For most people, the order of operations in planning an Alaska trip is: flights – hotels – transportation – meals. However, I personally love to mix it up and do research into the restaurants I might be enjoying in each place I want to visit before I start nailing down other details like hotels and transportation. Food is far from the only reason I travel – but it is a big one (as evidenced by my other site, Eat Like Bourdain).
If you’re like me and love to plan your travels around your meals, you might wonder where to eat in Anchorage. After all, as Alaska’s biggest cities, there are lots of choices – and everyone has an opinion about the best places to eat in Anchorage, whether you should eat at downtown restaurants, and so on.
Personally, I think there are some fantastic restaurants in Downtown Anchorage, within easy walking distance from most hotels; there are also great restaurants in other parts of Anchorage which you’ll need a car to reach.
If you’re curious which restaurants I most recommend, this post will cover them all. This is far from a list of the best restaurants in Anchorage, as A) I haven’t eaten everywhere and B) I think any such list is necessarily subjective. However, these restaurants are all great based on my experience – and I think you’ll find at least one restaurant for your budget, preferences, and style. If you’re ready to explore Anchorage’s surprisingly delightful restaurant scene, read on.
In this post, I promote travel to a destination that is the traditional lands of the Dena’ina Ełnena people. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation and respect to the past and present people of these lands. To learn more about the peoples who call these lands home, I invite you to explore Native Land.
Where to Eat in Anchorage (Map)
Maps of where to eat in Anchorage (L) and a close-up map of Downtown (R). Click here to interact with the maps.
Before diving into any specific restaurants, I wanted to provide a map as a resource of where to eat in Anchorage; if you click the purple link above, you’ll be taken to the map and can get oriented to where each restaurant is compared to where you’re staying and the things you’re planning to do in Anchorage.
Ready to dive in? Read on for my top recommendations and all of the other places I love to eat in Anchorage.
5 Must-Try Places to Eat in Anchorage
Look, I get it: everybody’s short on time. Maybe you don’t have 15 minutes to spend reading this entire post (it’s almost 3,500 words!) about the 34 restaurants I recommend in it.
To save you some time, here are the five places I most recommend to eat in Anchorage:
1. 49th State Brewing
2. Snow City Cafe
3. Tia’s Reindeer Sausage
4. Wild Scoops
5. Moose’s Tooth
If you’re curious to learn more about these places or alternatives I (and others) recommend, read on. I go into detail about each one including must-try menu items.
49th State Brewing – Best in Show
- Address: 717 W 3rd Ave
- Website: 49statebrewing.com/anchorage
- Must-Try: The Yak Burger for lunch; the Tuna Nachos for dinner; a beer flight
Whenever I offer custom Alaska travel advice, 49th State Brewing is the first place I recommend to everyone – because it has something to offer everyone and has among the best views in town.
You see, 49th State Brewing (which actually started up in Healy, near Denali) took over a restaurant spot occupied by the Snow Goose when I was a kid growing up in the Anchorage area. The Snow Goose was a white tablecloth kind of place with insanely good views to the north – you could easily see Denali on a clear day.
The Snow Goose eventually closed, and 49th State Brewing wisely scooped up the spot. They stripped it down to the brick walls and wood beams, finished out a second patio with views, and now offer the all-around best menu of American pub-style food with their line of great craft beer. I’ve eaten here many times – almost every time I visit Anchorage now – and am always happy to go back.
To be clear: 49th State Brewing is my #1 restaurant recommendation in the downtown Anchorage area. You really can’t go wrong here.
Moose’s Tooth – Best for Pizza Lovers
- Address: 3300 Old Seward Hwy
- Website: moosestooth.net
- Must-Try: Any pizza that catches your eye, root beer float
Alaskans love a few things more than the average person: pizza, coffee, and ice cream – the three pillars of a supremely healthy diet, ya know? 😂
In any case, you will discover that lots of restaurants have pizza on their menus, and many of the best places to eat in each town are pizza places. So it goes for Anchorage, where one of the best restaurants in town is a pizza spot; the hands-down best place to eat pizza is Moose’s Tooth Pub & Pizzeria.
Unfortunately, Moose’s Tooth (and their sister restaurant, the Bear’s Tooth Theatrepub) are not located near downtown Anchorage so you’ll need a car to reach the restaurant and enjoy a meal here. However, if you’re planning to rent a car and drive down to Seward, Whittier, or anywhere else on the Kenai Peninsula, you’ll literally pass Moose’s Tooth along the Seward Highway so it’s easy to plan a stop.
Their pizza is all awesome, and they have great craft beers – but my favorite thing on the drink menu is their house-made root beer. It is literally the best and makes a perfect root beer float (allowing you to partake in more ice cream, that other Alaskan fave!).
I always recommend planning this as a final meal during your trip, if you’re flying out of Anchorage to return home. Give yourself an extra 90 minutes to two hours before you want to be at the airport and stop by; they don’t accept dinner reservations, so be prepared for a wait.
Pizza photo courtesy of Moose’s Tooth via Instagram
Glacier Brewhouse – Best for Microbrews
- Address: 737 W 5th Ave #110
- Website: glacierbrewhouse.com
- Must-Try: Fresh Alaskan Seafood with a Raspberry Wheat Microbrew
Glacier Brewhouse has been around a while – I remember when it opened back in 1996 (as a little 9-year-old Valerie). They have a comprehensive menu for Brunch, Lunch, and Dinner, though most people stop here for dinner. That’s the best time to enjoy their house-made microbrew beers, too!
Opt for one of their fresh Alaskan seafood dishes, especially if you aren’t planning any other seafood spots on your itinerary – they’re known for options like the Alaskan Alder Grilled Salmon and Alaskan Snow Crab-Stuffed Roasted Cod (a double whammy!). Pair that with a microbrew and you’ll have a truly awesome Alaskan dinner.
For brunch, their Alaska Seafood Scramble is the most interesting choice, and you can build your own Bloody Mary to enjoy with it.
Photo courtesy of Glacier Brewhouse via Instagram
Crow’s Nest – Best for Special Occasions
- Address: 939 W 5th Ave, 20th Floor
- Website: captaincook.com/dining/crows-nest
- Must-Try: Whatever strikes your fancy and fits your budget (the menu changes frequently)
Many people visit Alaska as part of a special occasion – marking a milestone birthday, on honeymoon, or celebrating an anniversary are the big three I usually hear from readers. This means you may want to splurge on a meal or two; there are some really nice restaurants in Anchorage for a good meal but my personal recommendation is the Crow’s Nest.
The Crow’s Nest sits atop the Captain Cook Hotel in downtown Anchorage, and its name is an homage to the top of the tallest mast of ships like those Captain James Cook sailed into Alaska in the late 18th century. The restaurant boasts 360-degree views of the entire surrounding area, just like a crow’s nest would.
They have a full white tablecloth menu to choose from for your special occasion as well as an extensive wine list. Be sure to make a reservation and ask for a window table, preferably to the north so you can see Denali if she’s out. If you’re visiting on a budget but still want to enjoy the view, my old trick (which I have done on several dates while in high school 😂) is to only order a salad and dessert.
One last note: Crow’s Nest is literally the only place I know that mentions their attire is “business casual.” For Alaska, this is serious business – you don’t need to pack anything special, but this is the night to put on the nicest thing you’ve packed.
Photos courtesy of Crow’s Nest via Instagram
Fletcher’s – Best for Casual & Cozy Dining
- Address: 939 W 5th Ave, Ground Floor
- Website: captaincook.com/dining/fletchers
- Must-Try: Reindeer pizza and a local beer
For a more casual option in the Captain Cook Hotel (one of the places I recommend to stay in Anchorage), Fletcher’s is actually also my favorite dining option in the hotel. This pub-style restaurant is super homey, and the beautiful wooden bar is my favorite spot to sit when visiting Anchorage solo (about half the time, since Mr. V can’t always travel with me).
You really can’t go wrong with this menu since it’s casual and tasty rather than fancy, but I recommend checking out the pizza menu (pizza, again, like I said!) and grabbing a local craft beer. I personally loved the reindeer sausage pizza and it’s a good way to try this Alaskan dish for the first time… but there’s more on reindeer sausage further down the list.
Simon & Seafort’s – Best for Indulgent Dishes
- Address: 420 L St
- Website: simonandseaforts.com
- Must-Try: Open-Face Crab Sandwich, Fried Oysters, Crème brûlée
For a second option to celebrate your special occasion in Alaska, many locals will recommend Simon & Seafort’s. I’m a bit more on the fence as I actually felt unwell after eating here on my last trip – but let me be clear: I was the only one in my John Hall’s Alaska tour group who felt ill, and my stomach is very weird when I travel. (Also, I had the open-face crab sandwich, which was awesome, but I think I’m developing a reaction to shellfish.) I do not think this was any fault of the Simon & Seafort’s team or dish I had.
Moving right along, Simon & Seafort’s has both a nice restaurant and saloon; you can choose whichever fits your style. They have great views out over Cook Inlet from the window tables if you can request to be seated there.
They offer a series of menus from Brunch through Dinner, and I’m especially fond of the Happy Hour menu as this is a great spot to grab a drink and bite to eat before a later dinner. Happy Hour runs from 3-6 pm daily with food and drink specials.
Humpy’s – Best for Local Color
- Address: 610 W 6th Ave
- Website: humpysalaska.com
- Must-Try: An Alaskan Amber with whatever sounds good on the menu
While fancy spots are nice and all, you might be a bit more casual like me – or just love finding the local watering holes to see what characters are hanging out there. There are bars of varying “color” throughout Anchorage, but Humpy’s Great Alaskan Ale House is a good one that balances that color with a tourist-friendly vibe.
Located in the heart of downtown, it’s easy to stop in here for a drink (aka local craft beer) during the afternoon; they’re also renowned for their weekend Bloody Mary Bar from 10 am to 3 pm both days. On the food menu, the King Crab Nuggets are a great starter, they have a reindeer burger, and their Halibut fish and chips are famously good.
Humpy’s also has a location at the Anchorage airport which is a great option for your last pre-flight meal before departing home.
Tia’s Reindeer Sausage – Best for Grab & Go
- Address: Usually near 4th and E
- Website: n/a
- Must-Try: Spicy reindeer sausage with pineapple salsa
You’ve heard me mention reindeer sausage a few times now – because it’s one of my favorite “weird” Alaskan foods to eat and encourage others to try too. Most reindeer sausage you’ll find is processed with pork, so it’s not straight reindeer meat – but it is a unique food you’ve probably never had before.
If you passed on the reindeer sausage pizza at Fletchers and the reindeer burger at Humpy’s, here’s another chance: there are several reindeer sausage food carts that line 4th Avenue during the summer months (and during winter events too, like Fur Rondy and the Iditarod ceremonial start).
Tia’s is my personal favorite; look for the bright yellow umbrella to know you’re at the right place. It’s usually set up near the corner of 4th Avenue and E Street.
International House of Hotdogs – Best for Kids
- Address: 415 L St
- Website: internationalhouseofhotdogs.com
- Must-Try: The “Alaskan” (Reindeer sausage with sautéed onions and chipotle sauce)
If you try a reindeer sausage at Tia’s and decide you love it (don’t be surprised if you do!), make sure to plan a follow-up trip to the International House of Hotdogs. This is also a great spot for kids as it’s literally an outdoor dining spot (I can’t really call it a restaurant) with a variety of hot dogs to choose from, including reindeer sausage options.
You might also swing by here after riding bikes along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail and returning your rentals to Pablo’s Bicycle Rentals next door. It’s a perfect post-ride snack.
Snow City Cafe – Best for Brunch
- Address: 1034 W 4th Ave
- Website: snowcitycafe.com
- Must-Try: “The B.O.B.” (Best of Both Benedicts) or Biscuits and Gravy (my fave!)
If you’re looking for the best brunch in town, there’s no competition. It’s Snow City Cafe, which draws a crowd and has lines outside the door literally every day of the summer – and sometimes in winter too. Anchorage isn’t known as “snow city,” though there’s certainly plenty of it during that time of the year.
Snow City Cafe is totally worth the wait for their hearty, home-style breakfasts though; it’s also one of the few non-hotel breakfast options in the downtown area which doesn’t hurt their popularity at all. Their menu is big on egg-based breakfasts (think benedicts, omlettes, etc.) and they also have a really good kids menu if you’re making your Alaska trip with the fam. Beyond breakfast/brunch, they do have a lunch menu too and are open til 3pm daily.
Kaladi Brothers Coffee – Best for Coffee Snobs
- Address: 621 West 6th Ave (and many others)
- Website: kaladi.com
- Must-Try: Big Wild Life, which was created in partnership with Visit Anchorage
If all you need in the morning is an injection of the best (non-beer) brew available, Kaladi Brothers should be on your list. Alaskans are snobby about coffee, in part because we have so many good choices! (This is why I started the Great Alaskan Coffee Club, which you should join if you love coffee too…)
The biggest and best in Anchorage is Kaladi Bros., which has several coffee shops around town. The one on 6th Avenue is the easiest for most people to visit while in the Anchorage area.
Anchorage Pel’meni – Best for Post-Bar Grub
- Address: 434 K St
- Website: n/a
- Must-Try: The pel’meni, of course!
For full transparency, I haven’t been to this Pel’meni location, but I have been to the one in Sitka. I believe these restaurants are part of the same family and they have locations stretching from Seattle, Washington to Anchorage – as well as Juneau. (I asked this at the Sitka location and the staff there had no idea if they were related to the others so I can’t be 100% sure on this!)
Russian-style Pel’meni is a perfect midday snack – or great after wandering out of a bar or taphouse at the end of the night.
Wild Scoops – Best for Ice Cream
- Address: 429 E St
- Website: wildscoops.com
- Must-Try: The four-flavor “Sampler Flight” or the “Frozen Nachos”
Did you know: Alaskans eat more ice cream per capita than any other state in the U.S.?
It’s no surprise we have great ice cream shops across the state – and really cool flavors to try. Wild Scoops is a local’s favorite spot in Anchorage. It was actually co-founded by the middle school friend (Elissa) of a college friend (Josie) of mine (so I have a second-degree relationship with the founder!).
Wild Scoops serves some delicious flavors, many of which use local ingredients. These include Fireweed (the flower), AK Honeycomb (made with local honey), and Sitka Swirl (made with Pure Alaska Sea Salt, which I have included several times in my Alaska Box).
People’s Choice(s): Other Great Restaurants in Anchorage
Photos courtesy of Fat Ptarmagin (L) and Ronnie’s (R), both listed below
As I mentioned at the top, this list is far from a complete list of all the great restaurants in Anchorage. There are some I’ve never been to; others that I don’t have a preference for – but which other travelers and locals love. I’m guessing if you’ve read this far, you trust my recommendations, but I’d be remiss to not mention the other places I’ve heard are great. Here are some of the other restaurants in Anchorage recommended by locals, readers, and past Alaska travelers:
- Altura Bistro – New American food including rib sandwiches, sweet prawn bisque, and panko-crusted Halibut. (4240 Old Seward Hwy)
- Arctic Roadrunner – A burger spot that does it right: two options (the Kenai Whopper or the Kodiak Islander) and nothing else. (5300 Old Seward Hwy)
- Club Paris – “Home of the 4″ thick Filet Mignon,” this Anchorage institution is less about French food and more perfect for you protein lovers. (417 W 5th Ave)
- F Street Station – Another great option for brunch or beers and casual food at Happy Hour or dinnertime. They have no website or Facebook presence but over 400 positive reviews. (325 F St)
- Fat Ptarmagin – Claiming to have the “best pizza in Anchorage,” this cider house and pizzeria is a place to put that to the test after enjoying Moose’s Tooth. (441 W 5th Ave, Ste. 100)
- Fiori D’ Italia – Well off the beaten path in Spenard, this Italian restaurant is a secret spot that will earn you instant bonus points with any locals you meet. (2502 McRae Rd)
- Ginger – Arguably the most-recommended place I’ve never eaten in Anchorage, their menu boasts American/Alaskan, Asian, and French options – and some fusion choices too. (425 W 5th Ave)
- Gwennie’s Old Alaska Restaurant – One of the last bastions of a previous chapter in Anchorage history, my family used to eat at Gwennie’s when house-hunting in Anchorage in 1992. A great, quirky, family-friendly restaurant. (4333 Spenard Rd)
- Jens’ Restaurant – Another spot off the beaten path, this is a great option for a special occasion dinner where you’re not rubbing elbows with fellow tourists. (701 W 36th Ave)
- Ray’s Place – Anchorage has some fantastic Asian cuisine thanks to its proximity to that continent and the immigrants who’ve come to call Alaska home and share their awesome foods with us. Ray’s is one such place, with a fantastic full Vietnamese menu. (2412 Spenard Rd)
- Ronnie’s – If you love sushi, Ronnie’s is the place most locals recommend. Their Jewel Lake location is off the beaten path but beloved for fresh sushi and huge portions. (8901 Jewel Lake Rd)
- Silver Gulch Brewing – If you need an alternative to Humpy’s at the airport, Silver Gulch Brewing is a good choice – I’ve eaten at both spots and recommend them equally. (Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport)
- Thai Orchid – Fairbanks is arguably better known for their Thai food due to the population of Thai immigrants there, but you can still find fantastic Thai food in Anchorage too – Thai Orchid is the place to do it. (5905 Lake Otis Pkwy A)
- The Rustic Goat – Another spot I’ve never been but heard only great things about. The Rustic Goat is a local fave for brunch, craft beer, and pizza… all things Alaskans love! (2800 Turnagain St)
As you can tell, everyone who’s been to Alaska and/or called Alaska home has an opinion and preferences, and there are tons of great places to eat in Anchorage!
Places to Eat in the Greater Anchorage Area
Most people are surprised that Anchorage is bigger than the urban area they see; the Municipality of Anchorage extends far north and south of the city, encompassing some 1,947 square miles in total. There are therefore other communities “within” Anchorage* that also have good food; there are a few of my favorites.
*Locals will rightly claim places like Eagle River and Girdwood are different than Anchorage – but they’re within the Municipality, so I’m including them here.
Pizza Man (Eagle River)
For pizza in my hometown of Eagle River, my family always went to Pizza Man. There are other pizza spots in town, but this one has a special place in my heart. If you haven’t had enough pizza yet during your Alaska trip, here’s one more option.
Corks & Hops (Eagle River)
I’ve never been to Corks & Hops, as it only opened in 2020 – but it was tough enough to survive the pandemic and that alone is a testament to what they offer. This wine bar elevates the offering in my humble hometown, and this spot is on my list for the next time I make a stop in my old stomping grounds.
Matanuska Brewing Company (Eagle River)
If you head to Eagle River or Eklutna for a day, be sure to stop off at Matanuska Brewing along the main drag in Eagle River. This is a great watering hole with awesome burgers and pizzas too. They also have locations in Anchorage and Palmer if you enjoy what you have here.
The Bake Shop (Girdwood)
For breakfast in Girdwood, there’s one great place: The Bake Shop. Their sweet rolls are bananas good, and they have a variety of other breakfast options too. Whether you’re fueling up for a day of hiking or to hit the slopes at Alyeska Resort, this is the place to start your day in Girdwood.
Jack Sprat (Girdwood)
Arguably one of my favorite restaurants in Alaska, Jack Sprat blows it out of the water; it is my Best in Show for Girdwood, hands down. First of all, Mr. V knows their executive chef from college – which shows how small Alaska is – and then their food and cocktail menus are both amazing. We spent a lot here for an incredible dinner, and even discussed going back the next night (went to the Double Musky instead).
Double Musky (Girdwood)
The Double Musky was my parents’ favorite place to celebrate anniversaries and other occasions (despite being an hour drive each way from Eagle River!). This Cajun-Creole Steakhouse is insanely cool on the inside and all of the food is to-die-for; Mr. V and I finally made a stop here during our September 2021 trip and I can see why my parents enjoyed it so much.
Girdwood Brewing Company (Girdwood)
Every Alaska town has at least one good craft brewery – in Girdwood, it’s the Girdwood Brewing Company. Their indoor space is cool, and they have outdoor seating with fire pits. They bring in local food trucks/carts for food, and this is the kind of place you can just hang out and enjoy a few hours with a good beer in hand.
Well, there you have it. That’s 30+ great places to eat in Anchorage, recommended by me and others who’ve traveled to Alaska or call it home. Surely you don’t need more places to add to your list after that, but if you have any questions about where to eat in Anchorage, let me know in the comments!
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