With some 34,000 miles of coastline and 3,000 rivers, seafood is abundant in Alaska. The state’s pristine waters allow all types of fish and crustaceans to flourish, from Alaskan salmon and halibut to rainbow trout and Alaskan king crab. For seafood lovers, there’s arguably no better place to visit during a cruise holiday.
Susan Shain, a travel blogger and adventurer, spent four summers in Ketchikan, a popular cruise stopover. “One of my favourite parts of living in Alaska was the seafood,” said Susan. “From Dungeness crab to wild sockeye, it’s so fresh and flavourful. Definitely one of the best places in the world for seafood lovers! My favourite seafood restaurants in Ketchikan are: Annabelle’s, The Fish House, New York Café and Cape Fox.”
We’ve narrowed down the extensive list of seafood restaurants in Alaska to bring you our favourites. You can experience any (or all!) of these during your cruise.
Image: Hello Snacky
In the historic town of Ketchikan, locals and tourists alike head to Annabelle’s for the best seafood. Situated in the historic Gilmore Hotel, the menu features halibut, salmon and king crab, as well as an indulgent selection of desserts. If you’re visiting for lunch during your cruise holiday, you’ll struggle to pick just one thing from the menu at Annabelle’s. Steamed clams sautéed in herb, garlic and white wine sauce, a wild Alaskan salmon burger, blackened halibut wrap, and even crab macaroni and cheese are all on offer. Perhaps the restaurant’s most famous dish, however, is the chowder. Opt for smoked salmon chowder in a moreish cream and thyme sauce, either in a cup or a sourdough bread bowl.
Twisted Fish Company, Juneau
In Alaska’s capital city, Twisted Fish Company has been a firm favourite among locals for more than 17 years. Its eclectic menu includes lots of seafood dishes, which can be paired with exceptional wines and beers. “If you’re looking for some casual fine dining, you’re in the right place,” said the team. “We serve Alaska seafood over 40 different ways! That’s king crab, snow crab, halibut, salmon, prawns and cod.”
If you’re looking for something to munch on while you wait, try the salmon croquettes with red pepper aioli or king crab flatbread served with artichoke and parmesan spread, baked cheeses and Kalamata olives. Main dishes include cedar plank salmon, Gulf of Alaska halibut fillet with berry chutney and Alaska codfish with curly fries, for something more casual.
Tracy’s King Crab Shack, Juneau
Image: Tracy's King Crab Shack
Tracy’s King Crab Shack is an Alaskan institution. Set on the waterfront in Juneau, the restaurant is run by Tracy, a seafood fanatic who was originally inspired when she went crabbing for the first time. Diners can order colossal portions of Alaskan King crab, with hot melted butter and garlic rolls. For something a little different, try Tracy’s famous King crab bisque, or the mouth-watering crab cakes. You won’t be disappointed!
Hangar on the Wharf, Juneau
Hangar on the Wharf will be one of the first restaurants you see when you disembark your ship. Overlooking the Gulf of Alaska, with towering mountains in the distance, the restaurant has the largest food and beer selection in Juneau, with more than 80 craft beers available from breweries such as Alaskan Brewing Co, Denali Brewing Company and Fremont Brewing.
“The Hangar On The Wharf is a Juneau institution!” said the team. “Float planes still take off and land in front of the restaurant all summer long. The Hangar's waterfront view has a panoramic view of the Gastineau Channel and Douglas Island Mountains. You won't find a better view in all of Alaska!
“We have 24 beers on tap and 80+ more in the fridge. We have the largest menu in town, and you can choose from the entire Alaska seafood spectrum! Locals love our famous chowder and fish & chips, steaks, burgers, award-winning soups & salads, pasta, and lunchtime sandwiches and specials.”
If you’re stopping by for lunch, the crab knuckle sandwich will not disappoint. Alternatively, there’s linguini and clams served in a white wine and garlic sauce, fettuccini Alfredo with shrimp, Alaskan cod and chips and wild king salmon served with dill sauce and a brown rice salad. You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to seafood at Hangar on the Wharf.
The Cookery, Seward
Image: The Cookery
Dine with a difference at The Cookery in Seward. This neighbourhood restaurant and oyster bar showcases the fisherman, rancher, farmer, brewmaster and winemaker, serving only the freshest ingredients. Chef Kevin Lane heads up the kitchen, creating perfectly seasoned dishes that are guaranteed to please. The Cookery’s eclectic menu lets the seafood do the talking, with contemporary accompaniments such as fresh halibut with a chicharron crust, avocado puree, and Alaskan and wheatberry and vegetable salad, fresh salmon with a roasted yam and bok choy salad and Alaskan shrimp and grits, served with buttermilk grits, greens and smoked tomato coulis.
For creative Alaskan cuisine, look no further than SALT in the state capital of Juneau. Serving fresh Alaskan seafood through a menu of eclectic dishes, SALT is for the discerning eater. The menu changes regularly to reflect what’s in season, but you can expect the likes of hearty halibut chowder with bonito flakes, rosemary, thyme and pickled garlic, king crab bisque and Alaskan spot prawns with dandelion, seaweed and nasturtiums. As well as their modern menu (including tempting meat dishes) SALT offers the most extensive wine menu in Juneau, so you’ll have the perfect tipple to accompany your dish.
Alaska Fish House, Ketchikan
Image: Baranof Fishing
For travellers seeking a more hands-on dining experience, head to The Fish House in Ketchikan. Paired with Baranof Fishing Excursions, guests can head out on the water with experienced fisherman and learn how to catch, cook and eat their fresh catch. This rewarding experience will give visitors the true essence of what seafood means to Alaskans.
If the thought of fishing for your dinner fills you with dread, fear not. The Fish House restaurant has a spectacular view over the water, and offers a beautiful menu of fresh, local seafood, caught by locals. Try the halibut and salmon burgers, fish tacos, smoked salmon chowder, Dungeness and King crab and much more.
Feeling inspired to visit Alaska? Keep an eye on our latest cruise deals to find your dream holiday to The Last Frontier. We’d love to hear your seafood recommendations when you return!
Image credit: Bernard Spragg NZ, Ruth L