If you’re planning a trip to Seattle, there’s no better place to start exploring than Pike Place Market. The neighborhood surrounding Pike Place Market, one of the oldest farmers’ markets in the United States, is a magical world of historic buildings and artisanal vendors. Max out your itinerary with incredible food, unique shopping, and cool city landmarks.
Pike Place Market is a foodie hot spot. Start your culinary adventure with an Eat Seattle Tour, where an expert chef will guide you through the best plates around. Still hungry? Fill up at Pike Place Chowder and wash it all down with drinks and dessert goodies at Shug’s Soda Fountain and Ice Cream.
The Pike Place district is also home to iconic attractions like The “Original” Starbucks and Waterfront Park. Pick up a unique souvenir at Golden Age Collectibles, then continue sinking your teeth into the buzzing food and drink scene.
Need more ideas? Find the coolest places with this guide to Pike Place Market, including what to see & do, where to eat & drink, and where to stay!
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What to see & do in Pike Place Market
Pike Place Fish Market
If something smells “fishy,” you’re probably getting close to Pike Place Fish Market! The open-air fish market in the heart of the historic marketplace is world-famous for its fresh and sustainable seafood. But expect to get way more than just the catch of the day here, with a fun performance coming with every purchase!
The fresh food from Pike Place Fish Market is healthy and sustainable. Immerse all your senses as you browse for wild salmon, king crab, and caviar.
The Pike Place Fish Market has been a staple in Seattle since the 1930s, thanks to their fresh, wild-caught Pacific catches. They make a conscious effort to minimize the impact of fishing so you can enjoy the flavors of the sea guilt-free. Pick up some to take home, or pull up a chair and try some creations on-site.
But the real spectacle here isn’t the immaculate seafood; it’s the epic show you’ll get from the fishmongers! Watch the masters at work as they throw their produce into the air.
Eat Seattle Tours
Explore the city through your tastebuds with Eat Seattle Tours. Based in Pike Place Market, the tour operator pairs you with a knowledgeable chef who’ll guide you through the market’s seasonal produce and vendors. These local food masters have endless passion for Seattle’s food scene, perfect for helping you navigate your foodie adventure.
On Eat Seattle Tours, you’ll learn all about the market and stop for fresh snacks from artisan vendors en route. You’ll get to experience the diverse flavors of the city, from international influences to the changing of the seasons.
Eat Seattle Tours don’t just do Pike Place Market. Opt for a more unusual tour, like a coffee crawl with some of the most mouthwatering breakfast bites at some of Seattle’s coolest cafes & coffee shops. Or get a different type of byte by delving into the street food at the heart of South Lake Union, Seattle’s tech hub.
Whatever tour you choose, you’ll get to support small businesses and local communities while you fill up your belly.
Golden Age Collectibles
Whether you’re a proud comic book nerd or just want to immerse yourself in a world of color, make sure you visit Golden Age Collectibles. The shop was founded in 1961 and is now the world’s oldest comic book store. The owner is comic book-mad and often stops in for a chat with his customers.
Golden Age Collectibles is packed to the brim with comic books, action figures, and collectibles. It doesn’t matter if you love manga or Star Wars; there’s something here to grab your attention, with every corner housing floor-to-ceiling wonders. Get rummaging for Funko toys, board games, and memorabilia of pop culture icons.
Who knows: You might be able to dig out some rare treasures. Golden Age Collectibles often stocks hard-to-find pieces like 1950s comics, film scripts signed by top actors and directors, and Japanese anime toys.
If you’re looking for a quirky photo opportunity in Seattle, check out the Gum Wall. This classic tourist spot started in the ’90s when performers and guests from the improv company Unexpected Productions disposed of their used gum on the wall. As the gum built up over time, this undoubtedly gross tradition turned into a work of art.
You’d think it’d be easy to spot an attraction that has gained so much attention, but it’s pretty easy to miss. Head south of Pike Place Market, and you’ll find the hidden masterpiece on Post Alley.
When you arrive at the Gum Wall, you could easily mistake it for an abstract mural. Gum in every shape and color spreads across the walls. Some of it has even dripped down, creating unhygienic but festive bunting.
Grab a selfie with the unconventional landmark—or bring your own gum and help the tradition live on!
The “Original” Starbucks
People from every corner of the world know this Seattle institution. It’d be rude to visit the Emerald City and not check out The “Original” Starbucks. Opened in 1971, the coffee chain quickly rose to fame for its incredible caffeine fixes, modeled after those found in Italian coffee shops.
You’ll be able to spot The “Original” Starbucks from the huge line out the door. Huge crowds of tourists from all around the country and the world queue up to experience this big slice of US history.
On the front façade of the building, you’ll find the original 50-year-old Starbucks sign. Anyone interested in branding will notice the differences from the famous mermaid logo you see today.
The 1,000-square-foot space has many of its original fixtures and fittings. Settle into the vintage vibe and decide what coffee to order. Luckily, they have all the features of a modern menu, so you won’t have to sacrifice your regular latte!
Just like when the store first opened, the cafe often offers free samples to help you discover your new favorite brew.
Pike Place Chowder
Looking for a hearty meal in Seattle? Look no further than Pike Place Chowder. If you’re traveling the West Coast, you won’t find better chowder than this! Using farm-fresh veggies, premium seafood, and the finest seasoning, these creamy delights will warm your heart and soul.
The small vendor is full of unassuming charm, perfect for feeling like you’ve discovered the next best thing. But the secret is already out! Pike Place Chowder is so good that it’s won first place at top seafood competitions like the Newport Chowder Festival.
Grab a huge portion of the soup, or get creative and have it served up in a sourdough bread bowl. You’ll find lots of classics and fun twists. Try the crab, oyster, and chorizo chowder, or go for the vegan lime and coconut plate.
If there’s no space in Pike Place Chowder, another nearby option is Lowell’s Restaurant. The popular restaurant also serves a variety of delicious seafood plates, including chowder and glorious views of the waterfront.
Shug’s Soda Fountain and Ice Cream
If you have space after all that chowder, wash it all down at Shug’s Soda Fountain and Ice Cream. This nostalgic spot is a wonderful place to go for sundaes, shakes, and floats. They get all their ice cream from Lopez Island Creamery, a small batch independent company, and pair it with sauces and toppings made in-house.
If you imagine yourself as a food photographer, Shug’s Soda Fountain and Ice Cream is a fantastic spot. The adorable setting and colorful creations are made to be on a vintage Instagram feed.
Plunge your spoon into rich brownie sundaes, or throw yourself back to childhood with a classic float. Get your caffeine fix with hot drinks ranging from cold brew to masala chai. Grown-ups can indulge in beer, wine, and ice cream cocktails. Get fancy with a prosecco float, or get indulgent with a boozy coffee shake.
Wrap up your Pike Place Market adventure with an afternoon at Waterfront Park. This 20-acre stretch of coastline gives you dreamy views across Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains. When you’re not relaxing and taking in the views, there are lots of entertainment options and some interesting pieces of Seattle history.
Waterfront Park was once a maritime hub for the Pacific Northwest, marking Seattle as the ‘gateway to Alaska’ during the Yukon Gold Rush. The historic Pier 62 is one of the oldest piers in the city, dating back to the 1900s. It’s had a stylish makeover since then and is now one of the popular places to go in Seattle for concerts, events, wellness classes, and workshops.
You’ll find lots of ways to fill your time in the sunshine at Waterfront Park. Fish and take a kayak out from Pier 62, meet the fish at the Seattle Aquarium, or get a bird’s-eye view of Downtown Seattle on the Seattle Great Wheel.
Where to eat & drink
With over 200 small businesses, it’s no surprise that Pike Place Market is an emporium of food & drinks. Whether you’re looking for a fancy restaurant or off-beat street food, you can rest assured everything you buy is fresh, sustainable, and delicious.
Want a taste of the South? Head to Biscuit Bitch and tuck into their homemade biscuits with country gravy. For a mouth-watering burger with a twist, try their Bitchwiches.
Or transport yourself to Eastern Europe at Piroshky Piroshky. This tiny bakery sells Piroshkies- turnover sandwiches fresh from the oven. Sink your teeth into beef and cheese or smoked salmon pate fillings, then grab one of the sweet options for dessert.
At The Pink Door, you can pair an Italian dinner with spectacular entertainment. Settle into the lavish interior for a night of burlesque, live music, and tarot card readings while you graze a beautiful farm-to-table menu.
Last stop: a glamorous Parisian hideaway! One of Seattle’s favorite restaurants, Maximilien Restaurant serves exquisite French dishes and has fabulous floor-to-ceiling panoramas of the harbor. With antique mirrors across the walls, you don’t have to fight for the table with the finest views.
For great craft beer, there are two excellent options. One of the most popular Seattle craft breweries, Old Stove Brewing is a lively tap room with a patio overlooking the water. Watch the sunset as you try a beer made on-site from 24 different taps. The Taproom at Pike Place has a cozy wooden interior and a rotating menu of local wine, craft beer, and cider.
You’ll find lots of English charm at the White Horse Tavern. This British pub has a great choice of drinks, including lots of imported ales. Curl up in a cozy corner, admire the fun memorabilia, or find a book to read.
Whiskey lovers look no further than Radiator Whiskey. They have a huge whiskey list, whiskey flights, and barrel-aged cocktails.
Where to stay
For the most social atmosphere in the city, stay at this fun hostel. They have both shared and private rooms steps away from some of the best parts of Pike Place Market. They’ll help you get the most out of your stay in the area with pub crawls, free walking tours, and underground history tours.
Get a stylish experience at this 1900s-era Colonnade Hotel. Settle into an eclectic world of bold colors, floral textiles, and quirky artwork. Hang out at the upscale American diner and get stuck into a weekly events schedule of dining deals and cocktail hours.
This 1904 building blends history with sleek modernity. Large rooms are full of plush furnishings, local artwork, and lots of natural light. Head down to the pretty restaurant for great cocktails and elevated American dishes. Or head up to the roof terrace for sparkling city views and regular live music nights.
This glamorous hotel is just one block from Pike Place Market. Rest your head on crisp white sheets in spacious rooms or soak away your worries in the sauna and steam room. Their 16th-floor lounge bar has sweeping views of the water and twinkling Seattle skyline.
A stylish glass-front hotel with panoramic views of the harbor. Expertly designed rooms with hardwood floors and rain showers will feel like your own city apartment. Work your way through a menu of curated cocktails and creative food inspired by the Pacific Northwest. Make the most of fun events like rooftop yoga, cabaret shows, and live music.