Welcome to Anchorage, Alaska, where the breathtaking landscapes meet the warmth of hearty fast food!
The fast-food scene has its unique charm in this chilly city surrounded by snow-capped peaks.
Join us on a gastronomic journey through Anchorage’s fast-food delights, blending convenience and taste amidst the frozen beauty.
What Makes Anchorage’s Fast Food Scene Unique?
With its coastal location, Anchorage enjoys an abundance of fresh seafood. Halibut, salmon, cod, and other fish are menu staples at many local eateries. Anchorage also has strong roots in Alaska Native cuisine. Traditional ingredients like reindeer meat, whale blubber, and wild berries can be found on some menus.
The city’s position along significant trucking routes means it was an early adopter of chain restaurants in the 1950s. But Anchorage also takes pride in its many mom-and-pop restaurants serving comfort foods. The city’s fast food scene offers an intriguing blend of national brands and local flavors.
Famous U.S. Fast Food Chains
Most major American fast-food brands have an outpost or two in Anchorage. Here’s a quick overview:
Founded in 1940 in San Bernardino, California, McDonald’s is the world’s largest fast-food chain. There are 5 McDonald’s locations in Anchorage. Menu favorites like Big Macs, Chicken McNuggets, and the Filet-O-Fish sandwich are served up fast and hot. With its kid-friendly vibe, McDonald’s is a popular pitstop for families.
Home of the Whopper, Burger King opened its doors in Miami, Florida, back in 1954. Burger King has 3 Anchorage outlets cooking up flame-grilled burgers and fries. Burger King is known for offering the Bacon King sandwich and onion ring.
Dave Thomas opened the first Wendy’s in Columbus, Ohio, in 1969. Wendy’s has 3 Anchorage locations. Signature menu items include baked potatoes, Frosty milkshakes, and square hamburgers made from fresh beef.
Founded by Glen Bell in California in 1962, Taco Bell specializes in Mexican-inspired foods like tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and nachos. 5 Taco Bell outlets in Anchorage serve Mexican favorites with a fast food twist.
Beloved Local Chains
Beyond the major national brands, Anchorage has some fantastic local fast-food chains that residents treasure.
Founded in Anchorage in 1964, Arctic Roadrunner has 5 locations across the city. The drive-in burger joint is known for its generous portions and clever naming conventions. Burgers are called “birds” and come in options like the King Bird (a 1/3 pound burger) and Mighty Bird (1/2 pound). Delicious sides like onion petals and cheese curds complete the indulgent feast.
Mr. Prime Beef
Since 2005, Mr. Prime Beef has been an Anchorage favorite for hot sandwiches piled high with shaved prime rib. Sauce options include horseradish, barbecue, and hot. The eatery also serves salads, sides, and desserts like cheesecake. With 4 locations, Mr. Prime Beef brings a taste of luxury to the city’s fast food scene.
Lucky Wishbone opened its original location in Anchorage in 1953. The local chain now has 7 locations across the city. Lucky Wishbone is renowned for its generous portions of hand-breaded fried Alaskan chicken and sides like jo-jos (fried potato wedges). Don’t skip the delicious milkshakes.
True to its name, Sourdough Express specializes in sourdough bread baked daily on-site. The mini-chain opened its first bakery in Anchorage in 1978 and now has two locations. Sandwiches feature house-smoked pastrami, corned beef, and other meats layered with cheese, sauces, and veggies on freshly baked sourdough bread.
Favorite Local Fast Food Dishes
Beyond the iconic chains, Anchorage has a dynamic local fast food scene. Here are some beloved dishes that give a taste of authentic Anchorage:
For a genuinely Alaskan fast food experience, try reindeer sausage. Available at hot dog carts and vendors around town, these gamey, garlicky sausages offer a meaty bite. Locals love reindeer dogs topped with grilled onions, sauerkraut, and spicy mustard.
Beer-battered, freshly fried halibut wrapped in a warm corn tortilla is a divine Alaska taste. Halibut tacos are on the menu at various casual Anchorage restaurants. Alternate fillings like cod, salmon, shrimp, or chicken keep things interesting.
Akutaq (Eskimo ice cream) is a sweet, creamy pudding traditionally made from whipped fat and berries like cranberries, salmonberries, or blueberries. Some vendors offer twists on this Alaska Native treat featuring creative flavors like chocolate, coconut, or coffee. It’s an excellent, refreshing snack.
Sourdough Bread Bowls
Sourdough bread baked into a bowl shape, loaded up with fillings like chili, clam chowder, or reindeer stew, is a hearty Alaskan dish. Locals love to cozy up with a bread bowl filled with something hot and tasty. Try this specialty at outlets like Sourdough Express.
Favorite Fast Food Meals (Under $10)
You can eat well on a budget at Anchorage fast food spots. Here are some of the best meals for under $10:
Arctic Roadrunner – The Baby Bird
A single patty burger with fries and a drink is just $6.35. Get the baby bird (quarter pounder) with cheese, then load up on fries and enjoy a refreshing soda or milkshake.
Lucky Wishbone – 2 Piece Fried Chicken Meal
Lucky Wishbone’s signature hand-breaded fried chicken is hard to beat. A two-piece meal with jojos and coleslaw is just $8.49. Complete it with a chilled soda.
Sourdough Express – French Dip Sandwich Meal
Tender roast beef and melty Swiss cheese piled into a fresh-baked sourdough roll, with au jus for dipping. Add crinkle-cut fries and a drink for a filling meal, priced at $9.95.
Burger King – Whopper Jr. Combo
You can’t go wrong with a flame-grilled Whopper Jr. Value meal with fries and a drink for around $6-$7, depending on location. Add cheese or bacon for a nominal fee.
McDonald’s – McDouble Combo
McDonald’s McDouble burger features two beef patties and a slice of cheese for just $3.79, or $5.79, as a value meal paired with fries and a drink. It’s a fast food classic.
Tips for Enjoying Anchorage’s Fast Food Scene
Here are some tips to get the most out of Anchorage’s fast food experiences:
- Visit local mom-and-pop eateries – You’ll find regional specialties like reindeer dogs and halibut tacos.
- Check restaurant hours – Some close earlier than you’d expect—drive-ins like Arctic Roadrunner close by 8 or 9 pm.
- Bring cash for street vendors – Outdoor reindeer sausage carts and akutaq stands are cash only.
- Order milkshakes – Anchorage has some of the best fast-food milkshakes around. They perfectly complement burgers and fried chicken.
- Ask for meal deals – Combo meals can offer significant savings over ordering items individually.
- Head to the drive-thru for convenience – Most Anchorage chains offer drive-up windows for quick grabs on the go.
- Download restaurant apps for deals – Many chains offer app-exclusive coupons and mobile ordering.
- Enjoy some reindeer sausage – This gamey, indigenous specialty is a genuinely local treat not to miss.
So, if you’re craving a quick, cheap meal during your Anchorage travels, don’t hesitate to hit up a fast food spot. You’ll discover classics like McDonald’s or Wendy’s and local legacies like Lucky Wishbone and Arctic Roadrunner, serving signature Alaska flavors.
The most popular fast food places in Anchorage Alaska
However, there are plenty of options for those who want to indulge every once in a while without having their waistline suffer. Here are some of the most popular fast food places in Anchorage, Alaska:
- Wendy’s– This restaurant has been around for more than 40 years! They offer affordable menu items such as hamburgers, French fries, and Frosties (a frozen dessert drink). They are best recognized for their square hamburgers.
- Burger King– This restaurant was bought by a separate company in 1967 and became an independent entity. With more than 12,000 locations worldwide, Burger King is one of Anchorage’s most popular fast food restaurants. Their menu includes burgers, French fries, chicken sandwiches, and milkshakes.
- Subway– Fred DeLuca and Peter Buck founded this fast food restaurant in 1965 to offer something different than burgers and fries! Today, they offer various choices for their customers, including subs (which is what they are best known for), salads, and wraps.
- In-N-Out Burger – In-N-Out Burger is a popular California-based fast food restaurant that has been around since 1948! Harry and Esther Snyder started the restaurant. Their secret menu items include a Double Double, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and Animal Style fries!
- Taco Bell– Glen Bell in California started this restaurant. The company has been around for more than 60 years, and its menu includes tacos, burritos, quesadillas, Mexican pizzas, etc.
The Bottom Line
You can find fast food in Anchorage, Alaska! If you’ve had a long day at work and are feeling the temptation of ordering takeout, check out these restaurants.
We hope this list helps make your decision easier on deciding where to go for dinner tonight.
What do you think? Which is your favorite place to order from when you’re craving some quick eats?
Let us know what we missed or tell us about your experience with any of these places so far.