Last year, Ryan Reiter launched an open-air food hall along Ninth Ave in South Lake Union, a developing neighborhood punctuated by high-rises and tech campuses. There’s not much in the way of a farmer’s market scene, but Reiter, whose family has long organized the Ballard Farmers Market and Fremont Sunday Market, still wanted to bring something different to the area.
“The goal is to make it like a fun food camp almost,” says Reiter. Leave your sleeping bags at home, folks, but do bring a sense of adventure. This time around, the South Lake Union Saturday Market will have near-weekly rotating themes, like Night Market or Island Style or Ice Cream Social. Those Saturdays will have popups with 10 to 15 local shops gathered for the one-off event. Take the Ice Cream Social on July 29, when Sweet Bumpas, Susu Thai Rolled Ice Cream, Snoqualmie Ice Cream, and perhaps even the soon-to-be-in-Seattle scoop shop Salt and Straw will converge for a frozen dessert–filled day.
Other changes include location. Making way for construction, the market will move off its previous Ninth Ave spot to the South Lake Union Discovery Center lawn a mere five feet away. The SLU Saturday Market will maintain its outdoor food market vibes with 40 booths dedicated to food vendors like Puffle Up (Hong Kong–style puffed waffles), Fire and Scrape, and Ono Bakery bringing the ube-infused Hawaiian baked goods. Other booths will have fresh items, crafts, or take-away pantry goods such as honey from Shipwreck Apiaries and even caviar from Ballard Caviar Company.