Pike Place Market is known for many things – fish throwing near the main entrance, beautiful fresh flowers and produce, merchants and vendors selling all kinds of wares and crafts, and crowds. It’s popular with visitors and very possibly the most visited tourist attraction in town. It’s popular with locals, too, as it’s a fully functioning farmers market. All in all, Pike Place Market is just an amazing all-around place.
But another thing it's known for is being home to many of Seattle's must-eat foods. Take yourself on a food tour of one of the nation's best and biggest farmers markets!
The market is home to just about every kind of food and cuisine, from street food to bakeries to casual restaurants to fine dining. Many of the onsite eateries serve up dishes involving locally sourced or produced foods, so not only do you get to eat many amazing foods all in one place – you get to know the Northwest on a foodie level. Barring sit-down restaurants (they’re all good, from Il Bistro to Matt’s in the Market), here are eight of the best things to eat at Pike Place Market.
If you’re a Starbucks aficionado, it’s worth noting that the original Starbucks is located right outside the main building’s entrance. Sure, what you’ll find inside is mostly the same as what you’ll find at any given Starbucks (and there are more than a few in Seattle, sometimes within view of each other), but this coffee shop fare is from the original Starbucks! The place that started it all! Home of the caffeine craze. If that moves you, then grab a latte before you start your food adventure.
Piroshky is a type of Russian pastry brought to Seattle by Piroshky Piroshky Bakery at the market (right across from the main building’s entrance). These simple little hand pies are delicious and varied and one of the best things you can eat at Pike Place Market. If you want something sweet, the bakery has got you covered with apple cinnamon rolls, chocolate cream hazelnut rolls, and other sweet pastries. If you want something savory, there’s a variety of veggie and meat pies, including a smoked salmon pie that’s shaped like a fish. Pick the flavor that speaks to your heart and it likely won’t disappoint.
Daily Dozen Doughnuts makes one thing and makes it well – mini doughnuts in a few flavors. Buy six or buy a dozen, buy all one flavor or buy a mix. If you can, get them when they’re fresh out of the fryer. They're yummy any time, but fresh and hot, these tiny treats go to a whole new level. Flavors include plain, cinnamon sugar, chocolate, sprinkles and even maple bacon.
Biscuit Bitch has a couple locations in Seattle, including one at Caffe Lieto at the market. You might hear that a biscuit is a must-try food and scoff, but scoff not. These luscious biscuits are an adventurous take on biscuits and gravy (including a mushroom-based vegetarian/gluten-free gravy option so no one need go without their biscuits). Get your biscuits your way, whether that means gravy, cheese, sausage, jalapenos, Nutella, jam or butter. Toppings are piled high and you’ll need to eat most of these biscuits with a fork and knife. There is even a gluten-free biscuit option to go with that gluten-free gravy (but the facility is not gluten-free).
Seattle is adjacent to the Puget Sound and not far from the Pacific Ocean, meaning the Emerald City has ample fresh seafood on offer at local restaurants. There are a number of places where you can try some local seafood at the market, but if you want a full range of options, Seatown Seabar is a fine way to go. For one, the restaurant has a full lineup of seafood, from Dungeness crab to salmon to oysters. For two, the restaurant is headed up by Seattle’s own celebrity chef, Tom Douglas, so not only can you try tasty local foods, but also dishes by a known local chef. Also, don’t miss the triple coconut cream pie. You won’t regret it. In fact, the triple coconut cream pie is a must-try food all on its own.
Crab or Shrimp Cocktail
Another option to try out local seafood, but at a much cheaper price point than Seatown Seabar is at the famous Pike Place Fish Market. That’s right. The place that’s known for throwing fish. For the most part, this shop is known for selling fish for people to take home (fish get thrown whenever someone buys one), but it also sells ready-to-eat seafood snacks – crab cocktail, shrimp cocktail and oyster shooters. All are super fresh and super tasty.
Beecher’s is all about cheese. The food not to miss here is the Beecher’s Flagship cheese, but you can enjoy this nutty and rich cheese in a number of ways. Try it plain (there are usually samples available to make sure you'll like it...but you will). Two of the most enjoyable menu items to order here include a grilled cheese sandwich or Beecher’s World’s Best Mac and Cheese. Both options (or really anything else on the menu) will not disappoint. You can also peer through a window and watch the cheese being made right then and there, too, just to prove how fresh and local it really is.
Market Spice is a spice store that also crafts teas and sells coffee and other gift items, but a local treat not to miss here is their cinnamon orange tea. It’s sweet. It’s spicy. It’s a powerful tea that doesn't back down from a taste test and it tastes especially amazing during a cool, rainy Northwest winter day. Usually, the store just around the corner from Pike Place Fish Market has samples of the tea to try. If you love it, you can take some home with you.