12 Best Restaurants in Juneau, Alaska

Last Updated on March 4, 2024 by Emily Johnson


Juneau, the capital city of Alaska, is a popular tourist destination known for its natural beauty and abundance of outdoor activities. However, what many visitors don’t realize is that Juneau also has a thriving food scene with many excellent dining options showcasing fresh Alaskan seafood and locally sourced ingredients.

No.RestaurantDescription
1Tracy’s King Crab ShackKnown for fresh king crab dishes, casual vibe near cruise ship docks.
2The Rookery CafeFarm-to-table café, serves breakfast and lunch with local ingredients.
3The Hangar on the WharfOffers great views, specializes in wild Alaskan seafood.
4Salty PantryBrunch spot with locally-sourced ingredients, cozy atmosphere.
5Twisted FishAlaskan culinary traditions with a global flair, historic setting.
6SaltUpscale dining, seasonally-focused tasting menus.
7Amalga DistilleryDistillery with a restaurant serving elevated pub fare.
8V’s Cellar DoorIntimate gourmet wine dinners, seasonal ingredients.
9Zen’s Downtown DinerClassic diner fare, known for huge portions and fast service.
10Sandbar and GrillCasual classics, great seafood with scenic views.
11The Pearl CafeHomestyle comfort food, employs individuals with disabilities.
12Westmark Bar and GrillCasual dining in a pub-style atmosphere, diverse menu.

From upscale restaurants overlooking the water to casual cafes serving comfort food, Juneau has something to satisfy every palate. This article explores 12 of the best restaurants that Juneau has to offer along with what makes each one worth trying during your Alaskan vacation.

Tracy’s King Crab Shack

Name and Location: Tracy’s King Crab Shack is a popular seafood restaurant located on the waterfront in Juneau, Alaska. It is situated near the cruise ship docks, making it a convenient spot for tourists.

History and Significance: Tracy’s King Crab Shack was founded by Tracy LaBarge in 2006. The restaurant has gained a reputation for serving some of the best king crab legs in Alaska, and has been featured in various media outlets, including the Travel Channel and Food Network.

What to Expect: Visitors to Tracy’s King Crab Shack can expect to find a casual, outdoor dining experience with a focus on fresh, high-quality seafood. The menu features a variety of crab dishes, including king crab legs, crab cakes, and crab bisque, as well as other seafood options like Alaskan salmon and halibut.

Visitor Information: Tracy’s King Crab Shack is open seasonally from May through September, with hours varying depending on the cruise ship schedule. The restaurant does not take reservations, and seating is first-come, first-served. Prices are on the higher end due to the quality and freshness of the seafood.

If you’re looking for an authentic Alaskan dining experience featuring the state’s most famous crustacean, then make sure to visit Tracy’s King Crab Shack.

Located near the cruise ship docks, this popular local restaurant serves up hearty portions of succulent king crab freshly caught from the Bering Sea. The signature King Crab Combo features 1 pound of king crab legs paired with corn on the cob and roasted red potatoes.

Make sure to also try one of their crab bisques, chowders or gumbos, all loaded with chunks of sweet crab meat. The restaurant has a laidback, casual vibe with picnic tables covered in butcher paper but don’t let the modest decor fool you – one bite of their famous crab will transport your tastebuds.

The Rookery Cafe

Name and Location: The Rookery Cafe is a cozy, rustic-chic cafe located in the heart of downtown Juneau, Alaska. It is housed in the historic Alaska Steam Laundry building, which dates back to the early 1900s.

History and Significance: The Rookery Cafe opened in 2010 and has since become a beloved local spot known for its fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and creative menu offerings. The cafe’s name pays homage to the building’s history, as it was once home to a steam laundry that served the city’s miners and their families.

What to Expect: The Rookery Cafe offers a warm, inviting atmosphere with a focus on fresh, flavorful food. The menu features a variety of breakfast and lunch items, including house-made pastries, sandwiches, soups, and salads. The cafe also offers a selection of specialty coffee drinks and loose-leaf teas.

Visitor Information: The Rookery Cafe is open daily from 7am to 4pm. The cafe can get busy during peak breakfast and lunch hours, so visitors may want to plan accordingly. Seating is available both inside the cafe and on the outdoor patio during the warmer months.


For a cozy brunch or lunch spot that uses organic, sustainable ingredients, check out The Rookery Cafe. This farm-to-table style cafe serves breakfast and lunch daily using products sourced from local farmers and their own on-site garden. Popular dishes include the Wild Alaskan Smoked Salmon Scramble made with eggs from free-range chickens or the Dungeness Crab Cake Benedict topped with house-made hollandaise.

The Rookery Cafe has an extensive selection of fresh-baked goods like croissants, scones and cinnamon rolls – perfect to pair with an espresso drink or house-made smoothie. The charming European-style cafe with exposed brick walls and intimate seating creates the perfect laid-back atmosphere for a weekend brunch with friends.

The Hangar on the Wharf

Name and Location: The Hangar on the Wharf is a historic restaurant and lounge located on the waterfront in Juneau, Alaska. As the name suggests, the restaurant is housed in a former seaplane hangar that dates back to the 1940s.

History and Significance: The Hangar on the Wharf has been a Juneau landmark since it opened in 1996. The building itself has a rich history, having served as a seaplane hangar, a boat repair shop, and a storage facility before being converted into a restaurant. The restaurant’s decor pays tribute to this history, with aviation-themed memorabilia and historic photos throughout.

What to Expect: The Hangar on the Wharf offers a unique dining experience with stunning views of the Gastineau Channel and the surrounding mountains. The menu features a variety of seafood and American cuisine, including Alaska king crab, halibut, and salmon, as well as burgers, sandwiches, and salads. The restaurant also has a full bar with an extensive selection of Alaska beers on tap.

Visitor Information: The Hangar on the Wharf is open daily for lunch and dinner, with hours varying seasonally. The restaurant can accommodate large groups and has both indoor and outdoor seating available. Reservations are recommended, especially during peak tourist season.

Located on one of Juneau’s historic wharfs with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the waterfront, The Hangar on the Wharf boasts what is arguably the best view of any restaurant in Juneau.

Specializing in wild Alaskan seafood, popular dishes include the Seafood Medley featuring a sampler of fish like salmon and halibut baked in a beurre blanc sauce or the Alaskan King Crab Legs served with drawn butter for dipping.

For a taste of authentic Alaskan cuisine, order the Grilled Caribou Sausage made with free-range caribou meat and try one of their tasty craft cocktails made with locally-distilled spirits. Alongside the breathtaking views of the Gastineau Channel, the intimate candlelit tables of The Hangar on the Wharf make it one of the most romantic restaurants in Juneau.

Salty Pantry

Name and Location: Salty Pantry is a gourmet food store and cafe located in the Mendenhall Valley area of Juneau, Alaska. The store is situated in a small strip mall off Glacier Highway.

History and Significance: Salty Pantry was founded in 2017 by a group of local food enthusiasts who wanted to bring high-quality, specialty food items to Juneau. The store has quickly gained a following among locals and tourists alike for its carefully curated selection of artisanal foods, including cheese, charcuterie, olive oil, and vinegar.

What to Expect: Visitors to Salty Pantry can expect to find a welcoming, community-oriented atmosphere with a focus on quality, sustainable food. The store offers a variety of gourmet food items sourced from small producers around the world, as well as a selection of local Alaska products. The cafe serves light breakfast and lunch fare, including sandwiches, salads, and baked goods.

Visitor Information: Salty Pantry is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and Sunday from 11am to 4pm. The store is closed on Mondays. Visitors can shop in-store or order online for pickup or delivery. The cafe has limited seating available, with additional outdoor seating during the summer months.

With a killer brunch menu served daily, Salty Pantry is a top pick for a weekend breakfast or lunch in downtown Juneau. Using locally-sourced ingredients, the farm-fresh fare includes options like Wild Alaskan Salmon Hash made with roasted potatoes and topped with perfectly poached eggs from free-range chickens.

The Dutch Baby, a puffy baked pancake with seasonal fruit compote and whipped cream, is another standout on their menu. Salty Pantry’s interior features sky blue walls, marble-top bistro tables and sputnik chandeliers while the large picture windows allow plenty of natural light to flood the space.

The laidback atmosphere and flavorful food using the region’s bounty make Salty Pantry a quintessential Juneau dining establishment.

Twisted Fish

Name and Location: Twisted Fish is a seafood restaurant located in downtown Juneau, Alaska. The restaurant is situated in a historic building on Franklin Street, just a short walk from the cruise ship docks.

History and Significance: Twisted Fish has been serving fresh, locally-caught seafood to Juneau residents and visitors since 2003. The restaurant is known for its commitment to sustainability and supporting local fishermen and farmers.

What to Expect: Visitors to Twisted Fish can expect a casual, welcoming atmosphere with a focus on fresh, high-quality seafood. The menu features a variety of Alaska seafood dishes, including king crab legs, halibut, and salmon, as well as salads, sandwiches, and burgers. The restaurant also has a full bar with a selection of Alaska beers and signature cocktails.

Visitor Information: Twisted Fish is open daily for lunch and dinner, with hours varying seasonally. The restaurant can accommodate large groups and has both indoor and outdoor seating available. Reservations are recommended, especially during peak tourist season.

Housed in one of Juneau’s oldest and most iconic buildings dating back to the early 1900s, Twisted Fish combines Alaskan culinary traditions with global flair stemming from the diverse hometowns of its talented chefs.

Popular items include halibut tacos served on house-made tortillas, Alaskan bouillabaisse made with fresh-caught seafood and the Alaskan paella, which features chorizo sausage and salmon.

Their diverse menu has something for everyone – whether you’re craving a wild game dish like their tender bison meatloaf, seafood like the miso glazed salmon bento box or just a hearty sandwich piled high with shaved ribeye. Twisted Fish’s vibrant, multi-colored interior pairs nicely with its vivacious globally-inspired cuisine.

Salt

Name and Location: Salt is a fine-dining restaurant located in the heart of downtown Juneau, Alaska. The restaurant is situated in a modern, upscale space on Seward Street.

History and Significance: Salt opened in 2017 with the goal of bringing a new level of culinary sophistication to Juneau’s dining scene. The restaurant is known for its innovative, globally-inspired cuisine that showcases the best of Alaska’s local ingredients.

What to Expect: Visitors to Salt can expect an upscale dining experience with a focus on creative, beautifully-presented dishes. The menu changes seasonally to highlight the freshest local ingredients, and features a variety of seafood, meat, and vegetarian options. The restaurant also has an extensive wine list and a selection of craft cocktails.

Visitor Information: Salt is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5pm to 9pm. The restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Reservations are highly recommended, as seating is limited. The restaurant has a dress code of smart casual attire.


Set inside the historic Alonzo Pierce Block Building in downtown Juneau, Salt’s upscale yet unpretentious dining room provides the ideal backdrop for Executive Chef Steve Howell’s seasonally-focused tasting menus.

Utilizing only the highest quality ingredients from local purveyors, the daily changing menus may include delicacies like the seafood tower loaded with Alaskan king crab, oysters, spot prawns and flawlessly smoked salmon.

More unique offerings have included caribou tartare, duck liver pâté and quail stuffed with reindeer sausage – not your average wild game dishes showcasing Chef Howell’s finesse and skill.

Each course is expertly paired with wines selected by Salt’s sommelier to complement the flavors. The sleek, modern space with an open kitchen makes Salt downtown Juneau’s go-to spot for a special occasion dinner.

Amalga Distillery

Name and Location: Amalga Distillery is a craft distillery and tasting room located in the Starr Hill neighborhood of Juneau, Alaska. The distillery is housed in a renovated historical building that was once a theater and later a bakery.

History and Significance: Amalga Distillery was founded in 2018 by two Juneau residents with a passion for craft spirits. The distillery is named after the Amalga Harbor, a small bay near Juneau known for its pristine water quality. Amalga Distillery is the first distillery to open in Juneau since Prohibition.

What to Expect: Visitors to Amalga Distillery can expect a unique and educational tasting experience in a welcoming, community-oriented atmosphere. The distillery produces a variety of handcrafted spirits, including gin, vodka, and whiskey, using locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. The tasting room offers samples of the distillery’s products, as well as signature cocktails and light snacks.

Visitor Information: Amalga Distillery is open for tastings and tours Wednesday through Sunday from 12pm to 8pm. Tours of the distillery are available by appointment. The tasting room has limited seating available, with additional outdoor seating during the summer months.

The first distillery to open in Juneau, Amalga Distillery has won numerous awards for its craft vodka, gin and whiskey made from glacial water and malt from Alaskan grains. Besides operating a world-class distillery, Amalga also houses a lively restaurant and tasting room that shouldn’t be missed during your visit.

The menu features elevated pub fare like the Reuben sandwich made with house-cured pastrami, creative pizzas baked in their stone oven and wild Alaska salmon cooked over a Alderwood fire.

Of course, the true star of the show is Amalga’s spirits featuring vodka infusions in flavors like dried elderberry and salted caramel along with their Jupiter gin and single malt whiskey aged in charred oak barrels. Sip an Amalga cocktail and dine on delicious locally sourced fare while taking in views of Mt. Roberts from the back deck – a quintessential Juneau experience.

V’s Cellar Door

Name and Location: V’s Cellar Door is a wine bar and small plates restaurant located in the heart of downtown Juneau, Alaska. The restaurant is situated in a cozy, underground space on Seward Street.

History and Significance: V’s Cellar Door opened in 2014 with the goal of bringing a sophisticated, urban-style wine bar to Juneau. The restaurant is known for its extensive wine list featuring selections from around the world, as well as its creative small plates menu that changes seasonally.

What to Expect: Visitors to V’s Cellar Door can expect a intimate, romantic atmosphere with a focus on fine wine and innovative cuisine. The menu features a variety of shareable small plates, including charcuterie, flatbreads, and seafood dishes. The wine list includes over 100 selections, with many available by the glass or in tasting flights.

Visitor Information: V’s Cellar Door is open Wednesday through Sunday from 4pm to 10pm. The restaurant is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Reservations are recommended, especially on weekends. The restaurant has a dress code of smart casual attire.

Tucked away below V’s Italian and Mexican restaurants in an alley in downtown Juneau, V’s Cellar Door transports diners to a cozy, catacomb-like setting for gourmet wine dinners showcasing seasonal ingredients.

With just one communal table seating 12 people, an intimate dining experience is guaranteed during Chef Victor de la Cruz’s multicourse extravaganzas where no detail is overlooked in both flavour and presentation. Utilizing seafood from nearby fishermen, the game brought in by local hunters and foraged greens from Chef Victor’s garden plot, the menu evolves based on what high-quality ingredients are available that day.

Expert wine pairings featuring Old World varietals accompany each artfully plated course. With its hidden away location and sense of occasion, V’s Cellar Door offers a truly memorable fine dining experience unlike anywhere else in Juneau.

Zen’s Downtown Diner

Name and Location: Zen’s Downtown Diner is a casual, Asian-inspired restaurant located in the heart of downtown Juneau, Alaska. The restaurant is situated on Front Street, just a short walk from the cruise ship docks.

History and Significance: Zen’s Downtown Diner opened in 2019 with the goal of bringing fresh, flavorful Asian cuisine to Juneau’s dining scene. The restaurant is family-owned and operated, and takes pride in using high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible.

What to Expect: Visitors to Zen’s Downtown Diner can expect a casual, welcoming atmosphere with a focus on bold, Asian-inspired flavors. The menu features a variety of noodle dishes, rice bowls, and small plates, with options for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. The restaurant also offers a selection of bubble teas and other specialty beverages.

Visitor Information: Zen’s Downtown Diner is open Monday through Saturday from 11am to 9pm, and Sunday from 12pm to 8pm. The restaurant offers both dine-in and take-out options, with limited seating available. The restaurant does not take reservations.

If you find yourself needing a break from wild Alaska salmon and fresh seafood after a few days and just crave a hearty stack of pancakes or crispy bacon for breakfast, head to Zen’s Downtown Diner, an unfussy greasy spoon known for huge portions and fast service.

Equipped with a soda fountain, Zen cranks out 50’s 50-inspired diner fare like hefty burgers, golden chicken fried steak, hearty sandwiches on thick-cut sourdough along with bottomless cups of coffee – just what you need to fuel up for a long day exploring Alaska’s capital city.

The red and white checkered floors paired with black-and-white photos of historic Downtown Juneau set the mood for delicious no-frills classics done right.

Sandbar and Grill

Name and Location: Sandbar and Grill is a casual beachfront restaurant located on the waterfront in Douglas, Alaska, just across the Gastineau Channel from downtown Juneau.

History and Significance: Sandbar and Grill has been a popular spot for locals and tourists alike since it opened in 2005. The restaurant is known for its stunning views of the channel and the surrounding mountains, as well as its fresh, locally-caught seafood and laid-back atmosphere.

What to Expect: Visitors to Sandbar and Grill can expect a relaxed, beachy vibe with a focus on fresh, simple seafood dishes. The menu features a variety of Alaska seafood options, including crab legs, halibut, and salmon, as well as burgers, sandwiches, and salads. The restaurant also has a full bar with a selection of Alaska beers on tap.

Visitor Information: Sandbar and Grill is open daily for lunch and dinner, with hours varying seasonally. The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating, with the outdoor deck being a popular spot during the summer months. The restaurant does not take reservations, and wait times can be long during peak hours.

Just a short drive north from downtown Juneau in Sandy Beach, Sandbar and Grill sits right on the water overlooking scenic Fritz Cove. Specializing in casual but well-executed classics, the seafood is a standout here – try the halibut fish n’ chips or the cioppino, a tomato-based seafood stew brimming with clams, mussels, salmon and more.

Carnivores will love menu staples like the Slow-Roasted Prime Rib served au jus or the Grilled Pork Chop topped with grilled pineapple. While the food takes centre stage, Sandbar’s panoramic windows ensure the jaw-dropping Alaskan vistas steal part of the show with snow-capped mountains and ocean as far as the eye can see.

With a welcoming, neighbourhood tavern-style vibe and daily specials like $4 margaritas on Tuesdays, it’s easy to while away an afternoon or evening on Sandbar’s scenic deck soaking up the views.

The Pearl Cafe

Name and Location: The Pearl Cafe is a cozy, intimate restaurant located in the heart of downtown Juneau, Alaska. The restaurant is situated in a historic building on Seward Street, just a short walk from the Alaska State Capitol building.

History and Significance: The Pearl Cafe opened in 2005 and has since become a beloved local spot known for its fresh, creative cuisine and warm, inviting atmosphere. The restaurant is owned and operated by a husband and wife team who are passionate about using high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients.

What to Expect: Visitors to The Pearl Cafe can expect a cozy, romantic atmosphere with a focus on fresh, flavorful cuisine. The menu changes seasonally to highlight the best of Alaska’s local ingredients, and features a variety of seafood, meat, and vegetarian options. The restaurant also has a small but well-curated wine list and a selection of craft cocktails.

Visitor Information: The Pearl Cafe is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5pm to 9pm. The restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Reservations are highly recommended, as seating is limited. The restaurant has a dress code of smart casual attire.

Tucked inside a historic Victorian home painted a soft daffodil yellow, the charming Pearl Cafe employs individuals with disabilities while serving homestyle comfort food utilizing seasonal, locally foraged ingredients.

Dishes like wild mushroom and leek quiche, housemade granola with Greek yogurt and fruit or their popular green chili are prepared daily. On Sundays, they offer a weekly Farmers Market Brunch featuring specials like sourdough waffles and breakfast tacos paired with live music.

Beyond providing meaningful employment, the non-profit Pearl Cafe also hosts community education events related to sustainable agriculture and homesteading skills. So enjoy a breakfast scone or lunch panini knowing your patronage directly supports Juneau locals while actively building an inclusive community.

Westmark Bar and Grill

Name and Location: The Westmark Bar and Grill is a casual restaurant located in the Westmark Baranof Hotel in downtown Juneau, Alaska. The hotel is situated on Franklin Street, just a short walk from the cruise ship docks and the historic district.

History and Significance: The Westmark Baranof Hotel has been a landmark in Juneau since it opened in 1939. The hotel has undergone several renovations over the years, but has maintained its historic charm and elegance. The Westmark Bar and Grill has been a popular spot for hotel guests and locals alike for decades.

What to Expect: Visitors to the Westmark Bar and Grill can expect a casual, welcoming atmosphere with a focus on classic American cuisine. The menu features a variety of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and entrees, including Alaska seafood options like halibut and salmon. The restaurant also has a full bar with a selection of signature cocktails and local beers on tap.

Visitor Information: The Westmark Bar and Grill is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast is served from 6:30am to 11am, lunch from 11am to 2pm, and dinner from 5pm to 9pm. The restaurant offers both dine-in and take-out options, and has a private dining room available for groups and special events.

Inside Juneau’s centrally-located Westmark Hotel, the Westmark Bar and Grill offers casual dining in a pub-style atmosphere focused on quality food, craft beer and wine. Open daily, choose from a varied menu of burgers, flatbreads, steaks and seafood while taking in scenic views of the Gastineau Channel visible from the dining room’s floor-to-ceiling windows.

Some standouts include their Wild Alaskan Salmon Salad featuring a colourful mix of greens and berries tossed with maple balsamic vinaigrette or their Juneau favourite – Beer Batter Fish n’ Chips made with fresh Alaskan cod fried up crispy in a local Alaskan Brewing Company amber beer batter.

With nightly live music featuring talented local musicians, Westmark Bar and Grill has earned a reputation over the years as Juneau’s go-to spot for unfussy dining, drinks and entertainment – equally popular with hotel guests and Juneau residents.

Conclusion

This sampling of eateries, ranging from high-end cuisine focused on ultra-fresh Alaskan seafood and foraged ingredients to greasy-spoon diners slinging up hearty comfort fare, represents what makes Juneau’s food scene so special.

The remote capital has to be self-reliant, resulting in strong connections between restaurants seeking to source locally as well as a vibrant community supporting innovative dining concepts.

From brunch at a charming cafe to craft cocktails on a scenic patio or a multicourse wine dinner in a hidden basement, Juneau truly has a diverse array of excellent dining locales ready to wow your tastebuds while you take in the awe-inspiring scenery of America’s last frontier.

So next time you find yourself in Alaska’s capital city, skip the tourist traps and instead check out these 12 best restaurants showcasing the bounty of culinary offerings you can find in this remote but burgeoning food destination. Your stomach will thank you later.

Leave a Comment