There are several restaurants situated within the Denali Park area. For a delicious morning meal, head to the Black Bear Cafe. The café dishes up house made baked goods, hearty benedicts and burritos, savory breakfast bowls, and locally roasted coffee. Black Bear's menu is vegan and gluten-free friendly. We recommend planning for extra time as the small café gets quite busy.
One of the most famous local Denali restaurants is the Salmon Bake, or "The Bake" to locals. This casual eatery with an off-kilter floor offers famous fish tacos, burgers, and baked salmon dishes. The Bake is also known for its nightlife with live bands, DJs, trivia nights, and competitions like "Denali American Idol."
Just down the street from The Bake is Prospectors Pizza. The dining room is full of historic pictures of settlers panning for gold, hunting, and building lives in the Last Frontier. Prospectors has the more common pizzas, as well as Alaskan-themed pies topped with reindeer sausage or crab. There's also a large selection of beer on tap, most brewed in Alaska.
One of the fancier local hotel restaurants is the Alpenglow in the Grande Denali Lodge. The Alpenglow has the best patio in the area, and offers a fine dining experience with signature dishes crafted by award winning chefs. Farther down the hill, the casual Mountaineer Bar and Grill at the Denali Bluffs specializes in barbecue. If you are staying at the Denali Park Village, try Lady Luck. It has an authentically rustic feel and nice outdoor seating. Farther south, another good option is King Salmon at the Denali Princess Lodge. King Salmon has a wide selection of casual fare and excellent views of the Nenana River from inside their dining room and outside on the patio.
Eight miles north of the Denali Park area in the town of Healy you'll find the popular 49th State Brewery. The brewpub serves their own craft beer and a creative menu of pizza, burgers, and entrees made with local Alaskan ingredients. There's a good chance you'll catch a local band playing in the brewery's big front yard next to the bus famously used in the movie Into the Wild. If you do not have your own transportation, it's not a problem. The restaurant provides a shuttle from the Denali Park area's main shopping hub.
If you do have your own transportation, or are staying near mile marker 229 on the Parks Highway, you are in luck. There you'll find 229 Parks, a fantastic small restaurant owned and operated by Laura Cole, a contestant on Top Chef. She dedicates her summers to creating an ever-changing menu from all Alaskan ingredients grown on site, foraged, or brought in from local farms. The restaurant is open mid-June through September. Reservations are required.