Seattle

Best Desserts in Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market is a bit of a food mecca in Seattle. Dessert is no exception. The various shops and restaurants around The Market have something for everyone and we have compiled our list of favorites sugary, sweet treats for you!

Etta's Coconut Cream Pie - This is not only the best pie in the market, it is easily…EASILY… the best pie in the city. Tom Douglas, our city’s award-winning restauranteur with a slew of great spots to eat around town, has tapped into something we can’t truly describe but will try. It’s fluffy, it’s creamy, it’s coconuty, it’s sweet, it’s perfect in every way. Go grab a slice… or a whole pie.

Storyville Coffee’s Frosted Cinnamon Roll - We have written about this cinnamon roll before and we will write about it again. It’s CRACK, people. In the best way possible. Grab one with a cup of coffee and sit by the window of their 2nd story location in the market overlooking the hustle and bustle of the main street.

Storyville Cinnamon Roll

Ellenos’ Pumpkin Pie Greek Yogurt - Fall in Seattle isn’t actually referred to as Fall, it’s “Ellenos Pumpkin Pie Greek Yogurt” time. This local favorite bakes pumpkin pies and then crushes them up, crust and all, into their amazing Greek yogurt. And we go CRAZY TIME for it. You will too. If you visit during the rest of the year, known as “Non-Pumpkin Pie Yogurt Time of Year,” you can enjoy our other favorites, marionberry pie and passionfruit.

Ellenos Pumpkin Pie Yogurt

Piroshky Piroshky’s Apple Cinnamon Roll - You really can’t go wrong with anything on the shelf at this tiny walk up, but their apple cinnamon roll with thin slices of apple dipped in sugar and cinnamon is definitely a best seller for a reason. Be prepared for a line, but it will move fast and we promise it will be worth it.

Piroshky Piroshky Apple Cinnamon Roll

Le Panier Chocolate Croissant - Or as the French call it "Pain au Chocolat. Order it the French way and you’ll feel way more cool. This flaky, chocolate staple won’t disappoint. You can taste the butter and chocolate melting together….MMmmm, don’t think about how bad it is for you, just enjoy.

Daily Dozen Doughnuts’ Assorted Dozen - This is THE spot for mini-doughnuts in Seattle. They crank out tons of tiny doughnuts every day for their hoard of fans. From the plain to the maple bacon they are all equally delicious. Grab some of each flavor and don’t forget cash!

Shug’s S’More Sundae - Because the combination of graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallow could only be improved by adding Shug’s locally sourced ice cream to the mix. The old fashioned atmosphere and sundae cups help, too.

Shug's S'More Sundae

indi chocolate’s Hot Chocolate - This hot chocolate will change your life. Add whipped cream and a toasted marshmallow (or two) and sit down in their cafe or walk out to take in the views of Puget Sound while you sip your warm, liquid goodness.

What are your favorite sweet spots in Pike Place Market? Tell us in the comments below!  

Seeing Seattle by Water - Kayak Tour of Lake Union

Seattle is a city where water and mountains collide, and it’s basically a sin to visit and not experience one or the other (but hopefully both!). If you’re visiting for a short time the mountains are sometimes hard to get to, but luckily we have three big beautiful lakes right in the city. Since they are so accessible, we love to recommend to people of all backgrounds and fitness levels to get out on the water and experience the city from a different point of view. For first time visitors to Seattle, we often point to Lake Union as the spot for stunning views of the city (iconic Space Needle included) and the fun experience of checking out the house boats that sit along the edges of the water and the sea planes taking off over head!

lake union

Where to Rent

The fastest way to get onto the lake is to rent equipment from a place right on the lake. There are three companies we love equally, so take your pick:

Agua Verde

Located in Portage Bay, Agua Verde is not only a Mexican restaurant but also a paddle club! You can rent either kayaks (single or double) or stand-up paddle boards March - October (and if you need a snack, we won’t be mad at ya if you grab a taco before heading out. They even have a to-go window). The Paddle Club has a huge selection of rentals, so the chances of them running out of equipment even on busy, sunny days is pretty slim. You don’t need a reservation for groups under 11, and they also offer guided tours in case you don’t want to venture out alone. Check out their tour page to see what’s up.

 Nice views of Downtown Seattle and the Space Needle can be viewed from the comfort of your own kayak on Lake Union. 

Nice views of Downtown Seattle and the Space Needle can be viewed from the comfort of your own kayak on Lake Union. 

Northwest Outdoor Center

This company offers single, double, or triple kayaks and paddleboards and is located on the western side of Lake Union, meaning you need to travel less distance than you do if you rent from Agua Verde (see map below). However, unlike Agua Verde, they do suggest making reservations and will require an extra $10 per item deposit for groups over 6. No need to worry if you are beginner, though. The center offers classes, which range from basic strokes to learning how to eskimo roll. They are also open year-round, which is a bonus if you’re crazy and want to be on the lake in the winter.

Moss Bay

In the south part of Lake Union, you’ll find Moss Bay, which provides single or double kayaks and paddle boards for rent. The waterway around the business has a 7-knot speed limit making it safe to paddle in case you’re worried about the boats. Moss Bay also offers tours that include a lesson (total time 3 hours) and will take you past all the great sites. They are open April - October.

Set Sail

Lake Union is a fairly small lake and easy to navigate (you are basically looking at one giant circle), and because of its location north of downtown, you get pretty epic views of our gorgeous skyline. The lake is also home to Kenmore Air, a seaplane operation that has been in business since 1946. From your vantage point on the lake, you can see the planes coming and going directly overhead and if you’re wondering, yes, it absolutely is an instagram-worthy event!

 Kenmore Air seaplane comes in for a landing on Lake Union. 

Kenmore Air seaplane comes in for a landing on Lake Union. 

On the north end of the lake sits the famous Gasworks Park, a 19 acre park that you’ll recognize by the giant defunct (yet cool looking) gasification plant. You aren’t able to dock at the park and get out of your rental, but it’s definitely worth a paddle-by. There is always something new and unsual going on at the park from weddings to Irish step dancers, to nudist bike riders, to art installations. Seriously, we’re never sure exactly what we’ll see so check it out and report back.

 Gasworks Park in Seattle is one of the best lake front parks and people flock to it to fly kites, sun tan, and play games. The old gas plant gives it unique character too! 

Gasworks Park in Seattle is one of the best lake front parks and people flock to it to fly kites, sun tan, and play games. The old gas plant gives it unique character too! 

Sleepless in Seattle IS the best Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan film. Don’t argue with us. Tom Hanks actually filmed in Seattle for the movie, and there are many spots around town that you can visit from the film’s scenes. One of those spots is the Baldwin house boat (Tom Hanks’ Seattle home in the film), which still sits on Lake Union and looks exactly the same! Head to the houseboat on the west side of the lake and see if you can find it. And while we’re on the subject of houseboats, Seattle has the coolest ones around. They line the lake on both sides and are beautiful and interesting and worth checking out and then discussing what you would do if you owned one (for us, it would be paddle board right off our deck every morning before the day started).

 Tom Hanks' houseboat from Sleepless in Seattle is still perfectly the same! 

Tom Hanks' houseboat from Sleepless in Seattle is still perfectly the same! 

Grab a Bite!

Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, it’s time to stop for a bite. We have two favorites that have a dock where you can park your equipment. This is a great way to rest for a bit and fuel up for the equipment return trip.

100 LB Clam is exactly what you want in warm weather dining. It has outdoor-only seating with a walk-up window for ordering food. You’ll find a rotating menu, but you can be guaranteed that it will have delicious seafood combos and cold beer on draft. We highly recommend the Poutine O’ the Sea (clams! bacon! chowder!) or the fishwish BLT. Wash it all down with a microbrew or, our pick, a Rainier tallboy (your classic Seattle beer since 1887). They are open 11:30am - 3pm in the summer only. If you are outside of this window or you prefer indoor seating, head into the White Swan next door. It’s run by the same owner and also has an incredible menu (with a few of the same items like the poutine!) and a great happy hour.

Ivar’s Salmon House is another great lake option with a large outdoor seating area (and inside seating too). The restaurant is a Seattle staple and has been serving customers since 1938. The restaurant sits right on the lake, so you won’t miss a second of the boat action. You’ll find the freshest seasonal seafood on their menu, and you definitely can’t go wrong with a bowl of their famous clam chowder...even if it IS in the middle of summer.

 A bowl of chowder at Ivar's is great year-round, a Seattle classic! 

A bowl of chowder at Ivar's is great year-round, a Seattle classic! 

Check out our inclusive map to get your bearings on our recommendations.

Map of Kayak Tour Lake Union Seattle

We can't wait to hear how you like it! Comment with your thoughts and/or questions below. 

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! 

Pike Place Market at Night

The flower stalls, the buskers, the flying fish. Pike Place Market by day is vibrant and alive. It's also the second most visited place in Seattle next to the Space Needle, so how do you visit Pike Place Market and escape the crowds? Well, one way is to go after 6:00 PM. The day-stalls will be all packed up and empty, so you won't be able to sample produce or buy fresh baked goods, but you can still have an amazing time, because The Market has a seriously legit night scene. You haven't fully experienced Pike Place without seeing it after the lights go down. 

The Pink Door 

 The actual Pink Door (which is really more salmon in color, right?)

The actual Pink Door (which is really more salmon in color, right?)

The Pike Door is not only one of our all-time favorite restaurants, it also has amazing nighttime entertainment that comes in all shapes and sizes throughout the week. Every night this sweet Italian restaurant in Post Alley hosts talented acts to entertain and awe their guests. Our favorite are the aerialists on Sunday and Monday nights - they literally swing over your head as you enjoy your pasta - it's insane and awesome. They are also well known for their Saturday night burlesque and cabaret shows - which is the only night the acts come at an additional cost. Tuesday - Friday nights are for live music and make for a crazy romantic vibe. Check out their entertainment page to plan your next fun night out (reservations encourages)!

Unexpected Productions

Unexpected Productions

Unexpected Productions is the oldest improv theater in Seattle and is located in the historic Market Theater in Post Alley. These guys are responsible for making people laugh in Seattle for 20+ years, and they also inadvertently started The Gum Wall - Seattle's most colorful and disgusting tourist attraction. We did an entire post on these guys because we love them so much (read more here). We love that no two shows here are alike, it makes the show you see feel that much more special and the artists are all so talented they will have your cheeks hurting by the end from laughing so hard. Check out their calendar to plan your night out. 

Can Can

Can Can

Nobody does Cabaret better than the performers at Can Can. This incredible intimate theater is tucked under The Market and allows you to feel transported while you watch the show. They create very high-quality, high-class (subjective...haha) shows that switch every few months or so. You can expect singing, dancing, acrobats, and all sorts of amazing feats of athleticism. You always know you are in for a new, creative treat when they roll out a new show and we would encourage everyone to add this place into their regular line up for the year, right up there with the big hitter plays at the Paramount and concerts at Key Arena. Check out their show schedule to get inspired and add some zing to your routine!

Insider tip: if you are celebrating a special occasion, such as a birthday, you can pay extra to have your person pulled up on stage and humiliated (in the best kind of way, of course). 

Bars, Bars, and more Bars

 The curated wine selection at JarrBar

The curated wine selection at JarrBar

Beyond shows there are a ton of great bars to check out at Pike Place Market to have a fun night out. Kells is an Irish Pub with some crazy events throughout the year - St. Patricks Day is obviously the blow-out. Jarr Bar has a cool, relaxed vibe and cocktails that will make you want to kiss the bartender. Raditator Whiskey is a great spot to warm up with some whiskey flights. We love going to White Horse Trading Company, a very dark and cozy British pub where you can get Pimm's Cup. And The Tasting Room is phenomenal if you want to sample some of Washington's finest wines. There are about a million more, depending on what time you arrive and what you like to drink! Feel free to email us for recommendations!