Even though chains such as Starbucks have made an appearance in Whitehorse , go beyond what you know and search out Midnight Sun Coffee Roaster (9002 Quartz Rd., 867/668-7559, Mon.–Sat. 8 a.m.–5 p.m.), with coffee that is as good as you’ll find anywhere. It comes with locally inspired monikers like Sam McGee’s Black.
Also well worth a visit is The Chocolate Claim (305 Strickland St., 867/667-2202, Mon.–Fri. 7:30 a.m.–6 p.m., Sat 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m., lunches $6.50–9), an arty space with handmade chocolates, freshly baked sunflower bread, sandwiches, savory soups, and cappuccino.
In a two-story log building just off 4th Avenue on the north side of downtown, Alpine Bakery (411 Alexander St., 867/668-6871, Mon.–Sat. 8 a.m.–6 p.m.) bakes wholesome European-style breads with organic ingredients, but they aren’t cheap. A specialty is Expedition Bread, which stays edible for up to a month. The bakery is also part deli.
Lil’s Place (209 Main St., 867/668-3545, daily 7 a.m.–9 p.m., $5.50–12) is set up as a 1950s diner complete with vinyl booths, a jukebox, gumball machines, and a menu of burgers and shakes.
Right downtown, dining at Bistro on Fourth (High Country Inn, 4051 4th Ave., 867/667-4471, 7 a.m.–9:30 p.m., $15–31) combines Northern favorites with a clean, comfortable atmosphere and reasonable prices. The best choices focus on classic dishes with a Northern twist, such as a caribou burger. Most steak and seafood mains, including choices such as pork ribs barbecued on the heated deck, are under $30.
Housed in Whitehorse ’s oldest commercial building, the Klondike Rib & Salmon BBQ (2116 2nd Ave., 867/667-7554, mid-May–Sept. daily for dinner, $14–29) has a family-friendly atmosphere of long tables covered with checked tablecloths and a finger-lickin’ menu. The house specialty is barbecued ribs, but you’ll also find steaks, Caesar salad, smoked salmon, halibut fish-and-chips, miner’s soup with caribou sausage, and bumbleberry pie. It’s busy, noisy, fun, and tasty.
Close by, the Talisman Café (River View Hotel, 102 Wood St., 867/667-7801, Mon.–Sat. 7 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun 6 a.m.–4 p.m.) is very different. The atmosphere is heady and the food runs the entire spectrum—from bannock and jam ($3) at breakfast to couscous salad ($7) and a Mediterranean platter ($18) in the evening.
Sanchez Cantina (211 Hanson St., 867/668-5858, Mon.–Sat. 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 5–9:30 p.m., $10–16.50) is a casual, quiet place with familiar Mexican favorites. Sides of salsa and guacamole are made in-house and are delicious.