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Nestled on the banks of the Gastineau Channel in the heart of the Inside Passage, Alaska’s capital city of Juneau is smaller than most. Home to just about 32,000 people, you might not think that Juneau has a good dining scene – but be prepared for Juneau to surprise you (as it does in so many other ways too).
If you’re planning a trip to Alaska that includes time in the capital, you might wonder where to eat in Juneau. Surely there’s good seafood, right? But what else… maybe incredible ethnic cuisine? World-class craft beer? Delicious options for any time of day? Yeah, Juneau’s going to surprise you.
While I’ve been to Juneau several times in the past few years (including in June 2022 as part of my Windstar Cruises experience), I decided to team up with my blogger friend Elizabeth from A Suitcase Full of Books to write this post. After all, Elizabeth is a Juneau local and knows lots of the best spots beyond the tourist track in the downtown area! Together we’ve put together a list of the 17 best places to eat in Juneau, covering all of the categories above – from must-try seafood to surprising menu items you might not expect to find in a town the size of Juneau and so deep in the heart of Alaska.
If you’re ready to sink your teeth into the best that Juneau has to offer, this post is here to help. Below you’ll find the best places to eat in Juneau, from seafood to slices of pizza, and from brunch to late-night bars. Without further ado, here’s where to eat in Juneau.
In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the Lingít Aaní (traditional lands) of the Tlingit people. 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.
Deckhand Dave’s – Best in Show
- Address: 139 S Franklin St
- Website: deckhanddaves.com
- Must-Try: Blackened Rockfish Tacos
In each Alaskan city that I’ve visited, I usually discover one place I just can’t get enough of, and I call it “Best in Show.” In Juneau, that 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.
The Rookery – Best for Brunch
- Address: 111 Seward St
- Website: therookerycafe.com
- Must-Try: The Breakfast Sandwich
No matter how long you’re visiting Juneau, it’s important to start your days of adventure with a good meal. Your hotel or accommodation might offer breakfast, but I’d encourage you to strike out and try something more local.
The place for that is The Rookery, where you can find all kinds of delicious breakfast and lunch options. During our brunch, we tried a number of menu items: a potato bowl, a breakfast sandwich, and the supreme avocado toast.
The Rookery is only open til 2pm on Tuesdays through Saturdays (they’re closed Sunday and Monday; on Sundays, head to brunch at Sandpiper Cafe instead).
Sacred Grounds Coffee – Best for Coffee
- Address: 320 Willoughby Ave
- Website: sacredgroundsak.com
- Must-Try: Alaskan Amber Chili
Alaskans love their coffee, even though we’re not #1 at coffee shops per capita anymore, we still appreciate the good stuff in great quantities. For good reason, it’s therefore quite tough to choose the “best” coffee shop in Juneau… I’ve gotta go with Sacred Grounds though, as they have fantastic coffee and they’re a Tlingit & Haida-owned and operated company.
In addition to a large coffee and hot drink menu, they have plenty of food choices to complement, including breakfast options, sandwiches, and chili made with Alaskan Amber. Seriously, so good with a cuppa of hot coffee on a drizzly, grey Juneau day.
Alaska Fish & Chips Company – Best Reindeer
- Address: 2 Marine Way #124
- Website: alaskafishandchips.com
- Must-Try: Reindeer Corndog
Y’all know I’m kind of obsessed with reindeer – specifically eating them. I recommend all the great places for reindeer sausage as I discover them, and Juneau is home to one such place.
Alaska Fish & Chips Company is located at the Flight Deck, next to Hangar on the Wharf – it can be a little tricky to find but is well worth asking for directions if you get turned around inside the building where all these places are located (right on the waterfront). In any case, don’t be distracted by the fish and chips (more on that below) and opt for the reindeer corn dog instead. It’s a great portable snack for walking around exploring Downtown Juneau.
Bullwinkles Pizza – Best Pizza
- Address: 318 Willoughby Ave (Downtown) or 9108 Mendenhall Mall Rd (Valley)
- Website: bullwinklespizza.com
- Must-Try: The All-Meat Combo Mini-Moose
For the first recommendation that Elizabeth added to my list, she chimed in with Bullwinkles Pizza. Specifically, she said that the Bullwinkles out in the Valley had special hometown flavors she loved – probably a lot like how I feel about Moose’s Tooth in Anchorage. However, if you don’t have a car, there’s also a Bullwinkles location in downtown Juneau.
The pizza menu at Bullwinkles is delightfully simple: sizes range from Mini Moose (6″) to Extra Large (19″) and there are either seven specialty pizzas or 18 toppings you can add at whim. They also sell sandwiches, salads, and wings, but as I’ve already discussed in restaurant posts about other Alaskan cities, pizza is a favorite among those in The Last Frontier.
Tracy’s Crab Shack – Best for King Crab, Obvs
- Address: 432 S Franklin St
- Website: kingcrabshack.com
- Must-Try: Crab Bisque
For many people, trying Alaskan King Crab is one of those bucket-list meals. And when you ask any Alaskan where to find Alaskan King Crab, they’re all going to ask: are you going to Juneau?
Since I’m assuming your answer is yes (since you’re reading this post), the next advice I – and other Alaskans – would give is to make sure you visit Tracy’s Crab Shack. This is the place for all kinds of Alaskan crab, including King Crab… but be warned that King Crab is not only a bucket-list meal, it also has a bucket-list cost (usually between $65-$100 per pound – and one leg is typically one pound!).
My trick to try crab without paying those prices is to opt for Tracy’s crab bisque, which is insanely delicious and comes in both cup (8oz) and bowl (12oz) sizes so you can sample it or fill up depending on your hunger level.
SALT – Best for Special Occasions
- Address: 200 Seward St
- Website: saltalaska.com
- Must-Try: Champagne Scallops for Brunch, Alaskan Ginger Salmon for Dinner
If your travel plans will bring you to Juneau at the same time as you’re celebrating a special occasion, there’s one place I recommend: SALT. This steak and seafood restaurant uses fresh Alaskan ingredients to make incredible dishes in a beautiful setting; it’s really the best place to raise a glass to whatever milestone you’re marking.
I’ve been to SALT twice; on our most recent visit, Mr. V and I enjoyed crab bisque, their crab cake, and the ginger Alaskan salmon with coconut broth (all pictured above).
The Alaska Bar – Best for Atmosphere
- Address: 167 S Franklin St
- Website: thealaskanhotel.com/the-alaskan-bar
- Must-Try: Alaskan Amber
If you’re looking for a spot for a drink with some character, there’s absolutely nowhere in Juneau – or, really, all of Alaska – quite like The Alaskan Bar. Located on the ground floor of the oldest hotels in the state, The Alaskan Bar is a local watering hole that feels imbued with history and yet still lively… perhaps aided by the fact that there’s regular live music on the stage.
Their backbar isn’t as impressive as others on this list (specifically The Narrows, across the street), but they have Alaskan Brewing Company beers on tap – and what could be more appropriate than a pint of that in a bar of the same name?
Devil’s Club Brewing – Best Bar Snacks
- Address: 100 N Franklin St
- Website: devilsclubbrewing.com
- Must-Try: Pretzel bites with beer cheese
Juneau has a number of craft breweries that are exciting for those who love sampling different brews, but my favorite is Devil’s Club Brewing Company. I’ll be honest: their beer isn’t my favorite, but their food menu is frankly incredible, and I can usually find something that goes well enough to wash it down. (Actually, most of what I love has beer cheese sauce, so I do love their beer – just in cheese sauce!)
If you are sold on trying a tasting flight and their food, go for the grilled cheese, the pretzel bites, or both. There’s no better place to carb-load when you’re enjoying a few beers.
Amalga Distillery – Best Non-Beer
- Address: 134 N Franklin St
- Website: amalgadistillery.com
- Must-Try: Juneauper Gin cocktali
For those who don’t love beer, Juneau has an option for you too: Amalga Distillery. They’ve been open for several years but continue to release new spirits and blends, and have quickly become a popular spot with seasonal works and locals alike. They have a full cocktail menu, featuring their own gins and whiskeys; they also have canned cocktails you can take away.
While I obviously can’t tell you exactly which cocktail you might enjoy from their menu, I highly recommend asking to taste their “Juneauper” gin.
Griz Bar – Best for Late Nights
- Address: 210 Admiral Way
- Website: grizbar.com
- Must-Try: Whatever floats your boat!
If the weather is good – or even if it’s not, thanks to their covered space – there’s no better place than at Griz Bar to enjoy a nightcap and watch Juneau quieten down after the cruise ships pull out with their view over Marine Park.
With a wide variety of local beer and spirits, you can order a cozy drink, grab a spot by one of their table fires, and start planning your return trip to Juneau… at least that’s what always happens to me!
Photos courtesy of Griz Bar
The Narrows Bar – Best for Cocktails
- Address: 148 S Franklin St
- Website: the-narrows.business.site
- Must-Try: The Last Word (my favorite cocktail!)
If you’re looking for an indoor watering hole with less kitsch than some of the other spots in downtown, The Narrows is the place to pull up a spot at the bar. This craft cocktail bar has some of the best bartenders in town and is a common spot for seasonal workers to spend the evening when they’re looking for something a bit nicer than they’ll find across the street (at the Alaskan Bar).
In terms of the menu, you can get all the classics ranging from their Penicillin and The Last Word to creative cocktails like their Kiwi Smash and KombuCHIC.
Sandbar & Grill – Best for Fish & Chips
- Address: 2525 Industrial Blvd
- Website: facebook.com/JuneauSandbar
- Must-Try: Halibut Fish & Chips
No list of great places to eat in Juneau would be complete without mentioning fish and chips and where to find them. My blogger friend Elizabeth from A Suitcase Full of Books chimed in here with her favorite spot: Sandbar & Grill out in “The Valley.” (So not downtown – you’ll need a car to get here.)
Their halibut fish and chip might not look like much, but it’s the batter and fries that make all the difference. They come out of the kitchen crispy and piping hot – perfect on a drizzly Juneau day (which happens quite a bit).
Little Hong Kong – Best Chinese
- Address: 9105 Mendenhall Mall Rd #144
- Website: juneaulittlehongkong.com
- Must-Try: Egg Flavor Soup and General Tso’s Chicken
If you’re looking for Chinese food, you might be surprised to learn that there are some great spots across Alaska – another is up in Fairbanks. In any case, Juneau has one of those delicious spots too, as recommended by Elizabeth’s partner Micah: Little Hong Kong.
Located out in the Valley in a strip mall, Little Hong Kong is one of those places that reminds you to never judge a book by its cover (as Elizabeth would say) – or said another way, never judge a restaurant by its locale. Their menu does all the talking, with tons of options including a huge soup menu (love me some egg drop soup), all kinds of meat entrees, a kids menu for you families traveling together, and vegetarian options.
Red Spruce – Best Ethnic Food
- Address: 11798 Glacier Hwy
- Website: facebook.com/globalstreetfoodeatery
- Must-Try: Whatever catches your eye!
Located within Forbidden Peak Brewery out in Auke Bay, Red Spruce is the place if you’re looking for unusual flavors in Juneau. Their menu is always changing so if you fall in love with something during your meal, be prepared for something different the next time you visit Juneau.
Menu items are either straight delicious ethnic foods like Thai and Peruvian, or fusions like spam bao buns and the “lil za,” a gourmet pizza taco. Seriously, if you love adventurous eats, Red Spruce is the place to go – but you’ll need a car to get here, too.
(This is another recommendation from Elizabeth, who is a book blogger, not a food blogger – but maybe she should be! If you too love books and are visiting Juneau, be sure to check out her Juneau tour by the books.)
Photos courtesy of Red Spruce
Devil’s Hideaway – Best Beyond Downtown
- Address: 11445 Auke Bay Harbor Rd
- Website: devilshideaway.com
- Must-Try: Devil’s Hot Chicken Wings
Elizabeth had one last recommendation I simply had to share: Devil’s Hideaway, which is out on the waterfront of Auke Bay. You’ll need a car to reach this spot, but if you have one, you certainly won’t regret it.
Devil’s Hideaway is consistently ranked among the best burgers in Juneau, and the rest of the menu is equally hearty. While they have salads, they’re famous for their dry rub chicken wings, and their ‘Famous Smash Burgers’ are another good alternative. In particular, Purgatory is a must-eat for those who love a little (but not too much) heat.
Juneau Food Tours – Best Food Tour
- Address: 167 Shattuck Way
- Website: juneaufoodtours.com
- Must-Try: n/a
If you love the idea of sampling as many of these places as possible, there’s a way to do it: book a Juneau Food Tour! I’ve known the owner Midgi for years at this point and have watched her company grow from a literal one-woman gig to a company with full-time employees, multiple tours per day, and incredible opportunities to sample the best food in Juneau in one convenient excursion.
Their primary tasting tour includes stops at Tracy’s Crab Shack, Deckhand Dave’s, and the Alaskan Bar & Hotel, as well as a few other spots that didn’t make my list above but are still delicious. Hands down, it’s the best way to experience as much of Juneau’s food scene if you’re short on time (it’s also offered as a cruise excursion in Juneau if you’re cruising with a company that offers it).
Too many delicious choices, right? Have any questions about where to eat in Juneau, or do you know somewhere you enjoyed that I should add to my list? Let me know in the comments!
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