local chamber of commerce members, families, and visitors all in line too – it draws everyone!

The restaurant menu covers all the bases: soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, etc., as well as a full dinner menu that puts it at the top of my list if you’re looking for somewhere “nice” to go. (I put “nice” in quotes not because it isn’t nice, but because it’s by small-town Alaska standards: you’ll probably still see Carhartts and Xtratufs here even on Valentine’s Day!)

The cafe, on the other hand, covers quicker options, including a full coffee bar, hot and cold breakfast options, and an impressive panini menu for lunch. As you can see, Mr. V and I split an order of biscuits and gravy to accompany our morning coffee.

There you have it: my list of the best restaurants in Alaska! Have any questions about these top restaurants in the Last Frontier, or other towns that I don’t have on my list? Let me know in the comments below!

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I was born on the East Coast and currently live in the Midwest – but my heart will always be out West. I lived for 15 years in Alaska, as well as four years each in California and Washington. I share travel resources and stories based on my personal experience and knowledge.

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