Along with the Space Needle, Starbucks, and Mount Rainier, when people think of Seattle, they often think of Pike Place Market. Established in 1907, it is one of the oldest farmer’s markets in the country. The street it is on also gets exposure being the name sake of the Starbucks coffee that is always on tap.
The stalworth of the market is the fish market, where employees toss fish to each other as customers place their order. Sightseers often line up to watch the show, if they are lucky to catch it when it happens. I personally think it’s a little gross, but maybe it’s because I don’t like fish. It’s certainly a tradition and a spectacle to see though!
Pike Place is also known for their AMAZINGLY beautiful flowers that only set you back $10 for a huge bouquet! Seriously, I carried this thing for about an hour to take the ferry back to Bainbridge and my arm was hurting. Some really big ones get as high as $20, which is still reasonable, and some cost as low as $5, which is an absolute steal. Single stems, like my gorgeous dahlia stem, were only $1 each, and they even wrap these up nicely with little baggies of water in the bottom.
The rest of the partially open air farmer’s market is filled with fresh, local produce, small shops, food concessions and craft vendors, who make really nice products. A couple of blocks long, it will take you a little bit to get through it, particularly to get through the relentless crowds.
The part of the market on the cobblestone stretch of Pike Street is particularly charming, too, with bright hanging flowers lining the Sanitary Market, vendors selling fresh apple cider, and a chance to get a great view of the iconic signs with Elliot Bay in the background if you are high up enough.
There are nearby indoor shops and restaurants as well, with several lookouts over Eliott Bay, including a community garden where visitors can walk around and take advantage of photo ops.
Across the street is also the original Starbucks, which is always busy, but a novelty to visit for fans of the chain. Being a former employee, it was obligatory that I visit at least once.
There are a number of other delicious bakeries, cheese shops, and other small businesses, such as Piroshky Piroshky, where I got this delicious Russian cabbage and onion pastry with a really pretty bag.
All in all, a trip to Seattle would not be complete without a visit to this charming main drag, and I was super happy to finally be able to buy some of those Pike Place flowers!