When you think of culinary capitals of the world, what pops into your head? New York? London? Anchorage? Wait, Anchorage?
Yes, that’s right, turns out Alaska’s largest city has a culinary scene to make your mouth water. Not only some amazingly fresh and delectable seafood, but also a vast craft beer scene too that I’d wager would give Milwaukee a run for its money! With all these good eats around, where should you start?
“Have pizza,” people told us. Pizza? It’s Anchorage and there’s so much fantastic seafood around! And besides, I was skeptical. I live in New York City remember? But let me tell you, this pizza place was pretty epic. The Moose’s Tooth doesn’t serve any moose byproducts but their menu sure includes such oddball pizza creations like The Backpacker (Spinach, Roasted Garlic, Sundried Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives, Artichoke Hearts, Feta, Mozzarella and Provolone, Garlic Oil), Blackened Rockfish (Cajun-Seasoned Rockfish, Diced Red Onions, Diced Roma Tomatoes, Zesty Sour Cream Sauce, Parsley, Mozzarella and Provolone, Garlic Oil) or the salad-esque A-Mae-Zing Apricot (Blackened Chicken, Cream Cheese, Apricot Sauce, Fresh Red Peppers, Carrot Threads, Green Onions, Cilantro).
Some of the real highlights though include the vast selection of house-made beers, with nearly every selection under the sun. “Fairweather IPA,” “Bear Tooth Ale,” “Northern Lights Amber,” “Pipeline Stout,” “Polar Pale Ale,” “Prince William Porter” and “Wild Country Raspberry Wheat.” Sound delicious? Oh they are!
Snow City Café
When fellow blogger and Anchorage resident Erin of AK on the Go wanted to meet for breakfast, she suggested this little gem right by Anchorage’s fantastic waterfront. An ideal place to fuel up before an invigorating ride on their 22-mile roundtrip coastal bike trail or to just meet up with friends for some delicious grub, their breakfasts set a wonderfully high standard.
For you seafood nuts out there, Snow City Café offers some variations on the traditional Eggs Benedict, with salmon or crab cakes replacing Canadian bacon (“Ship Creek Benedict” and “Kodiak Benedict” respectively). And aside from their stellar versions of traditional breakfasts, you have your choice of many a protein… honey cured bacon, baked tofu, chicken and apple sausage, pork sausage, chorizo and Alaska’s famed reindeer sausage.
It was my penultimate day in Anchorage and I had a problem. I was hankering for a fresh Alaskan salmon dinner but didn’t know where to start. Cue fellow Twitterer Nicki, who was nice enough to show me her favorite things around the greater Anchorage area. When I lamented to her the lack of fresh fish, she declared that I must pay a visit to the Glacier BrewHouse!
Not wasting any time, I went straight for their divine Bourbon BBQ Alaskan Salmon: Alder wood grilled wild Alaskan salmon, their signature BBQ sauce, cucumber dill tossed with spinach and potato straws, garlic mashed potatoes and balsamic syrup. Yes, your mouth should be watering right about now.
Now pair that with refreshing Citrus, Wasabi & Spinach salad comprised of spinach, cilantro, grapefruit, orange, jicama, toasted almonds and a wasabi ginger vinaigrette and one of their phenomenal craft beers made in-house, like the Imperial Blonde aka Ice Axe Ale and you’ve got yourself some great eats!
Housed in a quaint little town house with a mere 14 tables, this delicious place was declared to be the Best Restaurant in Alaska by the Anchorage Daily News. Complete with a charming staff and a backyard vegetable garden, this place has quite the homey feel to it. But when you bite into their delectable treats, the notions that your eating at home begin to slip away, for the level of this food is not easily matched!
Our dinner, graciously provided to us by the Hilton Garden Inn, who hosted us for the whole weekend, consisted of a quartet of appetizers, including a Neapolitan Seafood Mousse, followed by a formal appetizer of a seared Salmon Cake with golden beets, onion marmalade and a tarragon and Cajun aioli. For salad I went with their famed Caesar. Basic, I know, but trust me when I say that you’ve never tried a dressing like this before (it’s “Tijuana style”). The main event was Macadamia Crusted Halibut with coconut curry, mango chutney and jasmine rice. We closed with a truly decadent Cheesecake!
Be forewarned of two things with this place. It’s not cheap but totally worth it. And you will almost certainly leave totally stuffed!
I’m throwing an honorable mention in here for this bar, with its great array of local beers with different sizes to choose from. From a vibrant and friendly local crowd to some tasty eats (I had the Deconstructed Salmon Chowder) this place is a stand out. Heck, even after returning home to NYC, I had a friend ask, “Oooh, did you get Humpy’s?” Yes, yes I did. And so should you.
Been to Anchorage? What are some of your favorite eateries?
Note: While the Hilton Garden Inn hosted my trip to Alaska and dinner at Marx Bros. Cafe, all opinions expressed here are my own.