Where to eat at/near Pike Place Market, Seattle Center


At Pike Place

A couple standing in front of the Gum Wall at Pike Place Market

Nearly everyone who visits Seattle stops by the iconic Pike Place Market (don’t call it “Pikes Place” unless you want to sound like a tourist). Getting to the Market from the Annual Meeting at the Seattle Convention Center can be a quick Uber or taxi ride, or you can walk — it’s only about half a mile, though it will be uphill coming back. The famous fish-throwers are there, beautiful and inexpensive flower bouquets, amazing produce, views of Elliott Bay, and lots of interesting crafts and other items for sale (the “salmon jerky” store is a favorite). Don’t forget to go downstairs to Post Alley, a cool little street sort of below the Market, and see the famous Gum Wall.


In addition to the sights, Pike Place has almost unlimited quick food options, including some famous Seattle brands that can trace their origins to the Market such as:


There are many well-known and beloved sit-down restaurants in the Market as well, including:

  • Matt’s in the Market — good place to try Pacific geoduck, a local specialty for adventurous eaters
  • Maximilien — slightly more formal French restaurant with pretty views of the water
  • Copacabana — Seattle’s only Bolivian restaurant, located in a relaxing upstairs spot above the fray with a lovely patio and delicious salteñas

There is also Radiator Whiskey, one of several popular bars in the Market, which features Southern-style food (Happy Hour: 4-6 pm; 10-11:30 pm Tuesday through Saturday)


Near the Market

The Pink Door, located in Post Alley, is an Italian restaurant that is a fun choice for dinner, especially as there is nightly entertainment on the cabaret stage, plus a trapeze artist and a roaming tarot card reader. Also close by is the famous Sushi Kashiba, which is home to the very renowned Tokyo-trained chef Shiro Kashiba. You can eat in the dining room, or at the Chef Counter which has seatings at 5, 7 and 9 pm (first come, first serve for the 5 pm slot with limited reservations available for the other two time slots). The Chef Counter is a tasting menu format, but note the menu is not vegetarian.


seafood dishes at Shaker and Spear restaurantShaker and Spear is an excellent restaurant close to the Market (six-minute walk), with a very creative seafood inspired menu. Aerlume is another upscale option with beautiful views of the water, gorgeous interior space, a varied, excellent menu focused on seasonal and local ingredients, and space for larger groups (with reservations). Just a few blocks away, near Benaroya Hall, The Triple Door is a fun dinner and show option with Thai-inspired food featuring Pacific Northwest ingredients. It also has a happy hour menu and live music in the lounge on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5-7 pm.


Side note: If you have extra time, there are some fun sight-seeing things to do near Pike Place Market — the Great Wheel, the Underground Tour (lots of fun history!), and Wings over Washington (especially fun for kids).


Seattle Center

Seattle Space NeedleThe Seattle Center — home to the Space Needle, MoPop (Museum of Pop Culture), Chihuly Garden and Glass, and many other interesting things — is another tourist must see. Though it’s not as well-populated with restaurants, there is a giant food hall in the Center's Armory Building with some good options for a quick lunch and a couple of other places sprinkled around within the Seattle Center itself (MoPop has a nice museum café for example). Getting to the Seattle Center from the Convention Center is kind of fun — you can walk to Westlake Center and then it’s a short ride on the monorail directly to Seattle Center. Tilikum Place Café is also a really nice spot near the Seattle Center, but it is only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings for dinner (also brunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday), so reservations are recommended.

Marian Blazes, MD

Marian Blazes, MD, is a research scientist in the Lee Lab at the University of Washington. She received her MD from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and spent two years as a postdoctoral research fellow in gynecologic oncology at Hopkins. She then took some time off from medicine to raise her three children, before obtaining a medical writing certificate from University of California San Diego and returning to work as a medical writer, specializing in academic writing. Along the way, her husband’s job took the family to Peru for several years, and Blazes wrote about South American food for About.com and later wrote a cookbook. Since moving to Seattle about 8 years ago, she and her husband have enjoyed exploring the amazing food and restaurants here in the Pacific Northwest.