Recently I visited Seattle for the weekend. As always, I researched what to do on a few of my favorite blogs and found a few activities I was really excited about. The number one thing on my list was Pike Place Market. I’ve always loved markets and this one in particular peeked my interest because locals especially love this place and after all, I am the writer of Like A Local Traveler.
That being said, my list ended up being three pages long of things I wanted to do at and around the market. It took me three trips to the market to finish my list, but I did. Afterwards, I realized something. All of these 100 things to do lists online make me feel overwhelmed and disappointed when I cannot complete the list, which is why I came up with 5 things you should do while visiting’s Pike Place Market. Do 1, do all 5… I know either way you will have a great time exploring, because after all, isn’t the experience of exploring the real reason we travel.
1. Hmong Flower Stalls
In the Market it is impossible not to see stalls run by Hmong growers with their beautiful cut flowers and arrangements. These booths bring incredible color to an already vibrant local attraction. For many shoppers, weekly purchases would not be complete without an arrangement or two. And why not? Starting at $5 and rarely exceeding $20, a beautiful bouquet can be had at a great price. I spent $2 and purchased two red Dahlias that made my room bright for my entire trip. You do not have to purchase a single bloom to appreciate the beauty. Spend time perusing the interesting bouquet combinations to really gain an understand of why this made it on my must see list.
2. Local Artist Crafts Market
The Crafts Market began more than 40 years ago and now represents 225 local and regional craftspeople. Since its beginnings in the late 60s, this dynamic and diverse group has become an integral part of the Pike Place Market community. The daily crafts market provides the opportunity to discover unique, local and handcrafted items and is one of the largest and most diverse in the U.S.
Take time to explore the ever-changing tables of crafts that line the Main and North Arcade. Discover one-of-a-kind apparel, pottery, sculpture, painting, jewelry and leather goods. There are toys and natural herbal products (the lilac booth was divine) and body care made from local ingredients (like honey). All items are handcrafted and have been screened to ensure that they meet the Market’s rigorous guidelines for handmade products.
Meet the artisans behind the work on display. Hearing about the artistic process will make you appreciate the local artistry even more because you will learn about the materials used and the craft applied to each and every unique piece. The boot socks I purchased were made by a mom of twin boys that is rolling every penny of profit into their college fund. Check out her online store here.
3. Indi Chocolate
On the 5th floor of Pike Place Market sits a wonderful quaint boutique selling hand-crafted, small batch chocolate. If you love chocolate and shopping local, well then this is the place for you.
This unique store has more than chocolate bars, with items such as luxurious chocolate body care (lotion, soap, and sugar scrub) spice rubs, cacao nibs, cacao beans and even lip balm. You can do more than just shop in this store because they host some really interesting classes that feature things like tastings, mixology, baking and how to be an at home chocolatier.
Local Tip: They are expanding into a larger space in the Market in 2017 and visitors will be able to view their whole production process, so keep an eye out!
This compact Russian bakery is a must see and believe me the line out the door is worth it. After being suggested to me by tons of my Instagram followers, I added this to my list and I was sure glad I did. With a variety of sweet and savory pastries to choose from, you will be left having to make a hard decision about what to order. I suggest the apple cinnamon roll or smoked salmon piroshky. Both are a delish flaky masterpiece that will have you wanting to get back in line.
If baked goods aren’t your thing for some reason, I suggest stopping by just to see the piroshkies being made from scratch through their large kitchen windows. I was amazed to see how fast the employees were at making the pastries, it was poetry in motion.
5. Athenian Inn
This local restaurant and bar was opened in 1909 (2 years after the Market opened) as a bakery but has been updated multiple times since then to a tavern and now a restaurant. Over half a century ago the neon sign was hung over the front door and it has never been moved or replaced.
Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I suggest brunch! I had the smoked salmon eggs benedict and a mimosa, which was phenomenal. Seafood is definitely their strong suit, so order something that features it. Make sure to ask for a seat by the window to enjoy the stunning view of Puget Sound as well. Your camera will thank me.
Well, that’s my top 5 Pike Place Market must see list. What do you think? Is there something you would add? I would love to hear from you.