Exactly what to eat and do at the iconic Pike Place Market, according to a Seattle native
- Pike Place Market is one of Seattle's most famous tourist attractions.
- But even though it's a major tourist hub, there are also many hidden local gems to be found and enjoyed there.
- From a cheese store where you can watch cheese being made to an indie bookstore where the owner sings to guests, these are the places worth visiting at Pike Place Market.
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When someone asks me what they should do on a trip to Seattle, I always tell them to go to Pike Place Market.
Yes, Pike Place is very touristy. It has been very touristy for a very long time, but it's been home to some of Seattle's most interesting small shops and restaurants for even longer.
As a kid, I often went to Pike Place with my family on weekends. I'd get three flavored honey sticks for a dollar and nibble down the sweet plastic tubes as I browsed stuffed marine animals and colorful hand-knitted shawls.
Over the years, Pike Place has gotten more and more crowded. Shops and stands have come and gone, while some have remained the same. Some have gotten worse.
A major expansion and renovation was completed in 2018, allowing the market to accommodate an ever-growing number of visitors.
Through all these changes, my love for Pike Place has remained constant. Inside its winding, sloping maze of halls, there's always an unusual book or a tasty morsel to discover. Plus, its diversity showcases the history of the immigrants - Russian, Chinese, Turkish, Iranian, among many - that made Seattle the vibrant city it is today.
I'm going to take you on a whirlwind journey of the spots that make Pike Place Market one of my favorite places in the Emerald City.