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Your Guide To Everything Food

Pikes Market Seattle Food Guide

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

Seattle, Washington, Pikes market has been a staple of the city community since the early 1900s. A few weeks ago, I had the fantastic opportunity to visit the market and the Seattle area. Beautiful mountain views, waterfalls just outside our hotel, the Salish Lodge and Spa, and of course, Pikes Market being foodie heaven.

Opened in the summer of 1907, the city was packed with gold miners and merchants. As with any city, these workers had to be fed. And so, the wholesalers came to drive up prices and make a profit. Pikes market was the solution; farmers would sell goods direct to the miners and residents of the city.

Immediately when I walked into the market, I began to get excited; the amount of fresh produce available was incredible. This was your neighborhood farmer's market turned into a busy, hustling, and bustling town centered on food and other goods.

Other than the market being located on the waterfront, what was most impressive was the market's sheer size. I initially thought, ok, the market has one road in the middle and two lanes of shops on the side. But that's nowhere near true. Pikes Market was layered in every which way. Shops were behind shops in back hallways of sorts, and long stairways led to other levels upon levels. The entire market wasn't filled with food; many shops had flowers and other crafts as well.

From the freshest strawberries to cheese shops with their entire cheese-making operations on display, It's a must-see for any foodie. But that wasn't all; there were extensive amounts of seafood. Seattle is located in the pacific northwest, right next to the ocean, and with it, a bounty of seafood is there for the taking. If you've ever heard anything about Pikes Market, you might have heard that they throw fish across the counter to customers… That is not entirely true, but one shop threw packaged fish across the counter to a worker on the other side.

Not only are there fish flying through the air, but they are on display- whole fish right in front of you and live crabs in the water. This isn't your neighborhood grocery store with fish behind glass shields on ice. This is fish set atop a mountain of ice inches from you; you could touch them right there.

But fish and vegetables aren't all this market has to offer. I enjoyed the significant number of bakeries the market had. From artisanal bread to fine French pastries, as an avid baker, I was home. Although we didn't try it, one shop was serving soup in a hollowed-out bread loaf; you don't get any simpler and more rustic than that.

My absolute favorite bakery was La Panier; from their sign-in store, they celebrated 38 years at the market. A good size line was just outside the store, but it was a must-visit. I could spend hours there, from excellent baguettes to the incredible assortment of Macrons. What was most surprising was their Pumpkin Macron; now, I'm not one for pumpkin spice overload in the fall because most items don't contain any pumpkin, but this was a pleasant surprise: light, airy, and the perfect fall spice flavor. My only regret is not ordering an entire box of them. If you go to Pikes Market, make it your mission to visit this store, I cannot recommend it enough.

And, of course, there is Starbucks ' first location in the market: the coffee lovers' heaven. We didn't visit that store; far too long of a line, but we did visit one of Starbucks Reserve Roasteries. This is where some of their finest specialty coffee is made. This building had everything from a small coffee-making operation, a coffee bar, a gift store, a bakery, and huge pizza ovens. If you like coffee, this is the place for you. You get the strong smell of coffee right when you walk in, followed by freshly baked pizza and pastries. It was another foodie paradise.

But that's not all this trip had to offer; our hotel: The Salish Lodge and Spa, overlooked a beautiful waterfall. We would often wake up to mist in the parking lot while waiting for our car to be pulled around. The restaurant overlooked this vast waterfall, which was truly a sight to see in the morning. We would time it just right to wake up early enough that the clouds would cover the entire region, then about midway through breakfast, the clouds would part, and a stunning rainbow would form.

Apart from the fantastic views, excellent service, and cozy atmosphere, the food was terrific. From Filet Mignon, complimentary drinks if you're staying at the hotel, to their great honey from heaven service. What is this, you ask? The hotel has its own beehives. The waiter would come around with a pot of honey and a large spoon and drizzle a large dollop of honey from above their head onto your plate; it was not a gimmicky experience but a fascinating one. They also brought complimentary bread during our dinner, but that's not all. They brought a small plate of garlic and olive oil to dip the bread into, but sitting upon it was a small candle made of oil and fat. You'd be left with a great dipping oil for the bread as it melted—a phenomenal experience whether you're staying at the hotel or not.

Perhaps not necessarily as well-known as other cities for being a foodie destinations, but most defiantly has its place among extraordinary foodie destinations. Among the many other destinations in the city, such as the mountains, space needle, and the Chihuly glass museum, are foodie destinations, such as the pikes market.

The world is full of unique food; travel and explore food across it.


Chef Olson

"The Flying Chef"

chef, cook, pilot, plane, trained chef, pastry chef, French food

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