Why Alaska Is the U.S. Destination Everyone Needs to Visit

This post originally appeared on July 16, 2022, in Stephanie Wu’s newsletter, “From the Editor,” a roundup of the most vital news and stories in the food world. Read the archives and subscribe now.


A few years back, I visited Alaska on a small cruise ship with my husband. The seven-night trip through Southeast Alaska took us to some of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful places I’ve been, from Windham Bay to Stephens Passage and Glacier Bay National Park. It was nothing short of the adventure of a lifetime: We saw deep blue glaciers, stunning sunsets over the water, and an incredible array of birds and sea animals. The food was top-notch (I remain impressed to this day by how UnCruise, our cruise line, pulled off five-star meals in the smallest kitchen space I have ever seen) and the seafood couldn’t have been fresher. I’ll never forget the fierce pinpricks on my skin after a polar plunge in bitterly cold Alaska waters, or the sheer adrenaline rush of encountering a bear on a hike. But the feeling that has stayed with me the most is staring up at a massive calving glacier, thinking, I can’t wait to return — while knowing that due to climate change, the places I’d visited might be completely unrecognizable when I finally made it back.

The thing about visiting a tiny corner of a massive state is that you leave knowing you’ve seen maybe 1 percent of what this gloriously wild place has to offer. That’s why I’m so thrilled to share Eater’s latest travel guide, which delves into the most delicious aspects of Alaska. “There is no influence more important to Alaska’s food culture than subsistence, the Indigenous tradition of living off the land,” writes consulting editor Julia O’Malley in the introduction to the package. Jennifer Fergesen explores Southeast Alaska’s adobo and how it is uniquely influenced by Filipino migration and Native Tlingit cooking traditions. Consulting editor Joshua Hunt celebrates the indestructible cracker that is Alaska’s favorite — and most versatile — food. Video producer Daniel Geneen discovers just how difficult it can be to fish for salmon. And of course, we have maps on where to eat in Anchorage, Juneau, and more. It’s a fascinating compilation of stories that will have you immediately planning a trip for next summer — or, like me, scheming about how to get back ASAP.

Below, you’ll find some of my favorite reads from the past two weeks. If you liked this email, please forward it to a friend or encourage them to sign up here.

— Stephanie
@bystephwu

On Eater:

Illustration of a hand holding up a pair of rose-colored glasses, the view of a building turns pinker within the lens.

Kailey Whitman/Eater

  • Eater senior correspondent Meghan McCarron published a three-part investigation into Blue Hill and Stone Barns in New York. It’s a long but important read about whether a fine dining restaurant and its nonprofit farm partner can live up to its own standards for saving the world. Part One looks at Blue Hill, the famed restaurant; Part Two explores the livestock program at Stone Barns; Part Three investigates the nonprofit and its lofty (and somewhat unrealistic) mission.
  • We’ve updated our 38 essential restaurants maps across the network! Here are our picks for New York, Seattle, D.C., London, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago, to name a few.
  • An interview with Dhamaka chef Chintan Pandya on how he got his job. I love that he still sometimes does delivery between his restaurants.

Off Eater: