When it comes to restaurant options, Juneau’s selection is small but mighty. Unlike larger cities like Fairbanks and Anchorage, Juneau is not accessible by road. As a result, travelers tend to just pass through and use the capital city as a “jumping off” point.
The travelers who do stick around will find that Juneau has several unique and great restaurants – if they’re willing to look. Check out these tasty places in Juneau for a memorable culinary experience in the capital city.
The Rookery Café
This Juneau gem just recently topped The Juneau Empire’s Reader’s Choice Restaurant Poll and for good reason. The Rookery, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offers a wealth of delicious comfort food to satisfy your appetite all day long. Although it may seem like a low-key spot, its food is anything but.
If you’re starting your day at Rookery, you can opt for regular fare like breakfast sandwiches or experiment with potatos bravas (a Spanish tapa) or a rice bowl with kimchi or fried spam. The lunch and dinner menus are similarly avant-garde, including bites like baked macaroni with crushed Cheez-Its and the 2 a.m. Fat Burger (a loaded burger with truffle tater tots).
Tracy’s King Crab Shack
For delectable crustaceans, look no further than this literal shack. Tracy’s King Crab Shack is located conveniently near the port, so you can’t miss it. The menu features all things crab. Crab bisque? Check. Crab cakes? Check. Crab buckets? Of course.
The king crab you’ll find here is fresh – it’s not previously frozen. As a result, it’s tasty but comes at a premium. One king crab leg will set you back $24 while a whole bucket costs upwards of $110. Guests willing to brave these prices will find that the quality makes it all worth it. If you don’t want to break the bank, opt for other menu items like the coconut crab cakes ($10 for six) or the generous spicy shrimp over rice ($14.95).
Welcome to the only Russian restaurant in town. This unassuming eatery specializes in one thing: dumplings. Your options are beef dumplings or potato dumplings – that’s it. Pel’meni is obviously not for everyone, but travelers who dare to venture outside their comfort zone will be glad they did; these dumplings are no joke.
The place is small with only a handful of tables, so takeout is usually the better option. Make sure to bring cash since credit cards are not accepted. Don’t worry about needing too much, though: A tub of dumplings only cost $7. There are also some sauces available if you want to add a little kick to your meal.
Upscale dining options in Juneau are limited, but Salt is among the top choices for a nice night out. Chef de Cuisine Lionel Uddipa adds some creative flair to traditional Alaskan dishes. Hungry guests can start their meal with notable plates like the pumpkin porter braised pork belly or the duck confit lumpia and then move on to heavier fare like the sea scallop carbonara.
Don’t miss out on the craft cocktail menu, which takes classic cocktails and elevates them with a twist – or two. Some popular drinks include the Dirty Mr. Belvedere (Belvedere vodka, Vya dry vermouth, olive brine and bleu-cheese stuffed olives) and the Twitterpated (50 Fathoms gin, Lillet Blanc, Fee Brothers grapefruit bitters and lemon peel). Fun fact: Salt’s owner is also the owner of Tracy’s King Crab Shack.