Seattle Farmers Market #1: Pike Place Market - To Market, To Market…Seattle Blog at - 92410

To Market, To Market…Seattle

Seattle Farmers Market #1: Pike Place Market 
Apr. 28, 2009 2:58 pm 
Updated: May 4, 2009 2:06 pm
Standing on the bed of a truck, covered in construction grit, heaving the last of 1500 pounds of waste into the heap at the dump – Is this really how I wanted to spend my Spring Break? Remodeling our house is the current all-time, energy and money consuming project keeping us from travelling or taking even a staycation this year. I watch my friends and co-workers return from weeks away, relaxed and tan, with great stories of the places they went and the foods they ate. It always comes back to the food for me. Eels in Belgium, poi in Hawaii, chocolate in Paris – oh the jealousy!!
But, instead of whining (I am getting a brand new kitchen, after all), I came up with my Spring Break rebellion plan: If I can’t go away, I’ll take food adventures right here at home. I’ll make it to a different farmers market every week. We are really lucky to have over 15 markets in Seattle – some of them a bridge or a ferry ride away – but, still close enough to call “local.”  Tony (the husband) won’t be able to say no, I have to go grocery shopping, right?!? Maybe he’ll even come along. He may not track the first asparagus of the season, or the perfect peach, but he loves the crowds and the food that hits the table after a good market trip. So, I'm making the time for food adventures - pulling up the rest of that carpet will have to wait!
First up? Well, Pike Place Market, the largest and oldest public market is here in the heart of downtown. It is the perfect place to start. Who cares that I live only 6 miles away? Other people take their vacations here, why not me? Pike Place was started in 1907 and is still going strong, it was saved by passionate Seattle citizens in the 1970s when developers threatened to have it demolished. The iconic open air building perched over the waterfront piers is a common tourist destination, with fishmongers throwing fish and all. It is a vibrant market open 7 days a week that supplies locals and visitors with fruits, vegetables, flowers, art and crafts.
Samples abound - my favorite part of the market! Unlike the other area farmers markets still waiting for the first local vegetables to come in, Pike Place allows vendors to sell some produce from around the country – which is why my pictures are so colorful. I sample it all, but try to stick to buying the local stuff. Fresh and local usually means healthier and tastier when it comes to produce.  I come home with fresh asparagus from the Yakima valley, rhubarb from Olympia, and tulips from the Skagit Valley. These are the items that really signal spring here in the Northwest. Tulips may not be tasty, but they are bee-eautiful. I put them in the grocery budget every springJ.
I hopped onto Allrecipes and matched the asparagus up with some leeks from the garden and made French Spring Soup and found this great recipe for Rhubarb Crunch. It was the perfect dinner after a cold spring evening spent digging out a new window well!
I love this market/food vacation thing. Can't wait for next week...
Do you shop at farmer's markets, too? What are your favorite springtime foods and recipes?
Pike Place Public Market
Photo Detail
Photo Detail
Crabs, Mussels and Oyster!!
Photo Detail
Sample Man
Photo Detail
Buckets of Tulips!
Photo Detail
Eggs, Spring Leeks and Greens
Photo Detail
Crisp Rhubarb
Photo Detail
Apr. 28, 2009 3:17 pm
I love Pike Place Market and always take my out-of-town visitors there. My favorite things to buy are fresh breads, cheeses, fish, and whatever produce I know I can't get anywhere else. Purple carrots? I'm there! And they do have the best cut flowers. A trip to Pike Place Market is one of my favorite "staycation" activities. Thanks for blogging about it. I can't wait to read about your next farmers' market trip.
Apr. 28, 2009 4:40 pm
Wow, you have 15 farmers market in your area? I only have 1 organic farmer market every Sunday on the beach. The tulips look beautiful, I just love them.
Apr. 28, 2009 5:04 pm
Don't you just love living there? I could spend all day at the Pike Place Mkt., and have. I live in Oregon but my brother lives in Carnation Wa. not far from you. If you ever feel like going on a road trip...well okay it's only about 25 miles east of you, there is a wonderful place called Remlinger Farms that has the most fabulous produce grown there. They also have a store there that sells all kinds of stuff like jams, jellies, pies, etc that are made there. When my kids were younger, we would gather up the kids, and my nieces and go there in the fall for their Harvest Festival with so many things to do, complete with train rides, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, you name it. Always a fun time. (You would think I was on their payroll but really I'm not :} As long as we're all "stay cationing" this year, I would encourage you to try them as well.
Apr. 28, 2009 5:13 pm
I went berry picking at Remlinger last summer! I just found another bag of strawberries in my freezer, actually. I added some to the crisp I made. I will have to check out the Harvest Fest, sounds right up my alley!
Apr. 28, 2009 5:27 pm
I'm spending a night in Seattle in...10 days, actually! We are staying downtown and I really want to visit Pike Place Market, even though I won't be able to buy anything to go home and cook, I want to experience it! I'm very excited to hear that they have samples!! :)
Apr. 28, 2009 7:20 pm
Very cool, thank you for sharing with us! I live in a tiny little town so usually my garden is a more productive 'shopping trip' than the local farmer's market! Gorgeous selection of produce you have available!
Apr. 28, 2009 9:21 pm
We enjoyed Pike Place Market several years ago when visiting friends and relatives in Seattle. I love your city!
Apr. 29, 2009 7:50 am
I love that you got the shot of Penn Cove Mussels in there! That's from my 'hood!
Apr. 29, 2009 8:13 am
I love Pike Place... I need to get down there more often. Thanks for sharing.
Apr. 29, 2009 8:28 am
I've been to Seattle once, very briefly, and the market was one of my stops. I remember the fabulous produce but the fish throwing sticks in my memory the most! :)
Apr. 30, 2009 7:01 pm
Seattle is the best city in the states. There's no contest. I love it here.
May 1, 2009 6:23 am
What a great idea! We are also remodeling and having a baby all in the same year, I think I do the same. Even though our small town's farmer's markets don't start for a couple of more weeks it will be great to get out. What says spring to me dafodils and rhubarb. Some people don't understand me but I like to eat it fresh picked with nothing on it or done to it. I am lucky enough to have it growing in my garden
May 1, 2009 7:28 am
I miss the Pike Place Market and the first Starbuck's. As a native of Seattle, I moved to Phoenix about 8 years ago, but I still miss the fresh ocean air, the abundance of fresh produce and seafood and all the things the Pacific Northwest has to offer. I come home at least once a year, but I must admit that I now enjoy 300 days a year of sunshine! We have several local farmer's market here, but nothing compares to Pike Place.
May 1, 2009 10:40 am
Pike Place Market it is one of my favourite places in Seattle. During the winter, I probably only go once a month or so but come summer I try and make it every week. Your photos are great!
May 1, 2009 11:51 am
Gosh, It's been almost 10 years since I lived in the Seattle area. Your pictures sure make me miss it even more than I already did.
May 2, 2009 9:43 am
I moved to Arizona 5 years ago from the Seattle area and didn't realize how much I would miss Pike Place Market. I try to find fresh fish, fruits and vegetables and here but nothing compares. I don't miss the rain though! :)
May 2, 2009 1:15 pm
I only visited Seattle once on the way to a reunion in Idaho. But I made a point to stay more than a day so I could visit the Pike Place Market. I loved it! It made me want to cook just walking in there. We bought some Rainier cherries (delicious!) that were a lot cheaper than those I buy in California. I also had the best clam chowder I have ever tasted. I want to go back and when I do, I'll buy a whole salmon to send home and all the fruits and vegetables I can pack into my car.
May 3, 2009 8:12 am
If you are on the Eastside, the Kirkland Farmer's Market opens this Wednesday at 2pm. It is going to be at a new location (the downtown Marina), but get there early so you can see my daughter's choir, Lyrica from Lake Washington High School, sing the National Anthem to officially open things up! It is amazing: and for me only a walk away from home!
May 3, 2009 11:47 am
We visited friends in Portland area a few years ago, and spent a day in Seattle, most of the time at Pike's Peak Market..what a place! You are so lucky to have that available to you. We picked out the best fish and had a great seafood dinner that night . That is my greatest memory of that trip!
May 3, 2009 4:19 pm
I attended college in Seattle, and liked to walk down to the market when I had time. The honey sticks are a nice treat, and across from the market there is a great Piroshky place. I highly recommend it to anyone in the area.
May 4, 2009 8:36 am
I detoured through Seattle for more than ten years, before moving back to Los Angeles and truly miss the Pike Place Market. A must do thing to do when visiting the Seattle Area. A "kid in the candy store" experience for food lovers. The Farmer's Market in LA is very good also, but without the personality of Pike Place and don't forget the view.
May 4, 2009 10:30 am
I just love your food/vacation idea. Such a great way to enjoy. We don't have many farmer's markets but do have produce stands and fish markets to enjoy. Thanks for sharing with photos! I would love to visit Seattle.
May 4, 2009 11:25 am
I just flew home from Seattle yesterday and had one checked bag filled with unique cheeses breads, vegetables etc. The market is great and we miss it since moving from Seattle to Boise 15 yrs ago. We have a very nice farmers market here in the summer but it is still a lttle early as ours is locally grown produce that is just now starting to produse so a few more weeks and we can buy locally
May 4, 2009 2:06 pm
I grew up in Seattle and as a teen we would go EXPLORE the market and ride the ferry's.. I LOVE Seattle but now live on the "other" coast, I no longer get to enjoy the salt sea smells or the wonderful sounds... I go back home for my reunions (most people dread them, I THRIVE on them). Just to think of seeing the beautiful sites (fruits, veggies and FLOWERS at the market)is a Photo Op for me, I have the photo's all over MY kitchen! IF you have the opportunity to GO never pass it up, AND do not think it always RAINS!!! It's the BEST!! I have carried flowers on the plane back home just to preserve my memories!! Thanks Seattle for MY BEST memories!!
Click to Change your Profile Picture

Home Town
Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Living In
Seattle, Washington, USA

Member Since
Jun. 2008

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Slow Cooking, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

Hiking/Camping, Walking, Reading Books, Wine Tasting

Subscribe Today!

In Season

Delightful Summer Parties
Delightful Summer Parties

All the little bites, cocktails, casual dishes, and desserts you want for your next get-together.

Banana Bread
Banana Bread

Bake those overripe bananas into a delicious, easy loaf of quick bread.

Subscribe Today! Only $7.99
Subscribe Today! Only $7.99

Delicious recipes, party ideas, and cooking tips! Get a year of Allrecipes magazine for $7.99!

About Me
I started cooking at a young age and have had great experiences travelling and studying food around the world. I enjoy searching out new things and trying to find the "best of" my family and friends' favorite foods.
My favorite things to cook
I try to shop as much as I can at farmers markets. I really enjoy cooking with fresh, wholesome, local ingredients and I love exploring the products made by specialty meat, cheese, oil, vinegar, and wine producers both locally and from farther afield.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My family has solid German and Scottish roots. The traditions coming out of my grandmother's kitchen are for hearty, frugal dishes: pot roasts, chicken and dumplings, rouladen, and Friday fish dinners are what I remember most.
My cooking triumphs
My mother was very sick one Christmas when I was still in gradeschool, probably 12 years old or so. We had the whole family (about 45 relatives) coming over for dinner and I told my Mom I would take care of it. For two days, I worked and cooked - running upstairs to ask Mom what to do next, then coming down to whip potatoes, make stuffing, prepare the molded salad, and dress the crown roast of pork for the holiday dinner. It all came out right, nothing was ruined and everyone ate well. I will always remember how good it felt to make my Mom and family so happy and proud. That is what really hooked me on cooking.
My cooking tragedies
As a young cook, I often would try to make things before I read a recipe or really understood the chemistry of the cooking or baking task. I once made the most wretched pot pie - a lard crust, undercooked gravy instead of white sauce, frozen peas as the only vegetable, turkey from a holiday that was probably a few days too old to eat. I served it to my sisters - it tasted horrible and gave us all upset stomachs. Thankfully, they have forgiven me and continue to support my cooking adventures.
Argentina  |  Australia & New Zealand  |  Brazil  |  Canada  |  China  |  France  |  Germany  |  India  |  Italy  |  Japan  |  Korea  |  Mexico

Netherlands  |  Poland  |  Quebec  |  Russia  |  SE Asia  |  United Kingdom & Ireland  |  United States