12 Best Restaurants in Wasilla, Alaska

Last Updated on March 6, 2024 by Emily Johnson


Wasilla is a vibrant city located in southcentral Alaska, about 43 miles north of Anchorage. With its small-town charm and natural beauty surrounding it, Wasilla has grown into the commercial center of the Matanuska-Susitna Valley.

RestaurantSpecialty
Three Bears RestaurantAmerican comfort food, seafood
The Grape TapWine bar, fine dining
49th State Brewing CompanyBrewpub, house-made beers
Alaska Garden PalaceAuthentic Chinese cuisine
Railroad Avenue GrillBurgers, historical ambiance
Evangelo’s RestaurantGreek cuisine, seafood
Wasilla Lake DinerHomestyle breakfast and lunch
Palmer City AlehouseBrewpub, hearty pub fare
Chair 5 RestaurantUpscale dining, wilderness views
Turkey RedFarm-to-table, Alaskan ingredients
Visco Family RestaurantBreakfast and lunch diner
Alaska Salmon Bake RestaurantAuthentic salmon bake, Alaskan seafood

The dining scene in Wasilla reflects its heritage as a railroad town as well as its location in the midst of some of the world’s most pristine wilderness areas. From hearty comfort foods to fresh Alaskan seafood, Wasilla restaurants offer something for everyone.

This article explores 12 of the top-rated and best-loved restaurants that give locals and visitors alike a true taste of Wasilla’s unique culinary scene. From family-friendly brewpubs to fine dining with breathtaking views, read on to discover the diverse flavours Wasilla has to offer.

The hanging flower baskets lining downtown Wasilla streets in the summer give just a hint of the warm hospitality visitors can expect from local restaurants. With fresh ingredients sourced from Alaskan waters and farms when possible, Wasilla chefs put their creative talents to work for delicious dining options.

Three Bears Restaurant

Name and Location: Three Bears Restaurant is a popular dining spot located in Wasilla, Alaska. The restaurant is known for its cozy atmosphere and delicious home-style cooking.

History and Significance: Three Bears Restaurant has been a fixture in the Wasilla community for over 20 years. The restaurant was founded by a local family who wanted to create a welcoming space where people could gather and enjoy good food and company.

What to Expect: Visitors to Three Bears Restaurant can expect a warm and friendly atmosphere, with comfortable seating and rustic decor. The menu features a variety of classic American dishes, including burgers, sandwiches, and hearty entrees like meatloaf and fried chicken. The restaurant also offers a selection of beers and wines to complement your meal.

Visitor Information: Three Bears Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. The restaurant is located just off the Parks Highway in Wasilla and is easily accessible by car. Reservations are not required, but are recommended for larger parties.

Serving the Wasilla community since 1993, Three Bears Restaurant at the Best Western Lake Lucille Inn is a local family dining favorite.

The ambiance is cozy and inviting with wooden accents and stone fireplaces throughout. As the name suggests, the restaurant celebrates Alaska’s wildlife with taxidermic bears and moose on display.

The Three Bears menu focuses on crowd-pleasing American comfort food made from scratch. Guests rave about favorites like the baked halibut stuffed with king crab. Other standouts include prime rib, grilled salmon, and wild game dishes when available, from caribou sliders to bison pot roast.

With nightly specials like Alaskan Beer Battered Halibut and Chip Night Fridays, Three Bears Restaurant has something special every day. Don’t miss their legendary Sunday brunch buffet spread either.

The Grape Tap

Name and Location: The Grape Tap is a wine bar and restaurant located in downtown Wasilla, Alaska. The restaurant offers a cozy and intimate atmosphere, with a focus on local and regional wines and craft beers.

History and Significance: The Grape Tap was founded in 2015 by a local couple who wanted to create a space where people could gather to enjoy good wine, food, and conversation. The restaurant has quickly become a favorite among locals and visitors alike, known for its welcoming atmosphere and knowledgeable staff.

What to Expect: Visitors to The Grape Tap can expect a carefully curated selection of wines and beers, with a focus on local and regional producers. The menu features a variety of small plates and entrees designed to pair well with the beverages, including charcuterie boards, flatbreads, and seasonal salads. The restaurant also hosts regular wine tastings and events.

Visitor Information: The Grape Tap is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, with extended hours on Friday and Saturday evenings. The restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Wasilla and is easily accessible by car or on foot. Reservations are recommended, especially for larger parties or special events.

Wine lovers rejoice at downtown Wasilla’s own Grape Tap restaurant and wine bar for food and drink pairings that impress.

With nightly specials and frequent live music, The Grape Tap brings a relaxed cosmopolitan vibe to Wasilla in a chic and contemporary setting. Hand-cut Tuscan steak, seared scallops, and shared plates give a taste of fine dining at its best.

Their wine list offers over 95 varieties, primarily from the Pacific Northwest region, but with selections from around the world. Knowledgeable staff help guests choose the perfect vintage to complement their meal.

Happy Hour at The Grape Tap is a popular local spot to unwind after work or begin an evening out with friends when wines by the glass are $2 off.

49th State Brewing Company

Name and Location: 49th State Brewing Company is a popular brewpub located in Anchorage, Alaska. The restaurant features a variety of craft beers brewed on-site, as well as a menu of pub-style food.

History and Significance: 49th State Brewing Company was founded in 2010 by two local entrepreneurs who wanted to create a destination for craft beer lovers in Anchorage. The brewery has since expanded to include a second location in Healy, Alaska, near Denali National Park.

What to Expect: Visitors to 49th State Brewing Company can expect a lively and welcoming atmosphere, with a spacious dining room and outdoor seating area. The menu features a variety of pub-style favorites, including burgers, sandwiches, and pizza, as well as a selection of entrees like fish and chips and steak frites. The brewery also offers a rotating selection of craft beers, including seasonal and limited-edition releases.

Visitor Information: 49th State Brewing Company is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. The restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Anchorage and is easily accessible by car or on foot. The brewery also offers tours and tastings for visitors interested in learning more about the brewing process.

Wasilla’s 49th State Brewing Company fired up its brew kettles in 2012, becoming one of Alaska’s first brewpub restaurants. Today their handcrafted ales are favorites across the state.

The rustic restaurant interior lined with spruce wood sets the scene for enjoying house brews like the Prospector IPA and Dividing Range Rye. Their specialty 49er wood-fired pizzas are cooked in a custom-made sourdough oven fired with local birch.

With 28 beers on tap, there’s always an interesting new brew to try with locally-sourced pub fare. Fiery Korean pork ribs, jalapeno mac and cheese, and wild Alaska salmon filets are fan favorites.descriptor

Lively conversation flows around the 20-foot fireplace as patrons swap tales almost as high as the flames over pints of the newest sour blonde or coffee porter. It’s the best place in town to disconnect from digital distractions while connecting over craft beer and good company.

Alaska Garden Palace

Name and Location: Alaska Garden Palace is a Chinese restaurant located in Wasilla, Alaska. The restaurant offers a variety of traditional Chinese dishes, as well as some American-style favorites.

History and Significance: Alaska Garden Palace has been serving the Wasilla community for over a decade. The restaurant is known for its generous portions and friendly service.

What to Expect: Visitors to Alaska Garden Palace can expect a casual and welcoming atmosphere, with comfortable seating and traditional Chinese decor. The menu features a wide selection of dishes, including appetizers like egg rolls and pot stickers, soups, fried rice, noodles, and entrees like sweet and sour chicken and Mongolian beef.

Visitor Information: Alaska Garden Palace is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. The restaurant is located in a strip mall in Wasilla and is easily accessible by car. Take-out and delivery options are also available.

Savvy locals make their way to Alaska Garden Palace when they get a hankering for authentic Chinese food done right. Owned and operated since 1996 by a Chinese family from Malaysia, Alaska Garden Palace is widely considered the finest Asian dining establishment in the Mat-Su region.

Signature Mandarin delicacies are expertly executed by their Hong Kong-trained chef. Generous portions of crisp green beans, succulent sweet and sour chicken, and tender pot stickers have diners cleaning their plates. Despite its unassuming exterior, one bite of delectable Szechuan beef sizzling with peppercorns brings the bold flavors of the Orient to small-town Wasilla.

The extensive menu offers all the familiar take-out favorites from General Tso to Kung Pao done exceptionally well. Beyond sweet and sour pork, the chef’s specialties expand horizons with authentic dishes seldom seen outside Asia like salted fish and tofu claypot and crab curry Hokkien fried rice.

Railroad Avenue Grill

Name and Location: Railroad Avenue Grill is a family-owned restaurant located in Talkeetna, Alaska. The restaurant is known for its hearty breakfasts and down-home atmosphere.

History and Significance: Railroad Avenue Grill has been a fixture in the Talkeetna community for over 20 years. The restaurant is housed in a historic building that once served as a railroad bunkhouse, adding to its rustic charm.

What to Expect: Visitors to Railroad Avenue Grill can expect a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, with wooden booths and railroad-themed decor. The menu features a variety of classic breakfast dishes, like pancakes, omelets, and biscuits and gravy, as well as lunch options like sandwiches and burgers. The restaurant is also known for its homemade pies and cinnamon rolls.

Visitor Information: Railroad Avenue Grill is open for breakfast and lunch, seven days a week. The restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Talkeetna and is easily accessible on foot from local hotels and shops. The restaurant can get busy during peak tourist season, so be prepared for a short wait.

For a quintessential burger joint with hometown charm, make tracks to the Railroad Avenue Grill right along the Parks Highway. Originally built in 1921 to serve railroad workers building tracks to Alaska’s interior, the building is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today’s patrons balance ketchup-topped patties and crispy onion rings between elbows while playing pool, shooting darts, and reading vintage Alaska highway signs and license plates decorating the walls.

While the old jukebox croons country classics, the cramped galley kitchen sizzles with fry orders and thick, juicy burgers loaded with fixings. Crisp waffle fries, Minnesota hotdish specials, and slow-roasted prime rib round out a menu focused on doing the basics right. Leave room for slice of housemade pie.

Friendly bartenders like to pour locally-brewed beer and prone to launch into tales about the history of the pioneering rail line put down over a century of harsh Alaska winters outside. For visitors and Wasilla old timers alike, the Railroad Avenue Grill transports diners into the hardy frontier past that forged the spirit of Alaska.

Evangelo’s Restaurant

Name and Location: Evangelo’s Restaurant is a family-owned Italian restaurant located in Wasilla, Alaska. The restaurant is known for its authentic Italian cuisine and warm, welcoming atmosphere.

History and Significance: Evangelo’s Restaurant was founded in the 1980s by Evangelo and Maria Kalamarides, who immigrated to Alaska from Greece. The restaurant has been a beloved fixture in the Wasilla community ever since, known for its delicious food and friendly service.

What to Expect: Visitors to Evangelo’s Restaurant can expect a cozy and inviting atmosphere, with comfortable seating and traditional Italian decor. The menu features a variety of classic Italian dishes, including pasta, pizza, and seafood, as well as a selection of Greek specialties like moussaka and dolmades. The restaurant also offers a full bar with a selection of wines and cocktails.

Visitor Information: Evangelo’s Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sunday. The restaurant is located in a strip mall in Wasilla and is easily accessible by car. Reservations are recommended, especially for larger parties or during peak hours.

Special occasion dining calls for the elegant Greek atmosphere and seafood-focused cuisine of Evangelo’s Restaurant. Twinkling string lights and olive trees adorn the courtyard entryway as aromas of oregano and sizzling shrimp beckon inside its stucco walls.

Hand-carved furnishings imported from Greece, white tablecloths, and dignified service make Evangelo’s a surprisingly refined dining choice for a city nestled near wilderness. Fiery glazed Meatballs, spanakopita phyllo bundles, and delectable octopus carpaccio are starters not to miss.

Entrees shine with fresh Alaskan catches like cedar plank salmon and pasta studded with clams and white wine. Herb-marinated lamb chops and peppercorn crusted filet mignon please devoted carnivores. Baklava cheesecake and creamy Greek yogurt mousse make fine finishes.

There is no better place for celebrating milestones or an intimate evening than Evangelo’s, where Greek music fills the air and every meal feels like a trip to the Mediterranean.

Wasilla Lake Diner

Name and Location: Wasilla Lake Diner is a classic American diner located in Wasilla, Alaska. The restaurant is known for its home-style cooking and friendly service.

History and Significance: Wasilla Lake Diner has been a popular spot for locals and visitors alike since it opened in the 1990s. The restaurant is located on the shores of Wasilla Lake, offering beautiful views of the water and surrounding mountains.

What to Expect: Visitors to Wasilla Lake Diner can expect a classic diner experience, with comfortable booths and counter seating, and a menu featuring all-day breakfast, burgers, sandwiches, and homemade pies. The restaurant is also known for its generous portions and friendly service.

Visitor Information: Wasilla Lake Diner is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week. The restaurant is located just off the Parks Highway in Wasilla and is easily accessible by car. During the summer months, visitors can also enjoy outdoor seating with views of the lake.

No visit to Wasilla is complete without indulging in homestyle breakfast and lunch classics at a local legend – the Wasilla Lake Diner. This unpretentious family diner has anchored downtown Wasilla for over 35 years.

Through ownership changes, fires, and every challenge small-town life has dished up, the Wasilla Lake Diner has persevered. Its display case still overflows with flaky cinnamon rolls and fruit pies tempting early risers pouring through the door.

Handwritten specials on the low-key diner walls offer daily comfort food choices like pot roast and chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy built for Alaska-size appetites. Fluffy omelets stuffed with smoked salmon and dill pair perfectly with the diner’s signature sourdough pancakes served with a side of reindeer sausage.

When the last fork clatters onto dessert plates wiped clean by hearty slices of marionberry cobbler or towering sundaes, it’s easy to see why the Wasilla Lake Diner has earned its reputation as a local legend.

Palmer City Alehouse

Name and Location: Palmer City Alehouse is a brewpub located in Palmer, Alaska. The restaurant features a variety of craft beers brewed on-site, as well as a menu of pub-style food.

History and Significance: Palmer City Alehouse was founded in 2012 by a group of local craft beer enthusiasts who wanted to create a destination for beer lovers in the Mat-Su Valley. The brewery has since become a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, known for its unique and flavorful beers.

What to Expect: Visitors to Palmer City Alehouse can expect a lively and welcoming atmosphere, with a spacious dining room and outdoor patio seating. The menu features a variety of pub-style favorites, including burgers, sandwiches, and pizza, as well as a selection of entrees like fish and chips and steak frites. The brewery also offers a rotating selection of craft beers, including seasonal and limited-edition releases.

Visitor Information: Palmer City Alehouse is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. The restaurant is located in downtown Palmer and is easily accessible by car or on foot. The brewery also offers tours and tastings for visitors interested in learning more about the brewing process.

Just down the Parks Highway in nearby Palmer, Alaska is where locals belly up to the bar for Palmer City Alehouse’s hearty scratch-made pub fare and house-brewed beers.

In this rustic timber lodge setting with gleaming copper brew tanks, a rotating selection of ales provide the perfect accompaniment to juicy bison burgers andwood-fired pizzas with creative topping combinations.

Start with jumbo pretzel sticks served with beer cheese fondue for dipping or perhaps hummus paired with wood-oven naan. The Alehouse nachos piled high with shredded pork, mango salsa, and lime crema make it tough to save room for the rest of the menu.

Seasonal brews like the Smoked Porter might make an appearance behind the granite bar top in winter months, while summer welcomes lighter choices like Raspberry Hefeweizen. With deep house tap list, discerning beer lovers will want to stay for more than one pint to discover their new go-to brew.

Chair 5 Restaurant

Name and Location: Chair 5 Restaurant is a fine dining establishment located at the base of Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, Alaska. The restaurant is known for its stunning views of the surrounding mountains and its innovative cuisine.

History and Significance: Chair 5 Restaurant was originally opened in the 1960s as a simple ski lodge cafeteria. Over the years, the restaurant has evolved into a world-class dining destination, known for its creative and locally-sourced cuisine.

What to Expect: Visitors to Chair 5 Restaurant can expect an elegant and refined atmosphere, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering breathtaking views of the mountains. The menu features a variety of innovative dishes, with a focus on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. The restaurant also offers an extensive wine list and creative cocktail menu.

Visitor Information: Chair 5 Restaurant is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday, with varying hours depending on the season. The restaurant is located at the base of Alyeska Resort in Girdwood and is easily accessible by car or by the resort’s aerial tram. Reservations are highly recommended, especially during peak ski season.

High on a hillside overlooking picture postcard views of Long Lake, the acclaimed Chair 5 Restaurant at the Alpenglow Hotel pays tribute to Alaska’s pristine wilderness while serving upscale meals sourced straight from it.

Carnivores rejoice over tenderjo medallions of elk and juicy rack of lamb from nearby farms. Seafood watch lists guide daily catches from Alaska’s bountiful waters. Local duck gets decadently paired with foie gras, while free range chicken is smoked to perfection.

Don’t skip vegetable dish highlights like heirloom carrots with a tangy yogurt dressing or the day’s foraged finds from forests and tundra. Shareable sides and starters like charcuterie plates piled high with wild boar salami and tender brisket burnt ends make meals all the more memorable.

Views of the snow-capped Talkeetna mountain range stretching across the horizon easily compete for attention with artistically plated dishes. Come at peak wildflower season to enjoy not just a first-class meal at Chair 5, but front row seats to nature’s finest dining decor.

Turkey Red

Name and Location: Turkey Red is a farm-to-table restaurant located in Palmer, Alaska. The restaurant is known for its commitment to using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and its creative, seasonal menu.

History and Significance: Turkey Red was founded in 2014 by Chef Alex Papasavas, who wanted to create a restaurant that celebrated the bounty of Alaska’s farms and fisheries. The restaurant has since become a beloved fixture in the Palmer community, known for its innovative and flavorful cuisine.

What to Expect: Visitors to Turkey Red can expect a warm and inviting atmosphere, with rustic decor and an open kitchen where diners can watch the chefs at work. The menu changes seasonally to showcase the freshest local ingredients, but always features a variety of creative small plates, entrees, and desserts. The restaurant also offers a selection of local beers, wines, and craft cocktails.

Visitor Information: Turkey Red is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday, with varying hours depending on the season. The restaurant is located in downtown Palmer and is easily accessible by car or on foot. Reservations are highly recommended, especially during peak summer season.

For a uniquely Alaskan dining experience, make your way 20 minutes north of Wasilla to the pioneering settlement of Palmer. There the century-old Matanuska Colony Bar still stands as Turkey Red restaurant today.

This National Historic Landmark building remains virtually unchanged since Palmer’s earliest settlers first bellied up to its iconic bar serving thirsty farmers harvesting hearty vegetable crops in the long summer sunlight. Today it still pours craft cocktails as creative as the menu.

Dine on dishes that pay homage to the frontier spirit of early homesteaders like Matanuska Valley meatloaf and Alaska grown vegetable hash. Tender bison short ribs braised in porter ale and bright salads dotted with foraged berries and herbs from the restaurant farm embody the heartiness of the Alaskan land.

Don’t be surprised if a bearded, flannel shirt wearing patron sidles over to regale you with proud parables about the colony founding four generations back. That’s because Turkey Red embraces local history as much food, drink and hospitality.

Visco Family Restaurant

Name and Location: Visco Family Restaurant is a classic Italian-American restaurant located in Wasilla, Alaska. The restaurant is known for its hearty portions, friendly service, and warm, welcoming atmosphere.

History and Significance: Visco Family Restaurant was founded in the 1980s by the Visco family, who immigrated to Alaska from Italy. The restaurant has been a beloved fixture in the Wasilla community ever since, known for its delicious food and warm hospitality.

What to Expect: Visitors to Visco Family Restaurant can expect a cozy and inviting atmosphere, with comfortable seating and traditional Italian decor. The menu features a variety of classic Italian-American dishes, including pasta, pizza, and chicken parmesan, as well as a selection of seafood and steak entrees. The restaurant also offers a full bar with a selection of wines and cocktails.

Visitor Information: Visco Family Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. The restaurant is located in a strip mall in Wasilla and is easily accessible by car. The restaurant can get busy during peak hours, so be prepared for a short wait or consider making a reservation.

Since 1974 Visco’s Family Restaurant in downtown Wasilla has been the go-to breakfast and lunch diner for unpretentious meals in a relaxed setting. Third-generation owners Mike and Kathy Visco maintain a welcoming atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home.

Picture windows flood the restaurant with natural light ideal for lingering over sourdough pancakes, glazed caramel rolls and fluffy omelettes bursting with savoury fillings. At lunch, regulars flock in for classic club sandwiches and open-face hot meatloaf dripping with gravy and mashed potatoes.

Daily specials scrawled on the whiteboard tempt diners with comfort fare favourites on rotation like pot pies, chicken alfredo linguini and prime rib dip au jus stacked high on a ciabatta roll. Leave room for a thick shake spun from seasonal ice cream flavours after your meal.

More than the food, Visco’s is the family restaurant where everybody knows your name, bringing a smile in the process.

Alaska Salmon Bake Restaurant

Name and Location: Alaska Salmon Bake Restaurant is a popular seafood restaurant located in Fairbanks, Alaska. The restaurant is known for its all-you-can-eat salmon bake and stunning views of the Chena River.

History and Significance: Alaska Salmon Bake Restaurant has been a beloved fixture in the Fairbanks community since the 1970s. The restaurant is located in a historic building that was once a gold rush-era supply store, adding to its rustic Alaskan charm.

What to Expect: Visitors to Alaska Salmon Bake Restaurant can expect a unique and unforgettable dining experience. The restaurant’s signature dish is its all-you-can-eat salmon bake, featuring fresh, wild-caught Alaskan salmon grilled over an open fire. The menu also includes a variety of other Alaskan seafood dishes, as well as prime rib, salads, and sides. Diners can enjoy their meal in the restaurant’s cozy dining room or on the outdoor deck overlooking the Chena River.

Visitor Information: Alaska Salmon Bake Restaurant is open for dinner, seven days a week during the summer season (mid-May through mid-September). The restaurant is located just outside of downtown Fairbanks and is easily accessible by car. Reservations are highly recommended, as the restaurant can get very busy during peak tourist season. The restaurant also offers a shuttle service from several local hotels.

No culinary visit to Alaska is quite complete without an authentic salmon bake, and Alaska Salmon Bake Restaurant masters the definitive experience. Set on the shores of Lucille Lake with panoramic mountain views, the rustic log dining room sets the mood.

Baskets of sourdough rolls start meals before wilderness-inspired salads laden with foraged goodies from cranberries to fiddlehead ferns. Next comes foil-wrapped seasoned fillets of sockeye salmon slowly smoked to perfection over a fragrant alder wood fire.

Halibut fillets, prime rib, and whole Sitka King Crab also get the campfire treatment in this lakeside feast. Passed plates of melt-in-your-mouth reindeer sausage and grilled corn on the cob complement the smoky proteins.

Picnic-style tables make for a convivial setting to relive epic tales of rafting nearby rivers and moose sightings in Denali with new friends. Meals feel like an inviting cookout in Alaska’s great outdoors – with local beers flowing as freely as the fish stories. Dinners are satisfied with a delicious taste of frontier hospitality.

Conclusion


The hardy early settlers who ventured north over the past centuries in search of opportunity and abundance left Alaska with cultural traditions still honoured today. Hard work and perseverance in the face of long dark winter months and short growing seasons made Alaska cuisine shaped by the land’s natural bounty and isolation.

Wasilla restaurants allow visitors to take a tasty trip back in time while celebrating Native Alaskan traditions and customs through cuisine. The 12 restaurants and dining establishments featured here capture Wasilla’s pioneering past and present landscape. From sourdough starters first mixed over a century ago to wild salmon smoked over fragrant alder and spruce, these eateries connect diners with local history through every bite.

So whether longing for a prime cut of juicy reindeer meat or a desire to experience Native Alaskan culture while cracking Dungeness crab legs, Wasilla offers authentic culinary adventures not found anywhere else. Belly up to the bar or gather around the campfire for flavours as bold, hearty and memorable as Alaska itself in each dish served up from Wasilla’s unique dining scene.

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