From mobile food units to deck dining, Sitka has a thriving foods culture. Even on a specialty diet, you can still experience the local food scene with memorable and flavor-packed dishes. I interviewed local foodies and coworkers to learn more about their favorite meals around town:
My first stop was Rachel Roy, the Executive Director of the Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce and Visit Sitka. She’s been living a low-carb lifestyle for two and a half years and loves the downtown Sitka restaurant scene.
“I get the ‘Keto Coffee’ at Fisheye Organic Café to start my mornings off right. It’s blended with ghee and MCT oil,” she said. “If you’re at Mean Queen try “The Wedge”: a salad with bacon, blue cheese, and a hearty portion of shredded chicken. (Local pro tip: Ask for it chopped.) The Westmark Sitka Hotel has another tasty salad option, the Westmark Cobb with local blackened cod. They serve Keto drinks and cocktails, too.”
“The Bayview Pub has some great smoked wings; they’re not dipped or breaded and they’re delicious! And at the Sitka Hotel Restaurant & Lounge I get the stuffed portobella with local-caught shrimp and ask for celery sticks on the side.”
“Our restaurants are so customer-focused and open to substituting starches for vegetables, so I can find something on every menu!” Rachel added. “And of course, there’s nothing more keto than a beautiful piece of fresh-caught salmon; White King is my favorite.”
Pizza Express has some solid plant-based options: they offer two vegetarian pizzas (one with pesto and one without) and dishes like huevos rancheros and quesadillas. They also deliver, and some of my favorite memories in Sitka have been eating pizza on the Sitka Fine Arts campus or at a picnic table at Whale Park!
If you’re looking for a vegan pizza option, try building your own pizza at Mean Queen. You can start with a base of marinara, pesto, or garlic, skip the cheese, and then add your favorite fresh toppings!
The salads at Mean Queen @ Totem Square and Beak Restaurant are crisp, flavorful, and packed with fresh ingredients. I love Beak’s evolving menu, which gives me something to look forward to each week. My personal favorite is the salad plate of spinach and pickled vegetables, which comes with locally-sourced beach asparagus and bull kelp. Vegan and gluten-free dishes are clearly marked, so check their Facebook page to see what’s on the latest menu!
Fisheye Organic Café also has a line of feel-good smoothies made with vegan ingredients. Their Acai and Mermaid Bowls are a blast of cool, fruity flavors, and make even the rainiest of days taste like summer.
Finally, I asked my gluten-free friends about some of their favorite dishes. “I really love the buckwheat crepes at Fisheye Organic Café,” one of them told me, “I usually substitute avocado instead of cheese.” (Personally, I’d recommend trying the Alaskan crepe; it comes with a smoked salmon spread, locally made kelp pickles, tomatoes, cheddar, and spinach.)
You can add a gluten free crust to any of Mean Queen’s 13 specialty pizzas. If you’re not sure which pie to choose, you can always ask for a ½ and ½ and try two different styles of pizza at the same time. Don’t forget to try their wings and salads!
Lastly, keep an eye on Beak Restaurant’s weekly menu for gluten free dishes sourced with local ingredients, such as rockfish tacos, Beak nachos, and their salad plates!
Have any other dishes to recommend? Tag your food photos with the hashtag #visitsitka!
Cover photo of Beak Restaurant’s massaged kale salad, taken by photographer Bethany Goodrich and used with permission from Beak Restaurant.