One of the highlights of any trip to Seattle is a visit to Pike Place Market, Seattle’s original farmer’s market. Established in 1907 and located right on the banks of Elliott Bay, it encompasses nine acres of the Market Historic District. Here, you’ll find winding alleys, staircases, historic buildings and plenty of shops in which to browse. Visitors and locals alike flock here to purchase farm-fresh, locally-sourced, artisanal and specialty foods. Looking for fresh pasta, truffle oil, herbed vinegars or curries? You’ve come to the right place!
One of the highlights of our culinary tour of Seattle is a private walking tour of the market.
You’ll have a chance to meet the farmers, butchers, bakers, fishmongers and cheesemongers as they sell their wares. Any time I’ve visited the market I’ve found the vendors super-friendly and usually willing to let you sample before you buy – you’ll definitely do plenty of sampling on your tour. Wander around the neighborhood and it sometimes appears that everyone you pass has an armful of multi-hued blooms purchased from one of the flower vendors.
Inside the historic arcade which covers part of the market, is one of the country’s largest daily craft markets. Here you’ll find handicrafts by local artisans – only Washington-made goods are sold here! Take your pick of ceramics, jewelry, leather goods and more.
At Market Spice and the Souk you’ll find rare spices and teas from around the world. The aromas of cheeses and meats waft through the air from the numerous delis and, if you’re like me, you’ll watch in awe as the fishmongers throw huge silvery salmon from one to the other as they stock their booths.
The market is home to dozens of restaurants and take-out counters where you can sample an eclectic array of dishes. Linger over breakfast or lunch at one of the deli-counters, snack on appetizers at one of the casual restaurants or indulge in a romantic dinner at one of the higher-end eateries. On past visits I’ve eaten fresh seafood, amazing sandwiches and even indulged in some awesome French pastries. I also love the Pike and Western Wine Shop, with its great assortment of wines in all price ranges. There’s always a long line outside the Starbucks at 1st and Pike. I guess everyone wants to visit the original location of the mega-successful chain of coffeehouses.
Be sure to have your photo taken with Rachel, the 550-pound bronze piggybank, maybe even leaving a small donation to help support social services in the Market. Oh, and carry an umbrella…it is Seattle after all! 🙂