Where to Eat in the Iconic Pike Place Market
Wondering where to eat in Pike Place Market when you finally get a chance to visit? Read below for a quick, local-approved guide on the not-to-miss places!
If you only do one thing in Seattle, it should be a trip to the iconic Pike Place Market. Oddly enough, thanks to a movie in elementary school, I feel like I knew about the market’s existence before I knew of Seattle’s. Also, fun fact, we share a birthday! Pike Place is about 85 years older than me, though, having opened on August 17, 1907.
Back then, the market was founded when farmers and consumers realized they were being ripped off by wholesale middle men. Farmers often barely broke even and consumers were overpaying for goods. Seattle, in turn, looked for land to turn into a public market and found it in an area where a wood plank road had just been built called Pike Place.
Today, it’s considered one of the oldest and largest continuously operating public markets in the United States, and is home to hundreds of small businesses, eateries, and more. It can feel a little overwhelming to know where to go, and there’s nothing worse than accidentally overeating and missing out! Below is a list of places my friend, Caitlin, took me and recommended. She’s a born-and-raised Seattleite, so trust that she knows where to eat in Pike Place Market!
Quick Tips for Visiting Pike Place Market
- Getting in: We drove in and parked on a street about a block away. There’s a lot of 2-hour street parking, and you can pay on the paybyphone app. Otherwise you can get a Lyft or walk over depending on where you’re staying.
- Getting Around: On foot!
- Stay Nearby: It’s not necessary to stay nearby Pike Place, but if you do, there are plenty of hotels around as it’s located in Downtown Seattle. Some top picks include Four Seasons $$$$, Palihotel $$, Green Tortoise Hostel $
- Pro-Tip: My biggest tip is to go as early as possible. I think a sweet spot is around 9-9:30 AM as most stores will be open but it’s still early enough to avoid too many lines and crowds.
Food Tours in Pike Place Market
|Walking Food Tour||Classic food tour with 7 tastings||View Here|
|Chef-Guided Food Tour||A local chef will bring you around to 9 vendors; skip the line at Pike Place Chowder||View Here|
|Plant-Based Food Tour||Great option for vegetarians. Includes 12 tastings in throughout the market||View Here|
|Walking Chocolate Tour||Sample 12 chocolates from 8 different vendors both in and outside of Pike Place||View Here|
|The Ultimate Food Experience||Private option with 6-8 tastings and 2 drinks and a local guide that can tailor tour to your interests||View Here|
|Haunted Happy Hour Tour||Fun tour for those that like a little spookiness to their travels.||View Here|
|Underground Donut Tour||Seattle’s ONLY donut tour; also goes to Monorail and Belltown.||View Here|
|Scandalous History Tour||Very cool tour if you want to learn about Pike Place Market’s history – also includes some snacks.||View Here|
|Early Bird Tasting Tour||Small group tour for early birds||View Here|
Where to Eat in Pike Place Market
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
- Location: 1600 Pike Place
- Open: Daily, 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
If you’re a fan of cheese, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese should be the top of your list! Kurt Beecher Dammeier opened up shop back in 2003 with the goal of making great cheese as cleanly as possible. The company uses pure milk from local farms, and you can see their traditional, handcrafted methods at this location.
While they have a ton of cheeses to bring home as a souvenir, they also have a menu and some seating to eat right then and there. If you only try one thing, let it be either their mac and cheese! Caitlin and I got a small cup to share, and I immediately brought the cheese to make a bigger batch once I was home (they have recipes on their site!).
- Location: Pop-up cart on Back Pavilion
- Open: Fri – Sun, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Once upon a time while in Australia, an American flight attendant named Yvonne stopped into a small Greek yogurt shop owned by a father and son. After one spoonful, she was in love. Upon returning to Seattle, she developed a plan that would bring the father-son duo over to the States. Over a decade later, Con and Alex joined Yvonne and her husband, Bob, to open Ellenos. The Greek yogurt-obsessed team treats everyone like family and focuses on only the finest ingredients and methods to make the best Greek yogurt you’ve ever tasted in your life. Since opening in 2013, they’ve become incredibly popular and are even available in Whole Foods around the country.
If you go, you might find their normal location closed. We only found out later that they instead have a pop-up scoop cart on the Back Pavilion, so I’ll just have to bookmark it for a future trip and head to my nearby Whole Foods for the time being.
Mee Sum Pastry
- Location: 1526 Pike Place
- Open: Daily, 8:00 AM – 6:30 PM
They very first place Caitlin brought up when we were figuring out where to eat in Pike Place Market was Mee Sum Pastry. She was specifically after their beef hum bao. This tiny bakery has been around for 30+ years and has developed an extremely loyal local following. The owners, Jack and Melissa Fong, use an old family recipe to produce something like 1,000+ buns daily.
There’s no seating, but it’s easy to pick up some hum baos and eat them as you walk around.
- Location: 1519 Pike Place
- Open: Daily, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Ok, you can’t really eat at Papparedelle’s Pasta, but if you’re staying somewhere with a kitchen or want to bring some pasta home with you, this is the place to go! A particularly unique find is their chocolate linguini – the perfect ingredient for a dessert pasta.
- Location: 93 Pike Street #201
- Open: Wed – Sun, 11:00 AM – 4:45 PM
Since we were there in the morning, we weren’t sitting down for any proper meals. However, if you’re there for lunch, you’ll want to go to Pasta Casalinga for fresh Italian. The restaurant uses locally-owned fishermen, farms, and gardens to compliment their homemade, traditionally-made pasta. Caitlin said its her aunt’s favorite place for pasta in all of Seattle if you need another stamp of approval!
Pike Place Chowder
- Location: 1530 Post Alley
- Open: Daily, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
If you want an iconic dish in Pike Place Market, you’ll want to head over to Post Alley to try a bowl of Pike Place Chowder. First opened back in 2003, founder Larry Mellum wanted to do a very simple thing – make the best possible chowder you could find.
Today they serve up delicious, 100% sustainably made chowders that have made all sorts of lists and won all sorts of awards. We were obviously way too early to try some as they open up 11:00AM, but it’s worth trying if you’re here around lunchtime. It looked like there was also seating inside.
P.S. If this one is too crowded, there’s another location in Pacific Place Center.
Pike Place Fish Market
- Location: 86 Pike Place
- Open: Daily, 7:00 AM – 4:45 PM
Okay, hear me out. If you were in school during the 1990s and early 2000s, did you see a movie that featured Pike Place Fish Market? It was some sort of motivational documentary and one of the opening scenes was the famous fish throwing here. This was my introduction to Pike Place Market, and the video is so vivid in my memory! However, I can’t for the life of me remember the title or anything else about it.
Anyway, Pike Place Fish Market has been a staple in here since 1930. Today it’s co-owned by four veteran fishmongers and is famous for its fresh catches and responsible sourcing. Be sure to stick around to witness a fish throw in action. And if you want to pick up some fish for home, they deliver all over the country.
- Location: 1908 Pike Place
- Open: Daily, 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Right next to the original Starbucks, Prioshky, Prioshky is a little Russian bakery that serves up, as you might guess from the name, a slew of prioshkis. These flaky buns are filled with greasy goodness and more often than not, there’s a line out the door for them.
The bakery itself has been around since 1992 and will be familiar to both No Reservations and The Zimmern List fans. The dough is so flaky and buttery and the meat inside so tender and tasty – it’ll practically melt in your mouth.
There’s also no seating here, but you can carry your piroshki around. Be careful – the inside can be juicy so it might squirt on you if you’re not paying attention!
The Original Starbucks
- Location: 1912 Pike Place
- Open: Daily, 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
If you want wait in line, you can also find the “original” Starbucks at Pike Place Market. I don’t think it’s worth standing in line as there are plenty of Starbucks a block away and the only difference here is that they use the old branding! Plus it’s not technically the original as the original shop was at 2000 Western Ave. between 1971-1976.
Still, it’s there and does look quite cool. If you somehow visit when there’s no wait, it’s always worth popping in for a coffee or iced chai latte.
Other Things to Do in Pike Place Market
There are, of course, loads of other cool things to do in Pike Place Market besides eating! It’s a pretty big space with a lot going on, so give yourself some time to do a little shopping and people watching.
Pick up some flowers
There are so many pretty, fresh flowers and bouquets here! If you’re staying for a bit, why not pick some up? We would’ve gotten a bunch if Caitlin’s cat wasn’t prone to eating them.
Visit the bubblegum alley
I find these walls so gross, but we did stop in to see the famous Bubblegum Alley. It’s quite literally everyone’s chewed up gum. The colors do make for a cool photo op. Just, uh, don’t get too close.
Do some of your own grocery shopping (especially fruit!)
As you might guess, there are grocery stores within the market! In late summer, there was an absurd amount of fresh fruit; it was hard not to buy it all in one go. If you’re staying nearby and have a kitchen, you could pick up all the ingredients for a really fresh meal!
And that’s pretty much it for where to eat in Pike Place Market as well as what else to do. It’s a pretty fun spot and there’s a good reason it’s like the top thing to do in Seattle. Just make sure you come hungry and early to avoid the crowds and lines!
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