Thanks all – particularly Rachel.
I did check out Yukono – needs a few more entries to get a range of opinions though. And I did bring back some Birch Syrup (but only 100ml as I travel with carry-on only).
Whitehorse was ‘just OK’ – not a lot to shout about – mostly steak houses (did I really expect anything else?). Yukon Brewing Company was ‘worth a try’ – especially as wine selection (mostly B.C.) was uninspiring.
Best meal there was at Antoinettes – bizarrely a Tobago restaurant, but everything perfectly cooked and friendly service. I was prepared for hotter spices – and she brought out, as a side, some peppers that were certainly hot. We tried both pork and lamb dishes and both were tasty with interesting sides – albeit not particularly Northern – actually nothing Northern at all!
Although Klondike Rib & Salmon BBQ received most recommendations we weren’t able to fully experience it. We did go for lunch and it was ‘OK’ – the Halibut seemed dried out at the edges and was chewy – and the flavour was just OK but didn’t seem totally fresh (but certainly not past its best-before date). I suspect maybe frozen. Loved the Bread Pudding which was more ‘cake’ than ‘pudding’ – but most North Americans would find that unusual. The more interesting dishes were at dinner only, but the only possible time for us there was after driving back from Dawson, so we didn’t know our arrival time, and the line-up was huge, so we passed.
We actually twice (once dinner, once lunch) checked out Bistro on Fourth (aka The Deck; aka Yukon Mining Co) – and both times left without eating. Nothing appealed on the menu. Finally had dinner at The Edge in Edgecroft hotel. Not worth a repeat trip – chef has an extremely heavy hand on all portions of the meal, with no real regard for what ingedients go together.
Also tried several other places – included for completeness! Yukon Meat and Sausage (sanwiches/lunch) was disappointing – the caribou meatloaf was generously filled with bread – but no identifiable caribou taste. The sourdough bread also seemed a little stale.
We found the crepe food truck – but passed in favour of the Flying Pisces Truck that offered some interesting fish coatings. Tried the Indian curry and the Cajun breading – both with halibut. Again the fish was less-than-flavourful, but the Cajun was pleasing (curry wasn’t that good). And the fries were a disgrace to the name. Soggy, greasy and waxy!
Dawson was MUCH better – I was very impressed overall. Superb breakfasts in the Dawson City B&B and pretty good dining all around. La Table on 5th was the more upscale. Everything competent (if unexciting) and certainly approaches finer dining.
But our meal at Klondike Kate’s was the star of the trip. Regular menu was OK, but the Daily Specials (Food Day Canada) were spectacular, featuring locally gathered/harvested foods.
Candied Arctic Char; Fireweed petals, sourdough croutons, honey berries, pecans, aged cheddar, warm maple and shallot dressing
Umami Soup – Morel mushroom, candied fennel, cashews, birch syrup crème fraiche, EVOO
Etoufee – grass fed beef short ribs, house smoked pork sausage, multi mushrooms (Agaricus, leccinum etc.) holy trinity w/ dirty rice and house made sourdough bread
And the salmon from the regular menu – didn’t have the exotic ingredients but was perfectly cooked.
The specials, however, really were special. Great flavours textures – one of my better meals this year. Only wrong note was the 6-hour later strong MSG reaction – at least I have always assumed MSG – EXCEPT the Umami Soup may be responsible – MSG is renowned for its ‘umami’ properties, so I’m not sure whether it’s “Umami” that I respond too – or whether the chef added MSG to the soup to emphasize the Umami notes. Personally I’d have preferred a little more salt in that soup also, but that’s my preference , not necessarily a criticism.
And one place we didn’t get into (reservations required) where ON PAPER, they had a great menu was the Raven in Haines Junction. Again, we didn’t know our arrival time and so didn’t reserve ahead – they could have accommodated us in an hour, but we decided to head back to Whitehorse and eat there. With hindsight we’d have taken the hour – but I mention this so that others can potentially check it out as there’s not a lot of info out there.
Several people commented on the coffee – usually favourably, but we found that most roasts used central America beans (a couple of South American too). I prefer Indonesian (more acidity) and African (Ethiopian – more aroma), both characteristics which are missing in Central/South American beans – so I skipped the coffee (for the most part).
And the espresso martini was fun – but I didn’t order a second!
the one place i think you really missed in whitehorse is the deli- they have a great cheese selection and many many many different cured meats. great sandwich counter, and different hot lunches during the week. pyrogies are amazing. their breakfast sausage is also to die for. i never miss it when i head up north.
did you make it to skagway? there are a few little treasures down that way. starfire, the chillkoot room at the westmark, brew co, red onion pizza, if you can find a day when there aren't four cruise ships in port:)
I made it to Yukon Meat & Sausages - OK but nothing memorable (see my report above) - did I miss a 'better' deli? (several cafes/bakeries were closed at the times I tried).
Made no effort to get to Skagway. Allergic to cruises! Actually a close relative was a chef on an Alaska cruise line. Didn't recommend anything in Skagway - despite visiting numerous times.
Hi Folks, Rachel here, longtime resident of Dawson City, Yukon. Though the Yukon is no culinary oasis as far as restaurants go, compared to other destinations, it is certainly not a black hole. As well, the restaurant fare is probably more multicultural than you might expect.
Whitehorse has a couple of great Japanese restaurants, and an excellent Mexican restaurant called Sanchez. There is even a crepe vendor! Be sure to check Yukon Meat and Sausage for locally made buffalo and reindeer sausage and Alpine Bakery for yummy homemade breads. Yukon Brewing Company supplies the territory with award winning beers.
I highly recommend this review site written for Yukoners by Yukoners http://yukono.com/Listings.aspx?category=Restaurants . It is pretty new but the reviews are coming in at a steady pace.
For food in Dawson I would check out La Table on Fifth (they have an awesome beef carpaccio) or Klondike Kate's who use a lot of locally harvested foods like spruce tips and morel mushrooms. For authentic Greek food check out The Drunken Goat. Be sure to have an espresso martini at Bombay Peggy's (the old whorehouse) or a giant pint of "gold".
Looking for something to take home? Try Berwyn's Birch Syrup (great on salmon) or Klondike River Distillery Vodka.
For the more intrepid traveller...try the world famous SourToe Cocktail http://www.sourtoecocktailclub.com/ .
Last, be sure to visit the local First Nations cultural Centers...they often have tea and bannok, my favorite northern treat...
Oh one more thing, wild berries abound! Cranberries, raspberries, blueberries and more. Ask a local for advice to be safe before you try any berry. Have a great visit!
Wild meats are illegal to sell so anything you eat here is likely farmed.
Yup. Bean North. Think it burned down a while ago though, but there's a funky little coffee shop called Baked Cafe at the foot of Main Street that still sells it. Rachel's bang on re: Sanchez Cantina and Alpine Bakery. Sakura Sushi's not bad.
Main Street Cafe
317 MacKenzie, Revelstoke, BC V0E2S1, CA
6390 No 1 Rd, Richmond, BC V7C1T3, CA
Having been there several years ago, I'd recommend packing a lunch. Food was mediocre, touristy and expensive. There were some fun and friendly coffee places though, if a bit overly moose-themed.
I'd heard there were supposed to be street vendors selling reindeer sausage, which would certainly be worth a try at the expense of being forever on Santa's "lump of coal" list.