Whenever going to Seattle, you’ve gotta check out Pike Place Market, known as one of the top tourist attractions in Seattle and the 33rd most-visited tourist destination in the world!
Since its opening in 1907, Pike Place Market is one of the oldest continuously-operated farmers’ markets in the United States. In addition to its mainstay shops, vendors can compete in a lottery to get one of the coveted tables for the day. From fresh fruit to homemade pasta, flowers to handmade soaps, Pike Place Market is home to nearly 500 residents that sells goods throughout the market’s eight buildings.
Tip: Avoid it on weekends, unless you really like crowds.
Where to Eat (and buy food) at Pike Place Market
I DID get a chance to see them throw the fish! (After missing the first two times.) if you actually like cooking fish, buy one, if only to indulge the people watching throw a fish. If you don’t feel like waiting around, check out their live camera to watch any time from the comfort of your laptop.
You can stop at the giant window on Pike Place to see Beecher’s kitchen facility, where a giant vat is churning homemade milk as it transforms into cheese. Stop in the store for lunch- and the best mac n cheese ever, or sneak to the back to get some samples of their artisan cheese. There’s also a location in New York City in the Flatiron District, but Seattle is the original, flagship store.
Directly across from the fish market, this stand sells bags of dried fruit. If you’ve never had dried cantaloupe (or strawberries), at least go get a sample. Little bags of dried fruit are only $5.
A little taste of Russia, these hand-held pies, known to us Americans as pierogis, are hand-made daily. Sweet and savory options are available, with traditional favorites and a few
The little stand at Pike Place is most crowded in the mornings, so you’re bound to see a line. Since the piroshkys are made daily, once they run out, they are out. You can even watch them make the piroshkys right there. Come by from 3-6pm for happy hour, where it’s half- off the remaining supply of piroshkys.
Rob and I love Ginger Beer, alcoholic or not. Rachel’s has a variety of non-alcoholic, extra spicy and potent flavors. We sampled the peach Ginger Beer and the seasonal, Honeycrisp apple Ginger Beer. Both had a nice kick and weren’t too sweet. If we weren’t flying, we’d have bought a growler.
Rob and I ate here for breakfast, although we both got sandwiches from their menu, because the spot is known for its Jewish deli sandwiches. The bakery is part wall-up window, where there’s a case of pastries (two walls full) that you can order, and there’s a lunch counter. This old school bakery opened in 1912 by three Seattle women, and while they are long gone, we saw the current owner, Jack Levy, and his daughter running the counter.
I got basically a Thanskgiving sandwich- with turkey, cranberry sauce and lettuce. Rob went traditional with a ham and cheese croissant. Supposedly the meatloaf sandwich is the best in town, but it is an undertaking!
Rob and I are big tea drinkers, and this emporium has more than 200 types of bulk tea, and you can buy tiny bags or large jars of any variety. We stocked up and got caramel apple, cranberry cream, orange cream and cherry almond teas.
The Original Starbucks
If you love Starbucks, stop by the flagship coffee shop in the market. Notice the original logo and font… they’ve come a long way!
The Market Theater Gum Wall is both gross and fascinating at the same time. It’s literally a wall covered in used chewing gum. Yes, there is actually a Wikipedia page about this, so its definitely worth a stop for a photo! Find it in Post Alley under Pike Place Market, by the Market Theater.
Not in Pike Place Market, but definitely worth a visit… up on Capitol Hill.
There’s been this concept that’s become pretty popular- cafes that are also bike shops. Atlanta has its own, Cafe + Velo, and Seattle’s version is Metier.
The spot is open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, has coffee, spirits, beer and wine, has a cycling shop, repair shop and gym. Any given day, someone is usually in a kit, bellied up to the coffee bar. It was our friend’s favorite place.
If you order something, make sure it’s one of their waffles. They are made-to-order with either sweet or savory toppings- all healthy and totally unprocessed, like avocado and fried egg, tempeh and pesto, smoked salmon, traditional American (maple syrup and butter), and my favorite PB&J.
Definitely worth a post-ride meal!