Throwing Fish Images at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington

Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington

Fish being displayed and sold at Pike Place Market
Fish being displayed and sold at Pike Place Market | Source


Seattle, Washington

Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington has become a tourist attraction where fish mongers entertain visitors and shoppers by throwing fish to one another and engaging people in conversation by way of entertainment and a type of drama not seen in many other places.

In addition, there is so much more to be explored and enjoyed in this oldest continually operating farmer's market in the United States. One should not miss seeing it if visiting Seattle.

People living in Seattle know that the freshest of seafood as well as flowers, fruits, vegetables and other sundry items can be located and purchased at that locale.

My mother, niece and I began a 15 day vacation by flying to Seattle in July of 1989.

We settled into the downtown Sheraton Hotel and walked to the famous Pike Place Market which was only blocks away.


Pike Place Market

All kinds of offerings from the sea!
All kinds of offerings from the sea! | Source
Flowers in the market
Flowers in the market | Source
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My traveling companions
My traveling companions | Source
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Pike Place Market


Cobble-stoned streets lead to the historic market and it was first begun around 1907.


As a reaction to middlemen taking much of the profits, the farmers and fishermen decided that they could collectively display and sell their own "catch of the day" as well as produce and get to keep more of the money for themselves.


In 1971 the market had become very old and rundown and the city fathers had decided that it should be demolished.


There was such a citizen outcry that the market was saved by the voters of Seattle who loved the history and idea of keeping it open for future generations. Besides...they liked to shop there!


Pike Place Market is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


The area consists of 7+ acres of everything from hawkers tossing and selling fish to restaurants, craft shops, fruit and vegetable markets to musicians and other entertainers adding to the noise, smells, color and ambiance of this historic place.


There are 250 businesses that are permanent and up to 200 people who rent spaces to sell their crafts.


One can see mounds of iced down fresh crab legs, fish of every size and description, bratwurst and other "wurst's", a wide assortment of cheeses, brightly polished and colorful fruits as well as vegetables.


The aromas of coffee beans and spices of every variety are mixed with the sweet smells coming from the flower stall vendors. Hundreds of food items tempt a visitor to Pike Place Market.


It is a vibrant mix of people, languages, sights, sounds and scents.


One could spend a good portion of a day there shopping, dining and sightseeing.


The backside of the market borders the waterfront of Elliott Bay and many restaurants offer a view along with their proffered food and drinks.


After looking over the selection of restaurants we chose to have lunch at The Athenian Inn which had been in business since 1909. Its address is 1517 Pike Place and the hours of operation were from early in the morning until 7:00pm in the evening.


In addition to old fashioned recipes like clam hash, kippers and omelets, they served lobsters, steaks and more. For refreshments, they had an old fashioned soda fountain; numerous wines from the Northwest and a huge selection of beers ( 150 of them! ) from around the world with 16 of them on tap.


I enjoyed a wonderful order of fresh sea bass with a sweet and sour sauce which was delicious. My mother and niece enjoyed their selections as well.


Suggestion...If you desire to check out Pike Place Market for yourself, parking is very limited ... so plan to take a cab or have someone drop you off and arrange to pick you up at an agreed upon time.


Anyone visiting Seattle needs to check out Pike Place Market for the entertainment value of seeing the fish being thrown as well as experiencing the vibrant farmer's market atmosphere which has made this the historic spot where people gather whether they are sightseeing or purchasing their fish and veggies and flowers for dinner that night.

Pike Place Market photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Restaurants and other shops at Pike Place Market Crab legs on ice Fresh fruit at farmer's market pricesGood looking fresh vegetables
Restaurants and other shops at Pike Place Market
Restaurants and other shops at Pike Place Market | Source
Crab legs on ice
Crab legs on ice | Source
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Fresh fruit at farmer's market prices
Fresh fruit at farmer's market prices | Source
Good looking fresh vegetables
Good looking fresh vegetables | Source
A markerPike Place Market -
Pike Place Market, 1501 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101-1542, USA
[get directions]

Pike Place Market - The Soul of Seattle

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© 2009 Peggy Woods

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Comments 26 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Robert,

It does look as though the fish mongers in Pikes Place Market enjoy the throwing of the fish as much as customers like viewing it. :)


Robert Sacchi profile image

Robert Sacchi 7 months ago

Good article. I learned about the Pike Place Market in a lunch and learn where they had a video about the tossing fish. The idea was ways to make the workplace more fun.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Valene,

Practice, practice, practice! That must be the key to catching those slippery fish being tossed about at Pikes Place Market. I did not see any hit the floor when we were there. Obviously it must happen occasionally. :) Thanks for your comment.


Valene profile image

Valene 3 years ago from Missouri

I visited Seattle for the first time a couple years ago and just loved it! I don't know how those guys learn to catch those fish.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi moonlake,

It definitely was a different experience for us visiting the Pike Place Market and seeing the throwing of the fish. Interesting entertainment! Ha! It is a huge place and is great for the locals as well as tourists who visit Seattle. Thanks for your comment and share.


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