Best Restaurant in Alaska - Gwin's Lodge
"Gwin's roadside establishment is the epicenter of much of the activity on the peninsula and a one-stop shop for visitors and locals alike, providing food, lodging, and fishing tackle ... The travel agency can book fishing, hiking, rafting, and other adventure travel anywhere on the peninsula. The lodge is the fishing headquarters of prospective anglers during the annual salmon runs on the nearby Russian and Kenai rivers."
"Gwin's Lodge - Historic landmark, traditionally crafted log roadhouse and guest cabins, full of local history and a good source for what to do in Cooper Landing."
"Gwin’s Lodge, in Cooper Landing (roughly in the middle of the Kenai), is a good base for exploring the peninsula. The kids will love the loft beds; Mom and Dad can hike up to Russian River Falls to watch leaping salmon and maybe spot a moose."
"The Kenai Peninsula is Alaska's Playground"
Best Trip Choices:
"The peninsula serves as the Alaska sampler because it has the wildlife; the dramatic glaciers, mountains and wilderness; multipurpose rivers; a fjord-lined coast — plus churches, mining towns and other attractions associated with Alaska’s settlement story."
"Rich in gold mining, early settlers and Alaska Native history, Cooper Landing has long been a destination for serious anglers wanting easy access to the Russian and Kenai rivers and Skilak and Kenai lakes for trophy salmon, trout and a host of other species...Whatever your passion, be it fishing, hiking, rafting/kayaking, sightseeing, exploring Alaska culture or hanging out with the local folks, you'll find it all in Cooper Landing."
Established in 1952, Gwin's Lodge has been feeding fishers, outdoors people, tourists, and locals (Alaskans) for over 60 years.
Gwin's Lodge has a loyal following of fans, some have dined at Gwin's Lodge all their lives. Now under new ownership and management, Gwin's Lodge has brought back some of its fan favorites: the smoked salmon chowder, chili, hamburgers made to order with various topping options, halibut sandwich, carrot cake, etc. Every year, the loyal customers of Gwin's Lodge eagerly await its reopening for the season. Some make frequent trips down to the Kenai Peninsula for recreational activities plan around stops at Gwin's Lodge for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks. The fishers start their days at Gwin's Lodge with fluffy pancakes, reindeer sausages, and smoked salmon omelettes, return to Gwin's Lodge to feed their famished bodies after a long day on the river. Together with a great wine list and Alaskan beers, a meal at Gwin's Lodge always hits the right spot.
We know you will love our food and hospitality. Come on in to Gwin's Lodge and find your favorites! Here is what some of our fans have to say about our award-winning smoked salmon chowder:
Tomcat from Anchorage
Anyone who has fished the Russian River or at least passed through Cooper Landing while driving along the Sterling Highway has probably made a pitstop at Gwin's Lodge. The place is famous for its award-winning smoked salmon chowder and, after dining there on more than one occasion, I can personally vouch for its deliciousness.
Eat and Tweet Blog
The final stop on the Magic Mile is a few miles down the track, just as you get out of that slow 35 mile zone into the racey 55 mile zone! And it is FANTASTIC. Gwin's Lodge. This place has been around for 57 years (you can see inside it above, the rustic log cabin pic), and is famous for its Salmon Chowder and its pies. And what do you think I had????? Yep, Salmon Chowder and pie!!! I managed to end up trying 3 of their pies (Fruits of the Forest, Strawberry & Rhubarb, and of course Blueberry) and their famous Apple Walnut Caramel Cake. OH MYYYYYYYYYYYYY. But, back to that Salmon Chowder.
I sat up at the counter (that's where singles sit), chit chatting with the waitress, I decided to go for it. She popped it down and front of me, and all I did was inhale. Oh those aromas, sooooo beautiful. And it was a really cold day outside, so perfect soup weather. I picked up my spoon, and dove in. Sportsfans, there are no words for the flavour blast in my mouth...not just the wonderful creamy texture on my tongue, but this heady, potent smoked salmon flavour, and not that raw orange smoked salmon aussie flavour, but rather a punch in the head, full blooded red smoked salmon flavour, smoked in a real smoker. I just looked up at the waitress and said "it's smoked salmon" she just smiled and nodded. "Do you smoke it yourself?", "Nope, we have a local guy do it". And yes, they use the "Reds" (Sockeye Salmon) straight out of the Kenai. Honestly, I sat there for the next 10 minutes and just spooned this heavenly velvet into my mouth, no words, just sighs between mouthfuls. Fresh parsley, dill, corn, carrots, really good smoked bacon, potatoes...all came together with that divine smoked salmon to produce a symphony of flavour. Sigh. Magical.
Alaska Speaks by Philip R. Gantt at Seasoned Cooking
This month I have included a bonus recipe from Gwin's Lodge in Alaska for Smoked Salmon Chowder! Gwin's Lodge is well known to the locals for having some of the best food on the Kenai Peninsula. The atmosphere is very quaint and definitely has that "Alaskan feeling." Gwin's offers some great desserts including home made pies with local berries in season. If you ever happen to be in Cooper Landing, be sure to stop at Gwin's to sample the food.
Denalicat from Montana
I am thrilled to see that Gwin's is re-opening! ... Well worth the stop. An Alaskan experience. They make the best smoked salmon chowder on the planet