The Ultimate Guide To Pike Place Market, Seattle

Pike Place Market Entrance | © Mtaylor444/WikiCommons
Pike Place Market Entrance | © Mtaylor444/WikiCommons
Photo of Alexia Wulff
1 December 2016

Set on the steep hillside of Seattle‘s waterfront on Elliott Bay, Pike Place Market is the city’s oldest public farmers market, operating year round since it opened in 1907. While a popular tourist destination, the Market also draws local foodies, cocktail and beer enthusiasts, and hungry diners – here, find local, seasonal produce, meats and seafood, specialty food shops, bakeries, restaurants, local artisans and collectors, and, of course, street performers. Head to Pike Place and ‘Meet the Producer’ to see what this epic market has to offer.

What To Do

Pike Place Farmers Market is open year-round, selling local produce and preserves every day from 8am – 4pm. For summertime visitors, hours are extended on Wednesday evenings until 8pm (June 1-October 12), featuring over 12 different produce farmers and Family Fun activities (every second Wednesday of the month). For more produce needs, head to the Highstalls, permanent produce stands with high positioned fruit displays from which the stalls gained their name – shop, sample, or gain tips on cooking methods. Highstalls open at 7am, so shoppers can head here before the crowds.

An assortment of fruits available for sale | © Tcc8/WikiCommons

Open 10 am-4 pm every day in the North Arcade, the Crafts Market hosts over 200 local craftspeople selling artisanal goods like handcrafted jewelry and pottery. With roots in the ’60s, this part of the market is a must see for first timers.

The specialty food stores in the Market are where it’s at – find anything to meet your culinary dreams, including house made pickles, house cured salami, nuts, oils, spices, and olives. Must stops include El Mercado Latino, the epic hot sauce gold mine and empanada guru, MarketSpice or World Spice Merchants for spices, tea, and coffee, Britt’s Pickles, DeLaurenti Specialty Food and Wine for deli goods and wine tasting, and Pike Place Nuts.

There’s more to the Pike Place Fish Markets than watching the fish mongers sling fish around – head here when it opens at 7am for some of the freshest seafood in the city. Bringing in seafood daily from the Pacific Northwest and Alaskan region, these four markets sell anything from Alaskan halibut and swordfish to scallops, crab, and lobster. Have a gander at the seafood rubs, tools and cookbooks for sale, or ask the experts for tips on cooking. Here on vacation? Not to worry – they deliver nationwide.

For house ground sausages, house made marinades and rubs, and specialty meats like sweetbread and liver, make your way to the butchers. If you need special cuts, cooking recommendations, or seasonal meats, they’ve got you covered. For farm fresh eggs and cheeses, locally made butters, fresh milk, and vegan substitutes, check out the Creamery.

Pike Place Fish | © Daniel Schwen/WikiCommons

Where To Eat & Drink

From bakeries and cafés to restaurants and sweet shops, Pike Place has some of the best eats in the city. For seafood bites, head to Beecher’s Handmade Cheese for the crab grilled cheese (or, mac and cheese), Seatown Seabar, or City Fish Co. If you’re in the mood for something more ethnic, dive into the potstickers at Mee Sum Pastry (beware, this is a busy corner), piroshkies at Piroshky Piroshky, authentic Filipino food at Oriental Mart, or French pastries at Le Panier. Other local hangouts include Michou Deli, Lowell’s, and Cafe Campagne or The Alibi Room for happy hour. If you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss the Daily Dozen Donuts serving up piping hot fresh mini donuts, Chukar Cherries‘s chocolate-covered cherries, and Cupcake Royale.

For drinks, head to the Can Can Kitchen & Cabaret for Absinthe cocktails and burlesque, Zig Zag Café for craft cocktails, Rachel’s Ginger Beer for soda-infused cocktails, White Horse Trading Co. for a pub-like feel, The Pike Brewing Company for Seattle brews, and The Tasting Room for wine lovers. For that midday pick-me-up, pop into Seattle Coffee Works for locally brewed coffee.

Pike Place Market entrance to the Lowells diner overhead signage | © Rootology/WikiCommons

Other Things To See

After eating and drinking your way through the Market, be sure to check out the other sights at Pike Place: the iconic Rachel the Piggybank, street performers, and unique collectible shops like the Old Seattle Paperworks and Golden Age Collectibles. There’s also a list of events going on monthly, including At The Table, a cooking class hosted during the Evening Farmers Market – and, don’t forget to take in the ocean-view scenery.

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