Pikes Market Seattle Food Guide
Seattle Washington, Pikes market has long been a staple of the city community ever 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 full of gold miners and other merchants. As with any city, these workers head to be fed. And so, in came the wholesalers 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 of strawberries to cheese shops with their entire cheese-making operations on display; It's simply 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… Not entirely true, but there was one shop throwing packaged fish across the counter to a worker on the other side.
Not only is there fish flying through the air, but right there 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 truly 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, there was one shop that 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 the store, they were celebrating 38 years at the market. A good size line was just outside the store, but it was a must-visit. From excellent baguettes to the incredible assortment of Macrons, I could spend hours in there. What was most surprising was their Pumpkin Macron; now, I'm not one for pumpkin spice overload in the fall because moth 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. Now, 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, Coffee bar, gift store, bakery, and huge pizza ovens. If you like coffee, this is the place for you. You get the great strong smell of coffee right when you walk in, followed by the smell of 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 as we would wait for our car to be pulled around. The restaurant overlooked this vast waterfall, and it was truly a sight to see in the morning. We would time it just right to wake up early enough where the clouds would cover the entire region, then about midway through or 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 beehives, and for several dishes, there would be love involved. The waiter would come around with a pot of honey, a large spoon, and drizzle a large dollop of honey from above their head onto your plate; n it was not a gimmicky experience but a fascinating one. Upon our dinner, they also brought over complimentary bread, 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- a candle made of oil. As it melted, you'd be left with a great dipping oil for the bread. Phenomenal experience whether you're staying at the hotel or not.
Perhaps not necessarily as well-known as other cities for being a foodie destination, but most defiantly has its extraordinary foodie destinations in the city. Among other destinations 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.
"The Flying Chef"