Replacing Marty’s Bagel Deli in 2012, the addition of Yak and Yeti brought flavor and diversity to the REI strip mall, a perfect reflection of the various demographics that reside in the West Anchorage neighborhood.
With this location doubling as a cafe (as opposed to their Spenard location, which is a dinner-service only restaurant), Yak and Yeti has become a staple hangout spot along with the likes of Middle Way Cafe and Kaladi Brothers Coffee.
Yak and Yeti is unique in that it showcases the vivid flavors of India, Nepal and Tibet.
Tibetan owner, Lobsang Dorjee, who was raised in India, opened up shop with wife Suzanne Hull with the intent to “provide customers with an authentic, Himalayan experience,” Dorjee writes on the Yak and Yeti website. He also wrote, “we feel that Alaska deserves to be treated to authentic cuisine from other parts of the world.”
And Yak and Yeti definitely does not disappoint as they are able to dish out authentic curry recipes in a fast-casual setting, the only place in Anchorage where this is possible.
Along with standard cafe offerings such as espresso, baked goods and sandwiches, Yak and Yeti’s main attraction is their rice bowls. There are nine different menu items that customers can order over rice with the option to have one, two or three items on one bowl. This menu includes
Indian favorites such as palak paneer (a cheesy, vegetarian spinach dish), tikka masala and daal (spiced lentils).
At only $9.99 no matter whether you choose one or three toppings, you can’t get a more affordable Indian/Himalayan experience anywhere in Anchorage.
My favorites on the menu are the daal, tikka masala and vindaloo.
Daal is a popular dish eaten all over the Indian subcontinent, featuring a warm stew of lentils spiced to perfection with some of the usual suspects in Indian cuisine: coriander, turmeric and more.
On the meatier side of things, Yak and Yeti offers a chicken tikka masala and pork vindaloo. A worldwide favorite, Yak and Yeti’s tikka masala is a creamy, mild curry laden with the savory flavor of tomato. Yak and Yeti’s vindaloo is a spicy, vinegar- and tomato-based curry whose strong flavors work perfectly in tandem with lean chunks of pork.
Yak and Yeti offers several other vegetarian options as well, such as a yam tikka masala and the aforementioned dal and palek paneer.
Yak and Yeti is truly a one of a kind restaurant. Being able to pop in for a quick curry lunch and be out in 20 minutes tops without sacrificing any flavor or authenticity is a truly underrated experience.
Yak and Yeti’s offerings may be unfamiliar to most, but the flavors are anything but niche. The care taken into the authenticity and flavor of each recipe is evident, as there is a dish for everyone at Yak and Yeti — newcomers and lovers of Indian/Himalayan cuisine alike.
With a welcoming, casual atmosphere and delicious eats featuring diverse flavors at an affordable price, Yak and Yeti is as “westside” as they come.