Embark on a Culinary Road Trip
Road trips and good food go hand in hand, a little like peanut butter and jelly. But the culinary experiences found along the Alaska Highway are a cut above. From cooking classes and farmers markets to craft breweries and wineries, plus a multitude of restaurants, you’ll get a taste of everything this region has to offer. And it’s all about the local flavors. As the Boreal Gourmet founder Michele Genest said, “The destination is always a delicious meal shared by friends and family.”
Choose an Alaska Highway driving route (the Inside Passage, Rockies, or Gold Rush routes) through western Canada and Alaska to sample some of the best cuisine in the region.
While salmon, halibut, crab, shrimp, oysters, scallops, or any kind of fresh seafood is the star of many meals in Alaska, it’s worth going deeper into the state’s farm-to-table movement to discover other local flavors. You’ll find everything from rhubarb ice cream to pickled fiddleheads and kelp salsa! With several James Beard-nominated chefs running kitchens and bakeries from Denali to Juneau, don’t think you won’t find upscale cuisine among Alaska’s wild landscapes. Take a walking tour of local eateries in Juneau. Forage your way through Anchorage’s Chugach State Park or Talkeetna. Go brewery hopping from Fairbanks to Homer. And read on for restaurants, food festivals, and more recommended by a few local chefs.
Even if you can’t time your trip to hit the Yukon Culinary Festival in Whitehorse, there’s something for every kind of food lover here. Be sure to stock up on goodies from the Yukon Chocolate Company, Bullet Hole Bagels, Klondike Kettle Corn, and Uncle Berwyn’s Birch Syrup. If you have extra time in the capital city, book a cooking class at the Well Bread Culinary Centre, grab a meal at Gather Café and Taphouse or Wayfarer Oyster House, or belly up to the bar at Free Pour Jenny’s for a handcrafted cocktail. You’ll leave with a taste of the New North cuisine.
There’s no shortage of new and inventive restaurants opening in Alberta’s cities. Hutch Kitchen, a Calgary kitchenware brand, opened its own café with a menu highlighting locally sourced ingredients. And Änkôr features sustainable, contemporary Canadian cuisine with a seasonal menu in Canmore. While the larger cities are more common draws for foodies, don’t overlook some favorites in the northwest when you’re driving through the Rockies. From Grande Prairie to Hinton, you’ll find craft brews, a cafeteria-style Mexican cantina featuring homemade hot sauces, and a family-style breakfast buffet known for its breakfast crumble and books.
The flavors of British Columbia are as varied as the province itself, whether you want to support Indigenous-owned eateries, follow Richmond’s Dumpling Trail, or sample Surrey’s Spice Trail. And no matter which route you’re driving through British Columbia, you’re likely to come across a local winery, craft brewery, or farmers market. Use the Gold Rush Route to lead you into the Okanagan wine region. If you’re starting in Vancouver or Victoria, you’ll find culinary experiences mixed with adventures, cultural and walking tours, spas, and more. Be sure to save time to explore into the Cowichan Valley for farm-to-table restaurants too.