Roadtrippin’: Phenomenal fish and chips at Captain Pattie’s in Homer

Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 6:00 PM AKDT
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HOMER, Alaska (KTUU) - Homer is a fish lover’s paradise. Along the Homer Spit, one can see hoards of fishing boats going out to Kachemak Bay and the Cook Inlet preparing to harvest fresh ingredients for some of the best seafood found in Alaska.

In one of the Spit’s brightly covered buildings along the water is Captain Pattie’s, where co-owner John Michels and his staff serve up some of the most sought-after dishes in the area. He said above all the salmon, shrimp, oysters and other flavors from the ocean, his customers order the halibut more than anything else.

It’s safe to say that everything on the menu is good. However, the most popular dish at the restaurant — the fish and chips — is nothing less than phenomenal.

The dish is simple, yet satisfying. That’s exactly the kind of vibe Captain Pattie’s is going for with the whole restaurant, Michels said.

“You come to Homer, you come to the ocean, you hit the beach, you wanna eat what’s out there. So that’s what we like to offer,” he said.

The fish and chips, of course, start in the sea. Michels said for the last 20 years, the same fish broker has bought up boatloads of halibut and other seafood from Cook Inlet, Kachemak Bay, and the Gulf of Alaska every morning, and delivers it to Captain Pattie’s daily.

In the kitchen, the cooks dunk the halibut into a thick batter and drop it into a bath of oil to fry to perfection.

Any other details on how the fish is prepped stay tightly sealed in the kitchen. So go to Homer to understand its crispy, yet tender taste — which is amazing.

The halibut comes out as a hefty bite that can fuel anyone for a full day of Alaska adventure. The batter finds that perfect balance of crunchy at the first bite, but flaky as one continues to chew. Coupled with the extra thick tartar sauce, it’s one of the best plates of fish and chips found anywhere in the world.

Actually, people have come from all over the world to get a glimpse of Homer’s beauty and a taste of the food like at Captain Pattie’s. This summer, the people are coming early, according to Michels.

In mid-May, about half the restaurant was filled up shortly after opening up at 11 a.m. Michels said that was a slow day.

He said Homer didn’t have the same kind of hardships for restaurant businesses as places like Anchorage did in the summer of 2020. But without tourists, he said it was still not a good season.

“Last year was very bare out here. Very quiet out here. Almost spooky quiet,” Michels said. “This year we have tourists already.”

“Spooky” was the worst of it, as Michels puts it. He said it was a slower season, but Captain Pattie’s did not struggle because of the support of the Homer community. The quality of the food probably has something to do with that as well.

Michels said he’s expecting a very busy season moving forward all the way until the end of October.

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