It’s often said the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, so on your next trip to downtown Seattle, let Pike Place Market woo you by experiencing it food-first. Leave your rental car at the Pike Place Market parking garage at 1531 Western Avenue, and let the sustenance seeking begin.
It’s common knowledge the original Starbucks is on site, but it doesn’t serve food. If I were you, I’d follow my appetite to Daily Dozen Doughnut Co. at 93 Pike Street, stall 7. These fresh, piping hot morsels are the perfect primers for your palate.
For more hand-held goodies, check out Piroshky Piroshky a block north. Try the cherry white chocolate roll, or go savory and get the beloved salmon pate. Keep on the comfort train a stone’s throw south with a pile of chowder fries or a steaming bowl at Pike Place Chowder.
Next, treat yourself to a full-service experience; visit one of the many sit-down restaurants near Pike Place Market. Matt’s in the Market (a few steps south) is particularly good, with fresh seafood stew, bacon-wrapped rabbit, and house-made olives. It also boasts first-rate views of the old market sign that’ll make you the envy of Instagram.
Once you’re sufficiently stuffed, freshen your breath with a stick of Winterfresh and walk 160 feet south. Can’t walk and chew at the same time? Don’t worry, you can discard your wad at the eccentric and slightly disgusting Gum Wall. A landmark of the market, this 50-foot-long wall has been slowly covered, several inches thick, with bits of chewed gum since the early ‘90s. Smack your jaws, stick your gum, snap a photo, and keep movin’.
Tours can seem so, well, touristy, but Friends of the Market offers Saturday morning guides during the summer that are worth swallowing your pride for. Get the inside scoop on all the market has to offer, including Rachel the Piggy Bank, the Public Market Center Clock and Sign, the North Arcade, and, of course, the famous fish throwing. If you’re a night owl, get creeped out during the Market Ghost Tour as you glimpse the old mortuary, Flesh Avenue, and former graveyard sites.
If groups aren’t your thing, stop by the Market Information Booth at the entrance on First and Pike, where you can grab a market map and do a self-guided tour. You may just wander into a tasty cooking demonstration, the bustling crafts market, or the aromatic MarketSpice. Buy a bag of their signature cinnamon-orange tea; you won’t be sorry.
Looking for libations with more kick than caffeine? Beer is in abundance at the Pike Brewing Company, a quintessential Pike Place brewery. Taste seasonal specials and year-round staples such as XXXXX Stout and Space Needle Golden IPA at their Pike Pub on 1st Avenue between Pike and Union.
For a more pinkies-out drinking experience, round the corner to Western Avenue, where you’ll find Zig Zag Café for craft cocktails galore. Try the Chartreuse-laden Last Word or their killer Old Fashioned.
If the spirit moves you, zigzag your way east through the market to Radiator Whiskey. Sample their seven house-made barrel-tap whiskeys or order from their Manhattan Project menu to find a favorite new twist on an old classic.
Whether you come for the eats, the sights, or the drinks, you will leave a piece of your heart at this iconic spot. Pike Place Market hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Sundays until 5 p.m.), but it varies by business, so plan your trip accordingly. The Market awaits.
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