Pike Place Market, Seattle

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  • Farmer Selling Fresh Produce
    Farmer Selling Fresh Produce
    by TooTallFinn24
  • Pike Place Market
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  • The famous Pike Place Fish Company
    The famous Pike Place Fish Company
    by TooTallFinn24
  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Disappointed

    by solopes Updated Sep 26, 2012

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Seattle - USA

    The book said that it was one of Seattle highlights, so we had to go there.

    Maybe it is something odd for the American way of life, but I must confess that I found no distinctive details comparing with dozens of Portuguese markets.

    Maybe because we arrived late? Maybe because we had excessively high expectations? I don't know. But what I saw was, for us, rather vulgar.

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    Huge fish, crustacean, and other seafood!

    by mingomatic Written Jun 6, 2012

    It's quite a cool place to visit! You can see the workers lobbing huge 30 pound fish across the market just for fun! I'm not sure as a tourist, you'd buy the fish since you'd have to have a place to cook it, but there are plenty of other chachkis you can buy there. It gets super crowded during regular hours, so I'd try to go early or late. Otherwise you'll be walking very slowly through the crowd, which you might be fine with if you're in no rush and you want to just get a feeling of how it is here. Don't forget that they have a downstairs part too where you can go eat and buy more stuff. It's usually much less crowded down there.

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    Pike Place Market: Fresh Food and Fun

    by TooTallFinn24 Written Dec 12, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Pike Place Market is a fascinating place to walk and shop. The market has an interesting history. Back in 1906 Seattle citizens were outraged by the cost of certain produce most notably onions. They felt that middlemen had increased the cost of onions over 10 times their value. So Thomas Revelle, a Seattle City Councilman, proposed a public market where farmers could sell their produce directly to customers. What involved beginning in the summer of 1907 was Pike Place Market, one of the first large scale public markets out west and a great place to walk around.

    The market is located on over nine acres just above the Alaska Viaduct Highway (a horrible freeway blocking views of the water). There are over 200 businesses who rent space in the market including over 100 farmers who rent space by the day. From fish, flowers, fresh fruit and vegetables, and many more items this market has it. What is particularly fun is to stroll around and hear the many performing musicians. Not just out in front of the market but all over the market. Great entertainment, fresh produce and a great location. No wonder everyone loves this place and so many VT'ers have provided a review.

    The first floor of the market is open Monday through Saturday 9 to 6 and Sundays 9 to 5. The down under stores have more varied hours but generally are open 11 to 5 daily.

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  • mingomatic's Profile Photo

    Look at the floors at the tiles

    by mingomatic Written Nov 17, 2011
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    The floor is covered with tile with names on them. Wonder who they are? They are people who at one time could donate $35, and have their names on that floor for years. There's even one for Heaven's Gate (the cult who committed mass suicide). Crazy!

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    Pike Place Market's flying, fresh fishes

    by Maria250 Updated Aug 19, 2011

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    At certain fish booths, the salesmen offer their fishes by throwing'em through the air, maybe to present the fishes' freshness? In fact their fishes are really fresh and tasty smelling!Anyway, keep an eye out for low-flying fishes at the Pike Place Market.

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    Pike Place Market's best bakery

    by Maria250 Updated Aug 19, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Purchased at Pike Place Market a few most delicious breadrolls made with yeast and almonds, pretty similar to the flavor of German "Hefezopf" but fortunately without raisins.

    Today the Pike Place Market is once again bustling, but the 100 or so farmers and fishmongers who set up shop on the premises are only a small part of the Market's attraction. More than 150 local craftspeople and artists can be found here, selling their creations as street performers serenade milling crowds. There are also hundreds of small specialty shops throughout the market, plus dozens of restaurants, including some of the city's best.

    -Frommer's Review

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    Pike Place Market

    by Maria250 Updated Aug 19, 2011

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    Pike Place Market, originally a farmers market, was founded in 1907 when housewives complained that middlemen were raising the prices of produce. The market allowed shoppers to buy directly from producers and thus save on grocery bills. By the 1960s, however, the market was no longer the popular spot it had been. World War II had deprived it of nearly half its farmers when Japanese Americans were moved to internment camps. The postwar flight to the suburbs almost spelled the end of the market, and the site was being eyed for a major redevelopment project. Fortunately, a grass-roots movement to save the 9-acre market culminated in its being declared a National Historic District.

    -Frommer's Review

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  • Homanded's Profile Photo

    From Flying fish to great restaurants

    by Homanded Updated Jul 13, 2011

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    Pike's market marquee
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    Seattle's premier tourist attraction, Pike's Market. According to Wikopedia and history we read on Pike's Market:

    "Pike Place Market is a public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle, Washington, United States. The Market opened August 17, 1907, and is one of the oldest continually operated public farmers' markets in the United States. It is a place of business for many small farmers, craftspeople and merchants. Named after the central street, Pike Place runs northwest from Pike Street to Virginia Street, and remains one of Seattle's most popular tourist destinations.

    Before the creation of the Pike Place Market in 1907, local Seattle area farmers sold their goods to the public in a three-square block area area called The Lots, located at Sixth Avenue and King Street. Most produce sold at The Lots would then be brought to commercial wholesale houses on Western Avenue, which became known as Produce Row. Most farmers, due to the amount of time required to work their farms, were forced to sell their produce on consignment through the wholesalers on Western Avenue.
    During the existence of the wholesale houses, which far predated the Market, there were regular rumors as well as instances of corruption in denying payment to farmers.

    On Saturday, August 17, 1907 City Council President Charles Hiram Burnett Jr., filling in for the elected mayor as Acting Mayor of Seattle, declared the day Public Market Day and cut the ribbon.
    Roughly ten farmers pulled up their wagons on a boardwalk adjacent to the Leland Hotel. The Times alleged several reasons for the low turnout of farmers: Western Avenue wholesale commission men who had gone to the nearby valleys and farms to buy all the produce out ahead of time to ruin the event; threats of violence by commission men against farmers; and farmers' fear of possible boycotts and lack of business with the commission men if the Market idea did not succeed in the long term. Hundreds of customers soon arrived, and before noon that day, all the farmers' produce had sold out".

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    Fodder for a Presentation.

    by grandmaR Updated Jun 11, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fish - 2011
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    The second day I was in Seattle, I did the trolley tour, and Pike Street Market. I got off the trolley at the waterfront and walked up the steps (the back door) to the market. It is a huge place - 9 acres. I think I bought some goodies there to take back to my room at the bakeries or some of the other food stores there.

    One of the signature sights to see at the Pike Street Market is the fish market section where the employees throw fish to each other. Of course since I had no kitchen facilities I did not linger long in the Fish Market.

    Later when we had to give a presentation to the group about the city, I bought a postcard and got my film developed so we would have some visual aids for the presentation.

    I was so impressed with the market that it was one of the sights I wanted to show my husband in 2011.

    After breakfast I went to the front desk and collected the wheelchair. We went out on 4th Street (the other entrance had steps), and Bob pushed me across to Pike Street and then down We passed several Starbucks and the Hard Rock, and then went into the Market.

    Bob pushed me through the first level past the flower shops, the vegetable shops (he said melons were more expensive) and the fish markets. We did see them tossing fish once, but I didn't get a picture. Actually pictures while Bob was pushing the wheelchair were a bit hard to get because it was somewhat dark. I did get a photo of a little boy on the back of a pig sculpture (photo 5). Then we went back to the hotel.

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  • HotSpotJ's Profile Photo

    The Famous Market

    by HotSpotJ Written Apr 5, 2011
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    Pike Place Market was my first stop in Seattle. A hustling, bustling mulit-level market filled with locals and tourists alike, it is a very unique place and has a ton to do and see with various shops inside. A must-see during any Seattle tourist visit.

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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    The heart and soul of Seattle

    by Jefie Updated Dec 2, 2010

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    Fresh produce at Seattle's Pike Place Market
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    While it's probably OK to skip the Space Needle, I think no visit to Seattle would be complete without stopping by Pike Place Market, the liveliest place in town! This farmer's market dates back to 1907, which makes it the oldest continuously operated market in the United States. The idea behind its creation was to create a space where customers would be able to meet directly with the farmers, thus eliminating the need for "middlemen" who would often raise prices for no reason and take home a large share of the profits. When the market first opened, about 10 farmers showed up and their stalls were immediately invaded by thousands of customers - needless to say, several more farmers showed up the next day!

    Today, Pike Place Market covers several blocks, roughly extending from the Waterfront to 1st Avenue, and from Pike Street to Virginia Street. You can easily spend an entire day walking around the market if you feel like shopping for fresh produce and flowers, arts and craft, fish, cheese, chocolate, coffee and spices, new and used books, and so much more! There are also several restaurants located in the market (we had lunch at the historic Athenian Inn - see my restaurants tips), and street performers of all kinds are there on a daily basis to entertain visitors. There truly is something for everyone at Pike Place Market!

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    Market Ghost Tours

    by Jefie Written Nov 11, 2010

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    The old funeral parlor's chapel
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    There are a few ghost tours offered in Seattle but since we'd already gone on the Underground Tour and learned about the history of Pioneer Square, we thought we'd go on the ghost tour that focuses on Pike Place Market. This 1-h tour took us inside the market at night, when it is eerily deserted, and we also visited some supposedly haunted spots on Post Alley and 1st Avenue. The tour included a lot of historical and factual information about the market itself, which was great. The ghost stories were all based on Mecedes Yaeger's research on the area's dark past and notorious former residents, such as Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard, suspected of having killed over 40 of her patients through starvation. We also visited a former funeral parlor that now houses a pub and a restaurant, both of which are said to be among the most haunted buildings in the Pacific Northwest. It was a very entertaining tour, but it was a little too short to really get in the right kind of mood. For this reason, it wasn't exactly the best ghost tour I've been on in the US, but it's still a fun way to start an evening in Seattle.

    Tickets cost $15 per person and tours run every night, rain or shine.

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    The "world famous" Pike Place Fish Market

    by Jefie Written Nov 7, 2010

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    The World Famous Pike Place Fish Market

    One of the top attractions at Pike Place Market is the self-dubbed "world famous" Pike Place Fish Market. Dating back to 1930, this seafood vendor wasn't much different from other fish markets until the 1980s, when the owner and employees decided to turn their little establishment into a world-famous affair - and pretty much succeeded! To save the place from bankruptcy, the fishmongers took up the habit of tossing fish around (see my little video) and bantering with the crowd that inevitably gathers around the shop. It eventually caught the attention of the media and was featured in several TV shows, and was even at the basis of John Christensen's FISH! Philosophy films and books about workplace management - they have since come up with their own motivational books and seminars. When you read about the history of the city, you discover that Seattleites have always had a knack for turning a profit even out of the least promising ventures - it would seem like Pike Place Fish Market is yet another one of Seattle's long list of successful stories!

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    Pike Place Market - Old Public Market

    by WulfstanTraveller Written Oct 12, 2010

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    This is one of the key sites of Seattle and one of the great old vestiges of the city's past. In fact, this is a fairly unusual hold-over from older-style urban life, one which many cities in the US once had but which has all too rarely survived, at least in original form. Many cities have rebuilt such markets today, as in San Francisco, whilst others has kept the old public-market buildings but turned them to others uses, such as Sacramento. One of the greatest things about Seattle is that it has kept its actual old public market, which has expanded greatly to take up a large portion of this part of downtown.

    It is, of course, touristy, but one should overlook that to enjoy what this is and what it has. It is, after all, touristy for good reason. It is also crowded, but that is part of the inherent nature of these places - one wouldn't want to go to one that was devoid of people. It is a hold-over from a past, pedestrian-oriented, denser public life when people of all walks intermingled and shopped and ate together, a very old-world quality that once thrived in this country but which rapidly began to die out in the 20th century, especially after WWII and with the spread of automobiles and supermarkets and mass-produced pre-packaged food and the demise of home cooking.

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    You Can Find It Here!

    by Donna_in_India Updated Mar 10, 2010

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    Pike Place Market Pig
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    Pike Place Market is over 100 years old, nine acres large, and attracts 10 million visitors a year. It is called the Soul of Seattle and today it is considered America's premier Farmer's Market with almost 200 craftspeople and 100+ farmers. You can buy everything from flowers to king crabs to kitchy souvenirs here. Lots of unusual shops and good restaurants (all kinds) too. Street performers and little "performances" by some of the vendors as well. You can spend hours poking around in this market!

    All year round the Market is open seven days a week, closing only on Thanksgiving, Christmas and NewYear's Day. The merchants set their own hours, so it's a good idea to check the shopping and dining guides before going to visit a specific shop or stall. Generally, restaurants stay open later and during the peak farm season, farmers are frequently set up and ready to sell by 8:00 a.m. or earlier.

    Check the website for vendor maps, special events, and information on the Market Heritage Tours offered.

    Parking at the Market is also very easy. The Market garage at 1531 Western Avenue is just down the hill from Victor Steinbrueck Park and offers affordable parking rates. Some Market merchants offer parking validation - ask as you shop. Parking is free from some restaurants after 5:00 p.m. There are also a number of other parking lots, both on First Avenue and along Western Avenue.

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