During our trip to Seattle, one of the places I liked the best was the Pike Place Market. It’s obviously a must visit destination for anyone spending time there, but I expected to spend an hour or so browsing, and then get on with the rest of the trip.
What actually happened was that we kept finding ourselves back there each day, finding new things each time. It helped that our hotel was just a few blocks away, but each morning when we set out for the day, we found ourselves first heading for Pike Place.
The main thing that kept us coming back was the food. There were so many amazing places to eat in and around the market that we couldn’t have tried them all in 3 days, but we did our best.
Our first morning we stopped at a little shop in a back alley near the market and ate the most amazing breakfast sandwiches. I don’t even like breakfast sandwiches, but I loved this place.
I actually bought all of the ingredients this past weekend to try to re-create it at home (sharp cheddar, eggs, tomato, fresh basil, english muffin), and it tasted exactly the same. I may or may not have eaten one for every single meal for the last two days.
One of the things I loved about Seattle was how they used their back alleys. Some of the best places we found were tucked away down cute little alleys, and it was such a good use of the space.
We also tried chocolate hazelnut pastries from Piroshky Piroshky. This little bake shop is right across the street from Pike’s Place, and it’s one of a few places (including the original Starbucks) where there is always a line.
As we were strolling by I remember thinking that there was no way anything they sold in there could be worth waiting that long, and then I think I must have blacked out because the next thing I knew, I was overcome by the aroma of fresh baking and found myself in line.
If you do go to Piroshky, try to creep into the little shop before getting in line, so you can get a sense of what you might want to order. I was so fascinated watching them make all of the pastries through that window that once I got inside and it was my turn, I realized I had no idea what I wanted.
The line moves quickly, and I didn’t want to be the person to hold it up, so I just panicked and blurted out that I wanted “the one with chocolate”.
Just down the street, right on the corner is a cheese shop, where you can watch cheese being made through the window, and also sneak in for samples. In our case, we snuck in for samples a LOT.
They also made amazing macaroni and cheese and other snacks, and we bought some and camped out on the curb, people watching and enjoying the deliciousness. There were street magicians, people in all kinds of different outfits, and a man playing dirty songs on piano on the street corner.
In addition to the food (let’s be real, it was mostly about the food) the flowers they sold at the market were gorgeous. There were rows and rows of florists selling enormous, colourful bouquets for five dollars a piece.
Every morning I almost bought one, but it seemed like a shame to buy it to have it sit in the hotel room, and then have to leave it behind.
We also checked out the gum wall (it’s cool, but if you stop to think about it for any amount of time, it’s horrifying) and made friends with the fish vendor at the farmers market.
Even with all the time we spent exploring the area, I’m sure there are lots of things we didn’t get a chance to try, but I’m pretty satisfied with our choices.