Destination Guides,  Restaurant Guides

Where to Eat in Ketchikan: 12 Great Restaurants to Try

My blog posts likely contain affiliate links, including for the Amazon Associates program.
If you click, book, or buy from one of these links, I may earn a commission. Read more in my Privacy Policy.

As you research your Alaska trip, you’ve probably learned a few things about Ketchikan: it’s on the Inside Passage (and thus a popular stop for cruise ships), it rains a lot (an average of 150 inches per year!) and it’s called Alaska’s “First City” (not because it was the first city established, but because it was the first city in the territory that most people arrived at when heading north to seek their fortunes). All this combines to create a unique little community: where else can you find totem poles, fishing poles, and poles being climbed by lumberjacks for show?

If your Alaska travels will take you to Ketchikan, you might want to dive deeper into the town than whatever is offered as part of your cruise ship’s shore excursions. I always love doing an excursion and exploring town a bit if I have time in port – and I’ve been to Ketchikan on my own as well, which is a great way to even more of the top things to do in the area.

Where to Eat in Ketchikan Hero

In this post, I’ll cover another important topic: where to eat in Ketchikan to fuel up for adventures (or refuel after them), whether that’s a cruise excursion, a fishing charter, or a day of exploring on your own. Below you’ll find my recommendations for the best restaurants in Ketchikan (and a few bars too), as well as some other crowd-faves I’ve heard about from members of the V&V community who’ve already visited Alaska.

Ready to sink your teeth into every aspect of what makes Ketchikan such a quirky and fun place to visit? Let’s dig in!

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.

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!

Jellyfish Donuts

When I first heard about Jellyfish Donuts, I thought they were donuts made with jellyfish which – actually – would be a really cool use of a sea pest. This is not the case; they’re just a morning pastry shop with a really cool name!

They offer all the standard sweet styles of donuts, from icing dipped to one called the “cookie monster,” but also have a few specialties on the menu: the salmon donut features smoked salmon and cream cheese spread (an Alaskan fave!) is definitely unique. They also sell pelmeni, dumplings, and gyoza with various fillings, if you’re looking for something (else) savory to start your day.

(It’s worth noting, Jellyfish Donuts is generally open until mid-afternoon most days, so they’re not just a breakfast spot – the donuts are just the specialty, and if you wait til later in the day, your options might be limited!)

Annabelle’s Famous Keg & Chowder House

In my research before our most recent trip to Ketchikan, Annabelle’s Famous Keg and Chowder House was also high on my list for a visit… this might be because one of our kitties is named Annabell (you can often see her on my Instagram stories when we’re not traveling), but it’s also because I am a chowder fiend and am always seeking out the best salmon chowder in Alaska. (Jury’s still out so I guess I just have to keep eating it!)

While Annabelle’s dates back to the 1920s, the menu has definitely been updated with plenty of modern favorites. In addition to their three-chowder sampler (that might be one of my love languages!), they have a number of homey options (chicken cordon bleu, meatloaf, bbq brisket) and of course a whole bunch of seafood options (including wild-caught salmon and halibut, as well as king crab). You can’t go wrong, and there’s something for everyone.

Heen Kahidi Dining Room

If you’re looking for a traditional, nice spot for dinner, head up the hill – to Cape Fox Lodge, that is. Located in the Lodge, Heen Kahidi Dining Room isn’t stuffy or fancy in terms of what you’ll need to wear (come on in with that rain gear – it is Ketchikan, after all!), but the menu is one of the best options if you’re looking for finer fare or want to celebrate a special occasion.

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, most of the menu is what you’d expect: benedicts and omelets for breakfast and seafood, sandwiches, and surf & turf for lunch and dinner. Having taken a cooking class up at Cape Fox Lodge during my last visit to Ketchikan, I feel confident you’ll enjoy the freshest ingredients and incredible flavors no matter what you choose.

Arctic Bar

I ended up in the Arctic Bar on my first visit to Ketchikan – at least the first one as an adult, anyway. This waterfront spot on the edge of the ‘downtown’ area has a lot of character, and my guess is that most visitors wouldn’t pass the salacious mating bears wood carving to discover that for themselves.

Like all good Alaskan towns, this is one of a few watering holes where you’re as likely to sit next to a floatplane pilot or commercial fisherman as anyone; it’s nothing fancy but it does the trick if you’re looking for that kind of place – and they certainly have a wide range of adult beverages if you need to warm up after a rainy day or refuel after a good day of adventure.

Uncharted Alaska Distillery

Last but certainly not least, Mr. V stumbled onto Uncharted Alaska Distillery during his exploration of Ketchikan, and liked the look of it so much, he knew he had to bring me back to assess the place – and enjoy a cocktail, of course!

I believe that Uncharted Alaska opened in 2022, just before we visited; they were still working on a few of the kinks in their setup and tasting room when we visited. Their spirits don’t taste young though, as they’ve done an amazing job of crafting some unique takes on your back-bar staples: their gin lineup is awesome (they have vodka too but that’s not my spirit of choice), they offer a unique sorghum whiskey, and they recently added an unaged agave spirit to the lineup.

While you can certainly go in for just a spirit tasting, I think the best way to try them is in a cocktail or two. We had the ginger bee’s knees (I love Prohibition-era cocktails), but the menu is delightfully diverse and I’d love more time to try a few others next time we’re in town.

Other Great Spots to Drink & Eat in Ketchikan

As mentioned at the top, there are other places to eat (and drink) in Ketchikan – I haven’t had the chance to try everywhere yet, which is why I keep visiting Alaska! Here are some spots that were recommended to me when I asked the V&V community the places that they loved most during their trips.

  • Alaska Crêpe Co – For a hearty, delicious breakfast in the heart of town, Alaska Crêpe Co is the place to go; their crepes and wraps are jam-packed with fillings to fuel you up for a day of adventure.
  • Burger Queen – Outside the ‘downtown’ core enough to thin the crowds a bit, but you should still expect a line at Burger Queen due to its tiny space and widely-beloved burger options (they have fish and chips too as an alternative).
  • New York Cafe – Just across the Creek Bridge, New York Cafe is a local’s-fave spot that hosts events in addition to offering all-day food; it’s a community meeting place, especially in the off-season.
  • Pioneer Cafe – For another casual dining spot with American classics, Pioneer Cafe is right in the heart of town. The cozy atmosphere perfectly matches the comfort foods that feature on the menu.
  • The Alaska Fish House – Every Alaskan town needs a good seafood institution, and the Alaska Fish House is Ketchikan’s. Right on the water, you can enjoy great views and flavors fresh from the water; as the name suggests, their specialty is the bounty of the sea.
  • The Potlatch Bar – An alternative to the Arctic Bar, The Potlatch lays claim to being Ketchikan’s oldest bar and is still located in its original building. Pop in for live music and a tipple as part of your complete experience of all Ketchikan has to offer.

As you can see, these spots add some diversity to the list, whether you’re looking for nicer spots, casual bites, or a good drink in a local bar. Have any questions about where to eat in Ketchikan? Let me know in the comments below!

Continue Planning Your Ketchikan Trip!

The Complete Ketchikan Guide will give you all the info you need to plan your time in Ketchikan, in one convenient place.

Get this ebook for just $8.99!
(Or buy a bundle of city guides and save!)

Help others discover this post too!

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *