There is so much to see at Pike Place Market that we devoted a whole day to exploring what it had to offer during our trip to Seattle. There’s everything you need from fresh produce to freshly cut flowers — even seafood. It puts all other farmers markets to shame and there are so many shops to see with tasty local products to try.
Pike Place overlooks the Elliott Bay waterfront — one of my favorite views of the trip. It’s also one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers markets in the U.S. You’ll find the market at the bottom of a steep hill, made up of several lower levels in addition to the main market area.
And just in case you didn’t know, Pike Place is where you can see the very first Starbucks. (It’s not much to see — it’s rather small and the line is always super long, but it is the very first storefront of a powerful coffee chain that has America by the hair. Take a picture!)
As a coastal town, Seattle is famous for its seafood. You’ll find no shortage of the freshest specimens here at the market. The upper street levels are where you’ll find the fishmongers along with the fresh produce stands and craft stalls (selling jewelry among other things). It’s also where you’ll see those fish being thrown around!
As you wander through the tables of local product set out on either side of you, you’ll see things like fresh honey, local lavender soaps, even huge bouquets of freshly cut flowers that you can buy for only $5! Every time I saw a guy walking around with a bouquet, most likely to take home to their special someone, it made me miss Jake. A lot.
You can even sample some of the local wines at The Tasting Room.
Something you cannot miss while you’re at Pike Place is Pike Place Chowder — it’s so good that their New England Clam Chowder in a Sourdough bread bowl made it into my Top 5 Seattle Eats. The chowder joint may be tucked away inside Post Alley, but you’ll see the line from a mile away. However, trust me! This meal is worth the wait!
The bread bowl is about $10.45, but you can also choose from a combo that’ll get you a drink plus either a half-sandwich or a salad. I was stuffed off the bread bowl alone so I’m thankful I didn’t order a combo. If you can’t get enough, there’s always the option to take some more chowder home in a to-go container!
Needless to say, while walking around Pike Place a tasty treat is bound to lure you inside one of the little side shops — even if you’re stuffed from lunch — and that’s exactly what happened at the Confectional. They make the most delicious baked cheesecakes and cheesecake truffles, and I quickly snapped up a Red Velvet Cheesecake bite dipped in white chocolate for only $3.
Off the market’s beaten path is a sight you’ll need to see to believe — Pike Place Market’s famous Gum Wall! Down some stairs past the fishmongers you’ll find the alleyway covered in gum of every color — every square inch of wall space. The ledges are draped in stretched out pieces, while the rest is stuck on every which way.
I’ve seen pictures on Pinterest and it never occurred to me that the place would indeed have a distinct smell. The walls are also littered with buzzing flies, so while you’re trying to take the classic tourist-at-the-gum-wall picture, besides accidentally falling back into a wall full of old gum, they pose another threat when it comes to things you don’t want on you.
Some people call it interactive attraction because you can add your own gum to the wall. Even if it’s a little gross, it’s a cool sight to see because… who thought to do this?? Right?
We definitely didn’t have time to explore everything — so what’s your favorite thing about Pike Place? Sound off in the comments!