Lunch and Quick Meals
Sacks Café (328 G St., 907/276-3546, www.sackscafe.com, Sat. brunch 11 a.m.–3 p.m., Sun. brunch 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m., dinner 5–9 p.m., Mon–Thurs. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 5–9 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. and 5–10:30 p.m., Sat. 5–10:30 p.m., lunch $11–13, dinner $18–34) crafts some of Anchorage’s finest lunches and dinners, and is especially popular with the business crowd. Weekend brunches are also popular.
You’ll find an arty decor, creative cooking, and heady talk. The menu changes frequently, but typically includes fresh halibut or salmon, baked penne pasta, New Zealand rack of lamb, and Thai chicken sandwiches. The desserts are great too. Reservations are essential for dinner, though they aren’t taken for the wine bar.
Just down the street is arguably Anchorage’s best sandwich shop, Urban Greens (304 G St., 907/276-0333, www.urbangreensak.com, Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–5 p.m., $7–10), where the subs are made with hoagies from French Oven Bakery. Try the bootlegger club with turkey, pastrami, mortadella, and Swiss cheese.
Housed within the Anchorage Museum, the Muse Café (625 C St., 907/929-9210, www.marxcafe.com, Sun.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–3 p.m., Wed.–Sat. 11 a.m.–9 p.m., $7–12) is surrounded by works of art. The food is equally notable, with homemade soups, fresh salads, and creative sandwiches.
Don’t miss perpetually crowded L’Aroma Bakery and Deli at both New Sagaya stores (3700 Old Seward Hwy. in Midtown, and 900 W. 13th Ave. close to downtown, www.laromabakery.com, $5–10) for panini sandwiches, small pizzas baked in wood-fired ovens, sushi, spring rolls, a salad bar, Chinese specials, and American “comfort food” (mac and cheese, meatloaf, lasagna, and so on), along with freshly baked breads and sweets. You’re guaranteed to find something that appeals. Eat here or get it to go. Both New Sagayas also house Kaladi Brothers Coffee shops.
Middle Way Café (1200 W. Northern Lights Blvd., 907/272-6433, Mon.–Fri. 7 a.m.–6:30 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 8 a.m.–6:30 p.m., $6–10) hides out next to the REI store but always manages to fill up when lunch arrives. Check out today’s specials on the board, order at the counter, and wait for your name to be called. The menu includes vegetarian sandwiches and wraps, soy burgers, salads, fruit smoothies, and daily specials. The lip-ringed barista will make a mocha while you wait or serve a big piece of carrot cake.
In the summer several vendors have downtown carts in front of the old Federal Building on 4th Avenue. The best of these—look for the queue—is the vendor of reindeer sausage and grilled onions. On weekends in the summer your best downtown bet is the weekend Anchorage Market and Festival (3rd Ave. and E St., 907/272-5634, www.anchoragemarkets.com, Sat.–Sun. 10 a.m.–6 p.m. mid-May–mid-Sept.). For more downtown fast food, head to the food court on the 4th level of the 5th Avenue Mall (5th Ave. and C St.), with fast-food eateries of all persuasions, from Thai to frozen yogurt. Another inexpensive place is Bear Tooth Theatrepub (1230 W. 27th Ave., 907/276-4200, www.beartooththeatre.net).
Anchorage’s two top burger-and-fries joints are Arctic Roadrunner (2477 Arctic Blvd., 907/279-7311) and Tommy’s Burger Stop (W. Benson Rd. at Spenard Ave., 907/561-5696).
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition