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Seattle's Top 10 : Pike Place Market

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The Market stretches for several blocks high above the port traffic sailing on the gleaming waters of Elliott Bay. This historic district includes a meandering multi-level underground arcade, and street-level tables and stalls. Established in 1907, America’s oldest continually operating farmers’ market has become one of Seattle’s most treasured institutions. By mid-century, most farmers’ tables were run by Japanese-Americans, and their tragic internment during World War II nearly ended the market’s operation. Plans to raze the old buildings fortunately ceased in 1971, when architect Victor Steinbrueck and his supporters saved them from the wrecking ball.

  • Between Pike & Virginia St, from 1st to Western Ave

  • 206 682 7453

  • www.pikeplacemarket.org

  • Open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year’s Day

Three Girls Bakery

  • 1514 Pike St

  • 206 622 1045

DeLaurenti’s

  • 1435 1st Ave

  • 1 800 873 6685


Rachel the Pig

Don’t miss Rachel, Seattle’s largest piggy bank. This brassy icon of the Market Foundation also serves as the Market’s sentry at the main entrance. All proceeds from visitors’ donations to Rachel go towards low-income groups.


Neon fish advertisement

Famous neon cup sign

The market abounds in ethnic foods. Three Girls Bakery offers freshly baked bread and tasty sandwiches. For delicious in-door dining, head to Il Bistro for Italian, Place Pigalle for French urban, or Café Campagne for French country cuisine.


Summer Saturdays are the Market’s busiest days. For a more leisurely visit, try a weekday morning.


Don’t try driving through crowded Pike Place. Instead, use the parking lots on Western Avenue, then take a walking tour.


Top 10 Sights
  1. Pike Place Fish Company

    Crowds and film crews gather to witness these entertaining fishmongers. Their skills include hurling fish high over customers and countertops to be weighed, filetted, and wrapped for travel.

  2. Starbucks

    The West was won with steamed milk and dark roast coffee. Howard Schultz’s global retail coffee empire began right here in 1971, at Starbucks’ first store.

  3. Steinbrueck Park

    Its wonderful grassy hill makes this a popular lunch destination. Pack a picnic, find a spot, and drink in the gorgeous views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, and Seattle’s skyline.

  4. Underground Mezzanines

    Follow a maze of ramps and stairways to reach this shopping wonderland. Browse collectibles and books, have your palm read, commission a portrait, or treat yourself to local arts and crafts.

  5. Buskers

    Street music is a constant feature of the Market life. You might catch the hyperkinetic show of a spoons player who featured in at least one award-winning rock video, or be entertained by gospel quartets, piano troubadours, or a kazoo soloist.

  6. Organic Wednesdays

    Check out the Market’s Wednesday program during the spring and fall harvests. Look for the yellow ribbon surrounding a block-long stretch dedicated to the produce of Washington’s organic farmers.

  7. DeLaurenti’s

    Step inside to sample the delicious offerings of this Mediterranean gourmet grocery. Fresh breads and cheese, and a large wine selection create a great summer picnic.

  8. Hillclimb

    This enclosed stairway and elevator connects the Market to the waterfront and more stores and restaurants in between. It also offers enchanting sea-to-mountain views.

  9. Hmong Flower Stalls

    Seattle’s small, entrepreneurial SE Asian Hmong community dominates the Market’s flower stalls. You can smell the blossoms from oversized bouquets even before seeing them through the crowds. In winter, residents make do with equally colorful dry flowers.

  10. Read All About It

    This quaint, old-fashioned newsstand offers a wide array of newspapers and magazines from around the world.

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