Juneau, Alaska’s Rookery Café: an Alaskan-themed Gathering Place

Juneau, Alaska’s Rookery Café: an Alaskan-themed Gathering Place

Kristi Minietta

Rookery Café’s S’mores cake.

In the heart of the historic district in Juneau, Alaska lies The Rookery Café, a culinary gem that brings big city flavors to this modest town.  In this small, casual establishment that seats 50, you’ll find loud, lively, friendly conversation from locals and visitors alike while they enjoy simply incredible food in a warm, inviting atmosphere.

Located only two blocks from the ocean and three blocks from the state capitol, once you get an opportunity to visit this casual establishment with high class food, you’ll know why they were voted the #1 restaurant in Juneau in the 2014 Empire Reader’s Choice poll.

Purchased in late 2010 by Travis Smith, he turned this 113-year-old building that sits in the center of the historic district into a food-lover’s culinary dream. 

It’s named The Rookery for a reason: they wanted it to represent an Alaskan-themed gathering place, where everyone gets together and hangs out (a rookery is a breeding colony for the Rook birds). They not only achieved that by building out open space, but they included the city’s first community table to encourage conversation and enable people to share the love of food. 

Here, head chef and business partner Beau Schooler delivers creativity, passion, and flare in every dish; the layers of flavor, texture, and color impart both a relaxing dining experience and food that will simply amaze you. Although their dinner menu changes daily, a few of the must-try standing highlights are:

Small Plates
Coconut poached Alaskan scallops with squid ink adobo

Kristi Minietta


Inspired by Alaska’s large Philipino community, this menu favorite is a play on a traditional Philipinio dish with an Alaskan twist. These scallops are super-fresh, tender, and will melt in your mouth with a creamy, sweet adobo sauce that will have you swooning for more.

Locally foraged Morels, asparagus, and sunny-side duck egg in green garlic puree
This phenomenal appetizer has incredible depth and layer upon layer of flavors that come together and blend beautifully when mixed with the rich, creamy, duck egg. 

Lunch
2 A.M. Burger
A local favorite, the 2 A.M. Burger is made with in-house ground choice chuck, housemade brioche buns, and housemade zucchini pickles. 

Large Plates
Crispy King Salmon Collar with Salmon Chorizo
Served on a bed of chile lime vinaigrette with a touch of cilantro, this moist, tender Crispy King Salmon Collar is brilliantly served with a delectable Salmon Chorizo.

Dessert
S’mores Mousse Cake
This sweet, rich, decadent cake will make you wonder why you didn’t start with dessert first. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but you’ll want to order two so you can have S’mores for breakfast!

The Rookery Café is serious food with fine dining flavor, so don’t miss this top notch, must-try restaurant the next time you visit Juneau.

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