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Described as ‘The Last Frontier’, Alaska is the most northerly American state, renowned for its bitter winters and rugged appearance, but also its tremendous natural beauty. The city of Anchorage is as remote as it gets. However, it houses 40 percent of Alaska’s overall population (making it something of a metropolis) and features its own culinary heritage. Here are 10 very best cultural restaurants Anchorage has to offer.
Known locally as Simon’s, Simon & Seafort’s is a beautifully located restaurant offering stunning views of the Alaska Range and Cook Inlet of Mount Susitna. Opened in 1978, Simon’s has established something of a community of its own, with regular visitors and locals frequenting the restaurant’s inviting dining room on a daily basis. The menu boasts signature shellfish dishes including Asiago-almond crusted scallops, served with mashed Yukon potatoes, seasonal vegetables and beurre blanc, and Norton Sound Alaskan red king crab leg. There is a fine selection of steaks on offer too. Simon’s is a must for dinner with a panoramic view.
Simon & Seafort’s Saloon & Grill, 420 L St, Anchorage, AK, USA, +1 907-274-3502
Bear Tooth Theatrepub offers an altogether different theater experience from the extortionate prices and mediocre culinary offerings of normal movie theaters. With an impressive choice of carefully selected craft beers and freshly prepared pizzas, wraps, and desserts, Bear Tooth lets you enjoy watching second-run films at a reasonable price, in a more intimate and tailored venue. Their Alaskan Amber, strawberry spinach salad, and range of pizzas are all definite must-try dishes.
Bear Tooth Theatrepub, 1230 W 27th Ave, Anchorage, AK, USA, +1 907-276-4200
Nominated for the Best Chef Northwest Award by the James Beard Foundation in 2010, chef Guy Conley brings his native understanding of Alaskan cuisine to Ginger’s menu, offering an interesting fusion of oriental flavors with the best of local seafood. Recommended dishes include the banana and lemongrass soup with crab, the pork ribs, and scallops with mac and cheese. Ginger also boasts a trendy lounge area and an extensive alcohol menu, including local micro-brewed beer and a selection of wine and sake. Ginger can cater to vegans, making it a great restaurant for any dining preferences.
Ginger, 425 W 5th Ave, Anchorage, AK, USA, +1 907-929-3680
Locally loved, Glacier BrewHouse is the perfect place to warm up with friends on a cold Alaskan night – open fires and the smell of timber invite guests into this rustic gastro-pub. Renowned for its rotisserie- roasted meats, wild Alaskan seafood and hand-crafted ales, Glacier’s menu is hearty and comforting. Guests should sample the king crab legs, the seafood chowder, and their self-proclaimed ‘world famous’ bread pudding – vanilla custard, apples, currants, and caramelized pecans in a Yukon Jack sauce. Glacier Brewhouse’s popularity means it is often busy, so it is recommended to avoid peak periods.
Glacier Brewhouse, 737 W 5th Ave #110, Anchorage, AK, USA, +1 907-274-2739
Executive Chef and restaurant partner Nancy Alip learnt from her predecessor, Jens Hansen, the Jens’ traditions, and now heads up a menu that keeps the classics constantly up-to-date. Located in a strip mall, the restaurant’s exterior hides a culinary gem that fuses Scandinavian and European fare. The halibut comes highly recommended, as does the black cod, which is served with a carrot-ginger- basil pesto and butternut squash. Offering original and unique flavor combinations, diners are advised to trust in Chef Alip’s creativity and try something completely different.
Jens’ Restaurant, 701 W 36th Ave, Anchorage, AK, USA, +1 907-561-5367
Jimmy’s Sushi brings New York-style Japanese cuisine to Anchorage, under the watchful eye of owner and Executive Chef Jimmy Zhou, who, with almost 20 years of experience, serves up not just sushi, but edible works of art. Recommended rolls include the Pink Lady (crab and avocado wrapped with salmon, tobikko and scallion, accompanied by yuzu and mango sauces) and the Florida Keys, which combines crab, salmon, tuna and yellowtail with avocado. Jimmy’s Sushi allows its diners to experience fresh and expertly prepared sushi at half the normal price.
Jimmy’s Sushi, 301 Dimond Blvd., Anchorage, AK, USA, +1 907-344-0888
Specializing in experimental contemporary cuisine using the finest quality seafood and meat, Marx Brothers Cafe offers an imaginative menu, changed daily to keep both the food and ideas fresh. Chef Jack Amon is renowned in the Anchorage food business since the 1970s, and the restaurant offers consistently excellent fare. The restaurant’s halibut cheeks and bread pudding are must-try dishes, while the Caesar salad is prepared table-side, a rare touch nowadays. Staff are knowledgeable about the extensive wine list, a testament to the professional and reliable execution of the Marx Brothers Cafe dining experience.
Marx Brothers Cafe, 627 W 3rd Ave, Anchorage, AK, USA, +1 907-278-2133
The sister restaurant of the Bear Tooth Theatrepub, Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria is a definite must-try for those wanting to sample the very best of traditional Alaskan fare. The restaurant combines warming American classics with Portland-inspired craft beer and gourmet pizzas. If you have room for pudding, the signature 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 comes in a family-size portion, so undo a few belt buckles first.