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Aug 28, 2007 06:13 PM

Favorite Restaurants in Anchorage, Alaska

What are your favorite Restaurants in Anchorage, Alaska and why?

I'll start:
1) Marx Brothers: Not the cafe in the Museum, but the little house on the bluff. Intimate and experimental. I still have wonderful memories of their seafood pate. But the best stand-by is the Caesar salad.
2) Crows Nest: Excellent bar and a staff that is willing to accommodate. The views of the Inlet are unmatched. The tasting menu is the way to go.
3) Sacks: Consistent with the fresh ingredients combined into original Pan-Pacific cuisine a la Alaska.
4) Bear Tooth: They know how to combine hot-spicy with hot-spicy with their Anchillo brownie with homemade cinnamon ice cream. Modern Mexican American cuisine served with delightful margaritas.
5) Villa-nova: It has a loyal clientele that revels in the fact that tourists don’t drop in because it is in a strip mall. But man-oh-man the service is professional and the food is too. I love all their pasta dishes.

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  1. Thanks for this information! I'm headed to Anchorage in two weeks, and was just about to post a request for restaurant info.

    As long as I'm here, I'll add the Places links for these restaurants (so I don't have to ask you where they are :-).


    Crow's Nest
    939 W 5th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501

    Villa Nova Restaurant
    5121 Arctic Blvd Ste I, Anchorage, AK 99503

    Marx Brothers Cafe
    627 W Third Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501

    Sacks Cafe & Restaurant
    328 G Street, Anchorage, AK 99517

    Bear Tooth Theatrepub & Grill
    1230 W 27th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99503

    3 Replies
    1. re: AnneInMpls

      That's a very good start. Always liked Marx Bros. I have fond, fond memories when they catered a function at my office that was latter canceled by a snowstorm (rarity in AK... the cancellation, that it). They brought in a huge sheet of lamb chops ... and they couldn't go to waste. Carefully prepared food with great ingredients.

      Villa Nova is a longtime, local fav with a devoted following of AK "sourdoughs." I''ve had some wonderful meals there but if you've had a lot of great Italian it's not going to knock your socks off.

      Crow's Next has upscale food with a killer view on clear days/nights, but is a little full of itself.

      I'd add two in Girdwood, which is technically in Anchorage, but an hour or so from downtown. The Double Musky isn't fancy but is the best food in Anchorage.

      Seven Glaciers is upscale dining on top of a mountain -- and accessed by a tram. Like the Crow's Nest, aim for a clear night.

      1. re: repete

        I was in Alaska in May and we drove to Girdwood, and planned to eat at the Double Musky, as it was highly recommended. But, it's closed on Mondays! It was so disappointing, so be forewarned.

        I loved the Crow's Nest bar - very old fashioned feel. The wait staff are very proper there, but friendly and not snobby. They didn't mind our group being as silly and we were.

        I liked the Glacier Brewhouse's food much better than the Snow Goose. The Snow Goose has a large outside deck with an excellent view, so it's worth a trip, but is better for happy hour.

        Snow City Cafe was excellent for breakfast. Hmm, are hey affiliated with the Snow Goose?

        1. re: jlc

          Also, don't forget to try Glacier BrewHouse's "sister" restaurant ORSO, on the same block just east of the BrewHouse. They have a very nice Mediterranean Menu with fresh Seafood and an Osso Bucco that is my favorite. The bartenders are very outgoing and it is fun to sit at the bar and enjoy dinner with them.

    2. All excellent choices. I'd add Simon and Seaforts for apps and drinks when the sun is setting (tho I'll stay for dinner if they have fresh oysters), Snow Goose for their brew if its a sunny day and you can sit on the deck, Glacier Brewhouse for the Tahini Salad and Bread Pudding (baked in the wood fired oven), and Jens for whatever the guys are recommending that nite.

      1. How about places that are cheap and casual but really nice? Any Anchorage lunch joints that are worth the trip? Or how about Maxine's Bistro or The Bake Shop in Girdwood?


        1 Reply
        1. re: AnneInMpls

          Bake Shop is good for breakfast. For "joints" ... I'd say Gwennies. It's not very nice but it's got an old-time Alaskana dinner feel. Definitely more of a breakfast place. Caribou sausage, crab omelets ...

          Jen's is an excellent suggestion as well.

        2. These places are cheap and the food is good:

          Ray's Place - Vietnamese, casual, with great prices and wonderful food.

          Thai Kitchen - Thai, casual, really good food

          Hula Hands - Polynesian food - love the grilled chicken and the pork in taro leaf

          VIP - Korean food - the bbq is excellent and the sides are soooo good. A real treat.

          The pho is good at the pho shop on the corner of Minnesota and Northern Lights (in the strip mall behind City Diner) - Ray's has good pho too.

          Our Japanese food is pretty good. My fav is YamatoYa, for sentimental reasons - I love the waitresses. Up here you usually get real crab in California rolls, not fake crab.

          The pizza and salads are good at Moose's Tooth and Bear Tooth but I can't recommend the Mexican food at Bear's Tooth. Very heavy and not in a 'I'm splurging but this is delicious' kind of way.

          The only Mexican food I can recommend is Taco King. It's cheaper than McDonalds and hardly a fine dining experience, but much better, fresher Mexican food than you can get for 4 times the money any place else. I don't like any of the Chinese places in town either.

          I hate to be a complainer but the Italian food isn't great either. And the baked goods are lacking. They look good at LaRoma inside of New Sagaya's but looks aren't everything! Cafe Europa is better tho nothing to write home about.

          3 Replies
          1. re: cloverflowers

            I totally agree, but I would add,
            Tommy’s Burger Stop for (obviously) burgers, cheese steaks, and Double Musky desserts.
            Middle Way Café for veggie and a couple non veggie sandwiches
            Charlie’s Bakery for great Chinese food and soups
            And even though we don’t have any terrific Italian restaurants I love Nino’s and the Greek Corner.

            1. re: cloverflowers

              Have you heard of Fiori D'Italia? They actually go to Italy several times a year to bring back many fresh ingredients. My Hubby has a co-worker (he works at Hula Hands) who LOVES their food. He is taking me there tonight. I will let you know how it is. =)



              1. re: cloverflowers

                Okay, so now I need to report on Fiori D'Italia.
                It was good, not amazing though. I am not still dreaming of their food as I have with some other restaurants. I would like to go back however and try some more dishes.

                My hubby got some sort of spaghetti dish with red sauce, anchovies, green peppers, mushrooms etc. on top (he thought they could have added more anchovies). He also tried the stromboli (we brought most of it home as it is HUGE) and we both thought it was to greasy and heavy. They served it with marinara sauce and neither of us liked their version very well. I ordered the special of the day which was a shrimp stuffed ravioli in white sauce. The white sauce was very good, however, I must add that I ordered a similar dish, a lobster ravioli in white sauce, from the Greek Corner (also a special) last year and their version was one of the best I have ever eaten. I dreamed of it every week during my recent pregnancy. Anyways, my ravioli came with the dinner salad which I ordered with Italian dressing and I was not impressed. I have had some very good Italian salads and this could not compare. I did however read a review that they make an excellent Caesar salad so I will try this next time.

                I would also like to try Campo Bello soon as I have heard excellent reviews about this restaurant. I will keep you posted.


              2. These are great leads! It sounds like y'all do OK for cheap-but-good restaurants. Charlie's Bakery and the pho places sound especially good to me.

                Keep those favorite restaurants coming! Especially if they're in the Spenard area (I think we'll be staying in a hostel there) or near the train station.


                P.S. I'm adding the Places links, selfishly, as preparation for my trip. (We leave in a week!)

                Ray's Place
                2412 Spenard Rd, Anchorage, AK 99503

                Thai Kitchen
                3405 E Tudor Rd, Anchorage, AK 99507

                Hula Hands Restaurant
                4630 Mountain View Dr, Anchorage, AK 99508

                VIP Restaurant
                555 W Northern Lights Blvd Ste 105, Anchorage, AK 99503

                Thai Basil Restaurant
                3020 Minnesota Drive,#20, Anchorage, AK 99503

                3700 Old Seward Hwy Ste 5, Anchorage, AK 99503

                Taco King
                113 W Northern Lights Blvd, Anchorage, AK 99503

                Double Musky Inn
                Crow Creek Hwy, Girdwood, AK 99587

                Tommy's Burger Stop
                1106 W 29th Pl, Anchorage, AK 99503

                Middle Way Cafe
                1200 W Northern Lights Blvd Ste G, Anchorage, AK 99503

                Moose's Tooth
                3300 Old Seward Hwy, Anchorage, AK 99503

                Nino's Italian Eastery
                831 E 36th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99503

                Greek Corner
                302 W Fireweed Ln, Anchorage, AK 99503

                Charlie's Bakery
                2729 C St, Anchorage, AK 99503

                Bake Shop
                Olympic Cir, Girdwood, AK 99587

                Gwennies Old Alaska Restaurant
                4333 Spenard Rd, Anchorage, AK 99517

                Jens' Restaurant
                701 W 36th Ave Ste 5, Anchorage, AK 99503

                Glacier Brewhouse
                737 W. 5th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501

                Simon & Seafort's
                420 L Street, Anchorage, AK 99501

                Snow Goose Restaurant & Brwry
                717 W 3rd Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501

                5 Replies
                1. re: AnneInMpls

                  In Spenard, check out the halibut sandwich at Momma O's. It's been a long time but it used to be the best halibut sandwich in town. It's just a strip mall stop, but the fish was always fresh.

                  1. re: repete

                    This is great to know - I plan to eat as many halibut sandwiches as I can. Thanks!


                    Momma O's Seafood Restaurant
                    2636 Spenard Rd, Anchorage, AK 99503

                    1. re: AnneInMpls

                      The halibut sandwich at the Bear Tooth grill is truly fantastic, by the way - as is everything on the cafe side (and you can watch a movie, drink great beer, and eat incredible food in the theatre). I have to reiterate that Charlie's is the best Chinese food in town, and the dim sum can't be beat. I'm sitting down here in Illinois writing papers for my grad classes and my mouth is watering just thinking of those treats. Downtown, I would definitely hit Humpy's for food and beer selection, and when I was around this summer, Ginger was a new place that was expensive but interesting. Also, over on 4th Avenue (near C st) there is a really great little Russian cafe that serves pelmeni, varenniki and borshch, not a huge selection but all really delicious, filling, and relatively cheap! Apart from that, I have to echo most other people who have posted - for relatively cheap and really good eats, I'd hit Bear Tooth (the cafe, not the grill), Charlie's, Tommy's Burger Stop, Yamato Ya, oh, and definitely the Bake Shop if you're going to Girdwood. The Szeged goulash is to DIE for. The other stuff is way out of my price range as a grad student.

                  2. re: AnneInMpls

                    Yamatoya is horrible now. It's a Japanese place and even the rice is inedible. Very sad because it was great for years and years.
                    Now I go to Tempura Kitchen, but it is a poor substitute for Yamatoya's when Yamatoya's was good. Thirty years ago Kumago's down on 4th avenue right across the street from the log cabin visitor's center was great. But I haven't been there in many years. We had better Japanese food when jets had to stop here for fuel. We used to get a lot of Japanese flight crews on layovers.

                    The pho noodle shop in the Diamond Center mall is good. It isn't located in the food court. I would tell you what it is next to but everything goes out of business so quickly...

                    There's a good new pho shop right next to mid-town Walmart, in the strip mall with Baskin Robbin.

                    And Hula Hands opened a new outlet on Arctic Blvd. Between Bear Tooth, VIP, Hula Hands, Charlies Chinese Bakery, the Bagel Deli Factory, Ray's Place I might have to move to midtown/Spenard and walk to dinner every night and never cook again. Oh and Sahara's which is terrific. Those places are all cheap and tasty and within a mile of each other. Middle Way Cafe is in there too.

                    1. re: cloverflowers

                      What kind of food does Sahara's have? my Mom and sister have raved about Middle Way cafe, I will have to check it out. Have you tried Doriolas? I think you would love it ... their quiche is heavenly. And everything else is amazing as well. The homemade sandwiches, the salads with the homemade dressing. The delicious homemade soups. So delicious!!!