Photo Credit: Zach's Restaurant

Fairbanks Dining & Nightlife

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Dining and Nightlife

With its warm atmos­phere, lush set­ting and ele­gant­ly ren­dered Alaskan cui­sine, it’s not hard to see why this hotel-based restau­rant attracts locals and trav­el­ers alike.

Thai food in a town of 800? Some­how, the Starfire pulls it off (They’ve moved into a larg­er build­ing in recent years to accom­mo­date their suc­cess). And in a town with lim­it­ed din­ing options, they’ve cre­at­ed a nice, upscale envi­ron­ment to match the qual­i­ty of the food. They use fresh ingre­di­ents, plen­ty of spice and nail the stan­dard thai favorites — pad thai, panang cur­ry, thai iced tea. It’s even pop­u­lar with cruise ship work­ers from Southeast…  ...more

Locat­ed in the West­mark Fair­banks Hotel, the Red Lantern serves deli­cious meals with fresh ingre­di­ents and has one of the best steaks in town.

This is one of Fair­bank’s nicest restau­rants, in the heart of down­town. With its open kitchen, mod­ern art on the walls, great food and 4,000 bot­tle wine list, locals say they for­get they’re in Alas­ka. It’s an expen­sive restau­rant, but if you want to splurge for a night of fine din­ing, this is the best fine din­ing in Fair­banks. Locals often order appe­tiz­ers and drinks to make a night out more afford­able. Their seafood and rack of lamb are…  ...more

This is where the hip­pies hang. It’s small, lit­tle base­ment bar locat­ed just off col­lege cam­pus. There’s live music almost every night, includ­ing favorite local groups and bands on tour. It’s a typ­i­cal hole, smelling of sweat, patchoulie oil, and cig­a­rette smoke. But it packs them in, and the crowd gets down. There are usu­al­ly a few good beers on tap and a decent bot­tled selec­tion. There’s no food at the bar, but a hot dog shop above the bar.…  ...more

Ten miles out of town in Fox, this place still has a full park­ing lot mid-win­ter when it’s 40 degrees below. That’s because it’s the spot for meat and pota­toes in Fair­banks. But since it’s Alas­ka, meat not only means prime rib but king crab, hal­ibut, shrimp and lob­ster. They don’t have an exten­sive menu, but a huge sal­ad bar accom­pa­nies these hearty selec­tions, which they do per­fect­ly. If you’re look­ing for a seri­ous feed, order Min­er” cuts…  ...more

This place is def­i­nite­ly BIG. It’s one huge room con­tain­ing both the restau­rant and bar, with TVs every­where. It gets loud, but it can be fun in that busy sort of way. And it’s good for a big feed. They serve house-made bar­beque – pulled pork, brisket, ribs, chick­en. All the sand­wich­es are dry, and they give you a choice of sauces to add. It’s not the south, but it’s good bar­be­cue. And they have great spe­cials, like 99 cent wing and $1.25 ribs.…  ...more

This place is famous through­out Alas­ka for it’s fun, quirky atmos­phere. The walls are cov­ered with strange clip­pings and news sto­ries, and Yan­kee para­pher­na­lia (the own­er’s a diehard fan). And the mar­quis sign adver­tis­es free park­ing and anchovies for 99 cents a can — which are avail­able in the attached liquor store. It’s the kind of wel­com­ing, weird place Alaskans love. Plus, there’s great beer, with local and Alaskan beers on tap and a good…  ...more

For many guests, this may be their first or last Alaskan meal (the Fair­banks Princess Lodge is the north­ern­most des­ti­na­tion on many Princess Tours), and the Edge­wa­ter is a great place to begin or end an Alaskan adven­ture. The menu fea­tures fresh Alaskan seafood and select meats, served with fresh pro­duce from local, organ­ic farms. And the Edge­wa­ter staff takes pride in cre­at­ing mem­o­rable meals in this semi-upscale din­ing environment…  ...more

The Food Net­work fea­tured this place in its Din­ers, Dri­ve-ins and Dives” show, most­ly for being a bit of a dive — it’s dark with a big bar and pool table. But it’s always upbeat and hap­pen­ing, and you can count on hav­ing a good time. The food gets mixed reviews: they serve good piz­za, but the steak and seafood can be hit or miss. And skip the sal­ad bar.

Out­side of Fair­banks in the Gold­stream Val­ley (20 min­utes), is this clas­sic Ital­ian Place. It’s been around since the 1970s and serves tra­di­tion­al Ital­ian dish­es from parme­sans to dia­b­los to ore­ganat­tos. But, they also have great steaks, seafood and piz­za — it’s the clos­est to New York style you’ll find in town. The atmos­phere is old world, with live piano on the week­ends and a com­fort­able, laid-back sophis­ti­ca­tion. If you’re look­ing for a long  ...more

This place is 100 per­cent Greek! Greek music, Greek columns out front and Greek Food. The own­er, a first gen­er­a­tion immi­grant, has cre­at­ed a great menu not found else­where in Fair­banks. He does great mous­sa­ka and spaniko­pi­ta, as well as piz­za, gyros and roast­ed lamb. The por­tions are huge, it’s deli­cious and the wine list is good. And the restau­rant itself is big, with an open, airy atmos­phere. There’s both smok­ing and non smok­ing sections.…  ...more

Orig­i­nal­ly the Fox Road­house, this old-style build­ing has been ren­o­vat­ed to house a brew­ery and brew pub. Ten miles from Fair­banks, the brew­ery has at least a dozen house-made beers on tap, and a huge selec­tion of bot­tled brews, many of which can’t be found any­where else in town. There’s a large, open beer gar­den out back, ide­al for sum­mer nights. And the food’s great. 

Locat­ed on the riv­er, this is where Fair­banks goes to enjoy sun­ny after­noons and good food. The atmos­phere is fun and fes­tive, with peo­ple arriv­ing by boat or canoe or snow­ma­chine in win­ter. Their big deck is packed on nice after­noons. Chef Gabrielle Brooks is a local celebri­ty and pro­duces con­sis­tent­ly good food, spe­cial­iz­ing in fresh Alas­ka seafood: cedar plank salmon, fish and chips. The bar is a bit of a dive, but the restau­rant and deck…  ...more

For $5 you can buy a hunk of raw ham­burg­er and grill it your­self at this funky, Alaskan hide­out. You can’t beat the atmos­phere at the Gold­en Eagle Saloon. It’s not in Fair­banks, but in the quirky, small Alaskan town of Ester. Local’s love the saloon, not only as a place to gath­er and escape the iso­la­tion of rur­al Alas­ka, but also for it’s selec­tion of bot­tled beers, a big pool table and the dog friend­ly own­ers (you’re in mush­ing country).…  ...more

Over­look the kitschy décor; Pago­da offers sur­pris­ing­ly good Chi­nese food. You’ll find gen­er­ous por­tions, food cooked just right, and good tea. Just know that your order may take a while if the place gets crowd­ed, since the kitchen is usu­al­ly awash in take­out orders as well.

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