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Dining with a view of the Chena River at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge in Fairbanks, Alaska
Pike's Waterfront Lodge
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    Alaska

Tempt your appetite with Fairbanks’ local food, spirits and craft beer scene.

As the gateway to the Interior and Arctic and Alaska’s second-largest city, Fairbanks is a destination like no other. The locals offer a warm welcome, even when the weather is cold, and nature’s majesty is a year-round backdrop. When it’s time to eat, you’ll discover that the food scene in Fairbanks is as unique as the city itself.

Made in Fairbanks

Fairbanks’ remote geographical location feeds a spirit of self-reliance, so you’ll naturally find an abundance of homemade and locally sourced foods. For breakfast, the downtown restaurants awaken your appetite with freshly roasted coffee, homemade breakfasts and fresh pastries. For lunch or dinner, don’t miss some of the local specialties like Alaskan king crab legs, reindeer or elk meat.

Summertime is made for farmers markets. Tanana Valley Farmer’s Market, open from May to September, is the oldest in the state and the perfect place to find made-in-Alaska food, clothing and handicrafts. There are approximately 80 vendors selling their wares, so leave enough time to browse (and fill your shopping bag!). Throughout the week, you’ll also find smaller markets where you can pick up fresh, local produce and goods.

Fresh produce and other goods for sale at a Fairbanks artisan market

Fresh produce and other goods for sale at a Fairbanks artisan market
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Sherman Hogue/Explore Fairbanks

Distilleries and Breweries

There’s no better way to get to know the locals than to share a beer together. Luckily, Fairbanks is no exception to the craft brew and distillery craze found in every corner of the USA. Fairbanks’ micro-breweries offer tours and attract beer aficionados with unique brewing styles and flavors – look for European-style brews, seasonal specialty beers or unexpected twists like apple- or raspberry-flavored beer. Top off your pint with an order from the pub menu or a food truck pulled up outside.

For cocktail connoisseurs, independent distilleries make vodka, gin and rum made from regionally sourced ingredients. Arrange a tour and tasting at one of the facilities. Save room in your suitcase to take home a bottle of locally made spirits.

Connecting with the makers during a tasting at a local distillery

Connecting with the makers during a tasting at a local distillery
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Ursa Major Distilling

Thai Food Favorites

Fairbanks has a variety of international restaurants, but Thai food reigns supreme in popularity – so much so that you’ll find dining options from drive-thrus to upscale restaurants featuring menu items from super-spicy dishes to creative Thai fusion. There are approximately 20 Thai restaurants to choose from; you can’t go wrong stopping for a tasty Thai lunch or dinner.

Some of the dishes at one of Fairbanks’ many Thai restaurants

Some of the dishes at one of Fairbanks’ many Thai restaurants
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Lemongrass Thai Cuisine

Getting There

Book your flight into Fairbanks International Airport (FAI), reached via many major destinations, where rental cars, taxis and shuttle transportation are available.