Franchise fast-food and burger-steak-seafood places dominate in Kenai and Soldotna. Among the most popular restaurants without a name brand is Sal's Klondike Diner, 44619 Sterling Hwy. (tel. 907/262-2220), a classic Western highway diner, with big portions, fast service, cheap prices, and nothing fancy that doesn't have to be. It's open 24 hours a day all year long under a movie-style false front.

At the other end of the cultural spectrum, Veronica's Old Town Cafe, 602 Pederson Way (tel. 907/283-2725), is in a weathered old Russian building of interlocking logs in Kenai's historic area, with a tiny dining room whose low ceiling, bare wood, and cockeyed angles could not be contrived. The coffeehouse cuisine includes sandwiches, wraps, soup, and a specialty, quiche on a polenta crust. It's open in summer Monday through Thursday 9am to 6pm, Friday and Saturday till 9:30pm, with live music; in winter the hours Monday through Thursday are 10am to 3pm, while the weekends remain the same.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.