1. Pike Place Chowder
Hidden in Post Alley was the famous Pike Place Chowder, which is located right besides Rachel’s Ginger Beer. This little restaurant competed in this year’s Polar Seltzer Great Chowder Cook-Off and brought back a second-place win for best clam chowder and first-place for having the most spirited team! This place is so popular that you will always find a lineup that goes around the corner. The line even starts before the restaurant opens at 11 am. Kev and I visited here one day in the early afternoon, thinking that we would avoid the mad lunch rush. Nope, we still got stuck in a queue and ended up waiting for a good 20 mins.
Given that there are only a few tables inside and has limited bar seating , it is relatively difficult to find a seat. If the weather is nice, you can certainly bring the food towards the outdoor seating area and enjoy the chowder under the sun 🙂
Wow, they offer 8 different varieties of chowder here! Too many choices and don’t know which to choose? That’s okay – you can order the sampler (USD$11.95), which comes with four 5 oz. cups of any chowder of your choice. Kev and I tried it with the New England clam chowder, seafood bisque, market chowder and seared scallop chowder. I liked how their chowders were smooth and creamy, yet not super think in texture and salty in taste. Kev’s favorite was the seafood bisque for its sweet tomato-based broth and seafood extravaganza of Pacific cod, Northwest salmon, Oregon Bay shrimp and crab. Personally, I preferred the seared scallop chowder for its refreshing dill and lemon flavours. We both found the New England clam chowder pretty ordinary. I was disappointed how few clams there were in the bowl. Our least favorite is the market chowder, which included crab, shrimps, scallops, corn and some other vegetables. The flavours of the broth just didn’t stand out and make an impression for itself. All the chowders are served with sourdough bread. You could also find extra free bread and complimentary oyster cracker at the utensils area.
If you are a seafood lover, definitely check out this place! Among so many yummy chowder choices, find out what your favorite is. If you’re looking for more substantial choices, try the rolls and sandwiches!
2. Piroshky Piroshky
If you pass by Piroshky Piroshky, you will be drawn by the aroma wafting out this shop. This Russian pastry shop offers a wide array of freshly made hand held pies with different fillings, both savory and sweet. It is not uncommon to find a massive lineup out the door, but it moves quickly.
Kev and I tried their bestselling sweet creation, the apple cinnamon roll (USD$4.35).
Unlike the usual, cheap ones, this sweet pie was made with fresh slices of Granny Smith Apples, dusted with cinnamon and finished with a glaze of honey and lemon. It was not overly coated with sugar and was not artificially sweetened. I really enjoyed the tart apple flavour, the cinnamon spice fragrance as well as the fluffy bread texture. Thumbs up! Next time, I will definitely try their savory pies 🙂 Good news for those of you who are on a tight schedule and hate waiting in line – you can place your order on their website and pick up later!
3. The Crumpet Shop
Haven’t had crumpets before? Then, you MUST stop by the Crumpet Shop. This tiny tea and dessert shop makes fresh, organic crumpets (traditional English griddle cake) everyday, which you can top with sweet, savory, or egg toppings.
On the wall, you can find a huge selection of sweet and savory crumpets. So many options that you don’t even know where to begin! Overwhelmed with all the choices, I asked the staff for suggestions.
O.M.G. The lemon curd and ricotta cheese (USD$4.20) tasted AMAZING! It was so good that I couldn’t describe in words. Okay, let me try. The cake was so moist and soft that just dissolved in your mouth. The bottom was a bit hard crusted, giving it a little crisp texture. The homemade lemon curd paired up amazingly with the ricotta cheese, which has an airy and smooth texture. Absolutely DELICIOUS!
After sharing one crumpet together, Kev and I both remained unsatisfied. We went back and ordered one more. This time, I ordered the vermont (USD$5.50), which is known as the life changer. It was indeed life changing! Topped with maple butter, cream cheese and walnuts, the first bite was quite heavy and sweet. However, it grew on you after a while and really soothed your soul. The maple butter gave a pleasingly rich flavour that somehow didn’t overwhelm you at all.
Addicted to the sweet crumpets, next time I am tempted to try the savory ones. Trust me, it is worth a visit!
This Chinese bakery stand is known for their hom bow, which is basically a stuffed bun that is either steamed or baked. From the sidewalk, you could easily see the staff make the pastries from scratch. The aroma emanating from the bakery is simply irresistible.
They serve a variety of hom bow, of which the BBQ pork and curry beef being the most popular. I was hooked by the curry beef hom bow (USD$2.52). The bread was so fluffy with a sweet, glazed crust on the top. The core was stuffed with finely chopped, curried beef. The mixture of sweet and savory tastes was incredible!
5. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is the heaven for cheese lovers. They specializes in artisan cheese and has won many awards both nationally and worldwide. I am not a cheese person nor am I a mac & cheese fan, but oh boy, their world’s best mac & cheese is truly mind-blowing.
Their mac & cheese (USD$5.02, 8 oz) was made with penne pasta and a blend of their Flagship and Just Jack cheese. The texture of the cheese was sooooo smooth, fine and creamy. It was unbelievably rich and comforting. Completely changed my perception of mac & cheese. The only thing I didn’t like was that it could get quite salty after a few bites.
Their dungeness crab grilled sandwich (USD$10.05) is another work of art, made with the melty Flagship cheese, tender crab meat and creamy remoulade sauce- all together achieved a perfect balance. Bravo!
In the store, you will also find many different types of handmade, artisan cheeses. All without any preservatives, flavor enhancers or coloring agents!
You can even see them making cheese before your eyes!
If you can’t make it to Pike Place Market, don’t panic. You can find them at SeaTac International Airport or in NYC!
Of course, there are many other great food choices at Pike Place Market. Here, I’m only sharing the ones we fell in love on our latest trip to Seattle. If you know any other amazing places at Pike Place Market, don’t hesitate to share with me!