Looking for some unique flavors? We share the best Alaskan food and flavors, perfect for foodies heading to Alaska.
Alaska might not be known for its cuisine, but there are plenty of amazing flavors and ingredients that make taking an Alaskan cruise a great option for foodies. From fresh produce harvested during the (admittedly short) growing season to world-beating meat and fish, Alaskan food goes heavy on the locally-sourced, nose-to-tail style of food.
Due to the size of the state, there is a pretty diverse range of ingredients and cooking styles. From the remote, frozen Arctic north to the more temperate south, nestling up against Canada and almost part of the Pacific Northwest, Alaska has a lot of different options to offer.
So if you are avoiding the beach next year to explore the most impressive and magnificent wilderness in the US, here are some of the unique flavors that you have to try in The Last Frontier.
Best Alaskan Food
One of the most plentiful fish in Alaska, halibut is an absolutely essential part of the state’s cuisine and a must-try. Generally served grilled, baked, or fried, halibut is an excellent source of protein, and you are unlikely to ever be able to find it fresher! Alaskan halibut tastes even better accompanied by home-grown Alaskan potatoes, chipped, baked, or fried.
Reindeer is traditionally eaten in the north of Alaska, as these hardy creatures can survive in climates that other animals find too extreme. A classic preparation is reindeer sausage, which offers up a rich, hearty flavor and makes it a real local delicacy. A traditional Alaskan breakfast often consists of a reindeer sausage wrapped in a hotdog bun, a twist on the New York staple.
As grazing pastures are few and far between in the harsh landscape of Alaska, meat tends to be of the gamier variety. Elk, caribou, reindeer, and moose all roam the Alaskan mountains and prairies and all have an excellent flavor, similar to venison, that is perfect for burgers, steaks, and stews. For something a little more out there, why not try a bear meat stroganoff? Coming in somewhere between pork and beef it has a rich, gamey taste, and is traditionally eaten by native hunters.
Brewing has always been big business in Alaska, thanks to the incredibly pure spring water that flows off the glaciers of the 49th state. The Last Frontier boasts some of the best and most inventive craft breweries in the country, and no visit to Alaska would be complete without a visit to Anchorage Brewing Co., the Midnight Sun Brewing Co., or the Bleeding Heart Brewery.
Salmon, salmon, salmon
Alaska is world-famous for its salmon and it is one of the most popular things you will find on menus across the country. When grilled or poached it is great, but the pinnacle of salmon preparation is when it is smoked. Served on everything from canapes and bagels to pizzas (!), smoked salmon is one of the best ingredients that Alaska has to offer.
Alaskan seafood is some of the best in the world and their king crabs are truly remarkable. Try king crab legs boiled and served with lemon butter for a mouthwatering and premium quality meal.
A relatively new emergence, the Alaskan oyster industry is small but expanding. For many years Alaskan oysters struggled, as the cold water temperatures prevent maturation and reproduction. But the slightly warmer waters of bays, estuaries, and near-shore farms, combined with the abundance of plankton, make Alaskan oysters quite a delicacy when you can get them!
Fireweed is a plant that grows in copious quantities across Alaska and its colorful pink blooms are a common sight along the road during spring. Alaskan bees are fans of the pollen of this particular flower and the resulting honey is thick, dark, and delicious. Best eaten spread on toast or drizzled over deserts, although some people are so keen on this condiment that they will eat it straight from the jar with a spoon.
Wild Arctic berries are smaller, tarter, and more abundant than their cousins in the lower 48, and have a unique flavor you’ll only find in the Great Land. Whether Arctic bramble raspberries, blackcurrants, or lingonberries, the jams and smoothies made from Arctic berries are an unmissable experience in Alaska.
While the concept of eating frozen whale skin might not appeal to some people, this Arctic Alaskan delicacy is absolutely worth trying and surprisingly delicious! One of the most authentic tastes of northern Alaska, muktuk is the frozen skin and blubber (fat) of the whales of the region, and is designed to be hearty and full of calories to help you survive the sub-zero conditions!
Alaskan paper birch trees are rich in sticky, sweet sap, which locals boil down to make a mouthwatering syrup, not unlike the more conventional maple variety and perfect for pouring over pancakes. Birch syrup retains a light, fresh flavor with just a whisper of pine to it which makes it unique and extremely delicious.
This Eskimo-style ice cream dessert is made with whipping cream and other ingredients such as berries, seal oil, and even fish! It might sound unconventional, even unpalatable, but if you summon up the courage to try this unique Alaskan dessert, you won’t regret it!
While Alaska might not have the same cachet as France, Italy, or even New Orleans when it comes to cuisine, the unique flavors of this amazing wilderness are a treat and well worth discovering.
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy, and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this microphone for all our Youtube voiceovers.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favorite travel insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offer year coverage.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel, I always take these trusty hand sanitizers and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.