Yellowknife  has a decent selection of restaurants, as well as all the usual fast-food choices, and city-style coffee at places like Javaroma (5201 50th Ave., 867/669-0725). Head to Northern Fancy Meats (314 Woolgar Ave., 867/873-8767, Mon.–Sat. 9 a.m.–6 p.m.) for Northern game meat and in-house sausages and jerky.
Of the many hotel dining rooms, none is better than Traders Grill (Explorer Hotel, 4825 49th Ave., 867/873-3531, Mon.–Fri 7 a.m.–9 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 8 a.m.–9 p.m., $22–38), a stylish space with professional service and a wide-ranging menu that includes a few local seafood choices (crumbed turbot, seafood chowder, and baked arctic char). Cooked breakfasts top out at $15 for eggs Benedict made with smoked arctic char.
Le Frolic (5019 49th St., 867/669-9852, $17–35) is the downstairs half of a French restaurant combo (L’Heritage, upstairs, is more formal and expensive) that presents game like arctic char, musk ox, and caribou with French flair. With the bison burger at $17, you don’t need to spend a fortune, but the wild-game fondue (deer, caribou, and bison) with seasoned game broth is hard to pass up.
Head down the hill from the city center to enjoy Northern cuisine and typically hospitable Northern atmosphere at any of the following restaurants. The Wildcat Café (3904 Wiley Rd., 867/873-8850, June–Aug. Mon.–Sat. 7:30 a.m.–9 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m.–9 p.m., $19–28) has been famous since it was opened by Willy Wiley and Smoky Stout in 1937, becoming the first place in Yellowknife  to sell ice cream.
The café closed its doors in 1959 but reopened with some remodeling in 1977. The distinctive Northern feel hasn’t been lost—log walls, wooden tables, a sloping floor, and a congenial atmosphere are part of the charm. It only has a few tables and is perpetually full, so chances are you’ll end up sharing a table. The blackboard menu changes daily but features dishes such as lake trout, whitefish, and musk ox.