Polar Bear Breakfasts and Other Delights

Imported Photos 00166

One of the best places I’ve been for breakfast is the Snow City Cafe in downtown Anchorage, Alaska. Located on 4th Avenue behind the Captain Cook Hotel, Snow City offers a creative breakfast menu with anything from granola to a tofu omelet to a scary-sounding dish named “Heart Attack on a Plate and Veggie Bypass”. Breakfast with coffee is roughly $10 to $20 and is worth every penny.

On one visit, I ordered the delicious, fresh granola (bags are available for sale) and the side order of bread slices were huge. Each table has a large pot of addictive local wild berry jam to lather on toast. The jam is homemade and tastes like the jam my grandmother used to keep in her root cellar.

Addictive local jam

Addictive local jam


On another visit, I had the “Polar Bear Breakfast” which is a gigantic pancake, two eggs (cooked any style) and a choice of protein (bacon, ham, sausage, etc.). Be sure to come hungry as this is easily two meals instead of one. Amazingly, this meal can even be supersized!

The blueberry pancake is a good option and packed with the berries readily found in Alaska. One pancake is the size of a plate and very filling. Tasty Alaskan salmon cakes are also available on the menu, with local wild salmon caught nearby, as Alaskans are particular about their fish.

Snow City also offers a lunch menu, but breakfast is the big draw here.

This restaurant is friendly from the moment visitors arrive. The host desk has a hanging sign advertising the “Host with the Most” and families can borrow board games to entertain the kids. The walls are brightly painted (which adds light to the dark Alaskan winters) and local artists’ paintings are for sale on the walls. Snow City offers local artists a chance to display artwork with monthly exhibitions. Large snowflakes and Christmas bulbs hanging from the ceiling and a snowman logo remind diners they are in Alaska.

For those who don’t want to wait, guests can line up by the breakfast bar which features first come/first served seating. As of 2012, Snow City now also offers online reservations.

Snow City breakfast bar

Snow City breakfast bar

For visitors who happen to be in Anchorage late in the fall around the season’s first snowfall, Snow City offers free espresso the day after Anchorage’s first snow. I missed it by one day the last time I was in Anchorage.

Snow City is popular with Anchorage locals and especially with added tourists during the summer cruise ship season, this restaurant can be packed. Be sure to go very early (no later than 7:30 a.m. on weekends) or there will be a long line and lengthy wait. Anchorage locals know Snow City Café is the breakfast place in town and this restaurant makes instant fans.

Snow City Cafe
1034 West 4th Avenue
Anchorage, Alaska

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