Anchorage, Alaska is one of the most remote cities in America, located in the northernmost American state. Called The Last Frontier, Alaska is a state known for its magnificent natural beauty, bitterly cold winters and rugged frontier outlook. We explore the 10 best restaurants in Anchorage that reflect the state’s distinct culture.
ORSO is, at heart, a specialist in wild Alaskan seafood with perfectly prepared seafood dishes paired with an extensive drinks menu including beers from Glacier BrewHouse, as well as a varied selection of cocktails and wines. Featuring classic décor that exudes Alaskan charm, ORSO brings ‘farm to table’ dining to Alaska, taking full advantage of the richness of the pristine Pacific ocean to bring some of the choicest fresh seafood to Alaskan diners. Specialties include halibut, salmon, cod and king crab. During the summer ORSO’s menu also features seasonal vegetables that are grown locally. Menu favourites include ORSO’s Alaskan crusted halibut and calamari appetiser. ORSO is also a brilliant place for a laid back weekend brunch, which features ORSO’s specialty giant cinnamon roll and tasty smoked salmon scramble.
Kinley’s Restaurant and Bar is the debut restaurant by Chicago-born Chef Brett Knipmeyer, who has won over Alaskans with his innovative approach to fine dining. Chef Knipmeyer’s culinary prowess has drawn national attention, having been selected as a regional semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation Award, considered the Oscars of Food in America. Specialising in fresh Alaskan seafood, Kinley’s Restaurant and Bar is a welcoming combination of friendly service and classically cooked cuisine, which is complemented by the contemporary rustic décor.
Serving the cuisine of the Pacific Rim, Ginger’s Chef Guy Conley is an Anchorage native with a deep understanding of Alaska’s culinary scene. Nominated Best Chef Northwest by the James Beard Foundation, Chef Conley brings his great passion for Alaskan cuisine and local ingredients to Ginger, taking the form of an experimental fusion of Asian flavors and fresh Alaskan seafood. Chef Conley creates exciting flavour profiles using a blend of Alaskan and Asian meats and ingredients. Try Ginger’s Kalua pork sliders on Hawaiian sweet roll, lobster glazed duck breast and the panang beef curry for a truly unique Alaskan dining experience.
Offering comfort food in a colourful casual dining spot, Spenard Roadhouse is an eclectic local favourite for its creative take on all-American classics. Diners rave about Spenard Roadhouse’s tater tots served with smoked paprika aioli and its bacon jam burger, which is a delightfully messy stack with a fresh ground eight oz. ground beef patty, cambozola, grilled apple, rocket, house mayo and smothered with bacon jam atop a toasted bun. Be sure to try Spenard Roadhouse’s Alaskan reindeer Polish sausage. To top it all off, Spenard Roadhouse is infamous for having the best selection of whiskies and bourbons in Alaska.
If you’re looking for a hearty Alaskan breakfast or brunch in Anchorage, there’s no better place to go than Snow City Café. Sourcing fresh ingredients from local vendors whenever possible and making everything from scratch, Snow City Café’s brunches are a labour of love as the community comes together over heaping plates of pure breakfast goodness. The brightly coloured dining room features local art, the perfect backdrop for this breakfast spot exuding a friendly vibe. Favourite dishes include the stuffed French toast (toasted baguettes with mandarin orange cream cheese, toasted walnuts, syrup and raspberry butter), the Kodiak benedict (poached eggs, Alaska king crab cakes, toasted English muffin, house made hollandaise, spring onions) and the ‘heart attack on a plate’ (hash browns, bacon crumbles, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, sour cream).
Tastefully chic with a wood and brick interior, Fat Ptarmigan in downtown Anchorage takes its pizzas seriously. One of the newest restaurants to open in Anchorage, Fat Ptarmigan is the latest restaurant concept by James Beard nominated chef, Guy Conley. Fat Ptarmigan wood fired oven churns out delicious homemade pizzas throughout the day, which pair perfectly with beer from local breweries. In addition, Fat Ptarmigan features a good select of gelato as well as Guy’s specialty cannoli.
Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria is headed by a Portlander and an Anchorage native, bringing the Portland-inspired combination of craft beer and gourmet stone-baked pizzas to the Alaskan frontier. Its extensive menu features America’s heart-warming favourites that are perfect for ‘cozying up’ during the Alaskan winter with hearty bread sticks, and a massive selection of pizzas with vegetable, meat and seafood toppings that range from the fun to the funky. The Moose’s Pie, the house version of the classic mud pie with ‘a chocolate cookie crust, rich coffee ice cream, fudge, roasted almonds, and fresh whipped cream’ comes highly recommended (though it easily feeds two to four).
Gone are the days of greasy popcorn butter smears and overpriced movie theatre sweets. The perfect place for a night out in Anchorage, Bear Tooth Theatrepub offers an altogether winning combination of great food, tempting drinks and excellent second-run films. Serving an extensive selection of handpicked craft beers, Bear Tooth Theatrepub is the sister restaurant of Moose’s Tooth, and serves a selection of freshly prepared wraps, pizzas and breadsticks, as well as a highly recommended decadent dessert menu.
Another favourite amongst locals, Glacier BrewHouse is Anchorage’s premier celebration of local seafood, wood-grilled meats and house-brewed beer. The dining room with timbered rafters and ample seating all around the large fireplace gives the space a rustic, gastropub ambiance. The restaurant favourites include barbequed baby back rib rack with Jamaican jerk rub and spicy BrewHouse signature whiskey BBQ sauce and Bering Sea king crab legs.
There’s little better than a cup of perfectly brewed coffee to spice up the day during Anchorage’s long winter months. Thankfully, Kaladi Brothers Coffee Company has called Anchorage home since 1986 when it began on the city’s streets as an espresso cart. Now one of Alaska’s top coffee roasters, Kaladi’s iconic leaping red goat logo can be seen in 13 locations around the city, as well as one in Seattle; its original café can be found at 6921 Brayton Drive.