Places to Eat in Skagway While on Your Alaskan Cruise
Alaskan cuisine is as hearty and rustic as the 49th state’s landscape and people. One joke goes that if you don’t have five recipes for moose in your files, you must have just hopped off a cruise ship. But that’s all in good fun, and during your Alaska cruise, you’ll have a chance to sample some of the local cuisine in Skagway, a frontier town that takes its food as seriously as its colorful Gold Rush history. Whether you’re looking for fresh seafood, ethnic cuisine, or just a nice burger, you’ll find it here – the only thing we can’t promise is the moose (which Alaskans like to eat in winter)..
Here are our top five picks for places to eat in Skagway during your Alaska cruise, chosen for both food and atmosphere:
The Skagway Fish Company, at 201 Congress Way, serves up some of the freshest seafood in town – which is what most visitors seek when they come to Alaska. You can get everything here from grilled halibut and salmon to Alaskan King Crab legs, oysters, crab bisque — and yes, a few meat options — all for lower prices than at some competing eateries. You’ll also find nice harbor views – with a chance to sit outside if it’s not raining – as well as good local beer, which you may want to order at the bar if you have to wait (it can get crowded after passengers return from their shore excursions).
The Skagway Brewing Company at 7th Avenue and Broadway, with roots dating back to 1897 and the Alaskan Gold Rush, has all the old-time atmosphere you could ask for – even though the original brewing company shut down in 1904 and the current operation didn’t start up until 2007. You’d never know it from the frontier look of the place and the excellent brew they serve, which helps wash down the pub-style food, such as huge burgers or halibut sandwiches and baskets of home-cut fries, onion rings or tater tots. Come to think of it, though, the 1897 version probably didn’t offer the Korean-style fried chicken, the falafel pita, or the jerk chicken sandwich, all of which you’ll find here now. This is another place that can get packed, but has a lively bar for sipping a beverage while waiting.
Like the Skagway Fish Company, the intimate Harbor House at 205 Congress Way is located alongside the harbor near the cruise ship pier, so naturally you would expect to be served fresh halibut, salmon, scallops, and King Crab here, and you will. But you can also find a good steak, burger or breakfast (at lunchtime) if that’s what you’re craving, along with some nice water views. There are also some tasty Latin dishes like rockfish tacos and ceviche – an example of Skagway’s burgeoning global culinary influences.
You can’t help but notice the Red Onion Saloon when you’re in Skagway. It’s smack in the middle of town at 2nd Avenue and Broadway and catches your eye with colorful Gold Rush-era decor, reflecting the brothel it once was back in 1897. (It’s now listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks.) The owners play up the history for all it’s worth, dressing the (female) servers in brothel-style costume – and yes, they will pose for pictures. There’s a brothel museum upstairs, but save your $10 to go toward a “Madam Jan” pizza with pesto, goat cheese and roasted garlic, “The Pimp” hot reuben sandwich, or maybe some “Streetwalker Salmon Dip.” Yes, it’s more about the fun than the food here, but reading the bordello-themed menu alone will keep you happily entertained.
The Sweet Tooth Café at 315 Broadway, a local favorite, serves breakfast and lunch only; it’s especially noted for its breakfasts, which are big and hearty and ideal to fill you up before your shore excursion or stroll around town. But it is small, and there’s often a line in the morning, so it’s best to get there on the early side. For lunch, you can get items like fish and chips or halibut sandwiches – and of course desserts, though because it gets crowded, this isn’t really the type of café to just stop in for coffee and ice cream.
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Kimberly Wheeler joined the team at CruiseExperts.com in September 2014. Her role as a Social Media Marketer is to pass on the expertise of the agency to help travelers understand the world of cruising through blogging. Kimberly has an extensive background in Public Relations and Marketing and a passion for engaging the public. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication and Journalism with an option in Public Relations from Fresno State University in May 2014.