I have officially “lived” in Seattle for three months, and have visited this amazing city countless times before. Every single time I am in Seattle, I find myself in Pike Place Market. Always in awe at the diversity and vastness of the market, yet always frustrated. Pike Place has so much to offer but comes with hoards of people making it all but impossible to find your way around. That’s why, after many times visiting, I have finally come up with a comprehensive list of “can’t miss” and “must miss” stops in Pike Place. If I had gone in with a plan beforehand, I would be much less frustrated coming out, and would’ve been able to more enjoy my time in the market and embrace the craziness of all the tourists! So sit back, relax, and get ready to hit these must see spots!
»Fun fact: Pike Place is the oldest consistently running market in the US, having opened first in 1907.
Enter on 1stand Pike. This is the beginning of the market, unless you enter on Virginia and Pike, which this would then be the end of the market. Start your adventure down Lower Post Alley stopping at Ghost Alley Espresso for a cup of joe. You’ll see this small (but quaint) coffee shop right before hitting the bubblegum wall!
»Fun (ish) fact: The wall started collecting bubblegum in the early 1990’s!
After seeing the infamous bubblegum wall head back up to the market making your first stop Pike Place Fish Market. This is my favorite thing in the entire market. It is here where you will see fish flying, workers yelling, and more fish flying! Keep an eye open… don’t want an octopus to land on your face. Pro tip: Belly up to the front, if you stick around for a minute you will usually get to try the fresh catch of the day.
As you continue to walk through the main arcade (if looking at the Fish Market, turn right), you will notice food vendors, flower vendors, and people selling trinkets. Take it all in and enjoy! I marvel at the beauty of what people find their passion in. And that is what all of these people are. Passionate about their craft be it flowers, food, or trinkets!
»Tip: I prefer to stay in the main arcade. You can go downstairs, but I haven’t found much to see or do there. Once outside of the market is where most of my favorite food spots are, read on to see more.
Which brings me to the food!
There is a lot of amazing food at Pike Place. Some places are tucked away and hiding. Some places have lines so long you can’t miss it if you tried. Below is a list of must eats.
Piroshky Piroshky – Die and go to heaven with these Russian made hand held pies. Located on Steward and Pike, this is one of those places you won’t miss because of the line snaking throughout the market.
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese – Famous for their “worlds best Mac & Cheese”, this is definitely a don’t miss. Located on Pike between Pine and Stewart, indulge in a dairy filled meal and watch on as they make cheese in front of you.
Pike Place Chowder – Named America’s #1 chowder, decide for yourself. You’ll arrive here from 1stand Pine, away from the crowd at the market but popular enough to have a line out the door.
Grab some of your favorite eats from the vendors inside and head out for a picnic! [For the best views of Seattle’s skyline click here].
Wild Fish Poke – Subpar poke for having access to the freshest fish in Seattle.
“Original” Starbucks – Don’t be fooled, the original Starbucks has been torn down and in place is, well, not the original Starbucks!
To close out your journey at Pike Place Market, here are the most memorable ways of doing so.
The Athenian Seafood Restaurant and Bar – For those of you who have seen Sleepless in Seattle, then you already know. For those who haven’t, sit in the bar for fabulous happy hour prices. And don’t pass on the calamari! Located right in the main arcade, go for great views of Elliott Bay.
Storyville Coffee Pike Place – If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed from the crowds and coffee is more up your alley, head here. Storyville overlooks the market so you’re able to people watch from afar, away from the crowds. A bit tricky to find, it is located on 1stbetween Pike and Pine, upstairs.
Radiator Whiskey – For a lively bar scene head here. Serving whiskey and barbeque, can you go wrong? Located on 1stbetween Pike and Pine, upstairs.
Left Bank Books – This quaint bookstore can be found on 1stand Pike and carries more than 10,000 books! Prepare to lose yourself for hours sifting through all the books Left Bank offers.
Rachel’s Ginger Beer – One of a few locations lies right outside of the market in Post Alley. Serving handcrafted ginger beers, drink alone or mix in liquor. The choice is yours my friend! But I must say, I do fancy a good Moscow Mule from here.
Pike Place Market is iconic in Seattle. I am amazed after the amount of times that I have been, I keep learning new things. That’s why I love the market so much! Alas, there is always something new to discover!