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deirdre

Alaska Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations

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You won't have to worry about 'high end' in any of those places. And they're really small, so it's unlikely you'll get a lot of response, although we did have a member that is from Sitka and one that lives in Petersburg who might show up.

I've been to all those places more than once and will say that nothing in particular sticks out as far as the food goes. The beauty is overwhelming, though, and that's what haunts the heart.

For lunches and dinner, stick to fish -- most locals seem to prefer fresh halibut over salmon. And so do I.

For breakfast, get the blueberry sourdough pancakes, which are everywhere.

In Juneau, be sure to have a drink or two or four at the bar in the Alaska Hotel.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Thanks for the response-looking forward to some great Halibut 'burgers' and fish n chips. Will do the four at the Alaska Hotel bar.


What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

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Oh, and don't know how you're going, but if you're on a cruise ship, one of those stops might offer a 'Salmon Bake' as a shore excursion. Go. The sides are pretty grim, but the salmon and halibut will be wonderful. It's a misnomer, because the salmon isn't 'baked' in our sense of the term. It's actually BBQ'd over alderwood, or some other sort of wood fire. And the halibut is deep-fried....little white puffy pillows of delectability. You sit outside and drink your beer and eat fish to your heart's content. Yes, the salmon bakes are touristy, but I lived in Alaska for three years and I loved them and so did our whole family. The fish is excellent.

Some of those bakes also offer beef ribs. I never thought they were any good at all, and skipped them entirely, although others seemed to enjoy them. Dessert was usually some sort of white cake....completely forgettable...but instead of icing, it was was drenched in a wild blueberry sauce. Which was incredible, and which I've tried to replicate with only limited success.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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we


What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

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We are not on a cruise- but doing the Alaskan Marine Highway and renting cars etc. I know some of these places are ports of call for the cruises and we will keep an eye out for these picnics. We can't wait to get our fill of fresh salmon, halibut and rock fish. We noticed on our other trips to Alaska the locals tend to eat meat at restaurants while the tourists were eating fish. The only time we saw locals eat salmon was a big salmon bbq in Cordova for the 4th of July. Not a big fan of reindeer sausages but only tried them in Anchorage. I am sure not all sausages are alike...will be looking for the blueberry sauce...


What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

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We are not on a cruise- but doing the Alaskan Marine Highway and renting cars etc.  I know some of these places are ports of call for the cruises and we will keep an eye out for these picnics.  We can't wait to get our fill  of fresh salmon, halibut and rock fish.  We noticed on our other trips to Alaska the locals tend to eat meat at restaurants while the tourists were eating fish.

Having lived in Alaska, as I said, I can assure you that the 'locals,' like locals everywhere, get sick of eating one thing. Every single party we went to, on either the appetizer or buffet table would be at least one whole fish, and usually two. There'd be one whole salmon and one halibut. They would have been either steamed or smoked, and served with forks to pick off bits of the flaky flesh, and crackers and two or three kinds of sauce, perhaps tartar, cocktail, tarragon, etc., and lemon wedges.

Also, everybody in Alaska has freezers full of fish that they are trying to pawn off on their friends, relatives and neighbors: "Jim and the boys just got back from dip-netting the Chitna and they got so much salmon I don't have room for it. Won't you take some? And maybe some moose meat, too?"

I remember saying to my husband that one good thing about moving back to the Lower 48 would be a break from fish, fish, fish. As I said to him, "Sometimes I feel like somebody's enormous, pampered housecat."

So of course the locals eat meat when they go out. You do get a craving for a big, juicy steak. And those beef ribs I mentioned at the salmon bakes are popular with the locals. But the beef and pork and chicken, etc., in Alaska restaurants are pretty average (it was my opinion anyway) when compared to good restaurants elsewhere on the planet. There are problems with supplies and shipping and other things. So while the locals may be eating meat, I'd suggest you stick with the fish.

If you are taking the "big blue canoes" up to Haines, they've got a quite nice salmon bake there, and a terrific exhibition of native dancing in a clan house: The Chilkat Dancers Storytelling Theater . There's also a good museum and lots of other things to do. Old Fort Seward (the picturesque row of white buildings you see in all the brochures) features a wonderful hotel, Hotel Halsingland, in what was once the single officers' quarters, and there is a bed and breakfast in the former commander's quarters, Fort Seward B&B. You sit on the front lawn, overlooking the deep, glacier-fed water, with the spectacular mountains looming high beyond.

Go to Haines. Skip Skagway, but go to Haines. If you've been to Cordova, maybe you've been to Haines. Have you?

I love Haines. Maybe I'll move there.

Haines, Alaska


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Would love to go to Haines but do not have the time. Hope to find some of those folks with plenty of fish to dump...hehehe


What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

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hm, well people don't really come to se to eat. you won't be poisoned or starve but......

juneau - di sopra, the second floor of the fiddlehead which is also good. don't eat anything called mexican. grandma's featherbed has been good but i haven't been in a couple of years. the hanger on the wharf has good food and a view but it can get loud.

sitka - the channel club for steaks and salads. my favorite was a place i can't think of the name of that's on the second floor in the russian american building.

petersburg - lived here for 23 years and, well, um, alaskafe has been good, not always open in the evening. el ricon located in kito's cave (a bar) is really good mexican but as they become more popular they seem like they are starting to shortcut. papa bears, just across from the ferry terminal has good burgers and can make a good pizza. northern lights? only if someone else is paying. coastal cold storage has good biscuits and gravey, halibut bits and burgers.

ketchikan - anabelle's has good raw oyesters, diaz cafe just for the inside pait job, local hang out. pioneer cafe, just got a makeover but a good 24 hour diner with lots of locals, i always go for breakfast at 5am as everyone is waking up. steamer's, not worth the price. cape fox lodge, great view and good food.

have a good trip, bring a raincoat.


joe

petersburg, alaska

sure it rains alot, what's your point?

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Alaska is awesome-wonderful sights and friendly people. Food is a bit pricey and portions are small but the fresh fish is terrific. Ate at the Twisted Fish and Hanger in Juneau -the salmon tacos were full of coleslaw and scraps of salmon. Grear Bloody Mary's at the Alaska Bar. In Sitka ate at Kenny's Wok-a newer chinese/japanese restaurant full of locals and decent food. Bayview was a big disappointment. Petersberg,'s Cold Storage's beer battered halibut bits and fresh King Crab yummy but pricey. Off to Anabelles. Thanks for your posts.


What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

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Back from our Sitka trip. Had a great time and enjoyed the Alaska Ferry "big blue canoe" ride both ways. Amazing the difference in the food between the two ferries. Columbia definitely the better with its dining room service. Outstanding halibut and shrimp dishes.

Saw a lot of sites and had some good food. In Sitka, the place for great food is Ludwig's Bistro. Ate there two nights. They open at 2 pm serving tapas, which are actually huge plates of food. Dinner service starts at 5 pm. Tapa menu is still available. The calamari was outstanding and we shared that tapa both nights. Great paella and several other dishes-all fish. Wine list is quite large by the glass and the wait staff extremely helpful and relaxed.

Also ate at Channel Club for the steak. Glad we got there early to avoid the smoke. Sitka is about to vote on an all inclusive no smoking for public places.

Had borsht at Bayview but was generally disappointed in general. It was their first day on the winter schedule. Service was terrible and we were overcharged.

Ate another night at Van Winkles. Very average.

For anyone going highly recommend Ludwig's. Thanks to all for their input. Kay

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I'll be in Anchorage this June with my family and will be celebrating my birthday while there. Any ideas for a restaurant for dinner? I'd be especially interested in fresh seafood. We'll be staying downtown.

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How long will you be there?


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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My experience is out of date, but a couple thoughts...

Dinner at Seven Glaciers on top of the mountain at the Alyeska resort was amazing for the views and acceptable for the food.

My best restaurants experience was at the Marx Brothers Cafe.


Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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I'll be in Anchorage this June with my family and will be celebrating my birthday while there.  Any ideas for a restaurant for dinner?  I'd be especially interested in fresh seafood.  We'll be staying downtown.

For a special occasion restaurant in Anchorage, I really like the Marx Bros Cafe. Another choice is Simon & Seafort's, but it's a little more of a corporate restaurant. For a more casual dinner, I recommend Glacier Brewhouse for the best deal on King Crablegs in town, and great pizzas and drinks to boot!

Have a great time, and Happy Birthday! :raz:


Carolyn

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

J.R.R. Tolkien

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Thanks everybody. Jaymes -- I'll only be there one night.

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In June you'll be able to get good, fresh king salmon just about anywhere.

South of downtown, Jens Restaurant serves up some tasty fare with a Danish accent. Though located in a small strip mall, it's a relaxing room with good service. The menu, though not large, has something for everyone. The Danish dishes are more prominent at lunch.


Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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Does anybody know if/when king crab legs could be found fresh in Anchorage, or would they be found only frozen like in the lower 48?

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Thanks everybody.  Jaymes -- I'll only be there one night.

You can find fresh king crab, but only during crabbing season, which has been greatly cut back (sometimes to only a few days) and at any rate, is in the fall/winter, not when you're going to be there.

Only one night....sounds like a cruise.

I'd go along with Marx Bros Cafe for dinner, but you might want to go up to the top of Captain Cook Hotel for drinks beforehand. Or after. It will still be light after dinner, and the view from the top of the hotel is spectacular. Particularly in the lingering lavender twilight haze of an Alaskan summer night. Also, since I'm a kind of history junkie, I like imagining the old days when the Captain Cook was the grandest hotel in Alaska. Although I do not recommend the food in any of its restaurants.

Since I suspect you'll be there on the land tour portion of a cruise, you'll probably be taking the train north to Denali. So I'd VERY strongly suggest you stop by the New Sagaya Market and pick up some things for lunch on the train. The food on the train is very expensive and not much good. Although sometimes the Reindeer Chili isn't bad, but pretty bland since they're catering to tourists from all over.

But the New Sagaya Market is great fun anyway. They have a lot of ready-to-eat items and some tables and chairs (like many of the grocery stores in the lower 48) so the place is always full of locals grabbing a quick meal. You'll see everybody from lawyers and business persons in suits, to folks obviously just coming in from the bush on their monthly supply run. It's a wonderful spot for people-watching and definitely off of the beaten tourist track. It's downtown, just a few blocks from the hotels, and an easy and interesting and scenic walk and the food is pretty darn tasty. Even if you don't need any snacks to go, I'd suggest you consider it for lunch.

Simon & Seafort is very good, as others have said, and it does have a nice view if you can get a table by the window, but the atmosphere there is more like chain restaurants in the lower 48. If you were going to be there several days, I'd recommend it for a meal but just one day, I'd say skip it.

You said you'd be in Anchorage one night in June. If it just happens to be June 21st, that's the longest day, and it's always celebrated with a midnight baseball game. The game will start at 10:30 and be played without lights. You might not want to stay for the whole thing, but would be fun to go there for an hour or two after dinner, just to say you've been. Anyone in town can tell you where it is.

Other info: If you are on a cruise, or if you're going to Fairbanks, definitely do one of the salmon bakes. The salmon is good, the halibut is fabulous. The sides are spectacularly uneventful, but you didn't go to Alaska to eat baked beans, did you?

In Anchorage, be sure you go to the Alaska Native Heritage Center. If you are on a cruise, a visit there will either be included, or an option. Or you can just get in a cab and go there, but whatever, don't miss it. All of the tribes are represented, and they have build samples of their villages, with small huts, and each small "village" is staffed by a member of that particular tribe. They give you a little presentation about their lives and how the dwellings are built, and why. It's terrific, and any questions you've ever had about the Inupiat, Inuit, Athabascan, Eskimo, etc., you can ask these bright young people.

If you have an extra hour, go to the Alaska Museum of History and Art in downtown Anchorage. Although it's all interesting, you don't have much time, so go straight to the Alaska Gallery. It's really wonderful, and includes life-size diaramas depicting how folks lived in the Great Land for centuries. One particularly interesting note is that the faces on all of the people in the diaramas are taken from real people. The last time I was there, there was a young Tlingit woman pointing at the figure of an old man sewing up sealskin. She said, "See, that's my granddad."

If you are an art collector and would like to buy something by distinctly Alaskan artists, look for works by Byron Birdsall and Rie Munoz. You will see their artwork everywhere, from originals costing many thousands of dollars, to more affordable prints, lithographs, notecards. Birdsall is particularly noted for his depiction of the sublime light and shadow of Alaska; Munoz for her capture of the spirit of its people.

But if you're in the mood for gag gifts for tacky friends, well, the Alaskan crafts folk are particularly inventive when it comes to the droppings of their favorite large animal -- the moose. They varnish the all-vegetarian moose turds and turn them into decoration for all manner of things. You'll find moose turd necklaces and matching earrings, moose turd swizzle sticks, and even ceramic mugs that have two moose turds permanently imbedded in the bottom. Of course, the legend on the side of these mugs says "Two Turds Full."

If you'll tell me a little bit more about your visit -- where you're going, etc. -- I've got more.

Oh, and PS. Everywhere you will see small items made of moose hide for sale -- beaded hair clips, coin purses, moccasins, key chains, eyeglass holders, etc. They have been smoked. When I think of the things I miss most about Alaska, the sights, the tastes, the smells, I think of the smoky aroma...natives smoking fish, meat, animal hide. So pick up one of those small, beaded moose-hide souvenirs and hold it to your nose and breath in deeply for me.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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This isn't actually in Anchorage, and it isn't Alaskan but it is great food: Double Musky Inn

At the recommendation of a eGulleter I had the salmon sandwich at the Glacier Brewhouse which I think was the best salmon sandwich I've ever had. That was lunch, not dinner though.

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Jaymes, you guessed it right. We're arriving in Anchorage around noon on a Friday, staying one night at the hotel Captain Cook, and then renting a car and driving to Whittier the next day to get on the ship. On the ship, we'll be stopping at Skagway, Ketchikan, and Juneau. I did a similar cruise a few years ago (for business) and loved it, so this time the whole family is going.

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Jaymes, you guessed it right.  We're arriving in Anchorage around noon on a Friday, staying one night at the hotel Captain Cook, and then renting a car and driving to Whittier the next day to get on the ship.  On the ship, we'll be stopping at Skagway, Ketchikan, and Juneau.  I did a similar cruise a few years ago (for business) and loved it, so this time the whole family is going.

Well then, you'll be driving along Turnagain Arm, discovered by Captain Cook in 1778, when he sailed into what he thought was some sort of passageway (but instead was just an inlet, so he had to Turnagain....get it? :biggrin: ), which will take you right by Alyeska. So here's a DO NOT MISS for you. Be sure to leave time, at least an extra hour or so, to go up the tramway to the top of Mt. Alyeska. There is a restaurant up there, Seven Glaciers, but in my personal opinion, the food is just average, and very highly-priced, fairly common among restaurants of that type where the food is basically just an afterthought, and not the main lure.

I'd suggest you stop by the New Sagaya Market, and get stuff to picnic with. Take the tram up and eat your good and affordable New Sagaya lunch up there.

Turnagain Arm is very interesting. I'll tell you a little about it, since you're going to be driving along it. It has VERY high tides, and the water rushes through there fast enough that one could surf the wave, if one was really stupid. Every year, people get stuck in the mud there and occasionally some have died: Murderous Mud Flats.

There is the Portage Glacier Visitor's Center, which is worthwhile, and I recommend it to people that are visiting Alaska on only a land tour. But you're going on a cruise and every Alaskan cruise company knows that you've come all that way in large measure to see some glaciers, so they'll be absolutely certain that you do. Skip Portage. For one thing, it's not a tide-water glacier, and it's nowhere nearly so large as the ones you'll cruise to.

Skagway is my least-favorite of the southeast towns. Your cruise line will offer several shore excursions at Skagway, just like at Ketchikan and Juneau.

At any of the towns, the wildlife viewing ones are wonderful. (Actually, they call them "Wildlife Searches" so that you won't get all huffy if you don't find anything to actually 'view.') Out of Skagway, many of the wildlife tours go to Haines, which is a great little town, to see the eagles. If you don't take a shore excursion that goes there, watch for Haines as you sail southerly out of Skagway. It will be on your starboard. It's got a collection of white buildings. That's an old army fort -- Ft. Seward. The fort has long since been decommissioned, and most of those buildings are the old officer's quarters, now privately owned. Several of them are B&B's.

But back to shore excursions at Skagway. I think the most interesting tour there is the all-day train tour. It follows the route that the original gold prospectors took up to the Yukon. I love that old photo that shows them struggling up the pass -- a long black line of equal parts misery and determination winding through a blur of frozen white.

The most popular shore excursion tour in all of southeast is the flightseeing one where you go into Misty Fiords, from Ketchikan. It is expensive and you do have to tell how much you weigh, but it is so wonderful that I've known people that took it in the morning, and then tried to get on it again in the afternoon.

Of course, it was booked.

Like all the most popular ones. So here's another tip. Be absolutely positive to get the list of shore excursions as soon as you can, and prebook the ones you want. Because THEY FILL UP.

Don't know what cruise line you're on, and one or two won't allow you to prebook (in which case, get to the shore excursion office as soon as it opens), but most of the cruise lines DO let you prebook and if you don't, you definitely won't be able to get on something you'd like to do. If you prebook, you can always cancel as long as you do it right away and they can fill your space. If you don't prebook, and the tour is full, they'll waitlist you, but chances are slim you'll make it.

And my other favorite thing on Alaskan cruises is to watch for the lighthouses. You'll undoubtedly pass some of them in the middle of the night, but you'll be able to see them in the twilight haze. Get a map that shows your cruise route, with the lighthouses marked, or ask someone when you're scheduled to pass them. Even if it's not a good time, get your camera handy and watch for those lighthouses. They're magical.

Whew.

That's all for now.

:rolleyes:


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Well then, you'll be driving along Turnagain Arm, discovered by Captain Cook in 1778, when he sailed into what he thought was some sort of passageway (but instead was just an inlet, so he had to Turnagain....get it?  :biggrin:  ), which will take you right by Alyeska.

The version of the story I heard is that the because the arm is so shallow, with so many shoals, when Cook sailed up it, the lookout on the bow of his ship kept telling them to turn, to avoid another sand bank. Thus 'Turnagain Arm'.

As I mentioned before, I concur with the Alyeska rec, great location and bringing your own picnic is a great idea.


Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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As I mentioned before, I concur with the Alyeska rec, great location...

Ah yes...I see now that you did....well, I knew I heard it somewhere.... :biggrin:


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I highly recommend that Double Musky in Girdwood -- more Creole than Cajun. IMHO, they are the best restaurant in the state.

An old Anchorage restaurant that I frequent when I drive down is Club Paris. It's one of the few buildings that survived the 1964 earthquake and is a local standby. You will need reservations, so plan ahead.

I cannot recommend the Alyeska Resort for food -- highly overrated though they seem to try very hard. The view is nice though.

While in town, be sure to try Alaskan halibut. It's a staple in most local restaurants. It's a much under-celebrated fish that I prefer over even Copper River salmon.

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My husband and I are driving from Anchorage to Fairbanks a little over a week from now. Can anyone recommend places to stop for lunch along the way?

Emily

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