Alaskans spend a good part of each in year in the cold and dark. One thing that can help a body to feel better during such times is comfort food. And the pinnacle of comfort food, of course, is mac and cheese. These are our favorite places in Alaska to get your fix of perfectly cheesy noodles!
The mac and cheese at Anchorage’s Ginger is the show-stealer. The Alaskan baked sea scallops “mac & cheese”—as it’s listed on the menu—takes the pasta base, bakes in three cheeses and tomato brunoise, crusts it with basil and pine nuts and tops the dish with seared diver scallops. You’re welcome.
There is a reason that mac and cheese is the first main course listed on the menu at Two Sisters Bakery in Homer: It’s insanly delicious. Yes, you can order the classic—locally-made pasta blended with cheddar and Gouda—but why not kick it up a notch with an add-on like smoked salmon, tomato and kale, or bacon.
In Ketchikan, Annabelle’s Famous Keg & Chowder House makes a couple of tasty riffs on classic mac: The more-standard, three cheese mac n’ cheese or the crab mac’ cheese. Both are delcious, but you’re in Alaska’s first city. Get the crab mac n’ cheese.
Folks in the Interior head to Blue Roof Bistro for fresh takes on home-style comfort foods including, of course, mac and cheese. Blue Roof’s version starts with macaroni tossed in a creamy cheese sauce, then topped with bacon bits. The dish is then seared to give it a perfect, crispy finish on top.
The southern green chili mac n cheese at Zerelda’s Bistro is a must for comfort-food fans in the Capital City. The pasta shells are slathered in three cheeses—Gouda, jack, and sharp cheddar—then capped with bread crumbs that have been fried in Parmesan and garlic, as well as scallions.
With a waterfront location in Seward, it would be a downright shame to not take advantage of Alaska’s seafood bounty. But no worries: Chinooks is on top of it. The smoked scallop mac & cheese starts with jack and cheddar tossed pasta. Then house-smoked scallops, mushrooms, shallots, spinach and bacon are added to give it a Seward flair.
Spenard Roadhouse doesn’t get overly fancy with their version of mac and cheese. They just do their take on the classic very well: Pasta shells (gluten-free available) tossed in cream with jack, cheddar, and Parmesan cheeses, topped with bread crumbs. That’s it. You can add tomato and bacon if you want, but it’s awfully good as-is.
Not all of Alaska’s awesome mac and cheese is available in the cold, dark winter months. Sometimes it can’t even be found in the same fixed location. In Sitka, for example, the most amazing smoked salmon mac and cheese comes from a seasonal food truck: Ashmo’s. You can’t get it in the winter, but you can dream about the creamy, smoky deliciousness until you’re finally able to dip your spoon into a bowl of it.
The traditional-style mac and cheese at the Flats Bistro in Kenai starts with orecchiette pasta, which is then tossed in their house-recipe blend of smoked cheeses. The dish is then crusted with herbed parmesan. It’s simple, elegant, and delicious.
In its two decades of delighting the palates of Anchorage’s citizens, Snow City Café has given the impression that it does everything right. Mac and cheese is no exception. Snow City’s is just a delicious take on elbow macaroni in creamy cheese sauce. It’s broiled to give it a tasty crust. Add bacon or get it with a slab of their home-style meatloaf.