Seattle, Washington,sits alongside Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest. Naturally, the area restaurants and farmers markets offer seafood galore including crab, salmon, oysters, mussels and clams, all pulled from local waters. So what’s a visitor who doesn't care for seafood to do? Even if fresh fish isn’t a part of your diet, you’ll still be able to enjoy yourself immensely at Pike Place Market…and find plenty to nibble on that isn’t from the water.
Concern about Stinky Seafood
My husband and I recently ventured to the Pacific Northwest for the first time. We spent one day in Seattle, the next in Gig Harbor and the following day in Portland, Oregon. My husband was excited about the microbreweries that abound in each area as well as the fresh seafood. He’s a fisherman so he loves all things briny. Me? Not so much! I can eat certain seafood but it can’t taste like the ocean at all.
We had planned our first day trip to the popular Pike Place Market in Seattle. I was a bit nervous that I wasn’t going to find anything to eat that appealed to me or that the Market would smell overtly fishy. But I needn’t have been concerned.
There is something for every taste here. In fact, there was more than we could ever indulge in one visit, as there are delicious new tastes to discover with every turn.
We visited Pike Place Market on a Saturday afternoon so it was quite busy. We were able to find street parking a few blocks away after circling the area several times. Fortunately you can use a credit card to pay the parking fee. First stop at the market was Pike Place Fish.
You can’t miss it: just follow the crowds, the sounds of the employees calling out the orders and look for the “flying fish” that are tossed in the air across the counter when ordered. The seafood is kept out for display and chilled on crushed ice at the four fish markets at Pike Place Market.
I did catch some of the fish smell wafting towards me at times. Fortunately it’s an open air market, so you can quickly step out for fresh air if the fishy odor overwhelms you.
Fresh Produce and Local Spices
Moving along, my husband and I appreciated all the local produce and specialty foods available from area farmland. We enjoy visiting farmers markets back home as well.
We bought some delicious Rainier cherries at one of the stands and enjoyed them after dinner that evening. Washington apples came with us on the road trip. Shop around the stands for the best prices as each vendor charges slightly different.
One of our favorite things to do is purchase spices when we travel. Spices are easy souvenirs to transport and literally give you a “taste” and flavor of the local area. Plus we can recall the memories of our vacation when we use the spices at home. This time, my husband found a stand that offered a seasoning mix that could be used on fresh seafood as well as chicken, so we were both happy with the choice!
Lunch, Sans Fish
Lunchtime and we found ourselves wandering into Le Panier, drawn by the heady scent of baked bread. We could not resist, sharing a turkey sandwich and each ordering our own pastry. Not a fish in sight, only an ocean of crunchy loaves and colorful macarons! We sat near the open window to catch a breeze while we ate our lunch. It’s stifling hot inside the shop since the ovens stay on 24/7.
We walked past the eternal line at the original Starbucks location and perused through Pear Delicatessen & Shoppe. The shop employees were very knowledgeable about the local microbrews available and were happy to talk about their favorites with my husband. I was intrigued by all the amazing specialty and retro sodas in hundreds of flavors. You can also order a deli sandwich, soup or salad with lots of fish-free options.
My husband picked a few local brews to take back to the hotel. I’d hoped to try a taste at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese for mac and cheese but the line out the door was a deterrent. We’ll have to make a point of stopping by on our next trip.
A Successful Day Trip
As a family on a budget, we appreciated that we were able to freely stroll Pike Place Market to sample and sightsee without spending a dime. My husband and I like to make a point of visiting local farmers markets when traveling because you can really get a feel of a location from the wares, foods and spices being offered. If you are looking to explore Seattle but don’t care for fish, there is no need to worry with the bounty of delicious, seafood-free offerings available here.