If you find yourself in downtown Seward and you're hankering for some local flavor, head on over to Thorn's Showcase Lounge. Inside these doors you'll feel like you walked back in time. It's got the feel of a saloon and don't expect health food here. But if you want to hang with the locals, knock back a few and nosh on some comfort food, you've found a great place to do it. This is the kind of place that makes you feel like you need to order a shot with your beer. The service was great. Our waitress was friendly and attentive. We loved eavesdropping on conversations around us while we were dining. If you're looking for upscale dining, this isn't the place, but it's definitely a fantastic dive bar. And the food was simple, yet delicious with generous portions. We were here in the winter so we were the only tourists, but this place feels like a local hangout, regardless of the season. The food is reasonably priced, but it's also a fantastic place just to go drinking. Be aware they do allow smoking inside. It's a Seward institution, not to be missed.
Favorite Dish: We ordered the Prime Rib and the Halibut Butts. Don't let the name fool you. Halibut Butts are a local favorite. Basically, it's large chunks of Halibut that are lightly fried and really delicious. And our Prime Rib was cooked perfectly. I'm not usually a huge Prime Rib fan, but it seemed fitting to order it here and I wasn't disappointed. The portions are large, so I couldn't finish my meal.
The outside of the building is very non-descript. Inside is a bit nicer but again not fancy. Plays alot of 50's style music(Frank Sinatra and others like him). I actually liked the music as something to eat to. This place met the standard for the town of being slower in service. We went early(4:45 PM) and the getting drinks and bread. Personally this didn't bother us since we were not in a hurry but it was noted.
Favorite Dish: We both had a herb encrusted halibut. This time we added the 1/2 lb crab legs. Price of crab legs was on par with most of the better restaurants(15/17$ for 1/2 lb). THis place also has live king crab for the market price of 37$ per lb and the typical crab was about 3 to 4 lbs. Food was well cooked and tasty. No overcooking of veggies and the fish was not overcooked. From our perspective this was one of the more expensive places we ate at during the week. THe deserts are not restaurant made. From our experience we think many restaurants get their deserts from the same or similar places due to the choices we were offered. There seems to be a bakery up in Moose Pass that provides at least some of the restaurants. Cheesecake of various flavors seems to be a common option on most menus.
Being a town that largely caters to tourists, Seward has lots of dining options. Less during the off season, but still, finding a place to eat isn't a problem. Also, like many seaside towns, there's lots of seafood restaurants. We have that up here in Anchorage of course, so our goal was to find a place that had burgers or sandwiches with local cuisine as well. We like finding restuarants with lots of locals, good beer on tap and isn't very showy or expensive. The place that met and exceeded all of those critera is the Breeze Inn. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with a great nondescript lounge on one side. You can get everything from steak and seafood to reuben sandwiches and halibut chunks. In the lounge, the beer is good and ranges from Rainier to Midnight Sun. It's a full service bar, so you can get wine or mixed drinks if you prefer. There's a TV, pool tables and music in the bar. Best of all, the bartender we had was wonderful.
Favorite Dish: Our food was ready in record time and it was very good. My father usually gets the reuben sandwich whenever we travel anywhere and then compares it to his favorite of all time so I've taken over that misson. If he visits me here, I'd like to be able to take him to the best reuben in the Last Frontier. While this one was good, it didn't beat out a cafe in Sterling. Bobby got a burger which was good--very large. We'll definitely return and I'm hoping for breakfast because we read it's the best in town.
The restaurant opens at 5:30am for breakfast and the lounge closes at 2am
The service, food, and view were wonderful. We were given a table at a window overlooking the harbor. The food was beautifully presented. The only complaint I had was that the additional 1/2 pound of alaskan king crab that the restaurant advertises for $8 is actually about 3 ounces.
Folks, I am writing this tip in 2009, some TEN years after our visit to Seward. I've gone back to see what info I had on restaurants we visited, and then I surfed the 'net to see who was still in business. I was very pleased to see that the Apollo was still serving steaks, seafood and Greek specialties.
We visited the Apollo for a late lunch back in 1999, and I do remember their Mediterranean-styled seafood dish (I think it was the shrimp saganaki) as being very very tasty and fresh. Additionally, the service was prompt, friendly and efficient.
If you find your way to Seward and are looking for a good place to enjoy dinner, I'd try the Apollo. It's not a pretentious place, quite simple in its manner and way. Just good and fresh food.
Favorite Dish: You can read their menu at http://www.apollorestaurantak.com/menu.htm
I had a greek shrimp dish from the lunch menu, I'm pretty sure it was the shrimp saganaki.
We got their as they opened and the only downside was they had bleached the restaurant and hadn't aired it out yet so the smell was overpowering. Inside is nothing fancy. Menu otpions ore burritos and quesadillas. Almost all the options are seafood or chicken combos with varying flavor twists. Both are priced in the 9/10 dollar range. We found the quesadillas easy to travel with and actually got some to go for our rail trip back to Anchorage.
Favorite Dish: We tried a couple of options but settled on the blacked halibut quesadillas as one of the better options.
By the name the interior has a Greek theme. Service was on the slow side more so than even normal in Seward. The food was very typical lunch menu. Pastas and Sandwiches/Burgers. PRice was about 4 to 6 $ more than what is typical to pay in Indy. I had a Gyros Platter for about 11 and my wife had seafood linguini for 14. I am greek and eat Gryos wherever I go and found this one greasy/oily. THe one one good thing was the Tzatzki(cucumber) sauce had a bit of a bite like it should. So many places bland theirs down for American tastes. My wife felt their wasn't much seafood in the linguini(I think she counted 6 pieces of fish, scallop and shrimp). They do serve pizza here which is supposed to be their specialty and the menu options looked tempting so giving the place the benefit of the doubt I will assume they make this much better than their other menu options. It was one of the few places that served pizza in town.
Nothing special about the ambience but nothing bad either. Bread served was average but the fish was fresh. We were told that service all over town is rather slow but our server was quicker than expected in getting both our drinks and our food out to us. The Pale Ale was smooth and very good.
Favorite Dish: I had the grilled Salmon and my wife had the stuffed Halibut. She intended to get the stuffed salmon but the kitchen goofed. The stuffing was mainly crab and not all mayo like some stuffed meals have. The salmon and the halibut were cooked just right and the veggies and pilaf were both cooked well.
The ambience is rustic. The furniture is log and plank tables. The front door is open so mosquitoes do come in. A small amount of bug repellant may be in order. The food on the menu is mainly seafood but there are other choices. As expected halibut and salmon were popular menu options. Food is a bit more family style in quantity. We got 2 of 3, veggies, baked potato or rice. All were served in larger quanties than other restaurants in Seward. Price for most entrees were 22-28$
Favorite Dish: We had the special of the day Halibut Cheeks with a Mediterranean(Tomato,Kalamata Olive,Artichoke, onion) topping. We had never had halibut cheeks before. Taste is a little stronger than regular halibut and the texture is just a bit tougher. Halibut flakes, the cheeks can be cut with a fork. Both my wife and I enjoyed the meal.
The Salmon Bake Restaurant is located on the road to the Exit Glacier about 1/4 mile off the Seward Highway. I did not eat there but I made a special trip as I was leaving Seward to take pictures of their famous sign, "Cheap Beer and Lousy Food." They also have cabins. The location is a little out of the way, so business may not be good; the place was for sale. If I had had time, I would have tried it. It looked like it might be a fun place to go and it was in a beautiful location.
There are several restaurants in the Small Boat Harbor area. They include Chinook's Waterfront, Breeze Inn (see a separate tip), Bakery at the Harbor, Greek Islands, Harbor Street Creamery, Railway Cantina, Ray's Waterfront (no relation), Seward Subway, Smoke Shack (see my Train Wreck shopping tip), and Sue's Teriyaki Kitchen.
The Apollo Restaurant had been highly recommended on VT, so I wanted to try it for my first meal in Seward. I did not know where it was though. I had parked my car at Fourth and Adams because it was near the library. After I went to the library, I did a walking tour along the beachfront from the Founder's Monument all the way to where Ballaine runs into Fourth. I was walking back along Fourth and asked a lady coming out of shop where the Apollo was located. She did not know but the shop owner did. It turned out I had parked about 50 yards away from the Apollo!
The Apollo was busy for lunch but it is a good-sized restaurant and there was no problem getting a booth. I ordered the seasonal special, Moysaka ($13.95). It was a baked dish with seasoned ground beef, potatoes, eggplant, cheese, Bechamel sauce, and topped with polenta. It was absolutely delicious! The breadsticks that came with it were really good too.
I did not try their unique custom smoked salmon but I think they are the only Seward restaurant to smoke its own salmon. I did not get to try it, but they have a seasonal smoked salmon pizza (14" is $20.95) with garlic butter crust, alfredo sauce and sliced onions that sounds wonderful. They will even cook your catch if you go fishing.
They are open from 11 AM to 11 PM. Their website does not seem to be operational now.
I had seen where PA2AKgirl had recommended the Breeze Inn Restaurant as a good place to eat in Seward that reasonable prices. In fact, she and ClarkRB were going to meet me there at one time but their schedule changed and they were not in Seward when I was. I decided to try it anyway. If you can get a table or booth in the front, you will have to look across Fourth Avenue but there is a pretty nice view of the harbor area and Mount Alice.
Their chili ($2.75) was supposed to be a specialty and it was okay. The Halibut Pan Roast ($8.75) sounded good, so I tried it. It turned out to be a few halibut chunks with croutons in a sauce that tasted like Campbell's tomato soup, i.e., it was filling but not that good. However, this restaurant has possibilities. I think I just need to find out what to order. I would definitely give it another chance. The service was friendly and good. The prices are certainly reasonable for Alaska. Restaurant hours are 5:30 AM until 9:00 PM.
Favorite Dish: The creme brule with fresh blueberries and whipped cream ($5.00) was delicious.
Ray's is a popular place located near Seward Harbor. It is casual, as is everything in this area, and seafood is the specialty of the house. It gets pretty crowded, mostly with tourists returning to the harbor after a day in the fjords.
The food was decent, unremarkable. The salmon was fresh and likely caught that day. There was a large selection of beers which seemed more popular than the food.
The restaurant is open during the late spring through summer season, as it caters mostly to tourists.
Favorite Dish: Anything seafood. I'd particularly recommend salmon as Alaskan salmon is particularly tasty.
We had lunch here on our short trip to Seward. We had just hopped off the train from Anchorage and had a few hours to kill before boarding for our Kenai Fjords Tour.
The food was excellent and it had great views of the harbour.