Hotel Andra is one of the more perfectly located hotels in downtown Seattle just blocks away from Pike Place Market.
It’s open year-round, it’s one of Seattle’s most iconic attractions and it’s filled with tasty treats. What’s not to love about Pike Place Market? Aisles of gleaming fruits and vegetables, tables overflowing with fresh floral bouquets, and booth after booth selling all manner of locally made jewelry, clothing and gifts.
Pike Place’s nine acres have been a staple in Seattle for more than a century. It’s been called “the soul of Seattle,” and for good reason. When it opened on Aug. 17, 1907, eight farmers sold their wares to more than 10,000 people who came out on a crazy first day. It hasn’t slowed since. The market is now home to more than 200 businesses, 190 crafts people and about 100 farmers. Now more than 10 million visitors come to it annually.
It’s easy to love the market for its fabulous selection of gourmet ingredients and staples, but it’s also a great place to enjoy many fantastic eateries serving prepared dishes. It’s the kind of place that caters to any hunger pang. And yes, they do throw fish here. So you can see that, too.
The original Starbucks is located right on the cobblestone Pike Place. Sure, there are endless Starbucks in the city, but this is the first and just feels different. Java addicts crowd it daily.
If you want quintessential Pike Place Market, check out the guys at Pike Place Fish. Throughout the day, they lob massive fish over the counter to the joy of spectators. The fish is pretty darn tasty too, and like all the fishmongers in the market, Pike Place Fish will wrap purchases in airplane-safe containers.
Just to the northeast of the main arcade are rows of artisan vendors selling everything imaginable, from knickknacks to gorgeous works of local art. Downstairs are dozens of small shops selling every type of antique and souvenir imaginable, too.
The market gets its reputation from fresh food and produce, but the flower selection is one of the finest anywhere. With vibrant tulips and colorful orchids — all for ridiculously low prices — it’s worth getting a bouquet for the hotel room.
When the market has taken its toll and swiped the energy of shoppers or put a foodie into a culinary coma, Victor Steinbrueck Park is there, offering comfortable grassy patches overlooking the market and Elliott Bay.
Post Alley is a unique enclave of shops, restaurants and a wall plastered in gum. The gum wall, as it’s called, has more bubble gum than a collective of the underside of desks from a few dozen elementary schools. Also stop by The Tasting Room, a cooperative of seven state wineries.
Rachel the Pig, a bronzed piggy bank that weighs more than 550 pounds, is the unofficial mascot of the market. Located just underneath the “Public Market Center” sign, this piggy bank serves as a perfect picture spot and a place to let loose with some change. Rachel helps collect more than $6,000 annual to help the Market Foundation, a nonprofit that funds market social services.
Take a Tour:
Blend history and shopping tips with quirky anecdotes on a Public Market Tour. Ten percent of all proceeds benefit the Market Foundation, which supports Pike Place Senior Center, Pike Market Food Bank, Pike Market Childcare & Preschool and the Pike Market Medical Clinic. Tours begin on the corner of Virginia St. and Western Avenue.
Commercial operations such as Savor Seattle Food Tours, Seattle Food Tours and Seattle Bites Food Tours aim to turn visitors into market insiders through a behind-the-scenes experience that focuses on the sights, sounds and flavors of the historic culinary landmark. By the end of a two-hour-plus tour, attendees will have typically sampled clam chowder, smoked salmon, cheese, crab cakes, doughnuts and much more.
Entertainment and Dining:
Pike Place Market is a draw for buskers of all kinds, be it a harmonious rhythm and blues quartet or a guy who trains cats like he’s a whisperer or some sort. Bring plenty of change and singles to fill the buckets, hats and other assorted tip jars.
There are more than 60 places to eat in the market, including several sit-down restaurants in the lower parts of the market, some with expansive views of the Waterfront.
What's the new buzz at the Market? What is this Pike Up you might be hearing. Pike Place Market is growing with the MarketFront, a waterfront entrance to Seattle’s historic public market. The expansion will transform a surface parking lot on the Market’s western boundary into a public plaza with additional space for farmers, craftspeople, artisan purveyors, low-income housing and social services.