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Pike Place Public Market, Seattle

Seattle (Alaska Post Cruise) . 2012 . September 25

This post is part of our Alaska Pre and Post Cruise Report and follow-up of our popular Alaska cruise series. Do check out our Alaska Cruise story too if this is your first time here! :)

Pike Place Public Market is the one of the most iconic attraction in Seattle.  It is also the oldest continuously-operated market in the United States.  The market started operating on 17 August 1907, making it 106 years old this year!  The market is built at the edge of the Seattle Central Business District, at the edge of a steep hill.

From a distance, it is quite impossible to miss the large Pike Place signage sitting on the roof of the market.

Pike Place Public Market may be popular with the tourists and enjoys a visitorship of 10 million per year, but it started out with as little as eight farmers selling their produce in the beginning. The market is now home to more than 200 businesses, 190 crafts people and about 100 farmers.

Before we continue, here's a map to get some orientation with the area map before we start our walk.. :). Pike Place Chowder is located at the bottom left of the map (along Lower Post Alley). You may want to check out our review here. You should be able to find the first starbucks store along Pike Place to the middle right of the map.

The Pike Place Public Market is renowned for its fresh seafood and produce, so you’ll see plenty of such stalls around.  They’ll even wrap it and box it in airplane-safe containers for you!   

Lots of fresh fishes in the market. The stalls are proud to display signs that they sell 100% sustainable seafood.

Nice meeting the Alaskan King Crab here again right after our trip to Alaska.

World Famous Pike Place Fish

Among the myriad of stalls selling fresh seafood in the market, Pike Place Fish is the one you should look out for.  This world famous store is featured in inspirational books and training videos about team work at the work place and customer satisfaction.  One such video is ‘FiSH!’ which I remembered watching during a corporate retreat.   Pike Place Fish is also used as case studies in business schools and universities.   All over the world, people try to study and emulate the success formula of Pike Place Fish.

If you are at Pike Place Public Market, remember to drop by Pike Place Fish for a few minutes and observe the staff performing their world famous ‘Flying Fish’ stunt.  In fact, I think they throw fish around just for the amusement of tourists. They have a "Fishmonger Theater" on their website where they show live webcams of the actions at their stall. Who know, you might catch them doing the stunt without visiting! :)

Tip: Pike Place Fish is located near to the entrance at the Main Arcade at Pike Place Public Market.

Stalls after stalls of fresh and gleaming seafood, fruits and vegetables. the choices are wide enough to fascinate you.  It’s not hard to understand why Pike Place Public Market is so popular with locals and tourists.

 Not too sure what this is..think it is some dried fruits and vegetables??

The Pike Place Public Market gets its reputation from fresh seafood and produce, but the flowers here are not to be missed too!  Fresh and with vibrant colors, these huge bouquets of flowers starts from only $5 each! Guys, you know what to do.... 

There's a stall selling all kinnds of stuffs from cherries too.

At the Northeast Corner of the Main Arcade is where you find rows of vendors selling all kinds of things imaginable, from souvenirs and artwork to accessories and antiques.   It is hard to describe, but Pike Place Public Market has a feel and a soul of its own, effectively differentiating itself from its counterparts Granville Public Market in Vancouver and Sydney Fish Market.

Spacious walkway to relax and shop at the stalls.

How about getting some beautiful volcanic ash sculptures?

 You could buy your souvenirs to bring back home for friends and colleagues too.

Be sure to have a look at the waterfront and Elliot Bay at Pike Place Public Market.

Pike Place Public Market is not just a place for fabulous selection of fresh produce and street food.  It is also a haven for street-performing artists.  See if you can catch a glimpse of Thomas the Balloon Man at Pike Place Public Market, or Jonny Hahn the Piano Man.  Jonny had been playing on his movable 64-key piano at the market for the past 25 years! His favorite playing spot is at the corner of Pike Place and Pine Street, but it seems that Thomas has taken his spot today! :)

There are plenty of restaurants and eateries in and around the market.  The Chinese pastries and BBQ Pork Buns at Mee Sum Pastry are a must-try!  Unfortunately, we didn’t know that this is a famous store and didn’t try it.

Remember to pay a visit to the original Starbucks Coffee Store at 1912 Pike Place, which is just across the road from the Public Market.

How to Get To Pike Place Public Market

It is relative easy to get to the Pike Place Public Market from Westlake Sound Transit Link Light Rail Station. The walk from the station to the market is only four blocks away from the market. You may also take Metro (Seattle's great public bus system) that will drop you off near the Market on First Avenue or Pine Street.

The following map is the same one that we shared in our original Starbucks store article. The market is just opposite the starbucks store.
You may want to go to the Market’s Information booth located on Pike St. about 100 feet in front of the Public Market clock and sign to pick up a map.

Pike Place Public Market

1st and Pike St.
Seattle, WA 98101
Open Daily
Farmers: 9 am – 4 pm
Crafts Market: 10 am – 4 pm
Seafood: 7 am – 6 pm
Market Shops: 10 am – 6 pm
Restaurants: 6 am-2 am; hours vary by restaurant.

This post is part of our Alaska Pre and Post Cruise Report and follow-up of our popular Alaska cruise series. Do check out our Alaska Cruise story too if this is your first time here! :)

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