Local’s Guide to the Pike Place Market

The Pike Place Market has 104 years of history, 240 stalls, shops, and restaurants, at least four ghosts, two pigs, countless hidden treasures, and more.

Edited by Jessica Voelker May 20, 2011 Published in the June 2011 issue of Seattle Met

ORGANIC. THAT’S THE WORD people who work at Pike Place Market use to describe it. They’re not only talking about vegetables. The Market is always transforming: Just when you think you have a handle on who runs the place, or what business goes where, it changes up on you, and you discover something new about it—some historical conflict that shines a light on its confounding configuration, some curious character who whispers one of its countless secrets into your ear.

And so, knowing that we could never pin down Seattle’s beloved landmark—without a doubt the greatest farmers market in America—we’ve used this space to tell you about the many discoveries we’ve made there. We went deep down among the merchants, sampled our way through the farm and food stalls, blushed at bawdy cabaret acts, and snuck around in the early hours, when the Market is dewy and silent and you can’t help but imagine all the lives lived there, behind the twinkling bars and inside all those creaky kitchens. Here is the Pike Place Market as we found it, today. But remember that even as you read this, it is changing. That’s the magic of Pike Place Market. It’s alive.


Vendor’s Market
A brief guide to the people who sell the freshest food in Pike Place.
Market Insider: Shopping with the Chef
Canlis toque Jason Franey’s favorite stalls and shops.
Critic’s Market
Dining picks from Seattle Met’s restaurant reviewer.
Market Insider: Noontime Fuel-Up
Casual Market lunches with enough octane to power an afternoon of exploration.


Meet the Mayor
Pike Place through the eyes of Michael Yaeger, its honorary mayor.
The Day the Market Almost Died (Again)
And the family that saved it (twice).
Market Insider: Meet the Ghosts
Mercedes Yaeger, owner of Market Ghost Tours, introduces Pike Place’s most distinguished ghosts.
Found Among the Merchants
One trip, 18 treasures: a sampling of the strange and wonderful objects for sale at the market every day.
104 Years Of Fortitude
How the Market survived war, riots, and one reckless cab driver.


A Day in the Life of the Market
From the moment the first farmer parks his truck on Pike Place until the last bartender locks up his stock, the Market teems with life 22 hours a day.
Imbiber’s Market
Drinking picks from Seattle Met’s bars and nightlife blogger.
Market Insider: Pike Place Performers
Four entertainers who embody the weird and wonderful tradition of performing in the market.
15 Market Things Every Visitor Should Do
Show Comments