Looking for a great downtown breakfast in an unpretentious setting? Join the throngs at the spacious Snow City Café (1034 W. 4th Ave., 907/272-2489, www.snowcitycafe.com , Mon.–Fri. 7 a.m.–3 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 7 a.m.–4 p.m., $9–13), where meals are ample, reasonably priced, and dependably good. Breakfast is available all day; try the Mediterranean scramble, huevos rancheros, or one of the day’s specials. Get here early on weekends to avoid a wait. Lunchtime sandwiches bring in the legal staff from nearby offices along “lawyer row.” The café also has free Wi-Fi.
The Middle Way Café (1200 W. Northern Lights Blvd., 907/272-6433, $8–12) is another busy morning place, with French toast, huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos, omelets, vegan specials, and more in a noisy and colorful setting next to the REI store in Midtown. The café is also popular for lunch, lattes, and smoothies.
An old-time favorite, Gwennie’s Old Alaska Restaurant (4333 Spenard Rd., 907/243-2090, www.gwenniesrestaurant.com ) specializes in breakfast ($8–13, available all day), especially sourdough pancakes and reindeer sausage. Meals are Alaska-size, so those with small appetites may want to split an order. Memorabilia crowds the walls on this sprawling two-story place, and big tables fill with families filling up.
Two very good places for a Sunday splurge are Sacks Café (328 G St., 907/276-3546, www.sackscafe.com ) downtown, and Millennium Hotel (4800 Spenard Rd., 907/243-2300, www.millennium-hotels.com ). The latter has a popular Sunday brunch ($20) with crab legs, create-your-own omelets, and champagne, plus a big deck facing Lake Hood, where you can watch floatplanes take off. Sacks is à la carte.