Yukon’s wilderness city of Whitehorse is home to an eclectic blend of born-and-bred Yukoners and long-time residents who came for a holiday and never left. This multicultural mix makes for a dynamic food scene and Whitehorse is fast becoming known for its culinary appeal. We’re talking craft breweries, funky cafes, international cuisine, and a growing organic food movement, all served up by salt-of-the-earth, welcoming Yukoners.
Read on for five reasons why you’ll need your appetite in Whitehorse.
1. Yukon Culinary Festival
Locals and visitors flock to the Yukon Culinary Festival during August, eager to sample delicacies, forage on local farms and tour Yukon’s top restaurants. The whole Territory is resplendent with wild game, berries, sweet root vegetables, morels (prized mushrooms), arctic fish and fireweed, the Yukon’s official flower from which divine jams are created.
The Festival’s signature events take place in Whitehorse, including cooking demonstrations, feasting and foraging at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre and canapes on the S.S. Klondike National Historic Site.
2. The Restaurant Scene
There’s no doubt about it, the restaurant scene in Whitehorse packs some culinary punch. The ambient tunes coming from the record player at Wayfarer Oyster House sets the scene for lovers of good times and seafood. Relax over a plate of oysters, or dine on the best seafood Yukon, Alaska and BC has to offer.
Fans of Japanese ramen will love Wood Street Ramen, run by celebrated chef, Troy King. The tiny Whitehorse eatery emulates ramen take-outs found in Japan and serves mouth-watering noodles produced with locally sourced ingredients.
Downtown Whitehorse, Antoinette’s serves up a mix of international cuisine with a distinct Caribbean infusion. Chef, Antoinette, brings the flavours of her childhood to the menu, having grown up on the island of Tobago in the West Indies. The restaurant is as colourful and vibrant as the food itself.
For truly outstanding Mexican cuisine, stop at Sanchez Cantina. This family-friendly space is the perfect setting for vibrant, traditional Mexican flavours, and nothing beats the sunny deck during the long summer days.
3. Cosy Cafes
Check out the diverse cafes downtown, such as rustic-chic Burnt Toast Café, that serves sumptuous home-made comfort food, all day and into the evening. For a truly relaxed morning coffee, head to Bean North for organic fair-trade coffee in the northern boreal forest of the Takhini Valley, just outside of Whitehorse. Known as ‘the café in the woods’, Bean North will entice you with home-made soups, paninis and delicious sweet treats.
Midnight Sun Coffee Roasters on Quartz Road prides itself on serving the best coffee in town, including micro-roasted premium and organic blends, and even deeply flavoursome decaf varieties. The aroma of roasting beans hits you as you walk in the door – get ready to salivate. Baked Café on Main Street is another local favourite, serving healthy lunch options and indulgent house-made scones, complete with a family-friendly ambience.
4. Craft Beer
The craft beer scene is thriving in Whitehorse, with unique flavours infused by passionate Yukoners who know a thing or two about brewing. Sample a refreshing Yukon Gold draft beer at Yukon Brewing, try a Pingo Pale Ale or a Sweater Weather Oatmeal Stout at Winterlong Brewing Co. (ironically open all year-round), or head to Deep Dark Wood Brewing, where every beer is fermented in an oak barrel using a variety of yeasts and cultures for a truly original tang.
Hang with the friendly locals at Dirty Northern, a relaxed pub with a restaurant next door called Miner’s Daughter. Enjoy a cocktail or feast on hand-crafted pizzas and gourmet tacos, washed down with outstanding craft-brewed beers.
5. Single Malt Whiskey
There’s only one other place in Canada that can lay claim to its very own single malt whiskey. Here in Yukon, the owners of Yukon Brewing have done just that. The premium charter release of the Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt Whiskey is heralded to be a complex nose of oak with malt depth frames the rich, layered fruit and honey body. Bottoms up!