With its vast, unspoiled wilderness areas, Alaska has some of the most incredible natural bounties of seafood, game, and foraged foods in the world. The cuisine of the 49th state reflects the hardy self-reliance and resourcefulness needed to survive and thrive in its extreme northern climate.

Alaska’s native peoples like the Inupiat, Yup’ik, Aleut, Tlingit, and others have subsisted for millennia off the land and sea, hunting animals like caribou, moose, seals, and whales, while gathering plants, berries, and herbs. These indigenous food traditions passed down for generations mingle today with Russian, American, and modern influences to create unique and inventive Alaska dishes. Here are some not to be missed:

With its plentiful wild salmon runs, Alaska is renowned for this healthy, versatile protein. Salmon is prepared smoked as lox, lightly cured as gravlax, or baked in dishes from soup to pot pies to burgers. Of course, many prefer the simplicity of grilled salmon fillets with just a squeeze of lemon.

Reindeer Sausage & Caribou
These lean, delicately flavored game meats are local specialties often used for sausages, jerky, and steaks. You’ll find reindeer hot dogs, caribou chili, and all manner of preparations making use of the herds that roam Alaska’s tundra.

Also known as Eskimo Ice Cream, this versatile dish combines nutritious fruits, greens, and proteins in a sweet, creamy concoction. Wild berries, fish, tundra plants, oils, and more are whipped to create akutaq in endless variations.

Sourdough & Fry Breads
With limited ingredients in harsh climates, breads like sourdough and hearty fry breads sustained Alaskans for generations. These are still staples today, whether enjoying a San Francisco-style sourdough boule or Indian fry bread with dippin’ sauce.

Alaska’s cuisine draws its inspiration directly from the rugged beauty and life-sustaining bounties of the Far North. Behind every sublime bite is a spirit of adventure and deep appreciation for the state’s pristine natural wonders.