May 20, 2024

Best Sit-Down Restaurants at Pike Place Market

Athenian Seafood Restaurant and Bar

Pike Place Market is a haven for food lovers, offering a diverse array of just about any type of food you can fancy. It’s fun to grab food and walk around, but sometimes you want to get off your feet and enjoy the views.

If you’re looking for a place to sit down and eat, this is a list of great spots to stop, sit down, and grab a bite.

Insider Tip: All of the restaurants listed in my “Best Date Night Restaurants in Pike Place Market” are also great sit-down restaurants, too!

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these restaurants offer the perfect spot to enjoy a leisurely meal. Here are some of the best sit-down restaurants at Pike Place Market, each offering a unique taste of Seattle.

1. The Pink Door

The Pink Door is a Seattle institution, renowned for its delicious Italian-American cuisine and eclectic ambiance.

Located just steps from the market, this restaurant is a hidden gem.

As you walk through the unassuming pink door, you’re greeted by a warm, inviting atmosphere complete with twinkling lights and cozy seating.

The Pink Door also features live entertainment, including trapeze artists and cabaret performances, adding to the unique dining experience.

Menu Highlights:

  • Lasagna Pink Door: A rich, savory lasagna that’s been a staple for over 30 years.
  • Cioppino: A seafood lover’s dream with a medley of fresh clams, mussels, prawns, and fish in a spicy tomato broth.
  • Grilled Octopus: Tender and perfectly seasoned, served with a vibrant citrus salad.

The Pink Door’s interior is both charming and eclectic, with a mix of vintage décor, twinkling lights, and comfortable seating.

The restaurant also has a spacious patio that offers stunning views of Elliott Bay, perfect for al fresco dining during warmer months.

2. Matt’s in the Market

For a quintessential Pike Place Market experience, Matt’s in the Market is a must-visit. I said it in my “Best Date Night Restaurants at Pike Place Market” post, and I’ll say it again: Matt’s is my favorite sitdown spot in downtown Seattle!

Perched above the bustling market, this restaurant offers stunning views of Elliott Bay and the iconic neon Public Market Center sign.

The atmosphere is casual yet sophisticated, making it an ideal spot for both lunch and dinner.

Matt’s is known for its focus on fresh, local ingredients, which are prominently featured in their daily specials.

Example Menu Highlights:

(The menu changes with the seasons, so check the Matt’s in the Market website for current offerings:

  • Clams and Mussels: My #1 favorite. It has chorizo, piquillo pepper, corona bean, cava, chermoula, and croutons. It’s incredible.
  • Duck Confit: A luxurious dish featuring tender duck with a perfectly crispy skin.
  • Seasonal Salads: Fresh, locally sourced ingredients that highlight the best of the market.
  • Fishwich: If you go for lunch, get the Fishwich!

Matt’s in the Market boasts an airy, light-filled dining room with large windows that offer panoramic views of the market and the waterfront.

The open kitchen adds to the lively atmosphere, allowing diners to watch the chefs in action.

3. Place Pigalle

Tucked away in a quiet corner of the market with an incredible view, Place Pigalle is a charming bistro with French-inspired cuisine.

The intimate setting, complete with views of Puget Sound, makes it an excellent choice for a romantic dinner or a special occasion.

Place Pigalle’s wine list is extensive, featuring both local wines and French imports, which perfectly complement their menu.

Menu Highlights:

  • Northwest Bouillabaisse: A hearty seafood stew with prawn, clams, mussels, dungeness crab, seasonal fish, saffron-tomato broth, and herb crostini.
  • Duck Breast: Cooked to perfection and served with seasonal vegetables and a delectable sauce.
  • Escargot: Classic French snails in garlic butter, perfect for sharing.

With its cozy, intimate atmosphere and stunning views of Puget Sound, Place Pigalle offers a quintessentially French dining experience.

The restaurant’s warm, inviting décor and attentive service make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

4. The Athenian Seafood Restaurant and Bar

Athenian Seafood Restaurant and Bar

A historic landmark in Pike Place Market, The Athenian has been serving patrons since 1909.

Fun fact: The Athenian is famous for being featured in the 1993 film Sleepless in Seattle

This restaurant offers classic American fare with an emphasis on fresh seafood, all while providing panoramic views of Elliott Bay.

The Athenian’s bar area is a great spot to enjoy a drink and watch the sunset over the water.

Menu Highlights:

  • Seafood Platter: A generous assortment of shrimp, oysters, and crab.
  • Fish and Chips: Crispy, golden-battered fish with perfectly seasoned fries.
  • Shrimp Louie Salad: A refreshing salad topped with succulent shrimp and a zesty Louie dressing.

The Athenian Seafood Restaurant and Bar features a nostalgic, maritime-themed interior with large windows that offer sweeping views of Elliott Bay.

The casual, welcoming atmosphere makes it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

5. Etta’s Big Mountain Barbecue

Local Seattle restaurant Tom Douglas has rebooted his former restaurant Etta’s Seafood, next to Pike Place Market, into Etta’s Big Mountain Barbecue.

Etta’s Big Mountain Barbecue offers counter service instead of a full sit down experience, but there are tables to sit at so I’ve included it here because it’s great.

Etta’s was previously a seafood-centric restaurant and is now home to Etta’s Big Mountain Barbecue.

Located just a short stroll from the market, Etta’s is known for its fantastic food and friendly staff.

Menu Highlights:

  • Charred Broccoli: Unexpectedly so good!
  • Big Mountain Pretzel
  • Smoked Beef Brisket Nachos

Etta’s offers a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere with a focus on local, sustainable ingredients.

The restaurant features comfortable seating and a friendly, attentive staff, making it a popular choice for a quick bite.

Pike Place Market is more than just a bustling marketplace; it’s a destination for exceptional dining experiences.

Each of these best sit-down restaurants offers a unique taste of Seattle, combining fresh, local ingredients with inviting atmospheres.

Whether you’re in the mood for Italian, French, or classic Pacific Northwest cuisine, you’ll find something to satisfy your cravings.

So next time you’re at the market, take a break from the hustle and bustle and enjoy a leisurely meal at one of these best sit-down restaurants. Bon appétit!

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