For the past five summers I have been visiting Denali and enjoying the locally owned restaurants. When you arrive in the Denali National Park area you find several large lodges and of course each of these has one if not multiple restaurants, ranging from casual cafés to more upscale restaurants. These restaurants are great but somtimes you want to explore the local fare, and there are several located within a few miles from the Denali Park entrance.
In the area known as the Denali Canyon you will find a full service restaurant & bar, a fish and chips restaurant, two beer and pizza joints, a hot dog stand and, and a burger joint with the best views in the canyon. The Denali Park Salmon Bake is located across from the Denali Princess Lodge and serves a hearty breakfast, has a full service bar and has a great lunch and dinner menu with local favorites such as Salmon Quesadillas and Halibut Tacos.
Another great place is The Fish and Chips, Co., opened in 2007; it is located across from the McKinley Chalet Resort and has gained popularity for serving unique fish and chips, anything from classic beer battered halibut to coconut crusted salmon. A very casual atmosphere with large picnic tables and a small deck for sunny days, this is a great stop for a quick bit of fresh local salmon and halibut.
Located next to The Fish and chips, Co, is the newest Denali dining establishment called Prospectors Pizza. This pizza joint with dozens of pizza choices as well as 49 beers on tap was opened in 2010. Featuring a décor of old prospecting days the aptly named restaurant offers a new and unique dining facility that will cater to every pizza lover. Beers on tap range from the standard domestic beers to local Alaskan brews such as my favorite, Glacier Brewhouse Oatmeal Stout.
The Overlook Bar and Grille is situated on the side of a cliff overlooking the canyon area. Dubbed the best burgers in Denali, this bar and grill offers a wide array of burgers and sandwiches all day long as well as a dinner menu with items such as King Crab legs and steaks. The Overlook is located just below the Denali Crow’s Nest Cabins.
If you have your own car, possibly Denali’s best restaurant is worth the short drive south on the Parks Highway, about 9 miles south of the Denali National Park entrance. This locally owned restaurant is named 229, for the mile marked on which it sits. 229 is a favorite for locals, and is a great place to find organic and free range menu items. My personal favorite menu item is the Scallops with potatoes, crispy prosciutto and crème fraiche. A great wine and dessert selection offers a perfect end to a fantastic meal.
The Denali National Park area is home to many restaurants, the few mentioned above are some of my favorites. Great food, drinks and views these are restaurants not to be missed.