The quest for Anchorage’s best chicken fried steak

In the search to find the best chicken fried steak in Anchorage, Victoria and I realized that there are, quite possibly, too many breakfast joints. In our attempts, we tried to pick a variety of restaurants that are cheap and close to UAA, but most importantly, delicious.

Note: Neither Victoria or I are a fan of eggs, even though it was included as a side in every meal. Instead, we substituted pancakes, fruit, or more home fries/hash browns. Granny B’s and Gwennie’s didn’t allow us to substitute that specific side. Each meal bought for the food quest was shared, which shows just how large some of the portions really are.
Village Inn (Northern Lights Blvd): Village Inn is always there when you need it. Located just 1.9 miles from campus, it is the closest location to UAA on our food quest. It also has the most convenient hours, open 24 hours Monday-Friday and 5:30 a.m. – 1:30 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The portion size at Village Inn is pretty large, one chicken fried steak with a side of hash browns and pancakes for the cheapest price, fed us both for a mere $11.69. Our server at Village Inn’s name was Ashlea, who was personable and very friendly, checking in multiple times to see if we needed anything. The table behind us also ordered chicken fried steak, apparently a popular dish at the Inn.

Chicken fried steak from Village Inn.
Chicken fried steak from Village Inn.

Kava’s Pancake House (Northway Mall): Kava’s Northway Mall location is open 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. everyday. We were seated at a small elbow-knocking table directly across from the kitchen area when we could see three empty booths. We were placed at the worst table in the entire restaurant. Our waitress never told us her name until we saw it on our receipt — Angelica. Angelica took our order and came back around 20 minutes later, telling us that she was just waiting on the eggs. “We didn’t order eggs,” Victoria and I said simultaneously. When our food arrived, it hardly all fit on our tiny table. We shared a chicken fried steak with pancakes and a side order of home fries and fruit for $12.35. Unable to finish the meal, our waitress had the audacity to ask if we were interested in dessert at 10:00 a.m. Victoria and I declined and left satisfied.

Chicken fried steak from Kava's Pancake House.
Chicken fried steak from Kava’s Pancake House.

Bear’s Tooth: One of the best chicken fried steaks out of our choices. We were seated, ordered and done with our meal in about 25 minutes total. We also went at 11:00 a.m., which is when they open. Located 3.6 miles from campus, it is a short trip from UAA. The steak was the heartiest one we had, and the meal came with perfectly seasoned home fries. The atmosphere at Bear’s Tooth is quintessentially Anchorage, with beer on tap and a youthful and casual feel. For those interested in eating breakfast before lunch time starts, you’ll want to check out one of the other restaurants since Bear’s Tooth doesn’t open until 11:00 a.m. This steak is more ideal for the college student waking up late from a night of downtown debauchery.

Chicken fried steak from Bear's Tooth.
Chicken fried steak from Bear’s Tooth.

Gwennie’s Old Alaska Restaurant: You probably haven’t been here since your family came to visit in 2003, but Gwennie’s is still up and running all year, Monday through Saturday 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. and Sundays 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. It was our most expensive chicken fried steak at $13.75. Our meal came with a side of “alternative” home fries — basically potatoes pressed on a grill for thirty seconds. The meal was decent, but not worth $13.75, especially when you compare the portion size from Village Inn and Kava’s Pancake House to Gwennie’s. They also offered us dessert in the early hours of the morning.

Chicken fried steak from Gwennie's Old Alaska Restaurant.
Chicken fried steak from Gwennie’s Old Alaska Restaurant.

Granny B’s: This establishment does not accept credit/debit cards, so make sure you have cash on you before making the 4.8 mile quest. Granny B’s is open 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays and closed on Mondays. Small in size, Granny B’s establishment makes up for it in rustic Alaskan charm. The chicken fried steak wasn’t on the actual Granny B’s menu, only on their specials board. When ordering our meal, our waitress asked if we wanted original chicken fried steak or cajun spiced. We went with the original to stay consistent with our other meals, but it’s nice to know your options. Granny B’s had the best homemade gravy by far. This restaurant had the smallest serving size of all the others for $13.00.

Chicken fried steak from Granny B's.
Chicken fried steak from Granny B’s.

Victoria and I decided that our perfect chicken fried steak would be a combination of Bear’s Tooth steak and Granny B’s gravy. As far as our number one pick, Victoria decided on Bear’s Tooth while I chose Granny B’s. Each place had decent chicken fried steak, but Bear’s Tooth and Granny B’s stood out from the rest with their hearty helpings and amazing gravy.