Known as the Salmon Capital of the world, Ketchikan doesn’t disappoint when it comes to seafood. But there’s more to this city than meets the eye. Despite its size, there are a number of great restaurants worth checking out during your time here.
The selection may not be as varied as other Alaska ports, but the restaurants more than make up for it in terms of quality. The next time you’re in Ketchikan looking for some great food, try one of these places to satisfy your appetite.
Cape Fox Lodge
For a meal with a view, you won’t find anything better than Cape Fox Lodge. The Heen Kahidi Lounge at the lodge provides gorgeous landscape views that are the perfect backdrop for a fine dining experience. Full disclosure: This place is easily the most expensive restaurant on this list — appetizers start at $11 and entrees cost as much as $39 – but the premium is well worth it.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the lounge offers extensive menus that should please just about every palette. For breakfast, the Tongass Scramble (deer sausage, cheese and mushroom) gets a lot of praise. Lunch and dinner offerings are more traditional; start your meal with the brie appetizer, try some of the seafood or steak, and make sure to finish your meal with one of their famous shakes (like the Pecan Cluster).
Annabelle’s Famous Keg and Chowder House
Housed in the historic Gilmore Hotel, this popular eatery is known for its home-style cooking and its delicious chowders. The hotel itself dates back to the 1920s, and there’s a lot of history behind these walls. Look around, and you’ll find old artwork and other charming artifacts to remind patrons of earlier times. When you walk in, there are two dining areas to choose from: the main room and the bar.
Because this place is near the waterfront, it can get crowded very fast. Your best bet if you’re in a time crunch is to saddle up at the bar and order some grub. While here, get the chowder sampler; it’s a great deal that nets you not only clam chowder but also salmon chowder and seafood chowder. Another popular item that customers rave about is the halibut. Order it as a sandwich or as a platter – you can’t go wrong.
Sometimes, all you want is a really good burger. When that craving strikes in Ketchikan, it’s time to head over to Burger Queen. Although its name may look similar to that of a famous fast food chain, don’t be fooled – this place is way better despite looking like a dump. You’ll find an array of creative burgers alongside equally tasty sandwiches here; come hungry because these thick burgers will fill you up.
Again, halibut is a popular item for patrons who frequent the unassuming burger shack; the sandwich is one of the best sellers. Other notable menu offerings include the Seattle Burger and their onion rings. Be warned: Wait times at this location can sometimes exceed 45 minutes, so expect to stick around for a while.
One of Ketchikan’s best-kept secrets — until we wrote about it — is this little eatery in Downtown. Specialty sandwiches, paninis and wraps are the staples of the menu here, so it’s the perfect spot to grab a quick bite or have a leisurely lunch. Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends, Polar Treats provides a wealth of dining options that won’t break your budget; practically all of the main menu items are $8.95 (or cheaper).
Although Polar Treats has traditional items like a tuna melt and salmon wrap, you should try some of their more adventurous fare. A local favorite is the Two-Timing Turkey specialty sandwich, which consists of turkey breast, Swiss cheese, cream cheese, cranberries and lettuce on sourdough. Another standout is the Thai Chicken Wrap, comprised of a tomato tortilla, Thai peanut sauce, jasmine rice, chicken, red onion and cabbage. Just make sure to save room for one of their famous stuffed pretzels.