The food can be one of the highlights of traveling as there are few things better than trying new places to eat. It’s a part of the journey and the experience that provides a way to learn about the local culture through your taste buds. The Last Frontier offers many delights to sample, and that’s especially true in Homer, Alaska.
Homer restaurants are where fresh fish rule, with Kachemak Bay and the Pacific Ocean providing a nearly unrivaled bounty of seafood while the rich glacial soils and long days of summer produce exceptionally tasty fruits and vegetables. Plus, mouthwatering dishes are often complemented by a stunning water and mountain view.
The only question is, which restaurants are a must-try while you’re here? Depending on the length of your trip, you might have to extend it or plan another visit as we can’t narrow it down to fewer than a half-dozen.
Located at the only hotel on the Homer Spit, Land’s End Resort, the Chart Room Restaurant checks all of the boxes, providing one of the top dining experiences in the state. The full-service restaurant and lounge offer the chance to feast on local, sustainably harvested seafood and produce while enjoying the area’s striking beauty from indoors or out. That includes Kachemak Bay and the Kenai Mountains.
The menu features innovative, seasonal options with a focus on wild-caught seafood like Alaska salmon that’s found in abundance here. Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, is the state fish, known for its large size (with the record catch at 125 pounds) and fabulous flavor. They may be served as steaks or fillets, often cooked over an open flame or charcoal that result in a tender, melt-in-your-mouth bite every time.
Some of our favorite plates include starters like Fresh Alaskan Oysters served on the half shell and entrees such as the Alaskan Halibut Iliamna, where we top a fillet of halibut with our famous crab and artichoke dip and serve with saffron risotto, but the highlight is the must-try fresh Colossal Alaskan King Crab Legs. Traditional favorites are also offered such as Elk Burgers or Alaskan Halibut Fish and Chips. When combined with the exceptional service and the scenery that often includes sea otters floating by, the Chart Room is truly hard to beat.
Located in an old town building with a rich and fascinating history, AJ’s Old Steakhouse and Tavern is known for its friendly hospitality that’s been a tradition for over 70 years. It initially started as the original women’s club before it became Homer’s first cafe and bar in 1941. It had a tiny kitchen, pool table, and only a few bar stools, with many different owners throughout the decades.
While this building may have seen several incarnations, the hospitality has never been forgotten. Patrons today also enjoy a warm, supper club kind of vibe with steak, seafood, spirits, and entertainment, including live music.
In a place where the halibut is often the fresh catch, the Halibut Fish and Chips are some of the best you’ll ever try. Meat lovers will appreciate the perfectly cooked USDA Prime ribeye. If you can save room for dessert, don’t miss the creme brulee.
Located on the world-famous Homer Spit, the Fresh Catch Cafe is an intimate eatery and one of the most popular spots in town. Make a reservation to avoid the wait–although it’s worth it as a sign of what’s to come.
Enjoy casual, upscale dining with a picturesque view of the water and mountains beyond. The menu features a wide range of fresh seafood and steak dishes using locally grown ingredients, with an impressive list of carefully chosen beer and wine to complement each one.
The housemade sourdough bread is a definite must as the starter, and of the entrees that follow, the grilled halibut with chowchow on a bed of king crab risotto is something that might have you planning a return trip to Homer before you get back home.
Each dish at this tiny eatery is like a work of art infused with passion and flavors that reflect Homer. Ingredients are so fresh the menu changes if there’s a surprise farmer’s bumper crop or an exciting new catch.
The Little Mermaid has a charming, home-like atmosphere with staff that goes out of their way to please every customer, but if you fail to make a reservation you might have a tough time getting in.
The fish tacos with grilled halibut and the establishment’s “mermaid sauce” might be the best you’ve ever had, while The Gorg with fresh greens, aged gorgonzola, house croutons, roasted almonds, and balsamic vinaigrette is the perfect starter. Finish with the cheesecake made with local goose eggs and topped with caramel sauce.
As you’re wandering along the Homer Spit, you’ll come upon Captain Patties which offers a fun atmosphere, friendly service, and a bay view for lunch and dinner. It specializes in local seafood with a multitude of options to choose from, all in generously sized proportions.
If you catch your own fish, you can even bring it in and have it cooked just right.
Start with the steamer clams or mussels and follow it up with the grilled fish sampler so you can try a little of everything. It includes scallops, shrimp, salmon, and halibut with your choice of multiple sides like a baked potato and salad or soup.
Fat Olives is an iconic eatery set in an old-school bus barn. It offers a unique atmosphere and a menu of seasonal dishes using fresh ingredients whenever possible. Summer means Kachemak Bay oysters, salmon, halibut, mussels, shrimp, and scallops, bringing visitors and locals alike.
While most come for the seafood, it’s also one of the top spots in town for a pizza that can be enjoyed with an excellent beer selection from local breweries. The quality, quantity, price, and elegant atmosphere make this restaurant a great value that rarely disappoints.
In the winter, this is the go-to place for pizza (locals love the Carnivore topped with a variety of tasty meats), but if you’re here in early summer, you can enjoy the first fresh salmon of the season on the special’s board.
Make a Night of It
As many visitors won’t have time to try all six of these restaurants in one trip, if you’re here for just a short time and can only try one, the Chart Room Restaurant is a must.
Located at Land’s End Resort, you’ll get the entire package here: the magnificent views of the Spit, delicious food, and incredible, one-of-a-kind accommodations. A stay here means you’ll never lose sight of the gorgeous bay, mountain, and wildlife views or have to go out in the cold for a meal as it’s steps away while providing the best atmosphere around.