Palmer’s Vagabond Blues (642 S. Alaska St., 907/745-2233, www.vagblues.com, Sun. 7 a.m.–6 p.m., Tues.–Sat. 6 a.m.–8 p.m., $5–7) is a longtime favorite, with fresh pastries, espresso, and tasty lunches. You won’t go wrong ordering a big hunk of freshly baked bread and an enormous bowl of today’s soup served in hand-painted pottery. There’s live music on Saturday and Sunday evenings.
Turkey Red (550 S. Alaska St., 907/746-5544, www.turkeyredak.com, Mon.–Sat. 7 a.m.–9 p.m., dinner entrées $16–28) is Palmer’s standout restaurant, with an open modern feel and an emphasis on fresh, local, and organic ingredients. The owner-chef hails from Tuscany, crafting a Mediterranean-Alaskan menu that includes portobello mushroom pasta, moussaka, grilled polenta, and chicken bruschetta.
If you just want a good down-home halibut sandwich or dinner of chicken, pork, steak, scallops, or pasta, head to Round House Café (606 S. Alaska St., 907/745-3330) at the Valley Hotel. It’s open 24 hours and is nonsmoking.
Palmer has a 24-hour Carrs grocery store (907/745-7505) on the corner of the Glenn Highway and the Palmer–Wasilla Highway, and the Fred Meyer is just up the street.
© Don Pitcher from Moon Alaska, 10th Edition