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Sep 6, 2013 12:52 PM

Pike Place Fish Market --- eat there?

I've never been, so I'm not sure what to expect. I see that there is food there. Is that the way to go for lunch, or something nearby?

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  1. We love Matt's in the Market. Missed it this latest trip but it's usually a must go.

    If you search here for Pike Place Market, you'll get plenty of info.

    Even though Labor Day has passed, I'd still be disinclined to go on a weekend cause it's SO crowded.

    17 Replies
      1. re: c oliver

        Reservations made! Thanks, again.

        1. re: c oliver

          It's all true about crowded, especially in tourist season, but early morning brings the gentle quotidian hubbub of local vendors greeting each other's days and setting up their trade. A warm summer morning there is a memory, for sure.

          1. re: mrnelso

            Years ago I saw and chatted with Jeff Smith, The Frugal Gourmet, there. I do still love it but there are times that you can barely walk through there because of the throngs. OP would probably like it best to get there early and finish up with lunch.

            1. re: c oliver

              Will Friday be so crowded? I currently have reservations at Matt's for dinner, but I'd consider changing that to lunch so we can walk the Market in the AM if that would be the better experience.

              1. re: ChowHap

                I've never been to the market except morning and early afternoon so I have no opinion on that. In addition I don't know when the vendors start closing down. But I bet others here know and will tell you.

                1. re: c oliver

                  In my experience, it shuts down between 5-6pm, with restaurants like Matt's open later of course.

                  I agree that "early" morning, as everything opens, is the best time to go. I have fond memories of finishing early classes at AIS and having "lunch" at Three Girls at 9 am :)


                  1. re: jlbwendt

                    Great link and a nice little story. Thanks.

                    1. re: jlbwendt

                      The Market is open 19.5 hours a day, 362 days a year. The Market is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

                      General Hours

                      Breakfast: 6 am

                      Fresh Produce & Fish: 7 am

                      Official Market Bell: 9 am

                      Merchant Hours: 10 am – 6 pm

                      Restaurants & Bars Last Call: 1:30 am


                  2. re: ChowHap

                    The crowds are much more tolerable after Labor Day, especially on weekdays. You can keep the dinner plan, and walk the market in the late afternoon before dinner.

                    It is fun to watch the market "wake up" in the morning, but you need to arrive rather early to get that experience.

                    1. re: Gizmo56

                      Exactly. As soon as the cruise ships move to warmer climes for the season, the locals can take back the market and shop and eat to our hearts content. I avoid the place like the plague unless I go very early during tourist season.

                      1. re: firecracker

                        But where do you get your fine quality produce during fair weather ...? Are Seattle natives foul weather shoppers? :)

                          1. re: Jeri L

                            Are they ever!!!!!! We went to the "small" one in Lake City. It was fantastic. I wanted to buy everything.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              Did you try some of the homemade jams there, c.oliver? They're terrific. The next time you and hubby are in town try the Sunday Everett Farmer's Market. I particularly like Walden Lane Gourmet products when they're showing there. Otherwise you can see their lineup at:


                              I'm really partial to their herbed porcini mushroom rub and their peach white balsamic vinegar. Yum!

                              1. re: firecracker

                                We did the Boeing tour in Everett but not sure I'd want to make the trek from Lake City area. But maybe :) If I could, I could live in Seattle. But Bob's had enough of the PNW having lived in SW OR for some years. But with The Kid (oh, yeah, and his parents) there, we'll be regular visitors.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  The Boeing tour was likely off the Mukilteo Speedway. The Everett Market is a few miles farther north immediately adjacent to the Port of Everett and the US Navy. It's right on the harbor and is very well attended.

            2. Which fish market? According to
              there are four at Pike Place.

              But there's a lot more a PP than just the fish throwing you see on TV.

              says there are 30+ restaurants at the Market

              1 Reply
              1. re: paulj

                Not sure which fish market. Just going to see the fish-throwing and look around (and eat, naturally). So, if you have any suggestions on the market, or otherwise, let me know.


              2. "Fish Market" rings a bell for Tokyo or the Bronx, but around here there really isn't any venue locals call by that name.
                The Pike Place Market (please, not "Pike's" anything), has several fish mongers, and has been a market for local producers since 1907. The vegetable stands down low are local farmers, The ones up high are resellers. Chain-stores (Burger King, Whole Foods, and the like) are not allowed, though Starbuck's #1 is grandfathered-in, so you really will "meet the producer" There are dozens of independent food shops in the Market and lots of info here on Chowhound. My personal greatest-hits in seafood at the Market have been Cioppino at Jack's, seared-scallop chowder at PP Chowder, Catfish Sandwich at Matt's, grilled Salmon and Halibut at Pike Place Grill (on the arcade near the Athenian and Lowell's and, Uli's will cook-up your choice of beautifully flavorsome sausages and serve it on a toasted bun with peppers and onions grilled on the spot - get fries. I was even startled one starving-right-now day by beautifully beer-battered perfect Halibut and Chips at Pike Place Bar and Grill (I'm told I got lucky, but hey, I'm a chowhound).

                2 Replies
                1. re: mrnelso

                  Thanks for explaining.

                  Yes, apparently, I am talking about Pike Place Market. I saw Pike Place Fish Market on Google maps, but I see now that refers to a small store/stall within the Market.

                  Cioppino sounds tempting!

                  1. re: ChowHap

                    Lovely odd, really. We enjoyed a particularly fine Cioppino at Sharks in Newport and commented that it might be even better than Jack's. The server allowed as how people say the best on the coast are these two. Prepare yourself for a shock at how different they are, though. Jack's is a noisy afterthought in a bustling fish market and Sharks is a date-night waterfront restaurant with beautiful fresh seafood prepared with their quirky steam kettle poaching machines. Though one can sit there, if uncomfortably, (advised when you get oysters), Jack's is nothing like a sit-down place. Keep it simple. Cioppino, maybe oysters, then get a grilled merguez and fries at Uli's or a salmon/halibut sandwich at PP Grill, across the aisle.

                2. This isn't specific to the market but there are mentions. We'd wanted to check out Place Pigalle but passed on the whole are cause it's so crowded in the summer.


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: c oliver

                    Just love Pigalle. Went there last Saturday for a leisurely lunch. The place wasn't crowded at all. Pigalle was our refuge away from the throngs outside in the market.

                    1. re: Cheesehugger

                      Thanks for this. Next time, for sure.

                  2. yes, there is food "there" - it's PIKE PLACE MARKET (or 'the market") and it's the food court of your dreams - ethnic eateries including russian, british, thai, chinese, mexican, japanese, italian, greek, columbian, german, filipino, indian, french and turkish (probably missed a few) plus "american" places for both fast and slow foods from ice cream, donuts, fried chicken, pizza, deli, mac'n'cheese and bagels to full-service places as nice as could be desired. all in addition to butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers, florists, bakeries, groceries, spice merchants and many small specialty stores. sure, crowded on summer weekends (5 cruise ships in port!!) but better midweek and spring/fall.