Even if you have never been to Seattle, chances are you have heard of Pike Place. It is a huge market featuring local vendors with fresh produce, fish and so much more. It is also a foodies heaven. There are so many spots to grab food and drinks from while you wander around the market. Is it touristy? Absolutely! But there are some hidden gems and local favorites that draw a local crowd as well – we just know how to navigate through it. Also if you are visiting, don’t use an umbrella, we will immediately label you as a tourist who has no clue what they are doing. True Seattleites don’t use rain gear. Below are my favorite spots in the market!
Starbucks – The location in Pike Place is the OG, so if you can, don’t skip it! If you go earlier in the day, like right when they open, you will be met with no line and the ability to peacefully order and get your specialty coffee. I highly recommend going right when they open, if not you may have to stand in line for an undetermined amount of time. I also love going to the market right when everything opens because it is way less crowded and has this peacefulness about it. Pro Tip: ask about their special drinks – they offer 1-2 drinks (seasonal) that are only available at this specific location. They don’t always have a sign out advertising them!
Piroshky Piroshky – This little bakery is located a few spots down from the OG Starbucks and you can probably smell the deliciousness from there. When you walk by this place your nose is instantly met with incredible smells. They have sweet and savory pastries. I will probably get some hate for this, but I am not the biggest fan (I think there are better bakeries with more moist and flavorful pastries), but that smell from Piroshky Piroshky really sucks you in and you just can’t not walk past it. My favs from this spot are: Chocolate Cream Hazelnut Roll, Moscow Roll and the Beef and Cheese.
Beecher’s – The creamiest, dreamiest mac and cheese you will ever eat. Sure you can find this in the grocery store in the frozen aisle, but that’s like watching sports on TV…it is much better live and in person – just like this mac and cheese is unbeatable fresh. You can even watch them make their famous cheese while you chow down. The noodles are soft and the cheese has a slight tang so it isn’t just super rich. It is also a thick, creamy sauce that sticks really well to the noodles. Don’t skip this!
Pike Place Chowder – The literal best chowder you will have in your entire life. They have 8 different chowders including a vegan option. It is the most flavorful chowder I have had and I lived in New England for 4 years, which is like the birthplace of chowder. They even offer a sampler of 4 or 8 so you can try them all if you want! I always get the 4 choice sampler to split with friends when I go. This spot also has lines for days if you don’t get there early – but they move really quick so don’t let the line stress you out! And while I love all of their chowder, my top choices are – Seafood Bisque, New England, Smoked Salmon and I also love their Market chowder.
Ellenos – The most wonderful greek yogurt there ever was that is so thick and creamy it is more like a dessert. Their shop has over 2 dozen different greek yogurt flavors – like who knew that was possible! They offer a selection of flavors that you will not find in the store. You can even grab a walkaround size to eat while you explore the market! My favorite flavor is the Marionberry Pie; I always act like I am going to get something different, but choose this classic every time. If you’ve already eaten so much and feel too full, grab a small container to take home for later!
Storyville – This spot is a little hard to find, so make sure to check all the signs, but it is located upstairs and overlooks the market. They have amazing coffee and the space is perfect for relaxing and taking a little break. If it is your first time there, make sure to ask them about their free mug for first timers!
Rachel’s Ginger Beer – Or more commonly known as RGB. If you like tangy, citrusy, gingery – then this is for you. I love their flavors as well that balance the ginger perfectly. I feel like their ginger beer is very limey and tangy more so than the harsh ginger that burns your throat and I can’t get enough of this place. My two favorite flavors are: Pink Guava and Blood Orange. You can even get booze added or turn it into an ice cream float for a hot day!
Freya Cafe – this cafe is on the waterfront side of Pike Place and I get lost almost every time I try to find it! It is super tiny and cute and they have a large window that looks onto their bakers and pastry chefs. I love grabbing a coffee here after walking around the market and taking a minute to appreciate all the pastries the chefs are delicately preparing. Look out for their specialty lattes – the last time I was there I had a delightful almond, cardamom latte that was incredible!
The Pink Door – a wonderful Italian restaurant hidden behind an unmarked door. This spot you likely will need reservations for, so check ahead of time. I had walked past this door dozens of times before trying it and my only regret is not going sooner. Definitely a must try if you are in Seattle for a few days. It will be some of the best Italian food you’ve had! There is nothing on this menu I don’t recommend trying. Ask the server for any daily specials and make sure to grab a bottle of wine while you watch the sunset over the market.
Pasta Casalinga – another great Italian spot, but this one specializes in pasta and only pasta! The owner is from Italy and they make everything by hand, fresh every day. Their menu may be small, but the pasta is mighty and so flavorful. The menu also rotates based on the season, but it typically features a from the farm, from the ocean, and from the garden as well as their lasagna and a traditional pomodoro. The pomodoro had the freshest tomato sauce I have ever eaten. It was light with a little bit of salt and tang.
Not Pictured but also recommended:
- Crumpet Shop – authentic English crumpets and tea shop!
- Ghost Alley Espresso – the teeniest coffee shop next to the Gum Wall with excellent espresso!
- Delaurenti – a foodie store paradise with wine, cheese and meats for your next charcuterie board! They also have a walking charcuterie cone.
- Seattle Dumpling Co. – authentic, handmade Chinese dumplings that are much better than DTF!
- 3 Girls Bakery – the best fresh bread ever plus pastries and cookies you’ll want to grab for later! Don’t skip the Kalamata Olive Bread.