I have officially “lived” in Seattle for three months, and have visited this amazing city countless times before. Every time I’m 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 can be overwhelming and frustrating. Opened in 1907, this makes Pike Place the oldest consistently run market in the US. Which means that Pike Place is a major tourist attraction and hoards of people come each and every day to see what the market is all about. That’s why, after many times visiting, I have finally come up with a comprehensive list of “don’t miss” and “must miss” stops in Pike Place. So sit back, relax, and get ready to hit these must see spots!
Arrival to Pike Place Market
Enter on 1stand Pike. This is the beginning of the market, unless you enter on Virginia and Pike, making this 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!
After seeing the infamous bubblegum wall, which has been collecting bubblegum since the 1990’s, head back up to the market making your first stop Pike Place Fish Market. This is my favorite thing in the entire market. It’s here where you’ll see fish flying, workers yelling, and more fish flying! Make sure to belly up to the front of the stand. If you stick around for a bit you will get to try the fresh catch of the day.
As you continue to walk through the main arcade (if you’re 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 how creative they are.
While there is a downstairs portion of Pike Place, I wouldn’t recommend spending too much time there. I prefer to stay in the main arcade until I’m ready to venture out around the market for the best food and drink spots.
The Food of Pike Place Market
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 you’ll find a list of must eats hotspots.
Piroshky Piroshky – Head 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.
If you are looking for a variety, grab some of your favorite foods and head out for a picnic! For the most scenic spots in Seattle, complete with views of Seattle’s skyline, check this out.
Must Miss Places in Pike Place Market
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!
Most Memorable Places to Hit Before Leaving Pike Place
After touring the market, before leaving make sure to make your trip to the oldest running market memorable.
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!
Do you prefer visuals over words? Check out my Instagram page/highlights for a visual look of Seattle