So, you’re traveling to Alaska. Chances are you’ll be passing through the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, and if you spend any amount of time there, you’re bound to get hungry and need to know what the best Anchorage airport restaurants are. This shockingly busy airport serves nearly 5.7 million passengers annually and is the 4th largest airport worldwide for cargo throughput. I’ve collectively probably spent a few weeks of my life in the Anchorage Airport waiting on flights. Over the years, I have seen a lot of turnover with the Anchorage Airport Restaurants. A few good places have disappeared, but a couple remain. In this article, you’ll learn where the hidden dive bar is, where you get food 24 hours a day, and where to get complimentary cocktails in the Anchorage Aiport!
Article Overview: Top 5 Restaurants in the Anchorage International Airport
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From Layover to Hangover
So many drinks have been had in this airport, endless hours waiting for flights, I’m embarrassed to even think about how much money I’ve spent on booze at Anchorage Airport Restaurants. If I was a better, more productive person, I would have downloaded a language app on my phone and learned Cantonese rather than waste away on a bar stool. That said, I’ve had some pretty great times in these Airport restaurants/bars hanging out with the dozens of film crews I’ve worked with in Alaska. The good news about drinking at the Anchorage Airport is that as long as you can get to the plane in good order, you can sleep it off while flying.
The Anchorage Airport has a high turnover rate for its restaurants. It was a bit of a struggle to make a top 5 list since there are so few actual restaurants. If you are stuck at the Anchorage Airport for any significant amount of time, I recommend starting at the Upper One Lounge before going through security, getting your meal at Sushi on the Fly, and finishing your layover at Silver Gulch Brewing. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about Anchorage Airport Restaurants!
If you need help finding the best place to eat in Nome, Alaska, we got you covered too! Check out our top 5 Restaurants in Nome, Alaska
Best Restaurants in the Anchorage, Alaska Airport (ANC)
#5. Upper One Lounge
Let’s be honest for a moment, when traveling to or from Alaska, especially with a film crew making reality TV; you NEED a drink more than a meal whether you are escaping the freezing Arctic and heading home or en route to a mosquito-infested location to film a bear hunt. Sometimes you need a dark dive bar to relax.
Upper One Lounge is the spot. This hidden gem is outside security, between the ConocoPhillips check-in window and the Hudson News. While the Upper One Lounge does offer food, that’s not why you go. This place is perfect, rarely busy, has the booze you need, and you don’t feel like you are in an airport for a moment.
If you are in it for the food, they have that too. Their menu has wings, pulled pork nachos, quesadillas, chili, hotdogs, and cheesesteaks. If you’re feeling fancy, they have rice bowls as well. Check out Upper One Lounge after you check in with the airline, and before you go through TSA, and if you need a haircut, there is a barber next door too!
ADDRESS: Next to Hudson News, pre TSA PHONE: (907) 633-0129 HOURS: Mon – Fri 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, Sat – Sun 12-9PM
#4. Euro Cafe
Not much to say about this place. It’s a “cafe” inside a Hudson News, which is about as exciting as a Starbucks inside a Target. Across from McDonald’s, the Euro Cafe has smoothies, coffee drinks, premade pastries, and sandwiches.
Nothing special here, but if you’re in a time crunch and running between gates, this might be the place for you. You can grab a quick bite or snack, run to the gate and eat your sad food while you question your disappointing time management skills that lead to this moment. You could have been eating sushi and having a cocktail at Sushi on the Fly like an adult.
I wouldn’t mention this food hole except that I needed five restaurants to make this list, and the only other restaurant in the airport (Humpy’s Alaska Alehouse) was closed. In fact, if you see the Euro Cafe, keep walking and get the free pretzels on the plane.
#3. Sushi on the Fly
Sushi on the Fly has the best menu at the airport. Unfortunately, its location is less than relaxing. The restaurant’s seating is directly off the main throughway and feels like an afterthought. This place is excellent if you can get past the chaotic terminal vibe and focus on the food.
They have a full sushi menu, including rolls, sashimi, and Nigiri. Sushi on the Fly also offers Terryacki bento boxes ($18-$20), and Asian entrees (Mongolian beef, sesame chicken, kung pao chicken, sweet and sour chicken, and spicy pork bulgogi. They have salads, Udon noodle bowls, fried rice, and dumplings for something a little lighter. Sushi on the Fly also operates a beer garden across the throughway. They have 16 beers on tap and a full bar.
ADDRESS: 5000 W International Airport Rd PHONE: (907) 337-8744 HOURS: Mon-Sun 10am – 1pm
#2. Norton Sound Seafood House
The best part about this place, maybe the airplane it has on its roof. It’s pretty cool to see a float plane resting atop a restaurant inside an airport. The other unique aspect of this restaurant is that it exists on both sides of security. If you’re killing time outside security and need food, this is your best bet; if you just want cocktails at a dive bar, head to Upper One Lounge instead.
If dining at Norton Sound Seafood, enjoy their freshly caught Alaskan seafood options. Halibut, salmon, and crab are king on this menu in every form imaginable: Creamy crab pasta, seared Alaskan salmon, fish and chips, crab and shrimp rolls, and Asian wild salmon burgers.
Norton Sound Seafood also serves breakfast which is significant since many of the flights leaving Alaska are ridiculously early in the morning.
ADDRESS: Junction B and C concourse in the Anchorage Airport PHONE: (907) 243-4331. HOURS: Mon-Sun 5am to 1 am
#1. Silver Gulch Brewing & Bottling Co.
The most reliable restaurant in the Anchorage Airport. I’ve spent more time and money at this bar than anywhere else in the Anchorage Airport. The bar is friendly, well stocked, and the service is fast. Their menu is typical pub grub, but after being in the bush or sleeping in a tent for weeks, this place is an oasis before heading home on a long plane ride.
Silver Gultch also has a bottle shop to buy beer and spirits, primarily produced in Alaska. They also sell growlers. If you’re in a rush, they also have a take-out window. If you need a drink and a meal and don’t want the hassle of picking a spot to take your crew, head to the Silver Gulch, they’ll take care of you, and you may even fly home with a growler of beer to boot.
ADDRESS: 5000 W International Airport Rd, Anchorage, AK 99502 PHONE: (907) 248-1048 HOURS: Mon – Sun 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Best Restaurants In Alaska’s Anchorage International Airport (Post Summary)
- Silver Gulch Brewing & Bottling Co.
- Norton Sound Seafood House
- Sushi on the Fly
- Euro Cafe
- Upper One Lounge (if this were a dive bar list, it would be #1)
It’s Not a Restaurant, But They Got Free Food and Cocktails
It’s not a restaurant and not entirely free, but it is a great alternative, and I guarantee it will save you money. The Alaska Airline Lounge in the Anchorage Airport is the best deal in town. If traveling to or from Alaska a few times a year, paying for a lounge membership will be cheaper than spending hundreds of dollars on overpriced food and booze in the airport.
The lounge membership is roughly $300-$400 a year, and you get access to all the Alaska Air lounges (this is great for those long layovers in Seattle). Inside the lounge, you get all the free beer, wine, and cocktails you want. There is also a small buffet that is surprisingly good. Most importantly, you get a nice quiet place to chill away from the crowds. If you have a friend with a membership, you can get in free as their guest.
ADDRESS: South Terminal PHONE: (800) 654-5669 HOURS: Mon-Sun 5 am to 1 am
Hungry at 2 am, 24 Hour Anchorage Airport Restaurants
The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is open 24 hours a day, but its restaurants are not. If you find yourself at the Anchorage Airport in the middle of the night needing a meal, you have two options, McDonald’s and Starbucks.
While these aren’t the most exciting culinary experiences, I guarantee you; you will be grateful that they are open if you find yourself wandering the empty terminals at 2 am in need of sustenance. Most airports in the United States have very few 24-hour options, so Anchorage International Airport is doing well by having at least two late night restaurants.
Anchorage International Airport Restaurants Map
Anchorage Airport Facts
Here are some fun fact about the Anchorage Airport.
- 4th largest airport in the world in terms of cargo throughput.
- Nearly 5.7 million passengers served in 2019
- Over 42,000 passenger aircraft landings and over 41,000 wide and narrow body cargo aircraft landings in 2019.
- 2nd largest airport in the United States for landed weight of cargo aircraft.
- It never closes for snow!
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