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elfin

Dutch Harbor Alaska

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We will be spending a couple days here and would like a rec as to places to eat. I know it is a small place and the choices may be slim. We will be there in late July/early August-anything in season?

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Having lived in Alaska for several years, and being pretty intimately familiar with the quality of the food, my heartfelt suggestion to you is to not hold out hope that there are going to be any "undiscovered gems." Everybody in town will know exactly how many restaurants there are in Dutch/Unalaska and what's on the menu and how good it is, and so will you after two days.

If food is important to you, be sure you've got a place with a kitchen, and take with you whatever spices, herbs, seasonings, sauces, etc., you like that are even slightly more exotic than garlic salt and oregano, and take advantage of the fresh seafood available (especially the halibut), and the wild berries that should be ripening about that time.

Keep in mind that anything approaching "variety" has to be flown or shipped in. Food, for the most part anyway, will be basic and expensive. And although Dutch has gotten some considerable publicity over the last few years due to the filming of "Deadliest Catch," it still isn't really on the tourist trail due to its extreme isolation, so don't expect much.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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Thanks so much-I kinda have had the same experience throughout Alaska-the exceptions seem to be good coffee even in remote spots and halibut burgers.

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Another exception, as far as I'm concerned, are the "Salmon Bakes" held at various touristy areas throughout the state. Yes, they are really kitschy and touristy, and the sides are pretty awful, but the barbecued salmon and (especially) the deep-fried halibut can be absolutely dreamy.

I kinda hate to recommend them because every time I do, somebody comes back and talks about what a tourist trap it is and how horrible the cole slaw and baked beans etc. are, but that's not why you go. You go for all-you-can-eat salmon and fluffy white pillows of deep-fried halibut.

When we lived in Fairbanks, we took our family of five to the Salmon Bake at least once a week (they're only open during the summer tourist season). I tell you, two teen-aged boys can really get their (okay, my) money's worth of all-you-can-eat salmon and halibut.

It's generally accepted that the best food in Alaska, by far, is at the Gustavus Inn at Glacier Bay, and although I've been to Glacier Bay several times, have not been lucky enough to stay at the Gustavus Inn.

Something I plan to remedy as soon as I win the lottery.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

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We caught the 4th of July BBQ in Cordova a few years back. Tons of salmon on the grill and the locals made homemade desserts and sides. It ws truly the freshest fish we had the whole trip. Although the salmon were running it was hard to find salmon in the restaurants. The folks would say that they catch their own and thus going to a restaurant is a splurge and they were not going to spend money on fish. I am craving a halibut burger now!

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I fished out of Dutch for a time and have had many fun times while in town.

I'd agree that the best you'll get is probably what you cook yourself. Unalaska/Dutch is a company town for the fishing industry. The best you can expect is low scale diner food. Fish and chips, burgers etc. Everything is expensive. A can of Bud costs the same as a full tumbler of call brand 80 proof.

Cash is king, just don't wave it around.

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Although the salmon were running it was hard to find salmon in the restaurants.  The folks would say that they catch their own and thus going to a restaurant is a splurge and they were not going to spend money on fish.   

And it isn't just that you "catch your own." Your neighbors also catch their own. And shoot their own. And fill up their freezers with salmon and halibut and moose, but then feel compelled to go catch and shoot more of their own, and then want to give you more and more and more because their freezers are full of their own and their relatives' own and their neighbor's own.

I tell you what. When the locals go out for dinner, fish is the last thing they want to order.

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My husband wants to take us to the Sunday buffet at the Grand Aleutian. It supposedly has some great seafood. It sounds a tad pricey and we are going to hit the breakast buffet rather than the lunch as we have to get back on the Tusty. (I don't think it is a brunch buffet). Any experience here?

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The GA is pretty much the best thing in town, but its been a few years since I ate in DUT. My TH says Amelias is good for Mexican and milkshakes, but remember this is Alaska, so you can still smoke in bars. She is there every year and also gave her thumbs up for The Grand Aleutian.

I would also stock up at the grocery store. I believe it will be within walking distance, if not there are cabs a plenty near the bars.

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