Once you know where you are going, where you are staying, and how you are going to get there, it’s time to start planning where to eat in Alaska! The food we eat and the restaurants we visit while traveling, are a big part of our vacations. Our family is always talking about certain meals long after we have returned home and are eating my cooking again.
I’ve mentioned before that planning a family vacation to Alaska can be fairly difficult. You want to see everything, but the state is HUGE! It takes a while to travel in between the cities, and you only have so much time and money to spend on your vacation. One thing that you don’t want to do is have a bad meal. With a little research and advance planning, you can find some fun and delicious places for your family to eat at.
We traveled throughout the Kenai Peninsula, and I’m going to highlight where we ate in Homer, Seward, Cooper’s Landing, and Soldotna. This should give you a good idea about your family’s options for dining and will reassure you that your family will get some pretty tasty meals while in Alaska.
This post is part four in our series on family travel to Alaska. Be sure to read the other posts to help you plan the best family vacation ever!
- Tips for Planning Your Family Vacation to Alaska
- First Experiences From Our Family Vacation to Alaska
- Fun Things to do With Kids in Alaska
- Where to Eat in Alaska – Kenai Peninsula
Where to Eat in Homer, Alaska
If you are looking for good local food, than Homer is the place to eat! There are a lot of restaurants to choose from and with a little planning you probably won’t be disappointed. You can have a fancy sit down meal or just grab a quick bite from a walk-up joint on the Homer Spit, spend big bucks or dine out on a budget, eat at McDonald’s or try something that you’ve never eaten before.
The nicest and most expensive restaurant that we dined at in Homer was the Harbor Grill. This restaurant is on the Homer Spit and will likely be busy during the dinner hour. We had a large group and waited about 30 minutes to sit down. They seemed a little under staffed and you could tell that the hostess was losing her patience. Not a good first impression, but Homer is pretty crowded during the summer.
My husband and I had prawns($28) and the halibut & chips ($22). The food was good but I would say is a bit over-priced. The kids menu had the most expensive prices that I’ve ever seen, but the kids really liked their meals. The chicken strips cost $9 and the kids fish n chips is $16. Add drinks in to that and you are paying some big bucks. Beer was $6 a glass for Alaskan.
The mashed potatoes were delicious and so were the french fries. My daughter loved her Caesar salad and helped herself to most of my mashed potatoes too. The decor of the restaurant was very Alaskan with all of the fishing gear and wood carvings. This restaurant is fine for one night, but most families probably can’t afford to eat here more than that.
Finn’s is tiny and crowded, but that won’t stop you from going back for more! Finn’s Pizza serves up the best pizza in Homer and their pizza menu ranges from ordinary Pepperoni to the unique flavor combination of The Blue Pear. Pizza’s cost anywhere from $20-$29 and are 15″. They also sell pizza by the slice.
Once you grab a table and figure out what you are getting, you place your order at the counter. We went with the Pepperoni pizza, and my husband said to ask if we could have sausage put on it. I asked. They didn’t have sausage. What? Not even reindeer sausage? The kids shared a Classic pizza and ate it all up.
The salads here are quite large and very fresh. Their beer selection was local and had some variety. This is also the first restaurant I’ve been to that has Kombucha on their beverage menu…in Alaska even!
Finn’s is located on the Homer Spit and is open from 12-9 during the busy summer months. If we had an extra night, we would have been back again.
Boss Hogz is a combination between a diner, BBQ joint, and ice cream parlor. If you want a good scoop of ice cream, this is the place to go. I have to say this is the first time that I have ever seen Play Dough ice cream. They served up malts, shakes, splits, and sundaes. Anything your kids could dream of.
We ate dinner there and they have some pretty big portions. I ate my BBQ salad until I was stuffed, except it looked like I hardly ate anything. The bacon cheese fries were pretty good, but I’m not too impressed when my appetizer comes the same time as my food. I checked them out online too, and the breakfasts that they serve look delicious! Maybe next time we’ll get up early and leave the spit for a big breakfast.
Boss Hogz is located off of the spit, but it’s always a good night for a little ride right? We arrived later in the evening and we were able to be seated without a wait.
Other Top Picks in Homer
If you love a filling breakfast burrito to start your day, then you need to go to the Boardwalk Bakery on the spit. We ordered up a burrito with reindeer sausage and one with bacon. Both were delicious, huge, and ended up being lunch too. Cost was $7.50 each.
If you are in town on a Wednesday or Saturday, you have to check out the farmer’s market. I had the most flavorful and fresh halibut taco here and it only cost $6. The farmer’s market is pretty big and there is so much yummy food to choose from. Prices are good, everything is fresh, and you get to hang out with the locals.
Does anyone else seem to go out for ice cream more often when on vacation? We do, and we ended up at the Flagship Creamery one night. They have a large selection of ice cream and you get three toppings included with your order. Yay! They also had some large “boat” sundaes, and I almost ordered one, but no one would share with me.
I think it may have been the cooler weather, but my kids were craving some soup. We stopped at Safeway one afternoon and they picked out chicken noodle soup while I satisfied my Starbucks craving. Then we brought our warm goodies back to the waterfront and enjoyed the view.
On our trip, we stayed at Land’s End for three nights and they really have the best location in town. Right. On. The. Water. We had drinks one evening in their restaurant, The Chart Room, and it was a pretty busy place. You can dine inside or out and enjoy their prime views of the water. They offer a wide variety of seafood dishes, pastas, and salads.
The Restaurants That We Didn’t Get to Try
I had a few places on my list of where to eat in Homer, that we simply didn’t get to. That’s one good reason for taking a return trip! Other top places that I had hoped to try were:
If you are driving anywhere in Alaska, this book is an invaluable resource. It will tell you what you can expect along every mile of the roadways in the whole state!
Where to Eat in Cooper’s Landing, Alaska
Sackett’s Kenai Grill
If you are doing your research about where to eat in Cooper’s Landing, the name you’ll hear the most is Sackett’s. If you ask anyone in town where to eat, they will say Sackett’s. So that’s where we went for dinner one night, and it was the place to eat.
Sackett’s is a barbeque place where you will find the locals, the kids in town working for the summer, and the tourists. It’s a casual restaurant where you order at the counter and they bring your food out to you. We had a BBQ combo platter, a pulled pork sandwich, a cheeseburger, and an order of toast. Yes, my youngest, who really does like BBQ only wanted to eat toast. She did end up eating quite a bit of meat off of my husband’s combo platter, so she didn’t go hungry.
One of the reasons that one kiddo ordered toast, was that there was no kid’s menu. There wasn’t anything on the regular menu that was a reasonably priced smaller portion or any sides besides the toast for her. So, the best option was for her to eat off of the rest of our plates.
The BBQ was very good and I do recommend it. Unfortunately, I was the one who ordered the cheeseburger, and it wasn’t very good. The hamburger patty brought back memories of cafeteria food, and I could only manage to eat about half of it. Words of wisdom from my husband….you don’t go to a barbeque place and order a burger. Ok, lesson learned.
The combo platter we had cost $25 and the pulled pork sandwich was $13. If you’re interested, the toast cost $1.50, and it was only one slice of bread!
Kenai Princess Lodge
We spent one night at the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge, and that was because that was the only night I could get. After checking the booking calendar every single day, months ahead of time, rooms became available to book while we were out of town traveling. Once we got home, I could only get one night during our timeframe. More nights were available, there just wasn’t two nights in a row.
The Kenai Princess Lodge, is beautiful and not what you would expect when you think about lodging in Alaska. The grounds had colorful flowers planted everywhere, the lodging was large bungalow style rooms, and there were a few trails throughout the property for exploring. There are also two restaurants that are open to the public, and it’s worth it to stop by.
We ate breakfast at the lodge and ordered off the menu. There is a breakfast buffet available but we were too late for it. The dining room is really nice, but I didn’t hesitate to bring the kids. There is a lot of room between tables so you aren’t really bothering anyone if your crew is making a bit a noise.
There is a lot to choose from on the menu, except there was no kid’s menu for our breakfast. The kids made up their meal by ordering from the “sides”. They each had a very large pancake priced at $3. There were berries and whipped cream available too.
I couldn’t decide what I wanted, and ended up getting the creme brulee french toast. Yes, it was delicious! There were berries on the side, and the french toast was covered with that crisp crunchy brulee topping. My meal cost $11 and my husbands over-sized omelet cost $13. This was really a nice place for breakfast, and the large windows made the scenic views a pretty nice background.
If you are Just Passing Through Cooper’s Landing
Cooper’s Landing is kind of in the middle of the Kenai Peninsula, and about right where your family is going to need to stop and take a break. If I’m right, you’ll want to take that break at Wildman’s. It’s nothing fancy, but they offer food, ice cream, coffee, groceries, and clean bathrooms.
We had some real good cheese curds (remember, we’re from Wisconsin), a corn dog, and some goodies from the snack aisle. There is some outdoor seating and plenty of room for parking.
Where to Eat in Seward, Alaska
Basically, you will want to eat at the Seward Brewery. The beer is good, the food is better, and it’s located right downtown. It’s a busy place, but is casual and a place to bring your kids. There is also an upper level that serves up it’s own menu of wood-fired pizzas and salads.
We arrived into Seward late in the afternoon. We had just hiked to Exit Glacier and were ready for something to drink and a snack. We grabbed a table on the first floor, upstairs is only open for dinner, and they were actually quite busy.
The menu had a good variety of food and their ingredients were fresh and they have some awesome flavor combos. Their menu has a little bit of attitude, along with their food, check it out because everything sounds amazing. There is a kids menu too for those 10 and under, and they will card you (says the menu). My 11 year old broke the rules and ordered off the kids menu and they let us leave without any incident.
We ordered the wings and pretzel off the appetizer menu and the wings were spicy and the pretzel was just made. So good! The kids ordered fish tacos and a reindeer hot dog. Yep, seeing a reindeer hotdog as a choice on the kids menu was a first. They ate their food right up and washed it down with draft rootbeer. This was a good choice for an afternoon “snack”. The total bill came to $62 and included one $6 raspberry wheat beer.
We left the Seward Brewery at 3:11 in the afternoon, and by 7:30, we were back for dinner. We went upstairs this time for pizza, and this is a great choice for any family. There is a lot of seating, great views of downtown, and although the choices are limited, the pizza is as good as it looks. Alaska really has the brewpub and wood-fired pizza thing down.
Other Places to Eat in Seward
We stayed at a bed and breakfast, Bell in the Woods, just outside of Seward and had a three course breakfast every morning. That’s just how we roll. Not really, but it sure was a treat! Our gourmet breakfasts included baked eggs in a pretzel cup, nutella filled ebelskiver, sourdough waffles, and Italian eggs. Not everything was kid-friendly and the hosts didn’t hesitate to scramble some eggs.
The hosts at Bell in the Woods recommended The Cookery for a nice dinner in Seward. We didn’t go, because I thought it was too expensive and fancy for the kiddos. We did hear other guests rave about the food, and how they were going back there again. Get there early to avoid a long wait.
The Gold Rush Bistro is located on Main Street in Seward. It’s a cozy little cafe, and the food is really nothing special. Our dinner cost $57, and lets just say that we ate there so you don’t have too.
There are quite a few restaurants in Seward, so research some menus, ask the locals and discover a delicious Alaska meal!
Where to Eat in Soldotna, Alaska
The Moose is Loose!
If your family considers a box full of pastries a meal, than you need to stop at the best bakery on the Kenai Peninsula. The Moose is Loose is a crowded and sure to be delicious stop, except on Monday’s when they are closed. They may be closed on Sunday’s too? Check their Facebook page, I’m not sure if that depends on the season or not.
Everything we ordered from The Moose is Loose! was delicious and eaten right up. The donuts are fresh and your family will have a hard time deciding what to choose.
St. Elias Brewing Company
We were hoping to eat lunch at St. Elias Brewing Company, but the timing wasn’t right. This is another brewery/wood-fired pizza place that is becoming quite common in Alaska. It was very busy when we drove by, and the food looks so good! Next time…right?
Traveling throughout the Kenai Peninsula certainly isn’t as rustic as you might think. Your family will have many great meals and will definitely find some food firsts! Please let me know if you have any questions about where to eat in Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula and be sure to add your own food finds below!