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Where to eat like a local on your Alaska cruise

12 May 2022
Mollie Breese

One of the greatest parts of traveling is the opportunity to explore all of the local delicacies of an area. While Alaska may not be known as the world's culinary capital, the state is full of quaint family-owned restaurants and local breweries that capture the essence of Alaskan. 

Ketchikan, Alaska restaurant

From fresh seafood pulled straight out of the ocean to caribou steaks and locally-grown greens, Alaska offers a variety of flavors and cuisines to please even the pickiest of travelers. While you are enjoying your incredible Alaskan journey, save some time to enjoy a meal at a rustic tavern or knock glasses with a salty fisherman to get a real taste of the people, cultures, and culinary traditions that make Alaska a wild and spectacular place. 

While each town along your journey will have a well-known bar or colorful saloon, sometimes it's better to get off the beaten path and enjoy a little flavor of the local life. We've compiled a list of our top picks for food, beers, cocktails, or coffee at each stop along your Alaska cruise.

From halibut chips in Juneau to elegant dinners in Sitka, these are the top picks from our Alaskan correspondent that will make you feel like a local in America's Last Frontier. 


Downtown Anchorage

Arctic Roadrunner: This no-frills burger joint is perfect for enjoying an excellent burger (or salmon burger) in classic, Alaskan fashion. Outdoor seating is available along a river, and the diner is cash-only.

There is an ATM on site. 

Korean Garden: With an unassuming front and interior, this is hands-down some of the best Korean food in the city. Visitors can expect authentic Korean dishes with fast service and fair prices.

Opt for the Dolsot Bibimbap, and you will not be disappointed. 

Rustic goat nachos

The Rustic Goat: This restaurant offers "comfort food with a modern twist." You can get a wide array of specialties here, including their delicious Bison sliders. The food is pricey, but they have a great seafood menu. I go for their excellent selection of craft beers offered on draft.

Try the Double Shovel Appalanche Cider for an ideal mix of tart and sweet. 

The Writer's Block Cafe: If you happen to catch Anchorage on a rainy day, this cafe is the perfect spot to spend a few hours enjoying a hot coffee and perusing some bookshelves.

The cafe also offers a drink menu, including specialty cocktails, beer, and wine. They also have a food menu offering breakfast, comfort foods, and delicious paninis.


Haines brewery

Alpenglow: Located downtown, Alpenglow offers visitors a warm escape and wood-fired pizza. This is the best pizzeria in the town, though the hours can be weird.

Check out their site before you head over to ensure they are open. 

Haines Brewery Company: The local Haines Brewery is an excellent stop to enjoy a local brew. A modest establishment, the brewery does not offer food but does offer a rustic aesthetic and gorgeous views.

Try the Spruce Tip Ale -- I guarantee it tastes like an Alaskan summer in a glass. 


Scottish egg encased in longanisa and a loco moco with adobo gravy

The Rookery: The Rookery is a quick favorite for locals and visitors. This small cafe is located in downtown Juneau and offers American food with an Alaskan touch.

This cafe has a great breakfast and lunch spot with a mouthwatering Korean Chicken sandwich.

Alaska Po Boy

The Wild Alaskan: If you find yourself on the outskirts of Juneau, pop by the Wild Alaskan to pick up food for a picnic or to enjoy on the go.

This food truck may not look like much on the outside, but it has the best fries and halibut in the area.

Read moreTop 10 things to do in Juneau, Alaska


Garcia's Galley

Garcia's Galley: If you're looking to avoid the crowds of downtown Ketchikan, head over to Garcia's Galley for lunch or dinner.

This local favorite offers authentic Mexican food and a few American favorites. The Chimi Deluxe pairs perfectly with a margarita for an after-hike treat. 

Potlatch Bar: As Ketchikan's oldest bar, the Potlatch Bar is not a secret, but it has managed to maintain its quaint, fisherman bar aesthetic even after decades of tourism. This alone makes it worth a stop to enjoy an adult beverage along the docks, but the friendly staff and excellent drink menu add to a great experience– especially on a rainy day! 

Read moreLocal guide of places to visit in Ketchikan, Alaska


Alaska Seward Waterfront and Ray s Restaurant

Mermaid Grotto Cafe and Boutique: This cafe is an eclectic blend of modern and rustic. This no-frills cafe offers breakfast, lunch, hot drinks, and cocktails (including a superb Bloody Mary).

While the inside is beautiful, swing by on a sunny day to enjoy their ample outdoor space. It's the perfect spot to work on that Alaskan tan.

The Porthole: Alaska is a big fan of food trucks. These colorful wagons dot the landscape of most Alaskan towns, offering their own spin on popular dishes and the freedom to take your food on the go as you race to catch the whale-watching boat. The Porthole is located in the small boat harbor parking lot, on 4th avenue.

Offering breakfast and lunch options, this is a great stop to grab a quick meal before heading out on your day.

I recommend the Captain (sausage patties on a brioche bun), but you can't go wrong with anything on the menu. 


Ludvig's Paella

Ludvig's Bistro: Ludvig's offers a wide variety of Mediterranean fares mixed with local seafood offerings. It offers a wine bar, galley, and a beautiful outside patio in downtown Sitka.

While the food is on the pricier side of Alaskan fare, the taste and quality are worth it. If you're looking to try some local seafood during your trip to Alaska, grab a reservation at Ludvig's to top off your day in Sitka. 

cream cheese, smoked sockeye, cucumber and red onion bagel

Rising Tide Bakery: If you're in Sikta in the early morning, make a stop at Rising Tide Bakery for the best bagels in town (and possibly all of Alaska). Set your alarm clock early, as they will often sell out before noon. 

Read moreTop 10 things to do in Sitka, Alaska


Skagway brewing beer

Skagway Brewing Company: The Skagway Brewery is an excellent example of sustainable living in remote Alaska. With their own on-site production of fresh greens, fruits, and herbs, their food is guaranteed to be the freshest in the area.

As a brewery, they also offer a great selection of local and craft beers, as well as a hearty Beer Chili that can warm you on even the coldest of days. 

Skagway downtown

The Station Bar & Grill: Skagway doesn't offer many options as far as food, and downtown restaurants can get busy very quickly when a cruise ship is in port.

To avoid the crowds and escape tourist prices, head over to The Station Bar & Grill. Still, within walking distance of the docks, this grill is removed enough from the main streets not to get overcrowded but offers a great menu of burgers, home-cooking, and beers. 

Read moreTop 10 things to do in Skagway, Alaska

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