Destination Guides,  Restaurant Guides

Where to Eat in Skagway: 9 Top Picks in This Small Alaska Town

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.

Skagway, Alaska, a captivating port town steeped in Gold Rush history and surrounded by the majestic beauty of the Alaskan wilderness, is a veritable treasure trove: of adventurous experiences, of historic encounters, and… of culinary delights? Perhaps surprisingly, yes! There are some great places to eat in Skagway.

Over the course of growing up in Alaska and my travels since moving away, I’ve been to Skagway a few times. Most recently in 2022, I spent a day in port in Skagway, as many people do as part of an Alaska cruise itinerary. While there, I got hungry – as many people do as part of an Alaska cruise itinerary. πŸ˜…

Where to Eat in Skagway Hero

As you set forth on your journey to explore Skagway, don’t worry about food: there are great options for where to eat in Skagway after a day of train riding, hiking, or just strolling the streets soaking in history.

Admittedly, there aren’t a lot of places to eat in Skagway; I could easily have written a post detailing them all for you. Instead, I looked at the ones I’ve visited and enjoyed, and a few others I feel confident recommending based on having seen them and my knowledge of good food in Alaska. (Also, the ability to read through marketing speak thanks to years of working for a major cruise company.) Below you’ll find my picks for where to eat in Skagway.

In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the LingΓ­t AanΓ­ (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.

Red Onion Saloon – Best in Show/for Character

Much like tiny Talkeetna, 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!).

Skagway Fish Company – Best for Surf…

If you’re looking for fresh seafood cuz, you know, you’re in Alaska, your best option is actually out along the cruise ship dock. Skagway Fish Company has separate lunch and dinner menus; both feature seafood and shellfish in its great variety from Alaskan waters. Think oysters and clams to start, King Crab legs, and fried halibut and chips. (If you want to make that at home, I have a recipe for you.)

Other menu items that catch my eye include the crab bisque (my favorite way to eat crab) and Ivar’s clam chowder (which you may know comes from Seattle, where I’ve also lived!).

They also have some land options – burgers and ribeyes and such – but if you’re craving meat, I recommend going next door to…

The Smokehouse β€“ …& Best for Turf

A literal stone’s throw away (or less), The Smokehouse is my pick. They specialize in barbecue and are run by the same folks as Skagway Brewing Company (more on them below). They have other options too (King Crab, halibut fish and chips, etc.), but just like with Skagway Fish Company – you want to go for what they’re best at. Go for the ribs, the pulled pork, or a plate of both; follow it up with a pint of beer – or take a walk to the Brewing Company directly if you want to stretch your legs.

Bombay Curry – Best for Ethnic Food

While American dishes, surf, and turf, are obviously appealing to a lot of people, you might be like me and love different flavors too. To that end, Skagway (surprisingly) has some options. My top pick for ethnic food is Bombay Curry, which, while of course honoring the cuisine they serve, also seems to be making a nod to Bombay Peggy, the first female river pilot on the Upper Yukon River during the Klondike era. (There’s also a hotel named after her in Dawson City, Yukon Territory.)

Bombay Curry serves basic Indian dishes: bean bowls, paneer (“Indian Cottage Cheese”), and some chicken dishes, including my all-time favorite – Chicken Tikka Masala. (Also the unofficial “national dishes of the U.K.” which is probably why I like it.)

They even have (albeit expensive) Mango Lassi, the perfect drink to accompany the flavors in these dishes!

Runner Up: Peppers Street Fusion

For another option, I wanted to include a runner-up: Peppers Street Fusion is all about flavors south of the border (and I don’t mean the Canadian border, which would be geographically logical in Skagway…). Their menu focuses on tacos and burritos, but they also have flautas, taquitos, and elote (street corn). It’s a solid menu of Mexican food, given how far away the home country is!

Glacial Coffeehouse – Best Caffeine Fix

We all know – or at least I know and you’re about to – that Alaskans love their coffee. Anchorage ranks #9 for most coffee shops per capita of larger cities in the U.S., and Alaska as a whole ranks #2 (after Hawaii, funnily enough…).

Therefore it is a fair expectation that Skagway has a good coffee shop, if only for the locals who need that infusion to enjoy long summer days and stay awake through short winter ones.

Glacial Coffeehouse is the place to go; I popped in here for a pick-me-up on my Skagway visit in 2022, and they were popular enough that it was a 10+ minute wait for my order. (Not a bad thing, as the weather was iffy and I was glad to be out of the wind.) They also have pastries if you’re looking for a quick breakfast – a decent alternative to hotel breakfasts and the limited diner options around town.

Runner Up: The Sittin’ Sasquatch

[NO PHOTOS HERE]

For a grab-and-go coffee option, The Sittin’ Sasquatch is a good backup choice. They are just a little coffee stand with no indoor space, so not ideal on worse-weather days (after all, Skagway is from the Tlingit name for the area, “Skagua” or “Shԍagwei” meaning “a windy place with white caps on the water). Nevertheless, also a good choice and especially when you need something quick and don’t want to fight the tourist crowds of Glacial Coffeehouse on ship days.

Skagway Brewing Company – Best Craft Brews

I mentioned them already, but Skagway Brewing Company is well worth a visit in its own right (in addition to The Smokehouse if you’re craving protein). I had a meal here during my Skagway visit and was really quite pleased; I chose it over Klondike Brewing Company as it seemed less crowded since it’s off the main drag, and thus more relaxed.

Skagway Brewing has a full menu in addition to their beer list, which is actually delightful: the Spruce Tip Blonde Ale is one of my essential craft beers to drink in Alaska (the Boom Town Brown and Chilkoot Trail IPA are also delicious and staples of their production list).

I also had the chili dog because I am basically 7 years old when I’m in charge of food choices… There are, of course, more adult choices that sound delicious too, like fish and chips, grilled salmon, and burgers.

Klondike Doughboy – Best Sweet Treat

Last but certainly not least, we need some dessert around here right?! While I typically point people to ice cream, I’m pretty sure you’ll have enough of that as it has long been claimed that Alaskans eat more ice cream per capita than anyone else and there are certainly enough ice cream shops to make that believable.

In Skagway, skip the dairy and keep carbo-loading: Klondike Doughboy has one of the most original sweet treats you’ll find in The Last Frontier. Using the traditional method for making Navajo frybread, they then sprinkle the fried, piping hot dough with cinnamon sugar and hand it out in slabs bigger than your head. It is a sharable snack that’s perfect to enjoy while strolling along Skagway’s boardwalked Broadway – and perfectly unique for this quirky Alaskan town.

Have any questions about where to eat in Skagway that I recommend, or other places you’re considering grabbing a bite? Let me know in the comments below!


Continue Planning Your Skagway Trip!

The Complete Skagway City Guide gives you all the info you need to plan your time in Skagway, in one convenient place.

Get this ebook for just $7.99!
(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.

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

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