As you all know, Matt and I recently returned to Anchorage in August for a little over a week to see friends and participate in Anchorage RunFest.
I constantly get questions – both in person and through e-mail – asking me “What should I do in Anchorage?” and “When’s the best time to go?” so I thought I would recap some of the activities and restaurants we visited recently. Consider it a tourist guide through a former locals eyes.
First up, food. These are the places I deemed necessiary to grab a bite or a beverage at, while fueling for the week or catching up with friends.
Where We Ate
Beartooth TheatrePub: Perfect for a rainy evening. Order pizza to your seat while you enjoy a movie. They show recent films that are second-run (meaning they’ve been in the big theatres for a while, but first time at the small guys), as well as a variety of classics and specialty films. I was there to see Trails in Motion 4.
What I Ate: A slice of the Backpackers pizza, no olives. It’s the same pizza as Moose’s Tooth but with a much faster serve time.
West Berlin: I literally dream about this place since we moved to Charlotte. Authentic German food, large selection of German beers, and a relaxed vibe. You do have to drive over into Mountain View for it, but the commute is worth it. Pair it with a hike.
What I Ate: Currywurst every time, with a side of spatzle and the potato salad. Matt always gets the schnitzel.
Snow City Cafe: A charming breakfast joint located downtown right near the coastal trail. Well-known for locally sourced food and long wait times. Go online to make a reservation the day before to avoid the wait.
What I Ate: A bowl of their amazing tomato soup, plus a chocolate milkshake.
Spenard Roadhouse: Located in midtown across from the REI, this was a favourite when we lived there, and so good we went twice while in town. They have a Bacon of the Month that always intrigues me, plus a great bar and Sunday Brunch.
What I Ate: Mac & Cheese, Blackened Fried Brussel Sprouts, and Grilled Cheese sandwiches. Matt loves their Jambalaya.
The Cafe at the Hotel Captain Cook: American breakfast joint, right in the hotel lobby.
What I Ate: I was torn between the Sourdough Pancakes and the Cinnamon Apple French Toast. There is no wrong decision here. I ate both.
Williwaw: A newer social spot in Anchorage, it was being built our last month as residents. Rooftop bar, speakeasy, and restaurant. Plus, I hear they have great concerts.
What I Ate: All you can eat Sunday Brunch Buffet was awesome – I built my own omlet and gorged on fresh fruit and pastries.
What I Drank: I met up with a friend another evening at the Speakeasy on the second level, and tried a non-alcoholic Rhubarb Shrub. My friend had a smokey bourbon drink that smelled awesome.
Whale’s Tale at the Hotel Captain Cook: A wine bar that also serves food. Purchase a wine card and go around to the ‘vending stations’ to fill your glass and create your own tasting session. The boys love the cocktails. I like the giant bowl of Andes mints at the bar.
My Favourite Drink: When we lived here, I always did the wine card or the Sunburnt Musher. Their cocktails are awesome.
Black Cup Cafe: I don’t actually drink coffee, but this coffee shop in midtown has a European vibe, and has always been the perfect spot to get work done and have team meetings.
What I Drink: Either Hot Chocolate when I’m cold, or an iced Thai Tea with Half&Half and Cinnamon. Plus, they have delicious Danishes.
The Sandwich Deck: Breakfast and lunch joint in downtown that is a little slow to order, but delicious and reasonably priced.
What I Ate: Breakfast pancakes with banana, and some OJ. Matt got a burger, and said the drip coffee was really good.
49th State Brewing Co: The original location in Healy is awesome, so when I heard they were opening a Brewpub in Anchorage I got really excited. They took over the old Snow Goose location, and it features a great rooftop deck with amazing views of Denali and Sleeping Lady.
What I Ate: Gold Nuggets and Baked Mac & Cheese. Matt had The New York Strip. Apparently, I was in the cheesiest mood while visiting Alaska.
Resolution Brewing Co: Located in Mountain View, this is an awesome brewery run by one of the coolest guys I know. Small batch brewing, and you can bring your own food in. Hang for an afternoon drinking flights and playing boardgames – the cardgame War is a favourite of mine.
What We Drank: The boys did flights that included Lost Anchor and Father Dyer. I used to always order the Non Stop or the Tent City.
Anchorage has an amazing food (and beer) scene, and there were so many places we didn’t get the chance to eat at! We’re hoping to be back at the end of January for a few weeks, so look forward to hearing about our winter eats then!