What to Do and See in Pike Place Market

No trip to Seattle is complete without a trip to Pike Place Market. This market is a central part of the downtown sites and serve as a great place to pick up seafood, flowers or other local wares and souvenirs. There are also fantastic bakeries, cheese shops, coffee, and other markets selling fresh food.

The front of Pike Place Market with neon sign and apple cider stand in front.
Pike Place Market

What to Know Before You Get There

Pike’s Place Market opened in 1907. Before the opening of the market, farmers would sell their produce and wares through wholesalers, which made the price rise for consumers and cut into the profits of the farmers. Onions were actually the tipping point when the price of onions increased dramatically and the addition of the wholesalers add-on made the price too expensive for consumers.

A city council member came up with a solution of having a direct farmers-to-consumers marketplace that removed the wholesaler from the equation, which would reduce the prices and increased the profit for farmers. This concept when opened in 1907 was very successful. Later, a developer made it a more permanent structure and has become a tourist must-see stop today.

Visiting Pike Place Market

One of my favorite places to see in Pike Place Market is the seafood counters. The fishmongers will throw around various fish when people order it so it is like watching a show. They are very entertaining.

Fish Stand at Pike Place Market with various fish for sale on ice
Fish Stand at Pike Place Market

They even had a whole Rock Fish which was not pleasant looking, and I have no idea how someone would actually cook it.

Rockfish for sale on ice at Pike Place Market
Unusual fish for sale

Amazing Flower Stands

The fresh flower stands were incredible and so many locals and tourists were carrying around bought flower bouquets. It certainly added some color and flair to the market.

Rows of bouquets of flowers for sale at Pike Place Market.
Flower stands at Pike Place Market

The Weird and Wacky Post Alley

Post Alley, which is right next to Pike Place Market, has a lot of wonderful restaurants, cafes, and of course the most famous Post Alley attraction – the Gum Wall. Read more about the Gum Wall.

Post Alley street sign and Post Alley indicator sign at Pike Place Market
Post Alley

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

I love cheese! So one of the first things I did was visit Beecher’s Handmade Cheese shop in Pike Place Market. They make the cheese on the premises, have a cafe with amazing food like their grilled cheese, cheese breadzel, mac & cheese, and other cheesy goodness. They also have free samples so you can find the type of cheese you like and order that. Beecher’s is all over Seattle and going directly to the source was a highlight.

Beecher's Handmade Cheese shop in Pike Place Market. Photo of the front sign and display case
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese shop

It was fascinating watching them make the cheese. They have two large tubs with an automated paddle working through the soon to be cheese.

Making cheese in large tubs at Beecher's Handmade Cheese in Pike Place Market
Making cheese at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

The best thing on the menu (in my opinion) at Beecher’s was the Bredzel. It was a cross between a pretzel and roll with their famous cheese on top.

Breadzel at Beecher's Handmade Cheese
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Breadzel

Three Girls Bakery

Three Girls Bakery is in the Pike Place Market area and has amazing pastries (muffins, scones, cookies, and a lot more).

Three Girls Bakery sign at Pike Place Market
Three Girls Bakery in Pike Place Market

I tasted the blueberry vanilla muffin and the lavender vanilla cookie, and they were amazing!

Three Girls Bakery cases with patries at Pike Place Market
Cases of pastries at the Three Girls Bakery

Starbucks (of course)

A visit to Pike Place Market without stopping by Starbucks wouldn’t be complete (even for non-coffee drinkers like myself). The Starbucks at this location has some unique facts about it. It uses the original logo which is a little more “detailed” on the mermaid.

While it wasn’t the first true location, it was in the Pike Place Market that the first location opened up in 1971. There area also a lot of green elements used such as recycled car/shoe leather, the signage is recycled slate, and tables were once used in other locations or even from people’s homes.

Unusual Stores and Displays

Around the market are very interesting stores such as this book store, which uses an unusual display to attract visitors.

My trip to Pike Place Market was definitely one of the high points to my visit since you really felt like you were immersed deep in Seattle. It should be added to the itinerary of any trip to this amazing city.

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