Destination Guides,  Restaurant Guides

Where to Eat in Valdez, Alaska:
7 Great Spots, According to an Alaskan

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.

Nestled amidst the awe-inspiring beauty of the Chugach Mountains and the shimmering waters of Prince William Sound, Valdez, Alaska, is a picturesque haven that entices travelers with its breathtaking scenery, rich history, and… vibrant culinary scene? Actually, yes!

If you can believe it, despite growing up in Alaska I had never visited Valdez before 2021. Admittedly, Valdez is a bit off the beaten path in that it’s at the southern end of the Richardson Highway and technically at a “dead end” and is hard to connect to other destinations without driving out-and-back through Keystone Canyon (though now having seen the route, it’s a very scenic drive!).

Where to Eat in Valdez Hero

As you plan your Alaska itinerary, you might have questions about Valdez: what to do, where to stay, and where to eat in Valdez are the big three I usually get asked. For a small town, Valdez has a lot to offer from a foodie perspective, so that’s what I’m covering. Whether you’re seeking a casual bite after a day of exploring the great outdoors or a sumptuous feast to celebrate a special occasion, Valdez’s culinary landscape offers a wealth of unforgettable dining experiences that perfectly complement the allure of this captivating Alaskan gem.

From the freshest catch of the day in cozy waterfront eateries to the heartwarming comfort of traditional Alaskan fare in rustic, family-owned establishments, here’s where to eat in Valdez during your Alaska trip.

In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the traditional lands of the Alutiiq (Sugpiaq) and Ahtna Nenn’ 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.

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.  

The Roadside Potato

Photos courtesy of The Roadside Potato

The Roadside Potato is another top-recommended place for a quick meal in Valdez. Most tourists casually run into it when walking along the harbor. But, the truth is that this joint is very popular with the locals. So much so, that everyone affectionately calls it The Potato.

As soon as you walk in, you can perceive the ultra-casual atmosphere. You wait for a free table and then sit down, and once you get a table, you place your order at the window. It has a great variety of seafood and American comfort food. There’s also a good variety of beer and wine.

Northern Treats

During your Valdez stay, there’s a chance you’ll always see a long line in the purple/pink little building in the center of town. That’s Northern Treats. Nothing less than one of the best places to eat in Valdez if you have a sweet tooth. Northern Treats is the only soft serve spot in town and they pride in having the best milkshakes, cones, and soft serves. The variety of flavors and combinations is astounding, and they all have funny Alaskan names; I had the Pine Tree, a delicious blend of mint and chocolate.

The only downside of Northern Treats is that it’s open during the summer only (until Labor Day). Last but not least, the adorable pink shack is the perfect shot you’ll want to post on social.

The Coffee Co.

You just came back from your fishing tour and are dying for a cup of coffee to recharge your batteries and warm up a bit. The Coffee Co. is the place to go.

As the name suggests, The Coffee Co. is one of the best places in Valdez for a good cup of coffee – and, let’s be honest, baked goods. The charming place and its appealing Alaska lodge-like furnishings lure tourists looking to sit down and relax. They have excellent coffee, muffins, and sweets. For the guest wanting heartier fare, they also offer a few savory breakfast sandwiches.

Valdez Brewing

Photos courtesy of Valdez Brewing

Okay, so, this one doesn’t really fit into the where to eat in Valdez category. But, some people love exploring the craft beer scene wherever they go. If you’re one of those, you’ll be pleased to hear that Valdez has two breweries, one of them being Valdez Brewing

Valdez Brewing has a great atmosphere and welcomes everyone. They have a fantastic selection of staple beers and a good selection of non-alcoholic beverages. It’s also kid friendly. You can see many families bringing their kids and getting non-alcoholic samplers for them. Food-wise,  there’s a food truck in the lot that serves reasonably good food, but they allow you to bring your own food in.

Growler Bay Brewing Company

Photo courtesy of Growler Bay Brewing Company

Growler Bay Brewing Company is the other brewery you’ll find in Valdez. Their beer selection is astounding. But what locals and travelers alike really love about this place is the people working there.

The head brewer is incredibly passionate about what she does and is a joy to talk to about her beers. You’ll instantly notice her enthusiasm and skill are key ingredients in every beer you sip. The atmosphere is also fantastic. The taproom is beautifully decorated and it feels like a home-brewer-turned-micro-brew kind of place. They also offer tons of merchandise if you want a souvenir.

TraDas Breakfast Diner

Photos courtesy of TraDas Breakfast Diner via Facebook

Maybe you adhere to the thought that breakfast is the best meal of the day. Or you simply want to fuel up before your early morning tour starts. Either way, you have to try TraDas Breakfast Diner. This authentic mom-and-pop restaurant is one of the top places where to eat in Valdez for a hearty breakfast.

Pancakes, breakfast burritos, French toast, scrambled eggs, omelets, all your breakfast staples are here. And in generous portions. Bear in mind that the dining area gets crowded quickly, so you might end up with a wait if you try to visit on a busy weekend day during the summer season.

Have any questions about where to eat in Valdez, both these on my list or other ones that have caught your eye while researching your Alaska trip? Let me know in the comments below.


Valdez 2024 Mockup

Continue Planning Your Valdez Trip!

The Complete Valdez City Guide gives you all the info you need to plan your time in Valdez, 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.

Leave a Reply

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