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Fairbanks Restaurant Recommendation for Thanksgiving Dinner

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Langhorne...
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Fairbanks Restaurant Recommendation for Thanksgiving Dinner

My family and I will be in Fairbanks this Thanksgiving. Does anyone have any recommendations on a good place to make a reservation for Thanksgiving dinner (assuming any will be open, of course)? Thanks!

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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1. Re: Fairbanks Restaurant Recommendation for Thanksgiving Dinner

I am not sure if they are open for Thanksgiving, but these are my favorite restaurants in Fairbanks: Lavelle's, Pike's Landing, Gambardella's, Princess - and maybe the Cookie Jar. I would pick up the local paper - Fairbanks Daily Newsminer . . . they'll be listing all the restaurants offering Thanksgiving dinners. Hope you find a good one! :)

Langhorne...
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2. Re: Fairbanks Restaurant Recommendation for Thanksgiving Dinner

Thank you so much for your recommendations! This gives me a lot to go on. Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Alaska
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3. Re: Fairbanks Restaurant Recommendation for Thanksgiving Dinner

Bleh. Pike's Landing used to be a great restaurant, but has really gone downhill with the new ownership. A few years back, we were moving to a new house, so couldn't have our traditional dinner. We decided to go to Pikes, and it was terrible. It was so crowded, and they were just trying to hustle everyone through. And the food was very disappointing, not good at all.

I wouldn't recommend the Princess either. We just went there (in September) with a friend who was visiting the area. It's a nice touristy setting with Alaska art and a really nice gift shop, and my office Christmas dinners are always there, and are usually just fine. So I thought it would be a good place to take a tourist. We had a horrible meal there. We all had steak. My husband and his friend had the "fire-grilled new york" and I had the rib eye. Everything was awful. I really don't know when I've had a meal that bad. I should write a review. It was so expensive--over $100 for 3 lousy steaks and 2 pre-made frozen type desserts. We didn't even get salad with our meal. I was so embarrassed because we all were choking down our food, and I had suggested this restaurant. And I couldn't complain because my husband's friend wanted to take us out for a nice dinner. It was terrible!

Unfortunately, most of the restaurants in Fairbanks aren't very good. The only restaurant where we have consistently good food is the Bahn Thai which is downtown. I doubt they'd be open on Thanksgiving, and Thai food for Thanksgiving just doesn't sound very good.

For a completely Alaskan experience, I'd recommend going to the Chena Hot Springs. It's a long drive (about 50 miles) out of town. They have a restaurant, and I'd think they'd be open for Thanksgiving (but call and check). We went for Octoberfest a couple years ago and really had a great time. They have outdoor hotspring pools, so after your meal, you could go soak up the outdoors, and see how it feels to be swimming outsite at -20F(or colder).

If you'd like to stay in town, I'd recommend eating at The Westmark. It's a hotel in downtown Fairbanks on 10th and Noble. Every year, they host a charity elders Thanksgiving dinner (for seniors), and I've voluteered in their kitchen for a couple years. The kitchen is very clean, which is a very big issue for me. The charity dinner is always good (they always let the volunteers take home leftovers). If I had to eat Thanksgiving at a restaurant in town, I would go here.

Healy, Alaska
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4. Re: Fairbanks Restaurant Recommendation for Thanksgiving Dinner

That's interesting . . . I guess that is why food is such a subjective topic. I agree - some of the best restaurants in Fairbanks are Thai . . . but they won't be doing Thanksgiving meals. :) I enjoy Bahn Thai, Thai House and the Lemongrass - just incase BluDog likes Thai food.

I was just at Pike's for dinner once this summer and had a good meal . . . and was there for their Sunday brunch just last month and it was good as always. I do think that Lavelle's probably offers the finest fare in town . . . but I am not sure if they are doing Thanksgiving dinners. Perhaps it depends on what you order as well - I seldom have beef, usually I have fish. Some of the best steaks I have had are at Clear Sky Lodge near Anderson - not in Fairbanks. Turtle Club has great prime rib, but not much else of a selection.

While I haven't been to Chena Hot Springs, I do know many people who love to go there for the viewing the aurora and taking in the springs, I have yet to hear anything good about their food or the cleanliness of their facilities. I would hesitate to go all the way out their for Thanksgiving.

Well BluDog - you might send a PM to the Fairbanks destination expert for another opinion of food here in Fairbanks - if you were closer, I would invite you down for some home cooking! :)

Langhorne...
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5. Re: Fairbanks Restaurant Recommendation for Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanks coalminer and fishrach. I have made lots of notes based on your feedback, and it all has been helpful toward planning our trip! Nothing is more valuable to me, when traveling, than to draw from the experience of the locals. I also appreciate the dinner invite from coalminer ... very kind!

We actually don't mind taking a drive. We were going to go out to Chena Hot Springs and North Pole and maybe make an overnight of it anyway. I saw a place rated on TripAdvisor pretty favorably that's out that way ... Two Rivers Lodge. Looks like they have a Turkey Day buffet, plus we're interested in a place to watch the Eagles/Cardinals football game (we're from Philly), and it says on their website that they show Monday Night Football every week there, so I'm thinking they'll have a good set-up for that. I think if we can have a decent meal, and then stay to watch the game, we'll be content.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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6. Re: Fairbanks Restaurant Recommendation for Thanksgiving Dinner

I'm by far an expert on Thanksgiving dining options in or near Fairbanks, but based on my dining experiences there during two winter trips, I have some suggestions for you to consider (and look into).

Chena Hot Springs - - Forget it! I've been there twice and was not impressed nor happy with the last experience when the kitchen was out of service for water . . . out of stock for some key breakfast items . . . and in general, not a pleasant experience.

In Fairbanks, I like and highly recommend:

Chena Pump House which was outstanding both times I've been there. Excellent food, attentive staff, A+ all the way around.

Wolf Run Dessert and Dinner House - don't let the "dessert" in their name disway you. It is a quaint little restaurant, that would be high on my list for a Thanksgiving meal if I lived there.

You'll need to check into if they'll be open or serving a traditional Thanksgiving meal . . . best wishes for finding something that will fit your interests.

Langhorne...
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7. Re: Fairbanks Restaurant Recommendation for Thanksgiving Dinner

Thank you for your feedback! I do have them both on my list for the trip. I will definitely give them a call, and if not for Thanksgiving, then we'll most likely eat there for lunch or dinner on another day.

8. Re: Fairbanks Restaurant Recommendation for Thanksgiving Dinner

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