Will there be vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free food options available?

With its abundance of fresh fish and game, Alaska is pretty accurately seen as a carnivorous state. It's also a surprisingly good place to grow fresh produce thanks to our abundant summer daylight. Vegetarian and vegan visitors can find food to enjoy throughout the state, as can those who are gluten-free.

Groceries and Snacks

If you're traveling by rental car, consider stopping at a grocery store to stock up on trip snacks that meet your dietary needs. Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Seward have regular grocery stores (Fred Meyer and/or Carrs/Safeway). Anchorage also has Natural Pantry, a natural food store like Whole Foods.

Smaller towns like Talkeetna, Girdwood, and the Denali Park area have small general stores, but you'll find fewer diet-specific options and groceries can be expensive.

While you're traveling, keep a lookout for local farmer's markets and produce stands, especially in mid to late summer.

Dining Out

In larger locations, like Anchorage and Fairbanks, options are abundant. Throughout the city of Anchorage, there are plenty of vegetarian-friendly restaurants, as well as several that provide special gluten-free menus. These include Middle Way Café, Out of the Box, and Hearth Artisan Pizza. Even smaller towns like Talkeetna, Valdez, and Homer offer these types of diet-friendly options. Try Conscious Coffee in Talkeetna and Two Sisters Bakery in Homer.

In Denali especially, most visitors will enjoy meals at their hotel or lodge. These restaurants are very accommodating, offering a small number of vegetarian and vegan options, and either a gluten-free menu or items that can easily be made gluten free.

We find this list of gluten-free-friendly restaurants to be quite accurate.

Train Dining

Food is offered on all train routes in Alaska. Casual grab-and-go food is available from the Wilderness Café for Alaska Railroad ticketholders. Some options may sell out, but the café typically has premade breakfast pastries, fresh fruit, salads, sandwiches, snack boxes, and sweets. On all routes excluding the Glacier Discovery train, passengers can also enjoy a sit-down meal in the dining car. All three daily menus include vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Since meals are prepared fresh onboard, it is also possible to ask that an ingredient be substituted to suit your diet.

This is also the case with the Wilderness Express and McKinley Explorer train services. The Wilderness Express dining car menu notes gluten-free options and provides a separate vegetarian menu upon request. The McKinley Express dining car menu, which includes just breakfast and lunch, has vegetarian options and notes what dishes can easily be prepared gluten free.

Day Tour Dining

Several day cruises out of Seward and other full-day backcountry trips include a meal in their tour cost. Those that do typically offer a vegetarian and/or a vegan option, but it must be requested in advance. A similar request can be made for gluten-free meals, although not all operators specifically offer this as an option.