Alaska

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Dining out in Alaska is largely an informal affair, and even the most upscale restaurants (generally found in the larger cities) don’t expect patrons to dress up. Servings are usually hearty, and feature plenty of seafood, especially salmon, halibut, and Alaska king crab; salmon bakes are common in tourist areas. Steak and game meat (think reindeer sausage) also feature quite heavily, as do sourdough breads (popularized during the Gold Rush) and wild berries in desserts. Be sure to wash it all down with an Alaskan Brewing Company beer. Reservations are recommended at higher-end eateries; note that several restaurants close out of season.

Top Restaurants in Alaska

Chez Alaska

This Juneau cooking school offers a unique twist on lunch – you’ll learn how to prepare gourmet dishes based on locally sourced ingredients (like salmon, crab, sea cucumber, and berries) before chowing down on your creations.

2092 Jordan Ave., AK, 907- 790-2439, www.chezalaska.com
Tags: moderate | editor pick | cooking class | educational

Gambardella's Pasta Bella

Downtown Fairbanks’ homey Italian eatery is a local favorite thanks to its rustic feel and hearty dishes, including homemade sausages and “the mother of all lasagnas.”

706 2nd Ave., AK, 907-457-4992, www.gambardellas.com
Tags: moderate | italian | pasta

Glacier Brew House

This spacious downtown Anchorage restaurant/brewery is regularly abuzz with beer-loving patrons who come for the home-brewed hops (dozens on offer) but stay for the lodge-like, wood-beamed décor and consistently good food, ranging from wood-fired pizzas to savory seafood.

737 W. 5th Ave., AK, 907-274-2739, www.glacierbrewhouse.com
Tags: moderate | seafood | pizza | brewery

Gold Room

The intimate Art Deco dining room at the Baranof Hotel is the finest eatery in Juneau, specializing in seafood dishes and contemporary Pacific Northwest cuisine. The setting is marked by rich wood furnishings and brass, with hobnobbing Alaskan bigwigs taking the best tables during the political season.

127 N. Franklin St., AK, 800-544-0970, www.westmarkhotels.com/juneau-food.php
Tags: expensive | historic

Orso

For savory Tuscan-meets-Alaskan cuisine, this downtown Anchorage restaurant doles out bold flavors and innovate dishes like mushroom ravioli served with Alaskan sockeye salmon. Always packed, from the lively downstairs bar to the ornate dining room, reservations are advised.

737 W. 5th Ave., AK, 907-222-3232, www.orsoalaska.com
Tags: moderate | seafood | italian

Pump House Restaurant & Saloon

This historic Fairbanks restaurant boasts a bustling riverside deck for outdoor dining, and a menu touting oysters (flown in from Seattle), Alaskan seafood, hearty meat dishes, and an impressive list of wines and micro-brews. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it’s situated within a converted early-1900s mining pump station that oozes gold rush atmosphere, with authentic antiques, a solid mahogany bar, and a pool table dating from 1898.

796 Chena Pump Rd., AK, 907-479-8452, www.pumphouse.com
Tags: moderate | seafood | historic | beer

Ray's Waterfront

On Seward’s harbor, this bustling restaurant is unbeatable for seafood fresh off the boat – the savory seafood chowder and fish and chips, done with halibut, cod, or red snapper, is simply not to be missed.

Small boat harbor, 1316 4th Ave., AK, 907-224-5606
Tags: moderate | seafood | great value

Resurrection Roadhouse

Seward Windsong Lodge’s relaxed eatery doles out craft-brewed beers and Alaskan specialties like venison and deep-fried halibut. With the great mountain views, you’ll want to linger over dessert and coffee.

Mile 0.5, Exit Glacier Rd., AK, 907-224-7116, www.sewardwindsong.com
Tags: moderate | american

Seven Glaciers

The Alyeska Resort tram (just off the Seward Highway) will take you up 2,300 feet to the top of Mount Alyeska, where the Seven Glaciers restaurant serves up king crab and smoked salmon bisque to accompany stunning views. Expect superlative white-glove service at this mountaintop gourmet hideaway, considered by many to be Alaska’s finest eatery.

1000 Arlberg Rd., AK, 907-754-2237, www.alyeskaresort.com
Tags: expensive | editor pick | smart splurge | views

Silverbow Bakery

Grab breakfast or light lunch fare at the state’s oldest operating bakery. The funky and artsy downtown Juneau eatery still uses its original 100-year-old sourdough starter.

120 Second St., AK, 800-586-4146, www.silverbowinn.com
Tags: budget

Snow City Café

For the best breakfast in Anchorage, search out this funky café, which draws upon a hip, young crowd who chow down on raved-about sourdough pancakes, egg dishes galore, and the eatery’s signature granola.

1034 W. 4th Ave., AK, 907-272-2489, www.snowcitycafe.com
Tags: moderate | breakfast | brunch

The Hangar

For causal American fare – think burgers and seafood dishes – down by the waterfront, this popular local Juneau eatery offers relaxed atmosphere in a converted floatplane hangar, a delectable selection of Alaskan micro-brews, and occasional live music.

2 Marine Way, AK, 907-586-5018, www.hangaronthewharf.com
Tags: moderate | american | great value

The Overlook Bar and Grill

Denali National Park visitors can chow down after a hearty day of play at this lively bar and grill that offers an extensive variety of craft beers, great views over Nenana Canyon, and popular fare like pasta, fish, steak, and burgers.

5 George Parks Hwy., AK, 907-683-2641, www.denalicrowsnest.com
Tags: moderate

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