Pike Place Market in Seattle is without a doubt one of the defining centers of the city. Overlooking Elliot Bay, it is one of the oldest continually operated public farmers’ markets in the United States.
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. Filled with craftsmen, farmers, fishermen, and merchants, this eclectic strip of pavement from Pike to Virginia Street is quintessential Seattle for many who’ve visited its stalls.
Some of its attractions include the original Starbucks, still preserved as it was in 1977, the fishmongers who hurl fish to one another rather than walk them around the stalls, the ever-present buskers, and Rachel, a bronze-cast piggy bank. Think she’s just for looks? She’s not. Rachel receives roughly $6,000-$9,000 annually in all types of world currency which is collected by the Market Foundation to fund the market’s social services.
In addition to various notable food stalls, this strip of eight blocks is home to numerous bars and restaurants, many serving the produce and foodstuffs on display right outside their doors. Pike Place Market is a perfect place to spend an afternoon getting to know a little of the real Seattle, and to take stock of what is happening in this vibrant community.