The oldest continually operating public market in the United States (since 1907) Pike Place Market is more than a tourist stop- it is a vision of what local markets should be. Providing fresh, locally grown produce, as well as fresh fish, and local artisans.

In the spirit of the local-grown movement, Pike Place Market was established for farmers and fishermen to sell directly to consumers, bypassing the middle-men who frequently only took goods on consignment. It was onions that did it—the onion prices had become high and consumers and growers used this to force a direct to consumer market.


Skyrocketing onion prices in 1907 began the movement of farm to consumer

What you will find here are plenty of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Supplied from the fertile fields of Washington, the market provides something that is a model for the nation.

Fresh seafood abounds here- from Alaskan salmon, to crabs, to almost any fish imaginable.  Providing entertainment by the vendors throwing the fish after it is ordered provides an entertainment not found at your local grocery. The fishmongers will pack and ship the seafood anywhere in the United States, or deliver it “airplane ready,” to your hotel.


Plenty of fish in the market

Artisans and local craftsmen are in supply here- you will find everything from photographs to play tents for the kids.  Drawings, etchings, woodcarving – all here, all local.

There are plenty of street entertainers to be found in the market – and a number of musicians attribute their success to starting out in the market – such as Jump blues musician PK Dwyer.

Dining in the market is easy – we prefer Lowell’s for breakfast, they provide great views, great food, and of course, coffee.  Lowell’s is a bit difficult with a stroller.  Next to and just North of the market is Cutter’s – where you can sit down, see great views of Elliott Bay, and enjoy a wide variety of clams, oysters, beers, and our favorite – Halibut cheeks.  Cutter’s is also easy access for children – so JJ loves it when we eat here.


One of my favorite parts of the halibut - the cheeks

Tips: the market is almost always crowded – so get there early- and you will have a better selection when there. If you plan on buying some perishable foods, consider going at the end of your trip to Seattle.  Plan on spending the day.

Nearby hotels that we have stayed in include The Olympic Hotel, The W, Inn at the Market – all easy access to the market, and top notch. It is far better to stay downtown and walk to the market, than to bring your automobile.