Seattle's Pike Place Market
The Pike Place Market
The Pike Place Market - The Soul of Seattle
One of my favorite places to go in Seattle is the Pike Place Market. It is the top Seattle attraction for visitors to the city and is also enjoyed by the local residents of Seattle and the surrounding area. The Pike Place Market was established in 1907 and is one of the oldest farmer's markets in the US.
The market's motto is "Meet the Producer". In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, visitors can find fresh flowers, honey, local fish and seafood, bakeries, butcher shops, dried fruits, candy, wine, beer, restaurants, hotels, artists, crafters, street musicians and much more. It is also the home of the original Starbuck's coffee shop. An afternoon strolling through the market can be an entertaining and inexpensive way to sample the foods and culture of Seattle.
All Photos by Vicki Green - PNW Travels unless otherwise credited
Rachel the Pig Welcomes Visitors
The Unofficial Mascot of the Pike Place Market
Upon entering the main entrance of the Pike Place Market at the end of Pike Street I was greeted by Rachel the pig. Rachel is the unofficial mascot of the market. She is a 550 pound bronze piggy bank who has been at the market since August 17, 1986. She was sculpted by Washington State artist Georgia Gerber, and was modeled after a real pig named Rachel. Next to Rachel the piggy bank, you will see hoof prints made from casts of the hooves of the real Rachel the pig. Every year visitors drop approximately $5,000- $10,000 into Rachel which is donated to the Pike Place Market Foundation to help fund social services at the market.
Is the Pike Place Market the Most Popular Attraction in Seattle?
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Pike Place Market Facts
Established in 1907
One of the oldest farmer's markets in continuous operation in the US
Listed on the US National Register of Historic Places
Over 10 million visitors each year
Who was Pike?....
and why did they name a market after him?
Well, no one really intentionally named the market after Pike. It was only an accident of location that the Seattle's "Public Market Center" became known as the Pike Place Market. The name orginated from the fact that the main entrance to the market is located at the end of Pike Street and the street that provides the main access to the market was named Pike Place. Pike Street was named after John Pike, an early Seattle pioneer and builder, but he was NOT involved in the creation of the market that now bears his last name. By the way, the surest way to reveal oneself as a tourist is to call it the "Pikes" Place Market.
To the locals it is simply the Pike Place Market or "the market".
A Tour of the Pike Place Market - A Virtual Visit
Where is the Pike Place Market?
The Pike Place Market encompasses a several block area just west of 1st Ave. The main entrance is at the intersection of First Ave. and Pike Street.
Soul of the City, by Alice Shorett and Murray Morgan
Author Alice Shorett began studying the history of Seattle's Pike Place Market several decades ago and co-author Murray Morgan (1916-2000) was a best-selling author of many histories about the Pacific Northwest including "Skid Road". This history of the market includes many photos and stories about the individuals who fought to preserve it.
The History of the Pike Place Market
For those who are interested in learning more about the history of the Pike Place Market, I recommend reading "Soul of the City" written in 2007 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the market.
The Pike Place Fish Company Counter
Pike Place Fish Company
Home of flying fish
No visit to the market would be complete without a few minutes spent watching the employees of the Pike Place Fish Market as they throw fish back and forth over the counter. Originally it started as a quick way to pass a fish that had been sold from one employee behind the counter to another in front of the counter, but it has become an entertainment act which has made the Pike Place Fish Company "World Famous". The Pike Place Fish Company is just inside the main entrance of the market off Pike Street under the clock and right behind Rachel the Pig.
Pike Place Fish Company Video - Watch the flying fish!
John Yokoyama tells the story of how he changed his business and his life by making a decision to change his way of dealing with his employees by taking a personal interest in them and by creating his vision of becoming a "world famous" fish market and sharing it with them.
When Fish Fly - Written by John Yokoyama
John Yokoyama, the owner of Seattle's Pike Place Fish Company, writes in his book about how he turned his struggling Seattle fish market into a success through changing his attitude toward his employees, his customers and himself.
Vegetables and Fruits at the Market
Beautiful Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Vendors at the market display their fruits and vegetables beautifully. The produce is local whenever possible, but obviously no farmer can have a ripe watermelon available that was grown in the Seattle area in the middle of winter. No matter when you visit the market, everything is always of the highest quality, beautifully displayed and delicious!
Restaurants in the Pike Place Market - Casual take-out or Fine Dining? Check out just a few of the choices.Click thumbnail to view full-size
More Good Things to Eat From the Pike Place Market - Handmade cheese, jam, jelly, smoothies, pasta and bakery goods!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Have a cup of coffee where Starbuck's began.
The Original Starbucks Coffee Shop
Actually the flagship Starbucks at the Pike Place Market is not the location of the original Starbuck's. The original shop was opened on March 31, 1971 at 2000 Western Avenue. It moved to this current location at 1912 Pike Place in 1976 before the company was known outside of Seattle WA.
Classic Starbucks Coffee Mugs - Collector's Items on eBay
Starbucks Coffee cups and mugs have become popular collector's items. I was astonished to discover that some rare ones sell for over a hundred dollars on eBay.
Sur La Table - Visit the original Sur La Table
Gourmet Kitchen Supplies at Sur La Table
The original Sur La Table was founded in 1972 at the Pike Place Market by Shirley Collins. Sur La Table has grown to have stores in over 70 locations in 27 states and the District of Columbia. You can still see the original Sur La Table on Pine Street at the Pike Place Market in Seattle WA.
Street Musicians and Performers at the Pike Place Market - Buskers and EntertainmentClick thumbnail to view full-size
Fresh Flowers - Colorful and fragrant
Fresh Flowers at the Market
I love flowers, so one of my favorite things at the market is all of the flower vendors. A beautiful, fresh bouquet of flowers at a bargain price!
More Pike Place Market Facts
240 Street Musicians and Performers
Handmade Craft Items - Unique gifts and souvenirs
More unique handmade craft items - Choose from Leather goods, jewelry, glassware, pottery and moreClick thumbnail to view full-size
Get a Portrait of Yourself
Artists at work
Buy a portrait of yourself or a famous person
There are always many artists at the market. You can watch some of them as they create their masterpieces. You can even have your portrait done!
More Artists and Art - Casual and inexpensive or world famous!
Ed Newbold, Wildlife Artist
Ed Newbold, a world renowned artist,who specializes in wildlife art, especially species of the Pacific Northwest. His shop has been at the Pike Place Market since 1982 where he sells prints, posters and cards featuring his paintings
Artist Ed Newbold's Website - See more of Ed Newbold's Art
- Ed Newbold | Fine Wildlife Art
I'm a Wildlife Artist living in Seattle, WA with a small store at the entrance of the Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle, where I have had a retail outlet for 28 years.
Patrick Kerr Pen and Ink Sketches
Patrick Kerr's Pen and Ink Drawings
Take home a drawing of a local scene
Patrick Kerr is an artist who specializes in beautiful pen and ink sketches of local scenes. His shop is located in the Pike Place Market in space #323.
More Interesting Things to See and Do - Always unique and colorfulClick thumbnail to view full-size
Christmas at the Pike Place Market - A great place to find unique Christmas GiftsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Take a Tour of the Pike Place Market
Walking Tours of the Market
Learn More with a Guided Tour
Seattle's Pike Place Market is a great place to wander around on your own for free, but if you would like to get more out of your visit to the market, you can take a guided walking tour.
1. Pike Place Market Food and Cultural Walking Tour - Eat your way through Seattle's most celebrated culinary landmark -- the Pike Place Market. Go behind the scenes on a walking tour to experience some of the city's favorite market spots. Taste locally made foods and beverages that will awaken your palate, meet and interact with the exceptional people that give the market life and hear their humble, often humorous stories, or
2. Historic Walking Tour of Pike Place Market Learn about the rich history of Seattle's famous Pike Place Market on this 1-hour walking tour. Your professional local guide will tell you intriguing tales and interesting facts as you're led through the many sections and rows of this bustling market, as well as the lower levels where hidden treasures await.
Pike Place Market Website Links
- Pike Place Market - Market Map & Directory
Pike Place Market Map and Directory with location, directions, hours of operation and other visitor information.
- The Pike Place Market Foundation
The Pike Place Market Foundation works to preserve the traditions and diversity of the Pike Place Market neighborhood by supporting the Market's human service agencies for low-income and elderly residents of downtown Seattle.
Inn at the Market - Stay in a luxury hotel
The Inn at the Market
The Inn at the Market is a top rated luxury hotel located right at the Pike Place Market.
The Green Tortoise Hostel
Affordable Lodging at the Market
If you are on a tight budget
If you are looking for funky and inexpensive lodging, The Green Tortoise Hostel is on Pike Street less than a block away from the main entrance to the Pike Place Market.
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