In 1907, the market was started as a way for the city to work around the middle-men that had gotten between the locals and the producers.
Even though I’ve been to Pike Place quite a few times, I still haven’t explored all the stores and restaurants in the marketplace- it’s truly massive. On one of my first visits to the market, I took a food tour by Savor Seattle.
I’m the type of person that likes to explore on my own, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the food tour. On each tour, you not only see the market and meet the merchants, you also learn the history of the market, and try a bunch of food bites (16+, enough for a meal!)- I ended up loving the tour.
One of the best things about the Savor Seattle food tour is getting a chance to see the different sides of the market, and how it’s more than just a place with good food. All of Savor Seattle’s tours highlight the vibrant stories of the people and places that make Seattle a great culinary center. What’s more, at the end of your tour, the guide gives you a discount card for over 50 places around the market.
Regardless of whether you choose to do a Savor Seattle tour or not, these market stalls are worth checking out if you find yourself in Pike Place:
- You can’t visit Pike Place Market without visiting the Fish Market. This is the part of the market most visitors are familiar with since they’ve heard of or seen the fish throwing on TV
- Fruit Stand: There are fruit and vegetable stands throughout the market, but the one of the corner of the alley at the main entrance to the market (big sign overhead) is one of my favorites. They’re always offering free tastes of whatever fruit is in season
- MarketSpice: Great selection of teas and spices, I really love the cinnamon orange. They usually have 1-2 types of tea out for you to try and most varieties are available in regular and decaf
- Pike Place Chowder: There’s often a line out the door for a reason- the creamy chowders and silky bisques are the perfect way to warm up in the chilly Seattle weather
- Etta’s Seafood: Dont miss the mini crab cakes and triple coconut cream pie
- Daily Dozen Doughnut Co.: These mini doughnuts are the cutest! Perfect for a quick snack or breakfast- love the cinnamon ones and sprinkle ones
- Chukar Cherries: The spot for chocolate covered cherries, I always buy a bag or two to take home. They’ll let you try whatever variety you want, but I highly recommend the cherry bings or Cabernet chocolate covered cherries
- The “original” Starbucks: This is the original Starbucks cafe, the first one to serve cups of coffee. The actual original Starbucks is nearby, but it only sold beans when it opened
- Piroshky Piroshky: A family-owned Russian bakery with a variety of sweet and savory pastries
- Rachel’s Ginger Beer: So many flavors of ginger beer! Definitely recommend ordering one of their Mules mid-way through your market crawl
- Beecher’s: The mac ‘n cheese here was rated the best by Oprah, and we all know Oprah doesn’t lie. You know it’s good when you can watch them make the curds from the street
- Ellenos Greek Yogurt: I can’t even describe how good this stuff is. It’s made fresh with milk, live active cultures, honey and fruit- that’s it. Big fan of the marionberry pie and lemon curd ones
- The Crumpet Shop: The lemon ricotta crumpet is perfect for breakfast- equal parts sweet and savory with the perfect crunch
- The Confectional: This spot is known for its mini cheesecakes and cheesecake bites dipped in chocolate, I really enjoyed the Mexican chocolate cheesecake
- Simply the Best: Every kind of dried fruit imaginable
- Radiator Whiskey: Get the bourbon margarita after an afternoon of wandering the market
- The Pink Door: Such a hidden gem above the market, keep your eye open for the pink door or else you’ll miss it. Their homemade pasta is so good, and there’s apparently a trapeze artist that performs on Monday nights
- Steelhead Diner: Another good sit-down dining option in Pike Place, the diner is a cozy spot to relax. The clam chowder drizzled with truffle oil & lavender goat cheese were both so yummy
- Gum Wall in Post Alley: Not somewhere to eat, but definitely worth seeing since it’s one of those things where you don’t know whether to be grossed out or impressed. The wall was cleaned for the first time in 20 years in November, but I’ve heard people have already started re-decorating it 😉
Also, don’t miss the flower stalls in the center of the market! Depending on what season you’re visiting Seattle, you’ll see hundreds of blooming peonies, amazing tulips in every color imaginable, or other stunning flower arrangements.