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When I was a kid, my dad was in the Coast Guard, and we spend five years living in Alaska. I can unequivocally say that I loved it there. My dad apparently did too as he moved back to Alaska after his retirement, and he has lived there for the last fifteen years or so. He currently lives in Sitka, Alaska which means my family and I get a free place to stay when we visit the Last Frontier. 😉
On our last visit to Sitka, we spent about a week enjoying the Alaskan way of life, and my kids absolutely loved the way all the restaurants seemed to be multi-tasking—like a Chinese restaurant might also be a smoothie shop or a taco place might also serve hot dogs. They would stop to read all of the shop window signs trying to find the strangest combination.
Where to get the best coffee in Sitka
Since Sitka is so small, I was worried there wouldn’t be any good places to get coffee. I’m kind of spoiled in Charlotte because we have a ton of great places to get a caffeine fix, but I fretting in vain! Sitka has three pretty awesome spots to get coffee and espresso drinks. So, if you are visiting soon and trying to figure out how you will manage without your morning mocha, worry no more.
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Highliner Coffee is a locally owned shop that started out as a coffee cart. The owners wanted to bring the best tasting brew to Sitka to give their neighbors a top-notch cup of coffee. The name of the shop, Highliner, is a testament to their dedication to excellence as a highliner commercial fisherman is the best of the best.
I found the atmosphere at Highliner to be laid back even though there always seemed to be a steady stream of customers coming through. The service was excellent, and the coffee was delicious. Plus, they open early.
We didn’t quite get used to the whole time difference while we were visiting, and my husband and I found ourselves wide awake at 5 am every morning. Since it was summer, the sun was already shining brightly…I mean the sunlight was filtering through the fog brightly. So, basically, we just waited around for Highliner to open every day!
The shop is located on Seward Street next to the fire hall, and it is open from 6 am-5 pm Monday through Saturday. On Sunday they open at 7 and close at 4.
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The Backdoor Cafe has been in Sitka since the 90s, and it is a lovely, cozy little spot to get toasty and enjoy a steaming beverage. We loved stopping in for a drink after wandering around in the shops. It may have been June for Sitka, but coming from North Carolina it felt quite cool to us.
This cafe is actually located on the backside of a bookstore (hence the name), and they serve your coffee in real mugs. I’m guessing they also have to-go paper cups as well if you don’t have time to sit. On one visit, my son opted for the kid’s hot chocolate and was enthralled with the little plastic monkey the hung from the cup.
You will find the Backdoor Cafe on Barracks Street on the backside of Old Harbor Books. They are open from 6:30 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday with slightly shorter hours on the weekends.
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Fisheye Coffee is a little drive-up coffee shop that still manages to offer all of the drinks you would expect at a regular cafe. You can get a regular cup of Joe, espresso drinks, smoothies, and even Italian sodas from this little box. It’s been churning out lattes to the Sitka community since 2012.
According to my dad, it is a favorite shop for many people because of the high ratio of pretty baristas (can you see my eyes rolling), but we liked it because the coffee tasted good and it was hella convenient.
We stopped in after a snack run at the grocery store which, let me tell you, is an eye-opening experience. My dad classifies the grocery stores in town as expensive, more expensive, and most expensive. Grocery bills in Alaska are no joke—I saw a 6-pack of bagels for eight dollars! Yikes. Luckily, coffee from coffee shops is already pretty over-priced. Alaska prices on lattes seemed pretty equivalent to what we pay here.
Anyway, back to Fisheye Coffee. The shop is located on Halibut Point Road, and you can drive up for a cup from 6 am to 5 pm most days of the week.
Need help planning your own Sitka trip? Check out this post with tips on where to stay, how to get there, and what to do once you arrive.
Other Awesome Spots (that aren’t coffee)
While we mostly ate meals cooked by my step-mother while we were in Sitka…hello, grilled salmon…we did sneak out for lunch a few times. My dad informed us that we would find the best pizza at the Mexican restaurant and coincidentally the best Mexican food was at the pizza restaurant (remember that multi-tasking thing?)
I love Filipino food, but the only place I can ever seem to find any is in Alaska (and well, I assume The Philippines, but I haven’t been there yet!) So, every time I visit Alaska, I absolutely have to get my hands on a huge plate of lumpia. In Sitka, that plate came from Sizzling Chow Cuisine. If you are out browsing the shops, then you will likely stumble across this little unassuming restaurant on Lincoln Street.
Another tasty spot to grab a bite is located in the gift shop of the Sitka Sound Science Center: Ludvig’s Chowder Cart. The offerings include baguette sandwiches, a selection of salads, and seafood chowder. It is an extension of Ludvig’s Bistro. Both the main restaurant and the cart are openly seasonally from May to September.
Remember that delicious pizza my dad was talking about? We found that at Agave Mexican Restaurant which was basically across the street from his house. This family dining establishment also doubles as an arcade with air hockey tables and video games. More multi-tasking!
A trip to Alaska is full of unique experiences. Sometimes it means seeing your first bear, and other times it means eating pizza at a Mexican restaurant. 😀
Now that you know where to get your coffee fix, you are ready to plan your trip to Sitka, aren’t you?