The Homer Spit is home to, for the most part, summer-only businesses that cater to tourists, fishermen, and weekend adventurers aplenty. So there’s long been an emphasis on fried halibut and other related goodies. The Spit’s food cred took a serious bump up when La Baleine opened. Though the restaurant has a seriously casual beach-town vibe, the food is not your everyday sandy-feet fare. Emphasizing organic and local ingredients, chef Mandy Dixon—who grew up in the kitchens of her parents’ Alaska lodges (Within the Wild)—serves up elegant but generous dishes, including salmon bowls with brown rice and roasted root vegetables and miso-marinated sablefish. The breakfasts are hearty enough to take you through a full day of paddling the bay.