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Best of Anchorage, Alaska

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From a foodie who has lived in Anchorage for 20 years, here's my best places to eat and drink in Anchorage, Alaska.

Breakfast:

Jackie’s Place in Spenard
Downtown Deli on 4th (best sourdough pancakes)
Marty’s New York Bagels (locations on Northern Lights and on Dimond)
Snow City (on 4th Ave. downtown)

Chinese:

Charlie’s Bakery on C St. (casual, not open for dinner)

Thai:

Thai Kitchen on Tudor (only consistently good Thai food in town)

Japanese:

Dish on International Airport
Yamato Ya on Old Seward (casual, less expensive)
Kumagoro on 4th downtown
Kansha on Dimond
Sushi Garden on Huffman

Italian:

Romanos at C and Fireweed
Ninos at Old Seward and 36th

Mexican:

None

Indian:

Bombay Deluxe on Northern Lights

Bar Food:

Peanut Farm Old Seward and International (extensive menu, good wings)
Longbranch Saloon on E. Diamond (good burgers)

Burgers:

Outback
Tommy’s Burger Stop
Longbranch Saloon on E. Dimond

Lunch/Casual:

Doriola’s on Tudor (super good food, all homemade)
Marty’s New York Bagels
Middle Way Café on Northern Lights (all homemade
New Cauldron in the University Center (all homemade)
French Café Bakery on Muldoon
Humpy’s (good bar/restaurant with good food and lots of local beers)
Dianne’s (downtown 550 W. 7th)
Falafel King on Gambell (carry-out and yummy!)

Greek:

Greek Corner at C and Fireweed

Pizza:

Moose’s Tooth (excellent brewpub and top-notch pizza)

Fine Dining:

Sacks
Crow's Nest at the Captain Cook (probably my favorite fancy restaurant -- great view, great service)
Marx Brothers
Café Savanah (tapas place on 6th Ave on Town Square)

Good Places to Drink:

Sub Zero
Simon and Seaforts
Sullivans
Peanut Farm
Bernie’s Bungalow

Fish and Chips:

Captain Chuck’s
Momma ‘Os

Coffee:

Side Street Espresso (G St. between 4th and 5th downtown)

Other Good Places:

Tap Root Café on Huffman (funky casual)
Bear Tooth (good restaurant, brewpub, and also as a theaterpub)
Café Amsterdam (breakfast, lunch, dinner and good beer)
Sugarspoon (homemade desserts, on Spenard Road)

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  1. Charlies is open at night, and they are great......only until 8 I think and they have no alcohol... Thai Orchid is great and consistent. Tottaly agree on Jackies place, or Snow City for breakfast. Tap Root is trying but they aren't there yet been burned twice there but its good enough I keep trying....I would add Hula Hands for funky inexpensive plate lunch and best ahi poke. Don't forget Club Paris for a decent steak. You'd have to pay me to eat at the Downtown Deli. I would also add Peppercinis for a quick consistent lunch. Artic Roadrunner for a burger. For the most part I tottally agree with you....
    What do you think of the new Spenard Roadhouse?
    Don't forget the Double Musky and Suite 100 is doing a professional , if not quite foodie job.
    Italian..have you been to Villa Nova now that George is back....I think Romanos is bland. Villa Nova was the best , then George left - nows he's back, not sure if he brought it all back together though. You also didn't mention Jens or Kincaid Grill. Neither of them are places I go - but they are considered good wondering your take on them.

    5 Replies
    1. re: coastie

      Spenard Roadhouse has good food but it has been very crowded, and is still working on service issues. But it's new and I'm sure it will settle down. Double Musky is definitely worth a visit, and I also like Maxine's Glacier City Bistro, also in Girdwood. I don't like the menu or food or service at Suite 100, but it's a nice place to have a drink. Villa Nova is definitely worth a visit. I think Jens and Kincaid Grill are both nice, but the strip mall ambience is a turn-off to me. I've heard good things about Peppercini's but haven't been there. And I'll have to try Hula Hands.

      1. re: paul99501

        I concurr completely. My only difference would be thought the service was good .....food mediocre at suite 100. Maxines is a great little spot with eclectic feel . Miss their old menu with the naan bread and curried lentils though. Spenard Roadhouse should make it..once they get by service issues as the ppl putting it together are responsible for sacks and something else quality that I can't recall rt now. Thank you for reminding me - we do have good food - we do.........I forget sometimes because so much is blah......

        1. re: coastie

          Anyone have recommendations for Korean food - grocery or restaurants - in Anchorage?

          1. re: Kwonton

            there is a really good asian market on Fireweed... just past sorrentos. its on Fireweed - and the intersection street is the road the restaurant supply store is on. It has an emphasis on Korean items. I've found stuff I can't find elsewhere. Stumped on Korean restaurant - my Korean friends own a sushi place lol - I'll ask them, we do have a fairly large Korean population here.

            1. re: Kwonton

              I like Tofu house on Fireweed. There is a fancier place on Northern Lights but Tofu House tastes more authentic. I think there are some Korean stores on Fireweed also.

              Wings and Things, try the nuclear wings if you like real hot. If you want tangy type flavor, this is not the place.

              Indian food, try the Yak and Yeti. Small place on Spenard with really good Indian food.

              Steaks, try Club Paris.

              Burgers and shake, try Arctic Road Runner.

              Pho - Pho Saigon in the Dimond mall.

      2. Paul, you have a great lineup of restaurants except for the 1 category I'm looking for-seafood. We have 1 night in Anchorage following a cruise and would love to get some great Alaskan seafood. We are willing to eat upscale or hole in the wall as long as the seafood is Alaska's finest.

        1 Reply
        1. re: RevrendAndy

          http://www.captaincook.com/crowsnest_...
          They do a great job.

          When will you be here.....would help to know - then we know if the salmon is going to be fresh....etc. Once the reds are running there are more options. Are you looking to eat crab, halibut - scallops ??
          Simon and Seaforts is know for its view and seafood - but I agree with Paul - a place for drinks and apps.....but when salmon fresh - they do a decent job. Lots of ppl love them - I just think they are average
          http://www.simonandseaforts.com/menu.php
          If I only had one night - and had a car rental......I would do the Double Musky it entails quite a drive. But the view is great the whole way. Its a combo show off the area and eat good food in great atmosphere(CLOSED MONDAYS
          ) http://www.doublemuskyinn.com/framed....
          When the fish is fresh - they will have a least one special using it.
          I'm very interested in what Paul has to say....I think most of us cook our own seafood up here. When I go out for seafood its ussually sushi

        2. We will be there the 2nd week of June. We eat everything-salmon,crab,halibut,scallops, etc. We won't have a car. We arrive in Anchorage around 2pm and our flight out is at 1:30am. Great schedule. A hotel restaurant is an easier option because we will have our luggage and can leave it at the bell station. However, any restaurant is fine-we would just find a hotel and drop our bags there. The car option may not be so bad-we'd have a place to store our bags and do some sightseeing. The Double Musky looks like fun but since we have 1 night I really want to stick to pure seafood, not cajun. Is there anyplace else worth driving to? I'm guessing it will be light out for most of the evening.

          2 Replies
          1. re: RevrendAndy

            The Musky is suprisingly uncajun in many of its dishes....but I'm thinking its 40 miles ea way and a lot of driving, albeit beautiful miles. My vote is probably capt cook....( hotel luggage etc) the Crows nest will take great care of you. A lot of locals would say Simons - but Im gonna call it a really nice tourist trap. In June you should be eating at least one kind of fresh salmon if not 2. I've included other options... http://www.alyeskaresort.com/files/Al...
            Not my favorite either but an excellent view - good service - food can be great or a real miss. New ( old) executive chef may be changing that though. Also a drive to Girdwood required - 40 miles ea way. But 7 glaciers view is the best if its clear - must take a tram to top of ski hill
            http://www.millenniumhotels.com/mille...
            This place is very close to airport and is located on the lake where the floatplanes take off and land - I haven't been - I've heard fair to good things about it - but kind of giggled reading the menu( Inspirations)

            1. re: coastie

              Double Musky's blackened sockeye is one of the best seafood meals in Alaska -- once fresh reds are available. But I don't know if it's still on the menu -- they made it for us on request but we've been customers since early '80s. None the less, there are plenty of good seafood options on the menu. Much better than Simon & Seaforts, which is fine, but just not at the same level.

              http://www.doublemuskyinn.com/framed....

              As for the drive to Girdwood, if you go to Anchorage and don't make that drive -- especially when the sun angles are getting low -- you're missing a real treat. (Yeah, you'll see it on the bus/train from the ship but the drive is much better.)

          2. Thanks everyone for your help. I think we've settled on Crow's Nest at the Captain Cook Hotel. We can drop the bags and sightsee before and after dinner. I'll report back on the experience.

            3 Replies
            1. re: RevrendAndy

              Crows Nest is great - try the oysters if you like em raw, and Cafe Diablo is an event not just a drink. Personally, I like Simon and Seaforts but usually eat at a window table in the bar - had some great scallop/salmon lollipops and halibut cheeks last week - and must say you have to work pretty hard to get me to order fish given how much of it I cook at home.

              When I can't decide - I get a friend or two and go progressive - apps at one place, dinner at another, etc

              1. re: AlaskaChick

                Wow Paul...This thread is making me miss home SO MUCH! Lucky I will get to be up in the Greatland for 2 weeks in July. Your list brought back a lot of good memories---I have lived in Delaware now for far too long.

                Jackies! (it has been years) and I would 2nd many of your choices but your list is long and some I haven't had the chance to try...I will in July. Sad to see there is no Mexican on your list.

                Kumagoro on 4th downtown was an old favorite, too.

                What about Sorrento's for Italian

                AND PIZZA OLYMPIA for the most unique and delicious gyros ever!

                ANYWAY, Here is where I MUST eat whenever home in ANC:

                Double Musky -- My all time favorite place in the world. In the winter, dress up (or not), hire a limo, or pull up on a snow machine or skis. It can be crowded in the winter due to it's proximity to Alyeska Ski Resort but that is part of the ambiance and Marde Gras flavor. And it is a beautiful drive in the summer.

                Simon & Seaforts -- Great fresh seafood, I love their Crab/Artichoke dip. If I remember corrrectly, they used to have a great selection of SM Scotch...gee, wonder why I can't remember? :-)

                I have to copy AKFoodie on these:

                "Wings and Things, try the nuclear wings if you like real hot. If you want tangy type flavor, this is not the place."

                Me: (NUKED WILL MAKE YOUR HEAD SWEAT! :-) but they have medium and mild. Now that I live in the east, it is very hard to find wings without that vinegary sauce thing going on and I am forever looking for Wings N Things style wings.---I had heard they went down hill for awhile but have recovered...say it ain't so!

                "Steaks, try Club Paris".

                Me: An Anchorage Classic!!! And they make drinks "Alaskan style" so be careful.

                "Burgers and shake, try Arctic Road Runner."

                Me: Yep! Every variety of burger you can imagine and more! Delish!

                Me: I don't know if Lucky Wishbone is still kicking but I used to hit their drive thru for lunch often--they have everything...from good fried chicken to pastrami & cheese, but Arctic RR's burgers are best.

                The Crows Nest used to have a GREAT Sunday breakfast buffet...I don't know if they still do or not but I wasn't that impressed with the comparable Hilton's on my last trip.

                I gotta say that the last time I was at the Dimond Mall (3/08) it was ALL sort of creepy--went WAY downhill. For shopping, go to The 5th Ave Mall: I like the Chinese at the food court and it's all attached to Nordstroms...need I say more?

                OK, I am beginning to prattle. Have a great trip.

                1. re: patd

                  Don Jose makes very good Mexican actually and they can be found around the State of AK, they have been around since 1982 and were first established in Homer http://www.alaskadonjoses.com/home.html . As for Burgers, you absolutely MUST try Tommy's Burger Stop ( 1106 W 29th Pl. 99503). Their burgers are mouth watering! I also love Arctic Road Runner, but my fav. burger is Tommy's. =
                  )I totally agree with you about all the other restaurants. Pizza Olympia is still wonderful, but also try the Greek Corner. I had their Lobster Ravioli in white sauce once, which was the special of that particular day, and it ruined me during my last pregnancy because I couldn't stop fantasizing about it . =)

            2. Wow! You live in an incredible place. Alaska is unbelievable. Coming from Tahoe I'm used to beautiful water surrounded by mountains but Alaska is Tahoe X 100. Even more unbelievable was our weather. Sunny and 70 the first 5 days from Vancouver to Skagway. Sitka was the first overcast day, but that didn't matter. Anchorage was sunny and warm also. It's always like this right?

              We arrived earlier than expected and had lunch at Humpy's. Fun place-some excellent local brews and wonderful crab legs and blackened halibut sandwich.

              We stuck to the program and had dinner at Crow's Nest in the Captain Cook Hotel with another couple. We weren't disappointed. It's one of the few restaurants that actually has food to match the view.

              We all ordered different items and shared the raw oysters, roasted oysters, quail salad(which was a special), and open faced crab ravioli. Entrees were duck 2 ways, venison with blueberry sauce, bouillabaise, and kurobuta pork tenderloin(another special). All were delicious. Unfortunately, we had no time for dessert. The wine list is terrific and reasonably priced.

              Thanks so much for your help. I would be happy to reciprocate on the California board for anyone headed this way. I also hang out on the Florida board, if you choose to escape winter to southwest Florida.

              1. I"m going to be in ANC for 24 hrs and wondered if someone could recommend a good place to get fresh fished packed for me to take home?
                Thanks

                1 Reply
                1. re: jonel

                  10th and M Seafoods.
                  http://www.10thandmseafoods.com/

                2. I found this restaurant on board on Chowhound and I have to say THANK YOU! I would have never found it on my own as it is not in the touristy area. The fish was very fresh and well prepared. One of the best sushi meals I have ever had. Low-key place, nice staff. We ordered many items and all were good. Of course, local salmon was the best even though I had been eating salmon and halibut for the last few days at every lunch and dinner. I highly recommend this place.

                  -----
                  Yamatoya
                  3700 Old Seward Hwy Ste 5, Anchorage, AK 99503

                  1. I have been a food snob since college and have lived all over the country, traveled a bit of the world and wound up in Anchorage for the past 7 years...my list would differ from the above. I have to say that while there are some decent restaurants here, most of them would not be very good to foodies from larger cities with a lot more diversity. The list above is a step above most chain restaurants but I am a little surprised by some of the choices that made the list. Outback should have never made the list as it is considered a mediocre chain restaurant by most Americans. Other's are not really restaurants: Tap Root Cafe for instance has good beers and meads and a fun atmosphere (but the food is definitely an afterthought there). Bombay Deluxe would not be considered good anywhere outside Alaska, but is the only Indian restaurant in town (there are two Himilayan restaurants however that have better-but not amazing- Indian food). However, for a brief stay here my recommendations are as follows:

                    Suite 100 in South Anchorage (definitely local food and inventive dishes, usually very busy and kind of spendy)

                    -Momma O's and Captain Chuck's I agree are good if you want fried fish (though the Halibut sandwich at the White Spot Cafe is still the best halibut in Alaska to me).

                    -Yamaya is the only authentic Japanese, though a very small menu and very rustic atmosphere. You have to call for reservations of 3 or more. They only serve chirashi sushi...no nigiri, hand or maki rolls. Better to go to Kobe or Benihana if you want teppanyaki though. All the Japanese who have business in town prefer it to the Korean-owned Japanese restaurants (Korean owned tends to be not bad for sashimi but otherwise tend not to be authentic tasting-would love to be proven wrong though). Dish gets a lot of buzz but if you are a real sushi snob I would avoid it and the other places entirely. Tempura Kitchen has a Japanese sushi chef who currently only works Fri and Sat nights but is the most authentic for nigiri and rolls.

                    Two Himilayan restaurants, owned by a brother and sister, are called Yak and Yeti, the other is called Namaste and while I prefer Namaste both are better than Bombay Deluxe.

                    Mexican in this town is mostly awful but ubiquitous for some reason. Taco King is the most authentic and reasonably priced. Oscar's food truck is actually very good for simple Mexican fare (small family from Oaxaca/Chiapas), but they don't have a phone number or website. They are on the intersection at 3rd Ave and Post Rd near downtown.

                    Charlie's Bakery has good Taiwanese style food, very good but not typical Chinese for an outsider used to mainland cuisines.

                    Ginger (upscale) and Bangkok Cafe (rustic) are the very good but neither surprisingly has good pad thai. Thai Kitchen (rustic) has good pad thai but not so great on other dishes.

                    Sacks Restaurant has by far the best lunch and dinner fare in one restaurant if you want local ingredient focused food. Weekend brunch is also the best downtown but not open otherwise for breakfast. Marx Brothers is a good choice, Cafe Savannah is closed. Captain Cook is good but overpriced. Crush in the 5th Ave mall is probably the best for light, healthier and inventive cuisine and decent wine list but is a bit spendy.

                    Italian: Romano's or Nino's are Sicilian inspired and not to my taste, but Orso is good if you like Tuscan.

                    SubZero (cocktails) and Bernie's Bungalow (martinis) are the best bars downtown but Humpys is best for pub-style live music with decent food.

                    Dessert: Sugarspoon is good, but Sacks is probably better for high-end desserts.

                    If you get to Girdwood, definitely try Jack Sprat's (extremely creative and local food here and not too expensive), but make a reservation since it gets busy. I would avoid Double Musky: crowded, expensive, and past its prime. Seven Glaciers is good but overpriced.

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

                    Thai Kitchen
                    3405 E Tudor Rd, Anchorage, AK 99507

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

                    White Spot Cafe
                    109 W 4th Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501

                    Tap Root Cafe
                    1330 Huffman Rd Ste C, Anchorage, AK 99515

                    Bernie's Bungalow
                    626 D St, Anchorage, AK 99501

                    Tempura Kitchen
                    , Anchorage, AK 99501

                    Suite 100 Restaurant & Bar
                    1000 E Dimond Blvd, Anchorage, AK 99515

                    1. Any other good steakhouses apart from Club Paris and big chains?

                      Thanks
                      Jola

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jolsta

                        My last visit to club Paris was so bad.......not even the meat, which used to save the boring food - dark depressing atmosphere , not even the meat was very good.
                        Double Musky has an decent steak. But no - Sullivans is a chain - they are only ok

                      2. I have a 6 hr layover at ANC airport next month and would LOVE to try some local King Crab Legs or other seafood. The dining options at the airport look pretty bleak but it looks like downtown is just a few miles away. I'll be there from 8pm - 1am on a Tuesday night. Can someone offer a good suggestion for a crab/seafood spot that's easy to get to from the airport?

                        THANKS!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: austxguy

                          My fav is the Crows nest at the top of the Captain Cook Hotel downtown at 4th & K St. Simon and Seaforts also tends to have great local seafood as well and is located at 420 L Street downtown.
                          http://www.captaincook.com/dining/cro...

                          http://www.simonandseaforts.com/page/...

                        2. While passing through Anchorage last year going to Seward, we ate at Tommy's Burgers Stop. Very decent burgers. We really lucked out stumbling across it. On the way back, we ate pizza at Moose's Tooth which was also very good.

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