Seattle Food Markets
A group of restaurant people are planning a little R&R in Seattle. Are there some great markets (fish and otherwise) that we should plan to visit? Any other food and wine must-sees? Thanks.
Besides Pike Place, you mean? I'd go down to Big John's PFI (http://www.bigjohnspfi.com or http://amasci.com/pfi/ for info), then to Uwajimaya (Fresh wasabi in the produce section! Better fish than the Pike Place vendors most of the time, too.). If it's a weekday, I'd end up at Salumi for some slow food and cured meats.
Terrier, That's almost an exact duplicate of my usual route! I suggest you add The Spanish Table to your rounds. They offer great Spanish olive oils, olives, tapanades, etc. Their canned fish options are most unusual (and a long way from traditional sardines). Good selection of wines too.
Ballard farmers market on Sat. is great. Get some lunch at Oaxaca while you are there. Obviously, you could spend hours at Pike Place Market. PFI is not really worth a visit unless you live in Seattle and plan to do some serious cooking. After, go to cupcake royale for cakes and coffee. just push one of the yuppie squaters (that has been sitting at a four-top alone for hours surfing the web) out of the way so that you can sit down and enjoy yourself.
Eh, I'd skip Cupcake Royale. Despite the name, the cupcakes are nothing to write home about -- rather dry actually, although the icing was pretty good. I think the hype comes from the variety of flavor combinations they offer. Try Cafe Besalu for some great baked goods in the Ballard area.
Definitely Uwajimaya--funky good stuff that is fun to explore. If you're hungry they have a number of food vendors, but I always just go to the Uwajimaya deli and get sushi or something (yesterday had broiled eel + rice--hot and good)
PFI is fun and an interesting sight, but you have to buy a lot (I think the cheese comes in 1 lb. chunks). It's interesting as a total opposite to Delaurenti's (in the Market, which you of course have to try)
For fish I always hit Mutual Fish (on Rainier Ave. S.) Been around forever, always has something sashimi grade, great local oysters, and they smoke their own salmon. Very traditional and neighborhoody (I grew up going there)
For wine we go to Pike & Western in the Market (across the little street that runs through the Market) Great selection of WA/OR wines and good folks. We happen to like the style of Kyle and Jeff, but everyone is great. If you hit it tell them Holly & Bryan sent you.
If you want to try a neighborhood place try Bella Cosa in Wallingford (on 45th www.bellacosafoods.com). They have salumi meats (and yes, if you can get into Salumi and eat, DO!!!), good imported cheeses & wines, plus other fun stuff. Run by a couple who lives in the neighborhood (Emily & Dan) and who realized that what we really needed was a good, small gourmet market. (Tell them we sent you there, too!)
There's a new chocolatier in town, called Theo. It's in the old Redhook brewery in Fremont and they do tours, but I don't have a number/address. Their chocolate is fair trade, and they do some interesting flavors (including one with bread crumbs, which sounds weird but is great).
Hope you have fun!
The University Farmer's Market on Saturdays from 9-2 is wonderful. Don't miss Billy's Tomatoes in the southwest corner, the goat cheese guy on the north strip (Port Madison Farms), the smoked tuna people (who move around a bunch), wild mushrooms, last of the berries, peaches... I love this market.
A lot of the University vendors also go to the West Seattle market on Sundays (Alaska Junction, 10-2 I believe) so that's also worthwhile.
And actually, all our farmers' markets are wonderful. See the website at http://www.seattlefarmersmarkets.org/
Definitely spend time in Pike Place Market and explore all the little hidden treasures in there (search this board and you'll find many). A few of my favorites:
- El Puerco Lloron on the market hill climb (take the stairs down just north of the southern-most fish place - Pike Place Fish I believe), go across the street or over the overpass, and keep going down). Great tacos. If you're vegetarian or love guacamole, ask for guacamole tacos. In the area you can also explore the gelato shop, Procopio, and peek into the Spanish Table for Spanish cookware, ingredients and snacks.
- Sosio's - the best of the "high stall" stands. Center of the market near the dried cherry people. Get an "Oh My God Peach" as they're called there. The guys know their stuff and will pick out peaches based on exactly when you want to eat them.
- DeLaurenti - great cheese counter, great everything.
- Le Panier - wonderful breads and pastries. If you get bread here, cheese at DeLaurenti's and fruit at Sosio's, you'll have a perfect picnic to take to Steinbrueck Park at the north end of the market (if it's not pouring rain) and eat while watching the ferries.
- Cafe Yarmarka. Skip the piroshkies at the big, visible piroshky place and go instead to Cafe Yarmarka. It's a tiny Russian cafe tucked into Post alley. Go past the Seattle's Best on the corner, into the building, past the Thai-Moroccan restaurant (yes, you read that right), and you'll see it. Great piroshky, borscht, pierogy, etc.
- Donuts. Don't miss the little donut place across from DeLaurenti's west entrance.
- Creamery. Cool little dairy shop tucked into the east chunk of the market: go a few yards north of the pig and cross the street to the east.
- Local produce. There's more of that in the neighborhood weekly markets these days but you find some at Pike Place. Alm Hill Gardens, across from Pure Food Fish is good.
Plenty of other stuff too. Enjoy your marketing!
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