Denali National Park is the third-largest national park in the United States, more than 7,400 square miles of spruce forests, glaciers, grizzly bears and caribou, and what happens to be the tallest peak in all of North America. For all intents and purposes, though, the eating around Denali shouldn’t be good.
It’s challenging and time-consuming getting ingredients from the Lower 48 to this secluded part of Alaska, making certain dishes (typically those calling upon fresh fruits and vegetables) automatic no-goes. The kitchens are only open from mid-May to mid-September, usually with a freshman staff each summer. And if the law of supply and demand holds (there aren’t many tables to choose from, but droves of travelers each season), there should be little incentive for restaurants and bars to push boundaries — they’ll get plenty of guests either way.
And yet, the restaurants here are either plating meals with freewheeling creativity or creating community in an unlikely place. Consider this a guide for navigating the small, but delightful food and drink scene around Denali National Park.
Bailey Berg is a travel writer who spent seven years living in Alaska.Read More