But although it is packed with visitors – especially in front of Pike Place Fish Market, whose fishmongers have become famous for tossing whole fish around in the process of selling it -- it’s clear that this is also a place that locals frequent, too. Spread across nine acres, there are some 200 businesses are in the market, along with 100 farmers who rent tables by the day. There’s beautiful produce to look at and sample, and when the fish isn’t flying through the air, it’s one of the best places in the country to ogle fresh, gorgeous seafood, from fresh Copper River Sockeye Salmon to King Crab.
Other places to be sure to visit in Pike Place Market include Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, which has a production facility right next to its retail shop. You can watch the cheese being produced (by hand), buy cheese to take home. This is also a good spot for lunch, where you can order a pretty special grilled cheese sandwich, or sample Beecher’s outrageous Mac n Cheese, made with the company’s flagship semi hard aged cheddar cheese, called Flagship.
Even more crowds can be found at the "original" Starbucks, which is located at 1912 Pike Place. This was actually the second store that the coffee shop’s owners founded, but over the years it’s become known as the first one, and it looks quite a lot different than the sleek and slick chain that the world knows today. For a taste of that, Starbucks has another market location, at First and Pike, which is something of a concept store. It’s LEED Gold certified and the interior uses plenty of recycled materials.
After you’ve had your fill of the crowds, take a short walk from the market for a treat: Molly Moon’s Ice Cream. (917 E Pine St.) This small Seattle ice cream chain opened this handy location in a chocolate shop (providing additional decadent options), but ice cream is what you want. The usual flavors include a salted caramel, a honey lavender, and a balsamic strawberry, but the seasonal ones are also worth a try: cucumber mint sorbet, for instance, or roasted apricot and cream.
Plan Your Visit to Pike Place Market
- The market is open seven days a week, closed only on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Merchants keep their own hours, but generally if you arrive between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday- Saturday, and 9a.m. to 5p.m. on Sunday you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied. Bear in mind that weekend afternoons are pretty crowded.
- There are several market tours available. Click here for details.
- Visit the Pike Place Market Shopping Directory for a listing of market vendors by type
- The main entrance to Pike Place Market is at First Avenue and Pike Street.More information on location, parking, and directions.
- The market has been going through a renovation. Check for updates here.