Fairbanks, the Yukon, and the Interior Restaurants

Most restaurants fly in fresh salmon and halibut from the coast. Meat-and-potatoes main courses, pastas and pizzas, and pub fare dominate most menus, but an increasing number of both ethnic restaurants and establishments serving healthier fare have opened in and around Fairbanks in recent years. The food isn't the only thing full of local flavor: Alaskan pride runs strong, so expect to see snowshoes, bear hides, the state flag, and historic photos incorporated into restaurant decor. As for attire, even in the most elegant establishments Alaskans sometimes wear sweats or Carhartts.

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  • 1. Silver Gulch Brewing and Bottling Co.

    $$

    Beer lovers should definitely make the 10-mile trip from town to North America's northernmost brewery. Several Silver Gulch brews can be found throughout the state,...

    Beer lovers should definitely make the 10-mile trip from town to North America's northernmost brewery. Several Silver Gulch brews can be found throughout the state, so be sure to check out the rotating specialty brews served only at the restaurant. The brewery is in the Fox Roadhouse Building; head upstairs to see a preserved section of the old roadhouse's exterior. Free brewery tours are available in the summer; call ahead for times.

    2195 Old Steese Hwy., Fairbanks, Alaska, 99712, USA
    907-452–2739

    Known For

    • Reindeer sausage and beer cheese soup
    • Inventive brick-oven pizzas
    • Summertime beer garden

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No lunch weekdays
  • 2. Thai House

    $$ | Downtown

    Fairbanks is famous for its number of Thai restaurants, and many locals consider downtown's Thai House the city's best. The food itself is complex, flavorful,...

    Fairbanks is famous for its number of Thai restaurants, and many locals consider downtown's Thai House the city's best. The food itself is complex, flavorful, and exceedingly fresh. Ginger fans may want to head straight for the Ginger Lover, an aptly named dish with warm, robust aromas. Vegetarians will find deep satisfaction from dishes such as the green curry tofu, with zucchini, peas, and basil leaves in just the right proportions.

    412 5th Ave., Fairbanks, Alaska, 99701, USA
    907-452–6123

    Known For

    • Fairbanks's first and most popular Thai restaurant
    • Staff dressed in elegant silks
    • Variety of vegetarian options

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun.
  • 3. Alaska Coffee Roasting Company

    $ | Coffee

    With its tasty treats and eclectic artwork from around the world, this hangout is so popular that a line often curls out the door. It's...

    With its tasty treats and eclectic artwork from around the world, this hangout is so popular that a line often curls out the door. It's a worthy stop either for a to-go lunch to bring on a hike or a well-made cup of joe and a cookie, a scone, or a muffin to savor inside. The kitchen also serves up breakfast burritos, quiche, and sandwiches, along with pizzas cooked in a wood-burning oven. Desserts include tiramisu and cheesecake. The "roasting" in the shop name isn't just for looks—all the beans brewed here are also roasted here.

    4001 Geist Rd., Fairbanks, Alaska, 99701, USA
    907-457–5282

    Known For

    • Tasty cinnamon rolls and other pastries
    • Wood-fired pizzas
    • Coffee roasted in-house
  • 4. Alaska Salmon Bake

    $$$$

    Salmon cooked over an open fire with a sauce of lemon and brown sugar is a favorite at this indoor-outdoor restaurant in Pioneer Park's Mining...

    Salmon cooked over an open fire with a sauce of lemon and brown sugar is a favorite at this indoor-outdoor restaurant in Pioneer Park's Mining Valley. Guests select their main course—Bering Sea cod, prime rib, and snow crab are other popular options—and pick up sides, salads, and drinks at separate stations in this food-court-in-the-forest setting.

    Airport Way and Peger Rd., Fairbanks, Alaska, 99701, USA
    907-452–7274

    Known For

    • Sunny outdoor seating
    • Wood-grilled salmon
    • Cabin dedicated to just desserts

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed mid-Sept.–mid-May. No lunch
  • 5. Big Delta Brewing Company

    $$

    The Delta area is one of Alaska's few agricultural hubs, and this brewery makes the most of its location. Sandwich meats and salad greens come...

    The Delta area is one of Alaska's few agricultural hubs, and this brewery makes the most of its location. Sandwich meats and salad greens come from area farms, and the thin-crust pizzas are crafted from local barley.

    1205 Richardson Hwy,, Delta Junction, Alaska, 99731, USA
    907-895–2222

    Known For

    • Meat-heavy pizzas
    • Local beers
    • Alaska-grown ingredients from the Delta region

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon.
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  • 6. Buffalo Center Drive-In

    $

    This classic car hop sits right where the Richardson and Alaska Highways converge. It's all-American road-trip food—think burgers, fries, and ice cream—but the sunny patio...

    This classic car hop sits right where the Richardson and Alaska Highways converge. It's all-American road-trip food—think burgers, fries, and ice cream—but the sunny patio next to Sullivan's Roadhouse provides a nice spot to unwind. It's cash-only, but there's an ATM on-site. 

    265 Richardson Hwy., Delta Junction, Alaska, 99731, USA
    907-895–4055

    Known For

    • Tasty buffalo burgers
    • Generous milkshakes
    • Summertime social hub

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed mid-Sept.–mid-May
  • 7. East Ramp Wood-Fired Pizza

    $$

    Located just north of the control tower of Fairbanks International Airport, this place combines Alaska's love of airplanes with the universal love of pizza. Grab...

    Located just north of the control tower of Fairbanks International Airport, this place combines Alaska's love of airplanes with the universal love of pizza. Grab a paper menu from the waiting area, circle your preferred toppings from the extensive list, and a made-to-order pizza will be ready in minutes from the 700-degree wood-fired pizza oven. Window tables at this third-story restaurant overlook both runways and the floatplane base.

    3788 S. University Ave., Fairbanks, Alaska, 99709, USA
    907-451–7492

    Known For

    • Spicy puttanesca sauce
    • Large selection of toppings
    • Retro airplane seats in the lobby
  • 8. Fast Eddy's Restaurant

    $$

    Not the greasy fast-food joint its name might suggest, this relaxing place serves surprisingly interesting cuisine. Portions are sizable—that prime rib dinner will induce a...

    Not the greasy fast-food joint its name might suggest, this relaxing place serves surprisingly interesting cuisine. Portions are sizable—that prime rib dinner will induce a nap—and the variety provides welcome relief from the roadhouse burgers served by most Alaska Highway restaurants (though there are plenty of burgers here, too).

    Alaska Hwy., Tok, Alaska, 99780, USA
    907-883–4411

    Known For

    • Deep-fried mushrooms
    • Blueberry milkshakes
    • Massive menu for a tiny town
  • 9. Geraldo's

    $$$

    No one in Fairbanks puts fresh chopped garlic to better use than Geraldo's, which has gourmet pizza, seafood, pasta, and veal dishes. A painting of...

    No one in Fairbanks puts fresh chopped garlic to better use than Geraldo's, which has gourmet pizza, seafood, pasta, and veal dishes. A painting of Don Corleone hangs on the wall, and Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin provide background music for this cozy and often crowded spot near Wedgewood Resort.

    701 College Rd., Fairbanks, Alaska, 99701, USA
    907-452–2299

    Known For

    • Tasty baked lasagna
    • Famous mozzarella bread
    • Plenty of pizza
  • 10. Ivory Jack's

    $$

    Jack "Ivory" O'Brien used to deal ivory and whalebone out of this open and airy bar-restaurant tucked into the gold-rich hills of the Goldstream Valley...

    Jack "Ivory" O'Brien used to deal ivory and whalebone out of this open and airy bar-restaurant tucked into the gold-rich hills of the Goldstream Valley on the outskirts of Fairbanks. These days, it's an Alaska-style sports bar, where you can choose from a dozen-and-a-half pub grub appetizers, followed by sandwiches, burgers, pizza, or entrées such as chicken Dijon and Alaska king crab. Musher's bibs hang in the rafters alongside the Yankee pennants. 

    2581 Goldstream Rd., Fairbanks, Alaska, 99709, USA
    907-455–6665

    Known For

    • Crab-stuffed mushrooms
    • Weekend ribs specials
    • Gluten-free options
  • 11. Lavelle's Bistro

    $$$$

    With offerings ranging from rack of lamb and lobster cakes to honey apple halibut and New York steaks, this impressive restaurant has won a loyal...

    With offerings ranging from rack of lamb and lobster cakes to honey apple halibut and New York steaks, this impressive restaurant has won a loyal local following. Lavelle's also serves more than 30 wines by the glass and holds regular wine tastings and other events, lending the restaurant an air of sophistication far removed from the frontier image cultivated elsewhere in Fairbanks.

    575 1st Ave., Fairbanks, Alaska, 99701, USA
    907-450–0555

    Known For

    • 3,000-bottle wine cellar
    • Entrée-worthy salads
    • Late-night weekend menu

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No lunch
  • 12. Pike's Landing

    $$

    The seats in the dining room of this extended log-cabin building are perfect for cooler weather, but the huge paddle-up deck dotted with firepits is...

    The seats in the dining room of this extended log-cabin building are perfect for cooler weather, but the huge paddle-up deck dotted with firepits is the real draw here. The menu is mostly salads, sandwiches, and seafood, but the chance to enjoy the views over the Chena River and the landmark "Love Alaska" sign is what keeps diners coming.

    4438 Airport Way, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99709, USA
    907-479–6500

    Known For

    • Bacon burgers
    • Crab-stuffed mushrooms
    • Extensive waterfront deck
  • 13. Pita Place

    $

    Fairbanksans have been going mad for Nadav Weiss's falafel and hand-baked pitas ever since he started serving them at the Tanana Valley Farmers Market, and...

    Fairbanksans have been going mad for Nadav Weiss's falafel and hand-baked pitas ever since he started serving them at the Tanana Valley Farmers Market, and now they're available year round at this stand. In summer, enjoy the comfy outdoor seating, or pair lunch at the stand with a visit to the farmers market just a few blocks away at 2600 College Road.

    3300 College Rd., Fairbanks, Alaska, 99709, USA
    907-687–2456

    Known For

    • Great Middle Eastern classics
    • Turkish coffee
    • Long lines that move quickly

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon. No dinner
  • 14. Pump House Restaurant and Saloon

    $$$

    Alongside the Chena River, this upscale 1930s mining pump station–turned–restaurant claims to be the northernmost oyster bar in the world. Listed on the National Register...

    Alongside the Chena River, this upscale 1930s mining pump station–turned–restaurant claims to be the northernmost oyster bar in the world. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a grizzly bear in a glass case stands sentry here over a room full of Victorian-era antiques, and during the summer, be sure to enjoy the midnight sun on the deck out back by the river.

    796 Chena Pump Rd., Fairbanks, Alaska, 99708, USA
    907-479–8452

    Known For

    • Wild game and seafood chowder
    • Shareable small plates
    • Good gluten-free options

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Sun., Mon., and early Jan. No lunch
  • 15. Rough Woods Inn & Cafe

    $$

    This spot could get away with a so-so menu in a town with few dining alternatives. Instead, the menu includes gems like the family-recipe herb...

    This spot could get away with a so-so menu in a town with few dining alternatives. Instead, the menu includes gems like the family-recipe herb bread, baked each morning and used in the restaurant's popular breakfast sandwiches that are served all day. Other menu items range from deep-fried halibut to steaks. The decor is classic Alaska, all burled wood and carved bears. The brews, including an excellent Hefeweizen and root beer, are only available here.

    2nd and A Sts., Nenana, Alaska, 99760, USA
    907-832–5299

    Known For

    • Small-batch microbrews that can only be found on-site
    • Homemade cinnamon rolls
    • Nenana's only year-round eatery

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Tues.
  • 16. The Cookie Jar

    $$

    It's hard to believe the forever-in-motion staffers at the Cookie Jar can squeeze in the time to provide such friendly service, but they do. Don't...

    It's hard to believe the forever-in-motion staffers at the Cookie Jar can squeeze in the time to provide such friendly service, but they do. Don't miss the French toast made from sliced cinnamon rolls, but if you're not in a breakfast mood, don't worry: the menu includes everything from salads to coq au vin.

    1006 Cadillac Ct., Fairbanks, Alaska, 99701, USA
    907-479–8319

    Known For

    • All-day breakfast options
    • Homemade bread and biscuits
    • Massive waits on weekends
  • 17. The Crepery

    $ | Downtown | Coffee

    This crepes-all-day spot is the place to be on summer mornings, specifically if you can nab a seat on the expansive patio. Located in the...

    This crepes-all-day spot is the place to be on summer mornings, specifically if you can nab a seat on the expansive patio. Located in the center of downtown, the Crepery offers a lengthy menu of sweet and savory crepes stuffed with ingredients from brie and pear to salmon and crab.

    523 2nd Ave., Fairbanks, Alaska, 99701, USA
    907-450–9192

    Known For

    • Downtown's most popular patio
    • Craft coffee and Bloody Marys
    • Vegan options

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.
  • 18. Turtle Club

    $$$$ | Fox

    Don't go to this wood-walled dining room expecting great variety, but you should go if you have a big appetite and are hungry for prime...

    Don't go to this wood-walled dining room expecting great variety, but you should go if you have a big appetite and are hungry for prime rib, lobster, prawns, or king crab. There's also a good salad bar, prompt service, and homemade bread that comes with every order. The "Turtle Cut" serving of prime rib, advertised as a "medium portion," weighs about a pound.

    2098 Old Steese Hwy., Fairbanks, Alaska, 99712, USA
    907-457–3883

    Known For

    • Seafood dinners
    • Dimly lit date nights
    • Packed crowds on weekends

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No lunch, Reservations recommended
  • 19. Two Rivers Lodge

    $$$$

    Fairbanksans are known to make the 40-mile round-trip for the delicious dinners here, including prime rib, steaks, and Alaskan seafood dishes. Don't be discouraged by...

    Fairbanksans are known to make the 40-mile round-trip for the delicious dinners here, including prime rib, steaks, and Alaskan seafood dishes. Don't be discouraged by the lakeside building's outward appearance—rustic logs belie the menu's elegance. For a study in Alaskan-style contrasts, stop in the Trapline Lounge first for predinner refreshment.

    Chena Hot Springs Rd., Fairbanks, Alaska, 99712, USA
    907-488–6815

    Known For

    • <PRO>great prime rib</PRO>
    • <PRO>seafood selections</PRO>
    • <PRO>extensive burger menu in the smoky side bar</PRO>

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. No lunch
  • 20. Gambardella's Pasta Bella

    $$$
    Closed Permanently

    Locals crowd into this family-run Italian restaurant that has earned a reputation as one of the best in town. The menu includes salads, pasta, pizza,...

    Locals crowd into this family-run Italian restaurant that has earned a reputation as one of the best in town. The menu includes salads, pasta, pizza, vegetarian entrées, and submarine sandwiches on homemade bread. It feels as close to a romantic Italian restaurant as you can get in Interior Alaska.

    706 2nd Ave., Fairbanks, Alaska, 99701, USA
    907-457–4992

    Known For

    • Romantic balcony and patio seating
    • Excellent tiramisu
    • Heavenly lasagna

    Restaurant Details

    Rate Includes: No lunch weekends

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