It’s not supposed to be fancy.
Born in 1907 as a way for local farmers to escape the middleman chokehold of commission houses, Pike Place Market evolved into our civic grocer, a cheerful tangle of buildings and ethnicities. Adrift and run down by midcentury, it escaped demolition, thanks to a passionate public campaign. With historical status came public funds, and a dizzying amount of rules to ensure our market remains a place for people who raise, produce, or make what they sell; a place that bolsters the smallest-scale farmers and artisans rather than burnish the big names.
And yes, there are tourists. In the summer months especially, the market pulses with people from everywhere. But look past the masses and you’ll find fascinating stories, heartfelt meals, a stunning new wing that offers views and elbow room, and—most importantly—our city’s most dynamic institution.