Flowers are one of the many bargain items at Pike Place Market on the Seattle waterfront.
Fruits and Vegetables that Glow Electric
SEATTLE — At Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle, the aromas, flavors, bursts of color and zest all simmer together to form a one-of-a-kind Seattle experience.
There's so much to see and do at Pike Place Market, an afternoon visit can quickly turn into an all-day event. Float by one of several florist stands to see Technicolor arrangements; watch fishmongers play catch with a 3-foot salmon; then grab breakfast or lunch at one of several friendly family-owned diners. It's all available in separate arcades along the Market walkway.
The fish market at the Market entrance usually commands a sizeable crowd, as tourists wait eagerly for fishmongers to toss fish. While this novelty is enough to draw the crowds, the market vendors are what keep them there — friendly, conversational merchants and local farmers selling pastries, specialty foods, chocolates, coffees, fresh fruits and vegetables, and imported goods.
Cruise the arcades for exotic food items and you'll run into things like dark chocolate bow-tie pasta, orange szechuan linguine and blackberry balsamic vinegar. If not, you'll undoubtedly uncover the best ever of something. Example: fruit vendors selling "OMG" oranges and peaches, aptly titled because that's what you say after trying some. Arguably, the most succulent and ripest ever.
We went crazy over the floral arrangements, so bright and colorful, they practically jump off the stand. Also, the fruit stands where fruit vendors happily doll out OMG orange and peach sample slices also became an instant favorite. You will undoubtedly spend money at the Market, if nothing other than to drop some change into Rachel, a life-size brass piggy bank, which acts as the Market's mascot.
Situated on the banks of Elliot Bay, Pike Market is one of the oldest, functioning farmers' markets in the U.S. Part of its charm are the aesthtics: many of the arcades use those marque light-blubs similar to popular New England style boardwalks. The Market is built on a hill with several lower levels where you can find vintage comic books and antique sales. The Market was established in 1907 as a refuge for local farmers who were being cheated by crooked wholesalers and commodities middlemen.
Hours: Mon-Sat. 10 am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm, Down under stores open daily, 11am-5pm; several produce vender open until 8 pm during the summer. Location: At First Ave, between Pike and Pine Streets.
For more info, check the Pike Place Market's web site or call (206) 682-7453 for daily schedules.