It’s hard for kids to adjust to a new school year. For parents, getting everything ready can be stressful. Sometimes, you just need a treat. Here are our best suggestions for places to celebrate the start of a new school year with your family.
1. Uncle Joe’s Pizzeria
There is perhaps no better family food than pizza, and Uncle Joe’s Pizzeria is an Anchorage staple that will be sure to satisfy the whole family. This stone-baked local pizza chain features mouth-watering slices of pizza, savory wings, calzones and all other manners of delicious casual Italian food. They even have a vegan menu. Plus, with four locations, you can find an Uncle Joe’s near you wherever you are in Anchorage.
If you are looking for Italian food, then Sorrento’s is the place to be. One of only a handful of classic Italian eateries in Anchorage, Sorrento’s is the go-to place for a relaxed family-friendly environment. This warm and cozy restaurant has a broad selection of classic Italian fare to choose from and is a great place to celebrate a big event or just to chill out over some good food in an inviting atmosphere. Just be sure to try their stuffed mushrooms.
3. Gwennie’s Old Alaska Restaurant
An Anchorage favorite, Gwennie’s old-timey restaurant is filled with knickknacks and native art and is the perfect stop for your family at any time of day. From all-day breakfast, to lunch, to dinner, there is something for everyone at Gwennie’s. Be sure to check out all the cool decor on the walls, and don’t forget to ask for the adorable hand-drawn children’s crossword puzzle if they have it.
4. Tastee Freez
Life wouldn’t be complete without ice cream, even when it starts to get chilly. If you need a family treat, then Tastee Freez is a fantastic option with a wide selection of soft-serve ice cream, including a special flavor of the day. They also offer dipped cones in a variety of flavors just in case one isn’t enough, along with their delicious shakes and sundaes. Plus, if for some reason you’re still hungry after that all that tasty ice cream, they offer plenty of American comfort food like burgers and fries.
5. Arctic Roadrunner
This classic burger joint filled with family photos and fun Alaskan keepsakes has a rustic, homey atmosphere. The place stays busy--especially at lunch--but fortunately, there is plenty of seating to accommodate all guests. Remember to bring cash, as they don’t accept cards. Still, the delicious burgers are totally worth any minor inconvenience. The juicy halibut burger is one of the greatest things on the menu, especially if you aren’t feeling up for red meat. The restaurant sits right against a creek, so if you can score some outdoor seating, you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the salmon spawning during their spawning season. Talk about dinner and a show!
6. Lucky Wishbone
Nothing fills the belly and soul better than a nice piece of good-old fried chicken. This place does not disappoint. This is the spot to go if you need some Southern comfort food, with fried chicken that falls off the bone and some cornbread to accompany it, as well as a fantastic lineup of old- fashioned shakes. With comfort food like this, you’ll almost forget you were 4,000 miles away from the South.
7. International House of Hot Dogs
The best hot dogs in town are served right here at this classic hotdog stand and outdoor eatery in downtown Anchorage. Winner of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence 2018-2019, this place has hot dogs and fries that are out of this world. It’s currently only a summer joint, but it is a must-try and will keep definitely keep the kiddos happy.
8. La Mex
If the family wants to celebrate but doesn’t want American food, then La Mex is a great laid-back choice for the whole crew. Set in a casual, comfy atmosphere, you can relax while watching TV and taking in the Mexican décor. This local establishment is an excellent alternative to the diner and burger scene.
9. Burger Cache
According to their menu, Burger Cache is home to “The Best Burgers in Town.” If the reviews are any indicator, it just might be. It features friendly owners, a casual atmosphere, and a drive-thru for those seeking a quicker option. Be sure to try some of their signature offerings like their Cache Burger, featuring pepperoni, Canadian bacon, mozzarella cheese, grilled onion, and mushroom. Or, try one of their ¼ lb. jumbo hot dogs. Plus, this might be the only place on here that offers you cash to eat. That’s right. When you come in and eat you can fill out a ticket to be enrolled in a bi-monthly drawing for a whopping $1,000 cash prize.
10. Taco King
Sometimes you just want a good taco. This local chain is the perfect pit stop for a family hungry for some of the best tacos around. There’s nothing especially fancy here, just delicious tacos done right. You’ll find a wide selection of hefty burritos, crunchy tacos, and delicious horchata. This an affordable spot guaranteed to make your celebration great.
11. Sami’s Diner
Travel back in time with your kids to this 50s diner still shining in neon lights and glistening chrome. You’ll know you’ve arrived as soon as you step inside and are greeted by the 50s music, the malt shake bar, and the friendly staff. From shakes and floats to all kinds of American comfort food, this diner is a perfect place to come for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Be sure to try their Reuben sandwich and enjoy the time warp.
12. Golden Gate Restaurant
This sit-down joint is the perfect spot for your family to celebrate in a relaxed atmosphere while enjoying some of the best Chinese food in Anchorage. This place has all your favorite Chinese comfort foods in a pleasant environment free from distractions. Here you can enjoy their Mongolian beef and soup--both of which receive high marks from customers. Other popular choices include their Sweet and Sour chicken and their Kung Pao chicken.
13. Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria
Possibly the most famous restaurant in the city, this custom pizzeria and pub has craft pizzas that attract tourists and locals alike. Their pizza is unlike anything else in the city and features a wide array of innovative and creative options. Everything is delicious and handcrafted, making it a lively spot that’s nearly always packed.
They also feature a concert series and a pub for the adults. If you enjoy what they have to offer you can also check out their other eateries, including the awesome Bear Tooth Theatrepub described below.
14. Bear Tooth Theatrepub and Grill
Run by the same people as Moose’s Tooth, this popular family-friendly joint is a dine-in movie theater playing 2nd-runs of movies and indie films. They have a selection of both family-friendly movies and more mature features, so always check the shows ahead of time just as you would at any theater. With a casual atmosphere in a classic theater environment, you can sit down, relax, watch a film, and celebrate with the family all while enjoying some savory pizza slices and mouth-watering appetizers.
If you’d rather skip the movie, you can have head over to their Bear Tooth Grill, which is a dine-in/take-out spot that offers a selection of burgers, tacos, and sandwiches. They also offer a brunch menu as well.
15. Kriner’s Diner
Kriner’s Diner is another local favorite featuring classic American food and breakfasts. Started as a passion project by the owner who had grown up in the restaurant business, his love for the place is evident in the family-focused memorabilia and the energy they put into their food. Featuring home-made pies, stacks of pancakes and some irresistible fried eggs, you can’t go wrong bringing your family here.
16. Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse
One of Anchorage’s premier spots for seafood, this storied eatery and local favorite attracts many tourists but features some of the best seafood in the city. Tables are first come first serve, so be prepared for a bit of a wait, but the halibut fish and chips alone are worth the wait. They also have the distinction of being the proud recipients of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence 2015 - 2019.
17. Kay’s Family Restaurant
Kay’s is a family-run small breakfast diner that is warm and inviting even on a cold, snowy winter’s day. They feature a children’s menu for the little ones with smaller portions all at reasonable prices as well as some scrumptious home-made baked goods, like their croissants. Both the French Dip and the Monte Cristo sandwiches are definite must-tries. It is inexpensive and extremely family-friendly. Although it is a little off the beaten path, this hidden gem is worth your while.
18. Snow City Café
Fans agree this might be the best place for breakfast in the whole city. Snow City Café has something for everyone, featuring one of the broadest selections of breakfast items in town. They also know how to get creative with their food, so whether you want something a little more artsy and edgy or just want some basic bacon and eggs, this place has something for everybody. It also is one of the more affordable breakfast choices in the city, with prices ranging from $5 to $15.
There you have it, 18 family-friendly restaurants you can try in Anchorage AK today. Which one will you choose?