Alaska **** (Updated to Jan. 2023)
Anchorage–Anchorage Pel’meni–434 K St. (Russian) Open Daily. Dumplings are the only item served and are said to be good “comfort food.” (Yelp recommendation).
Anchorage–Eastern European Store & Deli–601 W. 36th Ave. (Russian) Closed Sun. Larger selection of Russian dishes on the menu than I think are found at other places. (Recommended by Condé Nast).
Anchorage–Lahn Pad Thai–2101 Abbott Rd. (Thai) Open Daily. Stir fry basil, stir fry ginger, shuchee curry, and panang curry are recommended
Anchorage–Northern China–353 Muldoon Rd. (Chinese) Closed Sun. Seems to be the best Chinese food in Anchorage other than a couple of places that are “temporarily closed” as of 2023.
Anchorage–Queen of Sheba–2813 Dawson St. (Ethiopian) Closed Mon & Tue. Flavor, spice, quality of food, and authenticity are all said to be good. (Recommended by Anchorage Daily News)
Anchorage–Spenard Roadhouse–1049 W. Northern Lights Blvd. (Northwest) Open Daily. Varied menu, but salmon and halibut seem to be especially good. (City-Data recommendation)
Delta Junction–Hard Wok Cafe–1343 Richardson Hwy. (Vietnamese) Closed Sun. Some food looks authentic and some looks Americanized (depending on what you order).
Denali National Park–Chinese Express–238.6 Denali Park Rd. (Thai & Chinese) Open Daily–seems to be open during winter but I’m not sure. Cash only & takeout only but they have indoor picnic tables. Chinese food is Americanized but Thai food is said to be good. (Note: I’m not sure whether any of the non-Asian restaurants have opened after Covid (and in any case seem to only be open in the summer).
Fairbanks–Asiana–2001 Airport Way (Korean) Closed Wed. Urbanspoon reviewers gave it good reviews. Kalbi is popular.
Fairbanks–Lavelle’s Bistro–575 1st Ave. (American) Dinner Only. Said to be good place for salmon and halibut, as well as other items. (TripAdvisor recommendation)
Fairbanks–Lemongrass Thai–388 Old Chena Pump Rd. (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 3:30 to 5 pm). Seems to be authentic and well-cooked Thai food. Has seasonal items (such as pumpkin curry in the fall).
Girdwood–Double Musky–Mile 3 Crow Creek Rd. (Steak House) Dinner Only (closed Mon & Tue). Has Cajun style cooking if you want it. Steaks, crabs, etc. are said to be excellent, but prices seem to be high even for Alaska. This is one of the state’s destination restaurants.
Homer–Pho and Thai–345 Sterling Hwy. (Thai & Vietnamese) Closed Mon. Recent reviews say this is the best food in town (the other restaurants on my list from Urbanspoon are now closed).
Hope–Seaview Cafe–18416 B St. (Seafood) Open summer only. Casual seafood (fish & chips, halibut sandwich, etc.) and elk burger are popular.
Juneau–Asiana Gardens–9116 Mendenhall Mall Rd. (Japanese) Open Daily. Sushi and Bento box are popular.
Juneau–Chan’s Thai–11820 Glacier Hwy. (Thai) Closed Sat lunch; closed Sun & Mon. Curry and soup have good reviews (not so much for the noodle dishes).
Juneau–Sandbar–2525 Industrial Blvd. (Bar) Open Daily. Maybe the best place in town for halibut fish & chips and clam chowder.
Juneau Suwanna Thai–8800 Glacier Hwy. (Thai) Lunch only (open Mon-Fri). Yellow curry and coconut soup are popular.
Juneau–Tracy’s King Crab Shack–432 S. Franklin St. (Seafood) Open summer only. (Recommended by Condé Nast for the king crab bucket).
King Cove–King Cove Chinese–38 Windy Walk Way (Chinese) Closed Sun (and closed from 2 to 4 pm). Szechuan halibut and hot & sour soup are said to be very good.
Kodiak–Noodles–1247 Mill Bay Rd. (Thai) Open Daily. Seems to be solid regardless of what you order.
Kotzebue–Empress–301 Shore Ave. (Chinese & Thai) Closed Sun. Best reviews are for the Thai curry.
McCarthy–The Potato–Main St. (Gastropub) Open summer only. Caters to packpackers visiting the neighboring national park. Signature dish is the breakfast burrito (with chorizo, curly fries, and salsa). Other popular items include miso salad, salmon aioli, bangers and mash, and spudnick supreme. Has a rotating menu–its sister restaurant in Valdez has the full menu. (Featured on CBS Saturday Morning)
North Pole–Little Richard’s Family Diner–2698 Hurst Rd. (American) Closed Tue & Wed. Omelette, reindeer sausage, buffalo burger, chicken fried steak are popular.
North Pole–Thai Cuisine–537 St. Nicholas Dr. (Thai) Closed Jan. 2023 because of a fire but says it will reopen soon. Looks authentic, including Thai iced tea.
Palmer–Turkey Red–550 S. Alaska St. (American & Greek) Closed Sun & Mon. Much of the food is organic. Soups and Mediterranean food are popular.
Seward–Exit Glacier Salmon Bake–31832 Herman Leirer Rd. (Seafood) Open summer only. Popular, but halibut and crab cakes get better reviews than the salmon.
Seward–Woody’s Thai–800 4th Ave. (Thai) Fall & winter hours Open Tue-Fri (dinner only). Curry and holy basil are the most popular dishes. Some say the basil dishes are too sweet, but both of these are spicy.
Sitka–Little Tokyo–327 Seward St. (Japanese) Open Daily. Sushi and Bento boxes are popular.
Sitka–Ludvig’s Bistro–256 Katlian St. (Seafood) Winter hours Wed-Sat (dinner only). Chowder cart operated Wed-Sat (lunch only). Italian style seafood (upscale). Chowder Cart is at 834 Lincoln St.
Skagway–Bombay Curry–302 5th Ave. (Indian) Open Daily. Most people say the food is average at best, but service is good and they are glad to get Indian food in Alaska.
Skagway Fish Company–201 Congress Way (Seafood) Open summer only. Halibut fish & chips, halibut sandwich, clam chowder.
Soldotna–Pad Thai–44539 Sterling Hwy. (Thai) Closed Sat & Sun. Reviewers say it is spicy as Thai food should be.
Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow)–Osaka–980 Stevenson St. (Japanese) Open Daily. Recommended on Urbanspoon and is still a favorite on Google Maps. Said to be “average price for Barrow.”
Valdez–The Potato–255 N. Harbor Dr. (American) Open summer only. Has casual but elevated food. (See info on its sister restaurant in McCarthy, but this one has a larger menu)
Wasilla–Mekong Thai–473 W. Parks Hwy. (Thai) Closed Sun (and closed from 3:30 to 5 pm). Red curry and basil dishes are said to be good. From the photos, pad thai looks good (has the color that it should for the authentic style).
- This is an Abbreviated List with information from a limited number of sources (primarily Urbanspoon)
- Unless otherwise noted these are all recommendations from Urbanspoon (2013-2014) and verified open in 2023.
Note About “50 States, 50 Dishes” (Condé Nast)
Condé Nast published an article on Jul. 3, 2018 using various sources to compile a “list of the dishes that capture the hearts, souls, and (oh, yes) stomachs of these 50 states (plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico), and where you should order them.” For Alaska it was king crab, a dish for which the state is famous. The magazine suggests trying it at Tracy’s King Crab Shack in Juneau, a restaurant that operates during the summer months (although the ship it to customers throughout the year).
Note About “50 States, 50 Cuisines” (Condé Nast)
Condé Nast published an article on Sep. 14, 2020 explaining how they set out to go beyond a previous article that had identified the signature dish for each state, and to find food that goes beyond the classics and “to highlight a cuisine worth traveling to each state for, much of which you truly can’t get anywhere else.” For Alaska it was Russian Cuisine, which was brought to the state largely by refugees from the Bolshevik revolution of 1917.
They point to a food truck in Anchorage which I think is no longer operating and the Eastern European Store and Deli at 601 W. 36th Ave. which serves lunches of sandwiches, soups, dumplings, and more. Since publication of the article, though, the Anchorage Pel’meni Restaurant has opened, serving only Russian dumplings but customers say it is good. The Writer’s Block Bookstore and Cafe also has dumplings.
Urbanspoon.com (former web site which I used for preliminary research)