Anchorage Restaurant Roundup
By Amy Newman
From sweet treats to upscale cuisine, new dining options stretch from Midtown to South Anchorage
Midtown to South Anchorage has experienced a mini explosion of new eateries in the past six months, from small cafés perfect for a coffee and pastry to modern establishments serving an upscale twist on steak and seafood, to everything in between. Here’s where you can grab something new and find your new favorite. Happy eating!
Kava’s Pancake House – Located in the old Romano’s building off Fireweed, this is the second attempt at a second location for Kava’s Pancake House. (The original Kava’s is on Muldoon). The menu is extensive and varied. There’s the traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner fare found on most diner menus, but also a number of Hawaiian-inspired options, like loco moco (get it with hamburger or katsu chicken), Portuguese sausage, Spam, and ono pancakes or waffles, made with peanut butter chips and topped with peanut butter, banana, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce. There’s also a full coffee bar and a free scoop of ice cream on Wednesdays. 2415 C St. Anchorage (907) 375-0419 facebook.com/Kavas-Midtown
Wild Scoops – The wildly popular downtown ice cream shop, which scoops up hand-crafted, small-batch artisanal ice cream made with locally sourced ingredients, opened its Midtown scoop shop in June.
“We had outgrown our Fairview test kitchen and were looking to expand our production and facility and hopefully open up a second scoop shop right next door,” owner Elissa Brown said. “When the space opened up in the Metro Mall, we were thrilled.”
The second location offers more flavor options (16 versus the 10 usually available downtown), a peek into the test kitchen next door, and ample seating. The additional space also lets Wild Scoops host pop-up events – a crepe pop-up is scheduled for Sept. 26, and a waffle pop-up Oct. 2.
As winter rolls in, Brown said they plan to unveil a hot drink menu featuring espresso, chocolate drinks, and affogato, so you can stay warm while getting your ice cream fix. 530 E. Benson Blvd., Anchorage (907) 744-7295 wildscoops.com
Altura Bistro – When opportunity falls into your lap, you take it. That’s the philosophy of former Simon and Seafort’s chef Nathan Bentley, who opened Altura Bistro in July in the old Aladdin’s space in Midtown.
The restaurant has a sleek, Scandinavian style and serves what Bentley describes as “modern American cuisine specializing in Pacific Northwest flavors, with an emphasis on quality and as much locally sourced food as we can.” The menu is heavy on fresh Alaskan seafood and steak, which is dry-aged in house.
In addition to the main dining room, Altura has a banquet facility that can accommodate up to 100 people standing, 75 seated. Bentley says the restaurant plans to host special paired wine dinners at least once a month throughout the winter. 4240 Old Seward Hwy., Anchorage (907) 561-2373 facebook.com/AlturaAK
Saint Coyote Restaurant & Lounge – Billing itself as a family-friendly, fine dining experience, Saint Coyote opened in June in the Gallo Center on Dimond. The restaurant’s dishes are “globally inspired” like a Copper River red salmon sashimi appetizer, chicken or eggplant parmesan, and fresh Alaskan oysters and halibut, as well as steaks, lamb and burgers. The extensive drink menu includes signature cocktails like lavender lemonade and death by coyote. 135 W. Dimond Blvd., Anchorage (907) 644-2995 facebook.com/SaintCoyoteAK
Benji’s Bakery & Café – This small café has a sleek, edgy vibe and serves soups, chowders, and Bahn mi sandwiches alongside an assortment of teas, coffee, and Boba, the milky tea drink studded with tapioca pearls. But the real draw are the specialty pastries. Cookies and tarts filled with ube (purple yam), coconut pandan, passionfruit, and raspberry Chantilly crème, guava cheese rolls, and the cruffin, a croissant-muffin hybrid topped with everything from basic cinnamon sugar to salted coconut cream. Check out their Instagram feed and prepare to be hungry. 901 E. Dimond Blvd., Anchorage (907) 522-3654
Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip – Mrs. Wakefield’s famous chocolate chip cookies – along with brownies and other cookie favorites, blended coffee drinks, soups, and sandwiches – are now available hot and fresh from the oven, without you having to do any of the work. The Nestlé Toll House Café reopened its doors at the Dimond Center Mall this past June in the space formerly occupied by Dairy Queen, across from Old Navy. The café first opened in 2015 across the street in the Dimond Crossing plaza before temporarily closing in 2018. 800 E. Dimond Blvd., Dimond Center Mall, (907) 349-0015 facebook.com/NestleCafeAnchorage
Halina Bakery & Filipino Cuisine – “Filipino food is kind of an infusion of Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese,” said Miriam Zapata, owner of Halina Bakery & Filipino Cuisine, which opened this past May in South Anchorage. “Our culture combines those, so we have empanadas, brioche, barbecue buns and steamed buns, and then the sweet pastries.”
Baking is Zapata’s passion, so she focuses on the cakes, cupcakes, and pastries, which include American staples like the basic white and Chantilly cream cakes, as well as more traditional Filipino flavors, like ube (purple yam), mango, and tropical. Zapata also creates custom special occasion cakes. Her sister- and son-in-law prepare the dishes on the set menu, which include the Filipino staples adobo, pancit, and lumpia, as well as the turo turo offerings, which change daily. 9191 Old Seward Hwy. Anchorage (907) 375-0454 facebook.com/Halina-Bakery-and-Filipino-Cuisine
Bombay South – If you live in South Anchorage, a taste of India just got a bit closer to home with the July opening of Bombay South in Huffman Square Park. The menu is slightly smaller than their Midtown location but still has plenty of options to satisfy your Indian food craving. 1120 Huffman Rd., Anchorage (907) 227-1200 bombaydeluxe.com