Insider's Guide to the Best Restaurants in Pike Place Market

It always shocks us to hear that some think Pike Place Market is just flying fish and flower bouquets when it's so much more! Particularly a food mecca that has literally something for EVERYONE! We decided to put our favorites down in a blog for locals and tourists to reference when they are thinking about food and need a place to go. 

Breakfast

Seatown Seabar 

We've said it before and we will say it again - the hashbrowns at Seatown are crack nuggets. Their Dungeness Crab Benedict is delectable and their Fried Egg Sandwich takes it up a notch with the dahlia bakery english muffin that is so fluffy you'll want to die. And for the love of god, don't get any other side besides the hashbrowns. 

The Crumpet Shop

The Crumpet Shop

The Crumpet Shop isn't the spot you would give a second glance to if it was your first day at the market - but if you make the mistake of missing out on these british buns of joy it is going to haunt you for the rest of your life. Kristina loves the savory pesto, fresh tomato, and ricotta. Sarah obviously goes for the sweet with chocolate hazelnut and ricotta. Oh - and this place isn't a secret, so prepare for a line on the weekends! 

Storyville Coffee

Guess what? We like this place for their food, not their coffee - shocking we know. Storyville is tucked away on the upper level of the Corner Market building and they make some legit breakfast fare, including the Tillamook Breakfast Sandwich (the bun has sea salt on it) and the cinnamon roll that has sugar crystals that burst on your tongue as you eat it, 2,000 calories and all (just kidding - it isn't that many calories, but it tastes so good you'll feel that guilty).

Lunch

El Borracho

El Borracho

We've talked about El Borracho plenty before this post. Well, when something's good it deserves accolades, so stop hating. This spot has our favorite tacos and burritos, and when you throw in their chips and guac you have yourself a meal made in Mexican heaven! Check out our 8 Best Mexican Spots in Seattle for more on our obsession. 

DeLaurenti 

DeLaurenti

Italians are crazy amazing people. They learned how to put together things like carbs, cheese, and wine to create pure beauty in this world. DeLaurenti is an Italian market in The Market (yes, a market in the market - nuts!) that we love for many things, one of which is lunch. Head here to get a delicious Italian sandwich - the Arrosto and Grinder are our personal favorites. If you need a side, head over to the deli counter and grab some dolmas or a stuffed pepper to top it all off! 

Pike's Pit BBQ

Kristina is a Missouri native, so she has a little bit of a thing for BBQ. Pike's Pit offers a place to get a hit of that good stuff - pulled pork coated in a delicious, sweet/spicy bbq sauce. Like a true BBQ joint they offer giant portions, so we would recommend getting the "Mini-me" with your favorite meat and "Wickle it." :) 

Honest Biscuit

Honest Biscuit

They aren't lying when they say their biscuits are the best. Get it? Honest Biscuit aren't lying?! This spot got a new location in the new Waterfront Market Building, so you can enjoy your biscuit with great views of the Puget Sound! If you're hungry hungry we would recommend the Fried Chicken Butterhole Biscuit. If you're not that hungry or hate fried chicken (which is basically a sin) we could say the Pimento Cheese Biscuit is your best bet! 

Piroshky Piroshky

Piroshky Piroshky

Prepare to have your nose try to break off of your face to chase the scent of these pastries down the street. Once you get a whiff all the rest of our suggestions will be out the window. We love so many different types, the smoked salmon pate, the chicken, rice, and mushroom, the potato and cheese... the list continues - go grab the one that speaks to you! The only thing about Piroshky is, at least to us, it's an awkward amount of food. Do we get one, and still have room for more after, or do we get two and have to take a nap after because we are too full? Probably the nap...

Dinner

Steelhead Diner

Steelhead Diner

Steelhead is a market staple and for good reason. They have a unique spot that truly feels like a diner, but offers upscale food that embodies the pacific northwest to a T. Their view of Post Alley and Puget Sound make it a great place to spend a couple of hours eating. Start with the clam chowder and charred broccoli, move on to your favorite seafood, and then finish it all off with one of their many mouthwatering desserts! 

The Pink Door

The Pink Door

It's best in the summer, but if you want some amazing traditional Italian, most likely served with some live entertainment, then head to Pink Door any night of the year! If it's warm, make sure to wait for a table on the patio - it's worth it! Our favorites are the risotto and the lasagna, because...well that doesn't need an explanation - risotto and lasagna are the two best Italian inventions outside of pizza.

Place Pigalle 

Place Pigalle

It's going to cost you, but Place Pigalle offers one of the best dining experiences in The Market. Their quaint, french restaurant is perched on the edge of the back of The Market and their menu is stacked with amazing and rich food to swoon over. We love their mussels and french onion soup, all their entrees are seasonal, but they usually have an incredible salmon and lamb dish to knock your socks off.  

Sushi Kashiba 

Hot damn, Shiro's done it again. Sushi Kashiba is the second restaurant from famed sushi chef, Shiro Kashiba. Just go prepared to get the Omakase and drop like $200, they will put dish after dish in front of you that melts in your mouth and showcases flavors you didn't even know existed. It's an experience everyone should have before they die. Yes - we are that serious about this, we mentioned death.

Drinks

Jarr Bar

Jarr Bar

Head to Jarr Bar to get amazing cocktails. The El Cochino is our absolute favorite and goes perfectly with their food offerings. 

The Athenian

The Athenian

This is the best happy hour spot in The Market! Head to the back of the restaurant, grab a booth in the bar, and enjoy a cold, local beer in a frosty mug. The views don't hurt the experience either. 

Radiator Whiskey  

This is one of those dark bars where you go to sip whiskey and brood about life. Brooding isn't required though - head up to their spot to experience some great selections of whiskey and also you can eat a pig head if you want... so there is that. 

Alright folks - go forth and conquer! These are the best spots as of today, but the market is ever changing and evolving so we will be sure to report back with any new amazing, drop dead they make you feel so alive, spots to grab a meal in Pike Place Market! 

McMenamins Edgefield

 McMenamins Edgefield

McMenamins Edgefield

There are plenty of amazing hotels to stay at throughout Washington and Oregon, but you will never find a hotel group quite like McMenamins. Maybe that's because they are so much more than just a place to stay. It's not very often that, in addition to your room for the night, you also get a brewery, distillery, winery, coffee roastery, spa, music venue, movie theater, golf course, and history lesson all in one. It's like your favorite resort only with edge! Let us explain....

McMenamins has been transforming historic buildings into hotel resorts since the early 90s and now have 12 lodging locations throughout Oregon and Washington and more pubs and eateries than we care to count. Each location has it's own unique attributes and personality which make them wonderful. Today we are going to focus on McMenamins Edgefield, which we like to consider the motherload. It was the first hotel that the McMenamins family opened, and it's by far our favorite. Located just 20 minutes from downtown Portland, it makes a great weekend getaway!

 The private king room 

The private king room 

The first thing you notice when you arrive to a McMenamins is all the crazy art work. Edgefield is decorated in this wacky wonderful way, honestly the decor is an attraction of it's own. You can forget your purpose as you walk around and get distracted by the crazy art and stories illustrated on the walls everywhere. For example, they are known for pipe art and one fun aspect of the pipe art is hidden faces; you can treat it as a scavenger hunt and walk around trying to locate them all.

 Funny little pipe art.

Funny little pipe art.

 Interesting art is all over the property.

Interesting art is all over the property.

The property has multiple restaurants including the delicious Black Rabbit restaurant (we got the ribeye and the bolognese and both were incredible) as well as a more casual Power Station Pub (pizza, burgers) and the seasonal Loading Dock Grill. Since McMenamins makes their own beer, spirits, and wine on site, they really encourage drinking of all kinds (and now you know why we love these places so much). You can grab a glass of wine at the winery, head to the Little Red Shed for spirits and cigars, or play some pool and darts with a beer at the Lucky Staehly's Pool Hall. And this is just a few of the places to grab a drink and they allow you to walk around the resort with your drinks, so no need to finish it before heading to hang out on the deck or at the gardens! Our personal favorite drinking spot was Jerry's Ice House, which was the cold storage of the farm (before refrigeration) that is now filled with posters and memorabilia dedicated to Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. They have Grateful Dead themed drinks and play music videos and documentaries, which sucks you in longer than you intended! 

 There are more spots then just Jerry's Ice House that pay homage to the great performer, here is a Jerry Garcia statue found on the grounds.

There are more spots then just Jerry's Ice House that pay homage to the great performer, here is a Jerry Garcia statue found on the grounds.

Ok real talk, the options for eating and drinking are great, but the best part about Edgefield is the soaking pool. This thing is incredible. It's a large outdoor, saltwater pool that they keep exceptionally hot, so you can use it year round. And because no place on the property would deny you a drink, there is a cute little tea house right by the pool where you can get tea-infused cocktails, wines, beer, and even sandwiches. And if you feel like really going all out, they have a full-service spa for massages, facials, and the usual star treatment. The pool is a little walk from the main lodge, but luckily you get these giant, plush, amazing robes in your room that you can wear all over the property, so throw on your swimsuit and flip flops, wrap up in that robe and head over to relaxation station. 

 A complimentary mason jar in your room acts as a growler.

A complimentary mason jar in your room acts as a growler.

We spent two days at the resort and didn't even manage to get to all of the places. It feels like you could spend a week here especially in the summer when you can sit outside and enjoy the nice weather or catch a show at the amphitheater (they get some big names like Wilco and the Decemberists!). The property also has golf and tons of outdoor fire pits, perfect for day drinking.

 There is fun artwork to find in all sorts of different places!

There is fun artwork to find in all sorts of different places!

A few other things to note:

  • Some of the rooms use communal bathrooms. If you want your own private bathrooms make sure you select the private room option when booking.
  • There are many artists who sell their work throughout the property including blown glass and ceramics. Make sure you check them out!
  • While the Black Rabbit restaurant does serve breakfast, we didn't find it easy to grab something light for breakfast that didn't require a sit-down meal. You might want to consider bringing something on your own or opting for room service where you can get a simple bagel. If you hang the nifty room service menu card on your door before 10pm the night before, they'll bring you your items at the time of your choosing the next morning. 
  • You can fill your beer growler in the main lodge gift shop, and if you forget your growler they give you a large mason jar in your room to use and take home for free. You can also buy McMenamins wines and spirits (and pipe art!) at the gift shop too.

Little Si

Little Si Trail

Little Si is the smaller companion of the much more challenging and ominous Mount Si. Little Si is more our style - takes about 3-4 hours, a solid 4.7 miles, and doesn't require you to pack a meal to keep from turning into a monster halfway through. It's also relatively close to Seattle, so you don't spend too much time in the car getting there. 

Little Si is great year round - it is fairly protected from the elements so when we did it in January we stayed pretty dry even though it was raining most of the hike. The trail is well kept and offers great checkpoints along the way to keep you entertained, including rock climbers doing some scary climbs on the cliffs or pretty creeks running through the trail. 

The hike is rated moderate on WTA.org, but we think it is fine for beginners. There are a few switchbacks, but those are few and far between on this hike, with the majority of the trail being moderate inclines that will keep your blood flowing, but you won't be keeling over from exertion. The very end is tiring, but the reward of the views at the top will keep you going! 

Once you get to the top there are two viewpoints, one to the left of the trail right as you come out and then another a bit farther up that allows you to see a more 360 view of the area. Check out both, but the first viewpoint is the truly stunning one, with Mount Si looming above you. 

Check out the trip reports before you go at WTA

Happy Hiking! 

Little Si Moss
Little Si creek
IMG_4492.JPG
Trees Mount Si

On the Road: Bend, Oregon

Bend Oregon

When you live in the PNW the opportunities for bad-ass vacations in your backyard are endless. Leavenworth, San Juan Islands, Astoria, Vashon Island, Tofino, Crater Lake, Olympic Peninsula; the list really is endless. This month we decided a trip to Bend with a good group of friends was in order. A friend's weekend needs a few key things to be successful: good food, good bars, good activities, and good people. Luckily, Bend can give you all of this in one adorable Oregon mountain town. If you don't have cool friends, well.. Bend could probably help you with that one if you like hippies or skiing...if not, then you're on your own. 

So, now let's get into how to do Bend right. You're going to need to pack your drinking pants and possibly your snow gear (in winter) or hiking gear (in summer) if you want to work off the many calories you are about to consume. 

Where to Stay

McMenamins - Old St. Francis School

McMenamins are an all-time favorite of Rain or Shine Guides. These incredibly unique and transformed hotels are always a treat to spend the night in. No rooms are the same and they have incredible detail and flare that you can't find anywhere else. McMenamins are often referred to as the adult resorts of the PNW. Old St. Francis School in Bend is no different. They offer a beautiful soaking pool, movie theater, several bars on site with live music on most nights, and of course enough art on the walls to keep you busy perusing for days. 

Airbnb

We are huge fans of Airbnb - especially when traveling with a group. There are great Airbnb's all over Bend. We would recommend staying in Bend's Westside neighborhood or Downtown because Bend is a great town to walk and bike! In the summer scout out homes that come with bikes and in the winter definitely prioritize a hot tub with your rental. 

Camp

If you aren't coming to Bend for the food and beer (primary reason for us), then you are probably coming for the outdoors. This is a spectacular part of Oregon, with Mt. Bachelor looming in the distance and so much to see and do in the area surrounding town. If you like to camp we would recommend Bend-Sunriver RV Campground. It's clean, has good prices, and additional things on site to keep everyone entertained. 

Where to Eat 

Spork

Spork Bowl Bend

Alright, so Spork is the number one place to eat in Bend on Yelp, which means it isn't revolutionary of us to recommend this spot, but holy S$^@%-balls, it's just so damn good that you can't even understand how life existed before you ate here. This quaint Mexican-Asian fusion restaurant is full of so much amazing flavor and spice you will wonder how Asia and Mexico didn't figure out their cuisines went together sooner. It's one of those places that once you take your first bite you think, "I don't need to eat anything else the rest of my life. If I had nothing but this pork all day every day, I would be completely happy." The vibe in the restaurant is modern meets boho (yes, you should absolutely sit in the egg shaped booths carved out into the walls). 

Our favorite: Shredded Pork Rice Bowl

The Brown Owl

The Brown Owl chili

The Brown Owl was recommended to us by our kombucha-tender at Humm (This what you call the person who serves you kombucha instead of beer, right? No? Oh, just go with it). What's great is this food truck/bar is located right by Atlas, Crux, and Immersion, so you can drink a bunch of beer and cider, get good and hungry for some comfort food, and then go demolish everything on the menu at Brown Owl...which is absolutely what we did. The homemade corndogs were the main attraction, having had only the state fair variety we obviously had to see what this was all about. But beyond that, everything we tried just tasted better then the last. Mac n cheese loaded with onions and peppers? Fire. Fire roasted tomato and beef chili with a side of deep-fried cornbread? Bomb. Beer pretzel made by someone who studied pretzel-making in Germany? Do we even need to say it? Ok we will - it was damn delicious people. 

The bar you can take your food porn into is also super cool. Beautiful log walls with decor that brings the outdoors in, canoes hanging above the bar, taxidermy animals (wearing sombreros), and long wood tables fill the space for you too relax in after a long, hard day of day-drinking.

Our favorite: Homemade Corndog

Drake

Drake is where you go to get your nice dinner in Downtown Bend. This spot is trendy, but not pretentious, with a stacked menu that will please just about anyone in your party, from the vegetarian to the steak eater who can't avoid the filet mignon on any menu. First, head to the bar for a drink. Their bartenders are fun to watch as they expertly craft creative drinks. Things are set on fire and transformed into unique drinks you can only find at the Drake Bar. Once you're finished at the bar, head to a table and start on the small plates - don't miss out on the roasted cauliflower! From there the entrees are waiting for you. Beware - they are big. Prepare yourself for half of a chicken when you order the fried chicken or a bone-in pork chop as big as your face. We respect anyone with the self-control to not eat it all and lick the plate - it's so good it's worth feeling a little miserable after. 

Our favorite: Mac n Cheese (be bad and add the bacon)

The Dough Nut

The Dough Nut Bend

Prepare for sugar overload because it's impossible not to over order when you visit The Dough Nut. They have everything from your staple Maple Bars and Apple Fritters all the way to Mayan Chocolate Cream Cheese and Banana-Rum Buttermilk Bars. Also not to be missed are their breakfast sandwiches. They sandwich your fixings (we recommend going for something with pesto on it) in between two doughnuts, they aren't sweet, just fried dough, but holy crap it's freaking amazing. 

Where to Drink

Crux Fermentation Project

This is kind of the place to visit when you come to Bend. The brewery is a little off the beaten path but patrons are rewarded with over 20 unique beers on tap and an amazing tasting room. They plan their happy hour specials around the sunset, hippies (and lovers of beauty) rejoice! Come enjoy a pint and watch the sun sink below the mountains. 

Our favorite: Crux Farmhouse

Atlas Cider Co. 

Atlas Cider Co.

Atlas is a great break from beers. Come to their tasting room to have some refreshing, crisp/tart/unique ciders. It's a perfect spot to go with a group - they have just about everything you need for a fun afternoon: pool, arcade games, tons of cider to work your way through, dogs running around eating popcorn that was accidentally dropped on the floor (the popcorns free (wee!) but drop in some dollars to support local charities), and don't miss their apple cider donuts, made with their apple cider - YUM. 

Our favorite: Blackberry cider

Deschutes Brewery

This is one of the big ones in town (10 Barrel is another big name you can visit). If you are in Bend to experience small-time craft brewing, then you can skip Deschutes, but we think they have good beer and their Public House in Downtown Bend also has a full menu of yummy food, which is needed when you're drinking all day, every day. There are several beers on their menu that you can only get at this location - so we would recommend sticking with those (they are clearly labeled) and get the elk burger or fried chicken sandwich if you have room in your stomach - they are both delish! 

Our favorite: Fresh squeezed IPA

Immersion Brewing 

Immersion Brewing makes the list because they 1. have good beer, 2. have good food, and 3. (this one sets them apart) they offer Brew-It-Yourself classes! You can book a two hour session with their team and brew your own beer, wait three weeks and come back to bottle it up and take it home to impress all your friends and family! 

Our favorite: Little Fawn Saison

Humm Kombucha

Humm Kombucha

We are PNW ladies, which means we obviously love Kombucha (we wrote about a local Seattle kombucha maker here), and we don't really ever miss an opportunity to drink this fizzy drink of the gut gods. We even each brew our own at home - kombucha addictions are hard on the wallet if you don't make your own. No shocker here, Humm's on tap was like 10 million times better than anything we've ever made. In their Bend tasting room they have their staple flavors that are available in a lot of grocery stores up and down the west coast. The way to go is to get a taster and fill it with the "Mix It Up" - these are their original flavors mixed into unique flavors. 

Our favorites: Sunburst and Berry Blast

What to Do

Explore Downtown

Downtown Bend is really stinking cute. It's full of coffee shops, restaurants, breweries, and shopping for everyone! We could walk the streets and along the river for an entire afternoon easily. Some really fun spots to highlight would be Looney Bean Cafe and The Commons. These are both great spots to hang out and sip some coffee or grab a light bite by the river with a view. They both have events too, so check out their calendars for when you're in town. 

They also have great shopping, including killer Birkenstock and Patagonia stores. Lark is a great outdoorsy store with functional and natural decor and clothing. Jubeelee is a fun women's clothing store to grab trendy clothing and jewelry, and if you want to take home some cool Bend swag we recommend The Bend Store

Note: We purposefully left off The Old Mill District from our list. It's full of chain restaurants and stores and although it is in a beautiful part of town, it isn't our favorite place to explore.

Hike 

The area surrounding Bend is beautiful, so if you have some time, get outside and explore. Pilot Butte State Scenic Viewpoint (you can drive or hike to the viewpoint) and Shelvin Park are close to town and are both great options for easy hiking and beautiful views. About 20 miles outside of Bend, there is also a great waterfall hike, Tumalo Falls. Smith Rock State Park is also nearby and offers some of Oregon's most stunning scenery and beautiful hiking trails! 

Deschutes River Bend

If you want an easy stroll then we recommend opting for the Deschutes River Trail, this 12 mile trail runs right through the town of Bend and offers a paved or gravel trail, depending on where you are, along the river.

Ski 

Mt. Bachelor sits about 30 miles outside Bend and offers some of the best skiing in Oregon! Don't ski? Well no worries, there are a ton of other activities on the mountain to enjoy including tubing, free snowshoeing tours, and..wait for it... sled dog rides. WHAT?! We haven't done this yet, but you better believe it's on the bucket list. (Remember that movie Balto? Such a heroic tale.)

Catch a concert/live performance

Les Swab Amphitheater sits on the river and gets a lot of the big name performers in Bend. Check out their lineup to see if you can snag tickets for a show. 

The Volcanic Theatre Pub is another great venue in Bend for live music. They also have a theatre if you're more interested in plays! 

Many bars around town have live music throughout the week, including Northside Bar and Grill and McMenamin's Father Luke's Room. 

That wraps up the top spots in Bend to check out when you visit. If you have any must-see, must-drink, or must-eat locations let us know so we can visit them on our next trip to Bend!