The Truly Great Guide to Eating (and Drinking) Well in the Great North Whitehorse
Midnight Sun Coffee Roasters
21 Waterfront Pl, Whitehorse
There are few places in the world where people won’t drone on about how important coffee is, but in the wild north—where the summer light lingers all night long, and disappears altogether in the winter—coffee is king. And in Whitehorse, Midnight Sun provides support for your ailing circadian rhythm through fresh roasts and perfectly-crafted coffee. This ain’t no hipster hangout either. It’s a proper shop serving what you need to get your day just right.
The Wayfarer Oyster Bar
6098 6th Ave, Whitehorse
There’s a unique quality that good oyster bars showcase. It has something to do with the relationship an oyster shucker shares with the customer. Much like a sommelier, they need to know their shellfish well and, in turn, how it works with the rest of the menu. At The Wayfarer—a fresh opening in Whitehorse as of 2018—the staff gets it. Bringing in oysters, mussels and scallops from both east and west coasts, this spot knows the marine culinary landscape well, but also knows how to complement the best in seafood. Think crafted cocktails, proper cheeses, pork belly and all the accouterments that make an oyster bar so much more than, well, oysters.
The 98 Hotel
110 Wood Street, Whitehorse
Drinking in the morning is more than a nightmare for puritans and preachers; it’s a right and an honour, especially at Whitehorse’s 98 Hotel, where you can get a frosty beer or bourbon at nine in the morning. The 98 claims to have the second oldest liquor license in the Yukon. According to legend—or the lies of old men—the hotel’s liquor license was approved only minutes after another famous Yukon bar: The Pit in Dawson City. This place has a notorious reputation for being rough, but is (mostly) not. Tourist and locals alike step into its dark environs for a cold pint and colourful characters. Show up on Thursdays for an eclectic live music, and on Sundays for jam night. Don’t listen to the haters. This place is a must-visit, especially at 9 AM.
Wood Street Ramen
302 Wood St, Whitehorse
Ramen in North America gets a bad a rap, but educated diners know this culinary treasure to be an art form elevated by delicate broths, house-made noodles, and a creative assortment of “toppings.” Think pork belly, fresh corn, earthy mushrooms, perfectly-poached eggs, and a whole slew of fermented delicacies. As of 2019, Whitehorse has a ramen spot that demands diners’ attention. Wood Street Ramen not only brings the heat with their dishes, but features a full line of craft brews and an upbeat Asian Canadian vibe that may not be expected by visitors to this northern outpost. Also, vegans and vegetarians can rejoice. This place is your jam.
211 Hanson Street, Whitehorse
Mexican restaurants in Canada mostly suck. Sorry, but it’s true. That’s why Whitehorsians (yes, that’s what we’re called) are lucky to have Sanchez Cantina serving authentic Mexican food. From mole poblano to Huauchinango a la Veracruzana, and ceviche to flan, this place puts out proper fare from south of two borders. Naturally, they also create tasty tacos and enchiladas for those who crave the standard Mexicano fare. When it gets cold, there are few dishes better than the dull, delicious heat of chile relleno to heat you up. Plus, cerveza. Mucho cerveza.
2074 2nd Ave, Whitehorse
What’s better than jerk chicken and a Red Stripe? Pickapeppa offers something mostly only found in Canada’s big ol’ cities: truly tasty Jamaican soul food. A small menu offers everything from fried plantains to ginger beer to Jamaican patties, and, of course, jerked everything. A friendly vibe complements the excellent food well.
Dirty Northern Public House
103 Main St, Whitehorse
Craft beer fans can relax easy knowing there’s a Whitehorse pub serving fresh inventive brews from as local of locations as the Whitehorse industrial park, to as far away as the craft beer Utopia of Portland, Oregon. This hip, comfortable spot on Main street also serves an updated version of traditional pub food like burgers and steak, plus pizzas done with care. It’s hard not to gravitate towards this spot, especially when night rolls around and the vibe gets boisterous.
100 Main St, Whitehorse
Baked Café is busy, but what good coffee shop isn’t? Plus, this frenetic corner of Main street is so much more than a mere coffee shop. It’s a tasty café with healthy food, a meeting place for locals, and a hub for community arts and events. Think film showings, poetry readings, standup comedy, trivia nights and live music. If local entertainment is what you’re seeking, this is where you’ll most likely find it. Get the TK and the TK.