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Category: Food

The Best Places To Eat In Anchorage, Alaska

snow city cafe anchorage

There are a lot of good places to eat in Anchorage, Alaska. It might not be all gourmet or particularly fancy but the hearty, diverse, and often locally sourced food on your plate fits perfectly in Anchorage’s remote location and windy streets.

These are the best places to eat in Anchorage, Alaska.

Breakfast: Snow City Cafe

Very popular but with good reason, Snow City Cafe serves large portions of varied egg dishes from benedicts to scrambled sandwiches. Additionally there’s oatmeal, fresh fruits, and plenty of coffee. Lines outside Snow City Cafe start forming 15 minutes before they open so get there early or wait until after 9:30am when the breakfast crowds die down. Prices run about $15 per dish and it’s casual dining that’s a great start to any day in Anchorage.

Recommended: Try the salmon cakes with “The Deadliest Catch.”

Lunch or Dinner: Moose’s Tooth Pub

Locals tend to go with what’s good and lines start forming in the late morning right before Moose’s Tooth Pub opens. Not only do they have some of the best pizza in Anchorage but a large selection of craft beers to go with them. Not your fancy? There’s a homemade soup on the menu daily, over 10 salads to choose from, and oven-baked sandwiches. Like most places in Anchorage portions are large so if you’re not too hungry, a slice of pizza and salad are available. Prices run about $10-20 per pie depending on the size of pizza you order.

Recommended: Hungarian mushroom soup and The Popeye pizza.

After 11am to 11pm: 49th State Brewing

slice of pizza

If there were a single restaurant that could summarize the general cuisine scene in Anchorage, it would be 49th State Brewing. They have a pretty massive menu which can be intimidating at first but for fish, the halibut is recommended. The appetizers are small meals on their own so be sure to arrive hungry and if you can, make a reservation beforehand, it does get crowded. Prices run about $20-30 for entrees.

Recommended: The 49er’s Famous Fried Halibut Tacos.

Dessert: Wild Scoops

A bit wacky and part hipster, the locally sourced ingredients at Wild Scoops make for incredible ice cream. There’s over 100 of flavors at their two locations in Anchorage. The staff are incredibly friendly and generous with the free samples so you’re sure to find a flavor (or three) that’s right for you.

wild scoops anchorage

Recommended: Black Cup Oreo, Sweeter Than Dirt (vegan)

Anchorage is a surprisingly good city to eat in and there are a lot of locally owned shops serving everything from German, Turkish, to Alaskan favorites. This list will get you started but you certainly won’t have to stop there! All great places to eat no matter how long you’re in town or just passing through on the way to Seward nearby.

 

How To Plan A Day Trip To Seward, Alaska

You may not have heard of Seward, Alaska until you’ve been or are planning to visit Anchorage. Located about a 2 and a half hour drive south from Alaska’s most populous city, Seward is a town of about 2,100 residents living on the Gulf of Alaska fjord. It’s an excellent hopping off spot to see wildlife, eat at local restaurants, and start an entire Alaska adventure.

Here’s how to plan your day trip to Seward.

Getting To Seward

There are several ways to get to Seward from Anchorage.

  • Car: This is the most flexible way to get to Seward although not the least expensive if you’re renting a vehicle. The road to Seward is mostly flat and relatively straight, just beware of wildlife and keep your eyes on the road. (Moose are common.) The benefit of driving is you can stop at one of several scenic pull-offs like Beluga Point.

  • Train: The Coastal Classic Train moves across some of the most beautiful scenery in southern Alaska. The train runs from early May to mid-September and takes about 4 hours. Most of the boat tour operators are in sync with the train schedule and depart and arrive with train travelers in mind. A dining car is available and prices for a one-way trip run a little over $200.
  • Bus: Following roughly the same seasonal schedule as the trains, a 3 hour bus ride is about $70 one way on Seward Bus Lines. Times vary and some routes are specifically designed for sightseeing. The bus good alternative to the train if you’re traveling in a larger group.

Planning A Day In Seward

One of the most popular things to do in Seward is to take a boat tour of Resurrection Bay and out further to see nearby glaciers. I’d recommend Major Marine Tours (you can see why in the video above) which offer a variety of half and full day wildlife excursions. If time isn’t an issue, the full day tour gives you a much better chance of seeing larger marine life like orcas and other whales, plus takes you out to several local glaciers. All of these glaciers are receding so you may be taking a look at an endangered piece of history.

major marine tours

  • Full Day Tours: Range from 6 to 8.5 hours and cost $180-$250 and go into Kenai Fjords National Park. Meals are included as are assigned seats but you’re free (and encouraged) to roam around the boat, especially when wildlife is pointed out.
  • Half Day Tours: Roughly 4 hours, these tours are usually specifically designed to catch certain types of wildlife sightings, particularly killer whales. Very seasonal (May and June are the best times) half day tours are ideal for those looking to maximize a day around Seward. Cost is roughly $100.

Keep in mind to coordinate your transportation times with any boat tours. There’s plenty of parking available for cars; otherwise check with the bus or train company to see if the ride you’re booking aligns with a particular boat tour.

Where To Eat In Seward

Seasonal, as many things are in Seward, the warmer the months, the more options you’ll have for food. One staple is caffeine with breakfast at 13 Ravens Coffee, appropriately located in a converted train car right by the water. (To be fair, most every place you’ll probably be visiting in Seward is.) A larger meal in a place with limited seating (so get there early) is Mermaid Grotto. After about 9am the service slows down and the seats fill up but another alternative nearby is The Cookery for local foods by Chef Kevin Lane.

Further up the road for those of you driving is the Exit Glacier Salmon Bake, which is as much of an experience as it is a place to eat.

Spending The Day In Seward

In case you’re still hungry after your day in Seward check out the best breakfast in Anchorage or the best pizza places in Anchorage. Seward is an inviting town you won’t regret visiting, especially if you make the most of what it has to offer.

The 4 Best Places To Eat In Thamel Kathmandu

Thamel is Kathmandu’s backpacker district but that doesn’t mean this part of Nepal’s capital city doesn’t have some of the best food travelers can eat. Vibrant and full of local, some locally a hole in the wall, options, these are 4 places you should eat in Thamel.

1. Tibetan & Nepali Kitchen

tibetan and nepali kitchen thamel

There’s plenty of space inside but you might miss this family run business cooking up amazing thali (tasting of local curries), thenthuk (wide noodle soup), and of course momos. Tibetan & Nepali Kitchen is cozy inside with the kitchen in partial view and the food served on order with quick turnaround times.

2. Mo Mo Cave

mo mo cave thamel kathmandu

You’ll have to walk through some construction and under a building with a questionable foundation but believe me, the momos at Mo Mo Cave are worth it. Momos take time here in this small family operation that makes the best momos, small, steamed or fried dumplings with vegetarian, chicken, or beef options. Eat here at least once when you’re in Thamel and it probably won’t be your last visit.

3. Himalayan Java

himalayan java

More on the beaten path, this small coffee chain is a little hipster with a lot of local love for good reason. The coffee at a place called Himalayan Java (as one would hope) is good with pastries to match, not to mention excellent free wifi. A nice place to relax, especially during the slower afternoon hours.

4. Yangling

yangling kathmandu thamel

Almost combining a little of the above, Yangling serves up hot Tibetan classics with some local favorites. Yangling’s crowded and the tables slightly messy from the meal someone had before you but the food is tasty, comforting, and served fairly quickly. Being on the edge of Thamel, depending on where you’re staying, Yangling is a longer (10-20 minute walk) but if thupka (thin noodle broth soup) makes you’re heart sing, it will carry your feet away.

More Food For You

A few other places worth mentioning are Black Olive Cafe for breakfast and if the weather is nice, a warm patio to get your day started. Speaking of morning, next to OR2K which has a large variety of Westernized vegan and vegetarian dishes, there’s a small coffee stand with no name. It’s right on the corner here and hard to miss on the ground but if you want freshly brewed local coffee with Thamel’s unique flavor, this coffee stand has your name on it.

How To Use Travel Blogs To Plan A Trip

travel blog pizza

There are a lot of travel blogs on the Internet but as websites keep procreating, many independent sites get lost under search garbage. Travel blogs used to be a primary source of vacation planning until everyone and their weird relatives hopped on Facebook to scream at each other. Still, there are many independent creators focused on writing specific and personalized information about the places you want to go.

Here’s how to find and use travel blogs to plan a better trip than a bland web search can get you.

The Benefit Of Blogs

As clearly biased as this is going to sound, blogs are probably the most free places online. Generally independent from the pressures of algorithms (like YouTube), few worries of shadow banning, and not being like based, many blogs are run by people who inherently enjoy sharing information. Blogs typically live and die by Google search results and since competing with larger sites on common searches has become more difficult, crafty bloggers tend to get specific. Really specific, like the “the best way to get a taxi in Istanbul.”

best taxi istanbul

Blogs are often updated more frequently than tent pole pages in mainstream media because there are a lot of travel bloggers, blogging about somewhere you want to go, at any given time.

Finding Good Travel Blogs

Sifting through abandoned blogs and sites made purely for search engine optimization (SEO) to find quality travel blogs isn’t too difficult. To find a site first, enter in the search term you’re looking for (e.g. “best places to eat in Moldova“) followed by “travel blog.” This sounds silly I know, but entering in “best places to eat in Moldova travel blog” will get you past Google’s generic recommendations and a bunch of bland TripAdvisor recommendations.

Ratings from those sites, short reviews written by anonymous people, and everything being 4.7 stars doesn’t actually give you useful travel advice. But by searching through travel blogs you get detailed articles such as solo female travel in Bangladesh by locals, expats like Turkey’s For Life, and travelers who’ve extensively explored a destination (how about Alaska).

tokyo japan

It’s a good idea to look at the dates of posts to see how recent they are and check the latest posts to see how fresh a given blog is. A lot of blogs don’t add dates to posts because of a misguided understanding of SEO (please, stop doing that) so seeing how active a given blogger is on social media can help with your site freshness check.

How To Use Travel Blogs

Many travel blogs have information categorized by destination or country, mode of travel, or even cuisine. Depending on the site design, I recommend going to the “blog” or “about” pages. The blog page will usually show you recent topics and the about page will give you an idea about the person writing everything. Does the blogger travel like you, have the same interests when visiting a city… there’s a lot you can learn.

Some travel bloggers also run diverse tours and can be contacted with feedback – a lot of us are happy to help. Your question might even turn into an entire blog post about how to use travel blogs to plan your next trip.

Although they’re not as easy to find through a Google search (try DuckDuckGo anyone?), the blogosphere is thriving, independent, and full of useful advice and thoughtful creators. Once you find a blog or blogger that vibes with you and is especially helpful, make sure to sign up for their newsletter, YouTube, or other social channels to keep up in between trips and have a handy resource before the next one.

How To Cook Turkish Borek The Easy Way

Turkish borek is a food you might be familiar with since there’s a version of it in most cultures. Dough with tasty things stuffed inside then cooked until the exterior is crispy and the insides soft. Creating borek is traditionally a time consuming task but switching from an oven to a stove top, you can prepare the dish within 15 minutes.

Once you’re ready, it’s only about an hour to cook this vegetarian Turkish dish. You can watch the entire process in this video (with my mom!) or read on.

What You’ll Need

There are some key ingredients like the phyllo dough, olive oil, and eggs (or egg substitute to make it a vegan Turkish recipe).  In this recipe we’re using a classic spinach, onion, and tomato filling but you can get creative! Just keep the basic preparation steps in place and in proportion.

turkish borek receipe

  • 1 package 3-layer phyllo dough
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons black cumin seeds
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 large bag of spinach
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 cups water

Preparing The Filling

Start by chopping your onion, spinach, and tomatoes into bite-size pieces (i.e. not too fine). Pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot, toss your chopped spinach, tomatoes, and onion in, and set it to a low to medium heat until it simmers. While that’s cooking, in a separate bowl crack an egg, pour 2 cups of water, and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Whisk until it’s thoroughly mixed and let it sit while you move on to the next step.

Getting The Dough Ready

Using a tablespoon of olive oil, coat the bottom of a large pan. Take a tablespoon of cumin seeds and sprinkle them across the bottom. Then take your phyllo dough and cover the bottom in a layer or two. It doesn’t have to be uniform, which saves you a lot of time, just make sure the bottom layer especially isn’t too thin.

turkish borek

After the first layer of dough, pour some of the egg mixture and add your (now lightly cooked) filling. Then start tearing more dough and put it on time. Then, another layer of egg mix and filling, then dough.

Cooking The Borek

The final step is to pour the remaining mixture on top of the entire borek; this helps keep the dough soft while it’s cooking. Once that’s done, sprinkle another tablespoon of cumin seeds on top. Now, you can place the borek on the stove at medium heat. Cook until it’s lightly brown (approximately 30 minutes) on the bottom, then flip it over. Once both sides are light brown, it’s time to let the borek cool to room temperature and eat!

To add to this meal you can make mercimek koftesi (spicy lentil balls) or some of these lesser known classic Turkish foods. Afiyet olsun!

What’s The Best Country In The World? The India vs. Pakistan Debate

Nuance is often the antidote to controversy and the relationship between India and Pakistan is loaded with both. Recent comments suggesting a particular bias in my travel videos about both countries lead me to answer the question: which do I like more, Pakistan or India?

Well, that’s a deeper question about travel comparisons in general I talk about in the video here. It’s an answer, it turns out, a lot of us tend to get wrong for very reasonable reasons when we visit a place. Just like we’re moving though space, we can’t ignore time and happenstance either so our perceptions can be very narrow in a big world. After watching the video above, you might just be rethinking some of your favorite and least favorite destinations.

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About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutHi, I'm Anil. foXnoMad is where I combine travel and tech to help you travel smarter. I'm on a journey to every country in the world and you're invited to join the adventure! Read More

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