The Origin of Pike Place Market
Founded in 1907, it is the longest running farmer’s market in the United States and was created to allow local farmer’s to sell their produce directly after a system which involved middlemen who were getting high commissions for the sales that were already taking place in the area in a non organized way.
Soon after the inauguration the Main Arcade building was built, market inspectors were assigned to support Market farmers and customers and it’s growth continued until nowadays despite some difficulties it’s had like when the mostly Japanese-American farmers were dispossessed after the Pearl Harbor bombing.
Pike Place Market Today
It may very well be the most visited attraction in Seattle, perhaps even more than it’s already famous Space Needle. Rain or shine expect to find hundreds of people walking around having breakfast or lunch, looking at the fresh produce and munching the superb apples that are usually given away by fruit sellers.
The market is just a 5 minute walk to the Seattle Aquarium and the Waterfront Boardwalk where you’ll also find several good restaurants (crab is the staple meal) and the port from where to hop on the Seattle Harbor cruises that will take you around the busiest port in the West Coast of the USA.
In other words the market is very conveniently located (these are some places where to stay in Seattle) , and you can easily spend a day walking around and exploring the different attractions in the area while eating some of the best food you’ll find in town.
Where to Eat at Pike Place Market
If there’s one thing Pike Place market offers to customers (and there’s more than one) it is variety. There’s a lot to choose from, from pastries to fresh fruit, cold meats to soups, wines and coffee from around the world, cheese, seafood…you name it, it’s there. So with all this variety, how can you decide which is the best place where to eat at Pike Place Market? The answer is simple: there is no single place where you have to eat, but instead sample dishes of all the places that attract you most and share them with friends or family so you get to eat more. That really is the secret to getting the most out of your visit, and I learned it thanks to my Savor Seattle Pike Market Tour.
Food Eating Tours at Pike Place Market
Unless you know of a local who’s tried them all, if you want to make sure you do eat at some of the best places in the area and want to learn about each one and the market in general I would recommend one of these tours. They’re affordable, fun, and your get to sample a lot of the best food that’s being offered in the Market , and while you may not be full by the time you’re done, you will have a pretty good idea of where you want to head back for more.
Our Savor Seattle Pike Market Tour started at the Seattle Gum Wall on a cloudless day, a narrow and somewhat hidden alley that is covered by chewing gum left by people- including you if you want. I can’t really understand why this has become an attraction but it’s weird, quirky and fun at the same time (many will say it’s also disgusting!). We were met there by our guide Warren Haney, a fun guy who learned the names of everyone in the group (about 10 people) on first try and who made the tour an enjoyable and learning experience. We started off by tasting some tea, following his pink umbrella amid the crowd , continued with some glazed doughnuts, sampled different varieties of smoked salmon and continued walking around and eating for the next two hours.
A Couple of Insider Tips and Secrets. Shhhh….
One of the things we learned in the tour that few people know is that the Starbucks coffee shop at the market is not the original one! It’s actually the fourth one that was built, so don’t bother standing in line like the dozens of people you’ll see there waiting for their turn to buy a coffee because they think is the “original” shop!
And if you want a couple of recommendations on where to eat at Pike Place Market I will recommend you try the macaroni and cheese at Beecher’s Cheese (trust me, you won’t regret it) and the clam chowder at Pike Place Chowder on 1530 Post Alley
Savor Seattle Tours website: http://www.savorseattletours.com/
Have you been to Pike Place Market in Seattle? What food did you like most? Is there anything in particular you’d like to try? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below and this post too if you think others may find it useful!