Whether you’re looking to do some Christmas shopping or grab a quick bite to eat, Pike Place is an essential destination for both locals and visitors of Seattle. The historic district has come a long way since its creation and shows no signs of slowing down.
If you’re thinking of stopping by this iconic part of town, here are some of the top shops to look forward to.
History of Pike Place
Around the turn of the century, Seattle attracted a large influx of fishermen, shipbuilders and merchants. With the sudden population increase came a growing demand for fresh produce, dairy and eggs.
Farmers in the area struggled to stay in business because they were forced to sell through wholesalers, instead of directly to consumers. As the price of produce rose, both the farmers and citizens grew increasingly frustrated.
As a solution, the city council, led by President Thomas Revelle, passed an ordinance designating the west side of Pike’s Place a public farmers market. The market held it’s opening day in August of 1907, and it soon became a destination for citizens looking to shop and save money on food. Within two years, an average of 64 farmers and 300,000 visitors flocked to the market each month.
Eventually, a developer named Frank Goodwin purchased Pike Place Market and implemented several improvements, like covering the sidewalk and constructing arcades.
In 1941, a farmer named Joe Desimone purchased the main arcades of Pike Place and helped it survive through the economic hardships of World War II. After the war, a rise in supermarkets and suburbs caused the market to lose business and fall into disrepair.
In 1963, the Central Association of Seattle brought forth a proposal to demolish Pike Place and replace it with office space, hotels and a parking garage. However, an architect named Victor Steinbrueck rallied the city into a public outcry.
In November of 1971, the city agreed to designate the 17-acre plot of land as an official historic district. The Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority was formed a few years later to manage the buildings’ upkeep and preservation.
Today, the market stands as one of Seattle’s prime attractions for locals and visitors alike.
Things to Do
At Pike Place, you’ll never run out of things to do. Whether you’re looking to eat, shop or both, you’re sure to find whatever you’re looking for.
- Farmers market: At any one of the Pike Place Market’s five downtown locations, you can find local produce, dairy products, eggs, flowers, meat and more. Whether you’re looking for a specific item or just browsing around, you’re sure to find something fresh and local.
- Specialty foods: Pike Place also features several specialty food shops for the adventurous shopper. Explore the various possibilities of specialty truffle oil, herbed vinegar, spices, grains and olive oil. You can also shop for products from countries around the world.
- Craft market: Delicious foods aren’t the only things you can buy at the Pike Place Market. You can also shop for a wide range of crafts, including jewelry, pottery, clothing, toys, beauty products and much more. When you shop for crafts at Pike Place Market, you can be sure you’re getting products that are local, handcrafted and one of a kind.
- Food: Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat or a multi-course fine dining experience, you can find it all at Pike Place. You’ll find an endless selection of bars, restaurants, delis, bakeries and more, all serving delicious, fresh food for your enjoyment.
- Shopping: If you can’t find what you’re looking for at the craft market, try shopping around the various Pike Place Market shops. Whether you’re looking for clothing, collectibles, kitchenware, toys or books, you’re sure to find things you never knew you needed.
Where to Shop
For a long time, the shops at Pike Place have delighted both locals and visitors with dazzling products and friendly service. The unparalleled range of shops makes it a shopper’s paradise, whether you’re browsing or hunting for something specific.
However, the maze-like structures make it easy for inexperienced shoppers to get lost. Be sure to pick up a map of the Pike Place Market shops before you embark on your shopping journey.
Clothing and Accessories
Pike Place offers a full range of shops where you can buy apparel, accessories and more. No matter what or who you’re shopping for, you’re sure to find something fantastic.
For quirky, unique clothing, step into Robot vs. Sloth, which sells shirts and artwork of cute animals fighting each other. You won’t be able to find so much silly, one-of-a-kind clothing in one place anywhere else. They also offer their designs on hoodies, onesies, pins, stickers and plushies. Whether you’re looking for cute baby clothes or a quirky t-shirt for the teen in your life, Robot vs. Sloth is the perfect place to shop.
If you’re looking for a sophisticated pair of shoes, try Maggie’s Shoes. They offer a full range of men’s and women’s shoes imported from Italy and France. Their collection contains items with traditional fine craftsmanship and innovative leather treatments. If you’re looking for a classy, unique pair of shoes, Maggie’s Shoes is the place to look.
At several Pike Place shops, you can find beautiful works of art in all types of mediums and styles. If you’re looking to pick up a piece of artwork by a local Seattle artist, Pike Place is the place to go.
With so much natural beauty surrounding Seattle, one artist, Ed Newbold, perfectly captures some of the native wildlife in the area. You can purchase his work at his shop in the Pike Place Market. His artwork is available as prints, posters and notecards.
If you’re looking for a wider variety of local artists, be sure to stop by the Harris Harvey Gallery. There, you can find paintings, sculptures, prints and photography from new and established Seattle artists. They can also provide expert assistance with selecting, shipping, framing and storing the perfect piece of art.
The flagship store of Eight Generation, a native-owned and operated lifestyle brand, is another can’t-miss stop. They offer unique works of art in the form of blankets, socks, scarves, towels, shirts, jewelry and more.
Bath and Body
Pike Place is an excellent destination for those looking for quality bath and body products. From organic soap to aromatherapy, these local shops have everything you’ll need to pamper yourself.
One store called All Things Lavender offers a wide array of lavender products for bath and body, aromatherapy, pets, cooking and much more. The business was started by a few local lavender farmers in Sequim, Washington and grew into the successful destination shop it is today.
If you’re in the market for high-quality, organic personal care products, be sure to stop by Moon Valley Organics. The company’s certified organic “farmacy” produces exceptional soaps, lotions bars, lip balms and medicinal salves. Great for sensitive skin, Moon Valley’s products incorporate the natural elements that surround Seattle in a sustainable way.
Books, Music and More
If you think all the book and music stores have disappeared, think again. These shops are treasured at Pike Place by locals and visitors alike. Whether you’re looking for a new release or a used vintage, you’ll surely find what you’re looking for in these shops.
One hidden gem is Lion Heart Book Store, which sells fiction, nonfiction, children’s books and much more. While the store offers a wealth of hidden gems and knowledge, the biggest draw is the owner, David Ghoddousi, who has become known for his friendly and jolly demeanor among the Pike Place regulars.
If it’s music you’re searching for, look no further than Holy Cow Records. This used record shop offers a wide selection of LPs, 45s, CDs, DVDs and other music memorabilia. They also offer a special selection of rare vinyl for avid collectors. If you’re looking to get rid of some music, the store also buys and trades used records.
While Pike Place offers a wide range of local products and shops, it also features stores that sell imported goods from all around the world. Whether you’re looking for foreign clothes, pottery or jewelry, you’re sure to find a unique product.
One shop, called Afghani Crafts, offers a wide range of products from Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, including gorgeous clothes, jewelry, hats, scarves and other products. Many of their pieces feature stunning embroidering and natural fibers for the perfect combination of style and comfort.
Polish Pottery Place is another store in Pike Place that offers imported goods. They specialize in fine European stoneware, ceramics, table linens and other gifts. Their decorative ceramics are all oven, microwave and dishwasher safe, and each piece is handcrafted and painted by skilled artisans. They also offer insured shipping for those visiting from out of town.
Chocolates and Candy
Pike Place also features numerous chocolate and sweet shops to satisfy your sugar cravings. Whether you’re looking for an after-dinner dessert or a class on how to make chocolate, these shops are the place to be.
If you’re looking to taste and buy some delicious chocolate, while also learning about the process along the way, Indi Chocolate is the go-to shop. Every day, they make each batch bean-to-bar, so you can watch and learn about every step of the process. They sell traditional bars, along with coffee, drinking chocolate and body care chocolate. They also offer classes on making chocolate, pairing chocolate with coffee and mixology.
Craving sweets other than chocolate? Check out Sweetie’s Candy. They offer over 200 different sweets and treats in only 135 square feet at their Pike Place location. They sell a variety of products, including gummy candies, chocolate, hard candies, nostalgic candies and much more.
Whether you’re looking to brighten up your day or send congratulations to a friend, Pike Place offers several shop options where you can find stunning floral arrangements.
One of the first shops you’ll see as you enter the market is Pike Place Flowers. They offer a full range of flowers for all occasions, including weddings, sympathy, birthdays, new babies and much more. You can get flowers in various forms and styles, like corsages, gift baskets, tropicals, plants and fragrant flowers.
Another option for flower shopping is the Carrot Flower Company. This shop offers all the typical arrangements and flowers of a traditional flower shop, while also offering special features, like in-shop flower design classes, weekly subscriptions, home goods, gardening tools, plants and plant-based beauty products.
Home and Kitchen
Looking for a new set of pots and pans? Or maybe a rug that ties the room together? No matter what home products you’re searching for, the Pike Place Market has the stores you’ll need, all in one place.
At Sur La Table, they sell everything you could possibly need for your kitchen. They offer specialized cookware, bakeware, knives, small appliances, dinnerware and outdoor cooking tools. They also offer a series of in-store classes and private events for those looking for a more personalized experience.
To find unique pieces for your home and kitchen, be sure to stop by Osara Commissary. They sell a variety of Japanese imports, including knick-knacks, tableware and pottery.
Pike Place has long been a popular destination for shoppers looking for unique jewelry pieces. Whether you’re looking for an antique or a new, custom piece, you’ll be able to find something special.
For selections with precious stones and sterling silver, stop by Benavi’s Imports. The family-owned shop has been a staple of Pike Place since 1963 and is a paradise for anyone looking for valuable jewelry. They also sell pieces with jade, shell craft, woodcraft, and stone craft.
If you’re looking for a piece with a little more history, check out Isadora’s. They offer a fantastic collection of antique jewelry, including earrings, necklaces, watches, brooches, engagement rings and men’s jewelry.
Pike Place isn’t just a shopping haven for adults — it also offers several stores for kids as well. From clothes to toys, you can find anything you need for the child in your life.
One fun place to shop is 3D Wood Puzzles, which sells one-of-a-kind three-dimensional puzzles, designed for all ages. With over 100 different items, you’re sure to find the perfect one.
For something more specific, try the Market Magic and Novelty Shop. There, you can find specialized books, videos, props, posters and, of course, magic tricks. This fascinating shop is sure to awaken the inner magician in any child.
Visit Pike Place With Windstar Cruises
Pike Place offers some of the best local markets in Seattle, whether you’re looking for a delicious chocolatey treat or a gorgeous piece of jewelry. It’s a fun place to shop, whether you’re looking for a specific item or just browsing.
One exciting way to visit Pike Place is with Windstar Cruises. Why embark on an adventure with only one destination, when you can visit several destinations in one trip? Several of our Star Collector Voyages stop in Seattle as they travel up the coast.
With Windstar Cruises, our small ships allow us to visit ports that larger ships can’t. Our specialized and customized voyages are for travelers, not tourists, looking to explore new and interesting places.
Book a trip with Windstar Cruises to visit Pike Place today!
If you’re ready to experience the beauty of Seattle in person, contact one of our vacation planners today!