Heading to Alaska in early June for an Inside Passage cruisetour with Celebrity. Would appreciate any tips on restaurants/brewpubs
in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Denali area, Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway.
Any info on shore excursions (either absolute must-dos or avoid-at-all-costs tourist scams) also welcome.
On a 14 day Princess cruisetour, and here's my take on what we experienced:
We went to the Glacier Brewhouse in Anchorage which was awesome. I had an in-house brewed cream soda which was awesome, a Po'boy sandwich which was perfectly flavored and cooked, with the bread lightly crisped on the outside and soft inside. My husband had the blackened halibut, which was the most perfectly cooked halibut he's ever had in his life, and we are foodies from Los Angeles!
The below mentioned Yukon rail trip lunch at Lake Bennett was high quality, although part of why it's so highly rated is because we're all quite hungry by the time we get to Lake Bennett. The apple pie was good but not the best I've had, and I craved more beef in the main dish, the beef stew, which was a bit too salty.
Just got back from visiting Haines, Alaska. We were filming a TV show about the commercial side of fishing. Crabbing, shrimping, hallabut, and salmon. The high light of the trip was the Haines Packing Company..... The smoked salmon and hallabut were to die for. They also smoke the salmon bellies, and make salmon jerkey and hallabut jerkey. Then there are the salmon eggs.... Talk about Good Eats.
The Smoke Salmon Bellies were by far the best. They have tours.
hey, this is probably really late. but for my two cents as someone who lived in ketchikan a couple years ago. i really suck at names but theres not that many restaurants in town so it wont be hard to suss it out. but by far the best hashbrowns i have ever had in my life is at this dinner down on the end of water street. it looks really divey but is really great alaska character. pretty much everything you could wish for in a dinner. also, the locals get their coffee in the mornings in the little random coffeeshop tucked away in the corner of that big tourist mall - right by the lunber jack fair.
new york cafe is also another safe option for some decent food. its just behind water street uh, over near the pedestrian bridge.
but just as a general heads up ketchikan is really bleak. honestly there are much "cuter" towns in the SE such as sitka. i would just immediately go off hiking for the day after being let off rather than "exploring" the town.
If you are into beer the breweries in Juneau, Haines, and Homer are not to be missed. In Juneau there's no pub but it's worth a visit for the bar in the gift shop with the free samples. The tips go to charity and it's on the way to the glacier. Haven't been to the other two but a big fan of their beer and I hear the Homer brewpub is fantastic.
Reporting from Fairbanks:
We've been living here for about 2 weeks thus far and have had plenty of good dining experiences:
-- Zack's -- this is an awesome restaurant, in an obscure place...it's in the hotel we're staying in, Sophie's Station on University (just beyond Fred Myers). Not real on the beaten path, but definitely worth the trip. A bit pricey, but amazing food. The sauteed halibut is great! They have a great wine list and haven't tried the dessert yet, but the list looks great! Very creative.
-- Lavelle's Bistro, as mentioned above, is good, too. The wine is great and the atmosphere is fun, but i agree, stay away from eating all apps...look great, but very little food for the price, and sound better than they are. We will be going back to try entrees. The "lavelle's salad" is great!
--- PumpHouse Restaurant -- kind of over-rated in my opinion. The food wasn't great, except the seafood chowder was out of this world! And the atmosphere is kind of fun, and likely in the summer will be really pretty on the river.
--LuLu's -- very cute bagel and bakery place at Chena Pump Rd. and Parks Hwy. Great bagels! and the cinnamon rolls are very good too.
-- Alaska Coffee Roasters -- on Geist Rd behind pizza hut...Great local hangout! Very good coffee and their cookies, little pizza's, salads, etc. are amazing! We're going back for the desserts, which look great! Their "breakfast pockets" were not that special.
Another note, the Princess Hotel, where we were first staying, had a nice bar with a fireplace (of course, in the summer, you can sit on the deck over the river) w/ good beer, but don't bother w/ the desserts there...
you mentioned brewpub, its not "alaskan" but its good and an Alaskan favorite, try Mooses Tooth or Bear tooth. Also agree with the Double Musky suggestion. Seven Glaciers is all about the view - if you go request a window table , a good bet is to do the tram ride and apps(sometimes they're too full though and its a long ride). Early June is red salmon season so look for Copper river reds on the menu. If they say its fresh red salmon it will be good. Back to the brewpub type you might like Humpy's ( good beers and apps)
I'm going to second the Mooses Tooth pizza. And we always request their whole wheat crust, which is better than white in my opinion. We always have excellent pizza here. I love their Margherita pizza (we always sub marinara), the Chicken Rockefeller is also amazing, I just love the cream cheese and roasted garlic. Also, the Brewhouse favorite is great with Chorizo sausage (we also have always done marinara on this one).
They brew delicious beers here. The Hard Apple Ale is my favorite beer of all time!! The drink I crave whenever I'm pregnant. My hubby prefers their dark porters though.
Must chime in on the "interior" Alaska places but being a Juneauite, lets start there.....
While in Juneau, take a trip up the Mt Roberts Tram for a spectacular view and a walk on a mountaintop. Food is so-so - I'd wait til you get down to sea level. The Twisted Fish is close to the tramway and has good pub style seafood. Take a walk along the dock to downtown being sure to see the Red Dog Saloon with its sawdust floor, get some fudge at the Fudge Company, try our local coffee at Heritage Coffee Shop, join the locals for a beer at the Triangle Club (yep – its shaped like a triangle). The Hangar on the Wharf has good seafood also pub style. Don’t miss a drive to the glacier – with some time to wander around out there….its up close and personal. But if you have time, may I recommend a flightseeing trip over our icefield or up to Taku Lodge for bbq salmon and halibut combined with the flightseeing. And finally, if you want to rub elbows with the best folks in town, come to the island….Douglas Island. There is a café with great sandwiches and burger, a pub with brick oven pizza etc, and a great local bar built in 1937 – the Douglas Inn. More later……
In Anchorage you can’t go wrong with Simon & Seafort’s. They’re seafood is always very fresh and prepared well. My wife is addicted to their crab stuffed halibut.
But for an even better dinner I’d suggest The Double Muskey. http://www.doublemuskyinn.com/framed.... It’s about a half hour outside of town and they don’t take reservations so try to get their early.
There’s only one place in Fairbanks that I really get excited about eating at, Wolf Run. It’s a little fancy dessert and coffee place. I’ve never had anything bad there.
Yup, Double Musky has been a favorite for more than 20 years. The pepper crusted steak is always good as well as the blackened red salmon. Double Musky Pie is a nice dessert. Simon and Seafort's is a solid choice in Anchorage as is Orso and the more casual Glacier Brewhouse. The cafe at the Museum of History and Art also gets high marks, it's run by the folks at the Marx Bros. Cafe, an Anchorage institution.
Fairbanks has long been pretty dismal for dining. Pump House is a upscale tourist trap with indifferent preparation. I'll put Wolf Run on my lost to try if I get there again.
Skagway has a wonderful train trip to Lake Bennett in the Yukon. The train goes parallel to the Gold Rush trail. On Saturdays, they have a special Steam Engine Train. All trains have a great box lunch and the views are spectacular! The trip is 6-7 hours round-trip. Take your camera and drinking water.
Here are my favorites in Anchorage and Fairbanks. Wish I was going with you.
CROW'S NEST - HOTEL CAPTAIN COOK
939 W Fifth Ave.
Anchorage, AK 99501-2032
Phone 1: (907) 276-6000
Fax: (907) 343-2211
Indulge in Anchorage's finest restaurant. Award-winning dining, offering panoramic views atop the Hotel Captain Cook. Innovative cuisine, extensive wine offerings and specialty cocktails.
SIMON & SEAFORT'S SALOON & GRILL (the view especially at Sunset)
420 L St., Ste. 202
Anchorage, AK 99501-1937
Phone 1: (907) 274-3502
Fax: (907) 274-2487
World-class view and the finest Alaska seafood.
Mile 103 Seward Hwy.
Indian , AK 99540
Phone 1: (907) 653-7500
Fine dining with a spectacular view. Dinner only. Rustic atmosphere highlighted by a spectacular view of the mountains and Cook Inlet. A 35-minute drive from downtown Anchorage on scenic highway.
For lunch: in Anchorage:
Elevation 92, 3rd Avenue and L Street, 279-1578. Enjoy fine seafood dining with Cook Inlet views 92 feet above sea level.
F Street Station, 325 F Street, Anchorage, 272-5196. Upscale pub grub.
Welcome to Pike's Landing
5:00 to 9:00
7 Days a Week
Each of our entrees are created individually and to your taste.
Our dinner service is intended to be leisurely.
Relax and enjoy our Alaskan hospitality.
The Pump House (my vote 5 times)
Fine Dining in an Historic Atmosphere Overlooking the Chena River
DINNER: 5:00-10:00 PM
OYSTER BAR: 4:OOPM - MIDNITE
SUNDAY BRUNCH: 10:00AM -2:00PM.
Open 7 days a Week
Starting memorial day weekend
LUNCH: 11:30AM - 2:00 PM
DINNER MENU: 5:00PM-10:00 PM
SALOON MENU: 2:OOPM - 11:00PM
SUNDAY BRUNCH: 10:00AM -2:00PM.
PUMP HOUSE Restaurant and Saloon
A Historical Monument.......
The Pump House as you see it today was reconstructed in the spring of 1978. Our purpose was to attempt to recreate and 1890's "Gold Rush" motif and atmosphere which was associated with the "Rip Roaring" but still Victorian era in Fairbanks. Everywhere you look you will see relics from the rich and illustrious past.
Turn of the Century Atmosphere......
All the furnishings are authentic and very old. Most are genuine antiques and a few are over 150 years old. One of the pool tables is an original Brunswick "Union League" built in 1898 and shipped to Dawson City "The Klondike" in 1900. The table worked its way down the Yukon River following the "Rush", stopping at Eagle, Circle and finally resting in Rampart in Ira Wisner·s Trading Post. The solid mahogany bar was built in Kansas City, then shipped and reassembled on-site by Mr. Lee Dunn.
First Quality Cusine........
Our food service is "Alaskan Style", which means the combination of the freshest products possible with our unique culinary heritage. In season you will find the herbs we use are all grown in our chefs garden right outside the restaurant. Fresh Alaskan Salmon is delivered to our dock by floatplane. Our prime beef is aged 21 days to insure maximum flavor. The Senators Saloon features "The World's Most Northern Oyster Bar" where the succulent oysters are flown in fresh from Seattle on AlaskaAirlines. The wine list features the best wines of the Pacific Northwest.
The atmosphere is easy and relaxed. Come as you are and sit on the deck overlooking the historic Chena River and watch the Riverboat Discovery pass and the float planes land.