This is as local as it gets (unless you're at Chair Five). Despite the lack of ambiance-though a new paint job is an improvement, and it is a great place to read the newspaper-the Bake Shop does swift business year-round with huge breakfasts, hearty sandwiches, and bottomless bowls of soup (no kidding; refills are free). Hungarian goulash and New England clam chowder bring in lots of fans. The Bake Shop is also famous for cinnamon rolls the size of your head, among other things. The brownies are thick and moist.
Enjoy a bit of history with their famous sourdough pancakes. According to Bake Shop lore, the sourdough was passed on about 80 years ago by a fortune-seeking gold miner in the Girdwood valley. It is 'fed' and 'doubled' every day-and the bakers will tell you that it has its very own temperamental personality, making it quite a challenge to work with. Many people bike from Anchorage to Girdwood, rewarding themselves at the finish with the Bake Shop's sourdough.
One note of caution: Unless you like Mexican chocolate, stay away from the mocha coffees. If you need an espresso-and-chocolate fix, head to the Java Haus, just a few doors down.
In the summer, it's worth a visit to the Bake Shop just to see their outdoor display of begonias, lobelias, impatiens and many old-time favorites. The Bake Shop offers both indoor and outdoor seating.