Second to the space needle, I think that Seattle’s second claim to fame is Pike Place Market located in downtown Seattle WA near the waterfront overlooking Elliott Bay. I live on the other side of Lake Washington, about a 25 minute drive to Seattle. At least twice a month I like to play “tourist” and enjoy everything this market has to offer.
We locals call Pike Place Market, “The Market”. It’s an open air-market and is home to over 200 commerical businesses including farmers, artisian craftspeople, street musicians and performers. Open since 1907, The Market is the longest continually running market in the nation.
There’s so much do, so much to see, lots of things to buy and of course an abundance of food choices for a bite to eat or a complete meal.
When you visit The Market I would recommend wearing comfortable shoes. Note that the ground isn’t always level (especially if you cross the cobble stone street) and water could be at your feet from the melting of ice from the fish markets. Dress in layers as our unpredictable weather could bring warmth or cold any time of the year. A reusable shopping bag is a good idea as we folks in Seattle have banned plastic bags.
The Market offers the best produce in the area, proudly displayed as you walk around. Farmers will tempt you with samples of their delicious pick of the season produce. Washington farmers produce the best rainier cherries and red delicious apples in the country.
If it’s seafood you’re looking for, look no further. The Market has several places to not only buy your seafood, but to be entertained as fish flies through the air. Seattle is known for Salmon, so you’re sure to find the freshest Salmon in town and no worries, your purchases can be packed on ice and shipped to your hotel or final destination. Many places have “oyster shooters” or “shrimp cocktail” so you can immediately enjoy a bite sized seafood treat while you walk around.
Street performers and musicians are always around to entertain you.
On the lower floors of The Market, there are shops for all of your gift-giving and souvenir needs.
You’ll also find artesian food vendors. Jams, jellies, jerky, pickled veggies, candy, dried fruit, confections, bakers…the list is endless. And, don’t forget the artesian craftspeople who sell their art in all forms.
Close by The Market is the Waterfront where a short walk will offer a bunch more to do in The Emerald City.
Here are some of my favorite spots for a delicious tour of the market:
For the best macaroni and cheese, head to Beecher’s. You’ll be entertained by their big cheese bath tubs – where they make their cheese. You can also pick up some of their cheese curds and anything else for a delicious picnic.
Need a cup of coffee to get you going in the morning? Head to Seattle Coffee Works right across the street from The Market. I would recommend sitting at the slow bar with a vacuum pot of coffee. Talk with the barista, choose your bean and watch them brew your coffee. It’s fantastic!
For a delicious fresh baked cookie, head to DeLaurenti. Their deli and pastry bar in the back of the store has an assortment of delicious sweet and savory items. Seating is limited and it gets pretty crowded during the lunch hour.
Of course there is an abundance of produce at The Market. Pick up a bag of farm fresh goodness for tonight’s meal, or grab a few to snack as you walk around. And, don’t forget the fresh flowers for your sweetie or dinner party.
A freshly baked crumpet from The Crumpet Shop is sure to start your morning off right. The toppings are endless. Choose from plain, simple, sweet, savory or both. Lines can be long and seating is very limited.
And, don’t forget the seafood. The fish mongers can help you select the best gifts of the sea. They’ll even pack on ice if you’re traveling. Seattle is known for its salmon and crab. Dig in!
Welcome to Seattle and please, don’t mind the rain.