Discovering Seattle’s Pike Place Market

Growing up in the Emerald City, I have an innate affinity for seafood, coffee, and farmers markets. Sometimes I even forget that Pike Place Market is so world famous, because to me, it’s just the liveliest place to go in the city to find the freshest of food, flowers and lively characters. The Market has been around since 1907, and it retains that old-fashioned flavor today- part of what makes it so memorable.

By far one of the biggest attractions here is the flying fish at Pike Place Fish Market. Tourists and locals (I can attest!) crowd around in attempts to capture photos of the fish mid-air, as the fishmongers hurl the customers’ orders across the market area. They’ll even select customers to bring in on the fun, and occasionally throw fake fish into the crowd…it’s a riot! And definitely don’t miss the chance to buy some of the amazingly fresh fish too- halibut, salmon, king crab, prawns, oysters and scallops…
it’s all great, and you know you’re getting the best here.

Moving on from the fish mongers (and possibly wiping off the fishy smell from the fish man who just gave you a BIG hug!), stands of everything from flowers, fruits, vegetables, pastas and other specialty foods flood the senses in the marketplace. You can sample wild varieties of vinegar and oils with French bread bites, fruity honey flavors and even dry sticks of chocolate pasta! The produce is always fresh and seasonal and you’ll often find vendors offering up samples of white nectarines or juicy peaches outside their stand. There are plenty of crafts and handmade gifts as well; all of the unique jewelry, artwork and accessories supports local artists and you’ll meet plenty of interesting people.

Outside the main market area are lots of small, mainly independently-owned cafes and produce stands bustling with visitors. Seattle is the birthplace of Starbucks, and the original Starbucks here is always packed, but definitely worth a visit for those new in town! (I personally do love Starbucks, but head around the corner to get my fix J) Oh, and don’t miss Beecher’s Cheese shop on the corner of Pike and Pine- their “World’s Best” Mac n’ Cheese really is the only one that deserves that title- honestly!

If you’re looking for a real sit-down meal in the area, there are quite a few restaurants right inside the market if you know where to look. Lowell’s Restaurant uses food from the vendors right there at the market, and makes some of the best fish & chips I’ve tried in the city! There are three floors of seating, all with gorgeous views of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains. (Or if you’re in a people-watching mood, ask for a booth overlooking the market!) Lowell’s is also known for having one of Seattle’s Best Breakfasts, so if you’re into testing out this kind of claim, knock yourself out- you won’t  be disappointed! J

If you have the fortune to spend some time in the beautiful northwest city, do make a stop at Pike Place Market- and enjoy the colorful, bustling and iconic place celebrating food, culture and community in Seattle.