In Fairbanks, you'll find eclectic dining options ranging from rustic baked goods and classic comfort food to Alaskan staples. A local favorite, Pikes Landing is located near the Pikes Waterfront Lodge on the Chena River. The food is satisfying and the service friendly, but it's their riverside deck that really stands out. They serve a variety of hearty, stick-to-your-ribs dishes for lunch and dinner. Think seafood cheddar melts, half-pound burgers, rich soups, steak, and prime rib with all the fixings. The deck fills up quickly on sunny summer days. Dinner reservations are recommended.
Closer to downtown Fairbanks, the Chowder House is a hidden gem. You're hard-pressed to find a more affordable and satisfying meal in Alaska. They always have their famous chowders ready (try either the Halibut Corn Chowder and Smoked Salmon Chowder) and feature a rotating soup of the day. Add a "Make Your Own" sandwich and you're set. Lulu's Bread and Bagels in northwest Fairbanks is a similarly simple, delicious eatery. And for some fantastic coffee and baked goods, head to the Alaska Coffee Roasting Company.
Closer to downtown, Pioneer Park is home to several museums, historical displays, and the Alaskan Salmon Bake. Although it caters to tourists, the picnic-style dining experience is quite authentic. All the recipes were handed down through generations of Alaskans. The buffet includes all-you-can-eat slow roasted beef, grilled salmon, and beer battered cod. There is also a full salad bar, plenty of sides, and a selection of desserts. There's a flat rate per person, with beer and wine available for an additional cost.
The Pump House, one of Fairbanks' longest-running restaurants, first began serving meals in 1933. The building was reconstructed in 1978, but the décor, photographs, and artifacts are antiques. The Pump House features the "World's Most Northern Oyster Bar," as well as fantastic local seafood dishes, steak, and wild game.