May 6, 2024

Is It Worth Visiting the Original Starbucks in Pike Place Market?

Original Starbucks Sign Pike Place Insider copyright Elizabeth Rider

If you’re a coffee lover planning a trip to Seattle, chances are you’ve heard about the original Starbucks in Pike Place Market.

Starbucks opened its doors on March 30, 1971, at Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market. The official location of the original Starbucks is 1912 Pike Place, Seattle, USA.

As the birthplace of one of the world’s most iconic coffee chains, this humble storefront with the original Starbucks sign holds a special place in the hearts of caffeine aficionados everywhere.

first starbucks sign pike place market 1912 Pike Place, Seattle, USA

But is a visit to the original Starbucks worth adding to your itinerary? Here’s what I think as a local who first visited the market many years ago as a tourist.

Let’s weigh the pros and cons:

Pro 1: Iconic Location

Visiting the original Starbucks allows you to step back in time and experience a piece of coffee history.

The store’s cozy interior and rustic charm harken back to its humble beginnings in 1971, providing a nostalgic ambiance that’s hard to replicate elsewhere.

Pro 2: Unique Merchandise

One of the highlights of visiting the original Starbucks is the opportunity to purchase exclusive merchandise you won’t find at other locations.

From limited edition mugs and tumblers to branded apparel and accessories, there’s something for every Starbucks enthusiast to take home as a memento of their visit.

Pro 3: Sense of Connection & History

For many coffee lovers, visiting the original Starbucks is more than just a pit stop for a caffeine fix—it’s a pilgrimage to pay homage to the brand that revolutionized coffee consumption.

Standing in line with fellow enthusiasts from around the world fosters a sense of camaraderie and connection that adds to the overall experience.

And now for the cons to decide if it’s worth a visit to the original Starbucks location in Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle:

Con 1: Long Lines

As one of Seattle’s top tourist attractions, the original Starbucks in Pike Place Market is almost always crowded, especially during peak hours.

Waiting in line for your coffee can be a time-consuming endeavor, particularly if you’re on a tight schedule or impatient when caffeine-deprived.

Con 2: Very Limited Seating

Due to its small size, the original Starbucks has limited seating options, so you may have to enjoy your coffee standing up or take it to go. If you’re looking for a cozy spot to relax and savor your beverage, you may be disappointed by the lack of available seating.

Con 3: Standard Menu

While the original Starbucks offers a selection of beverages and pastries like any other Starbucks location, don’t expect any special menu items or unique drinks that are exclusive to this particular store.

If you’re hoping for a one-of-a-kind coffee experience, you may be underwhelmed by the offerings available. There are some unique merchandise options, like mugs and tumblers, that change often, but there aren’t any special secret drinks.

Whether or not it’s worth visiting the original Starbucks in Pike Place Market depends on your preferences and priorities. Whether you’re a die-hard Starbucks fan or simply curious to see where it all began, the experience of visiting the original store can be memorable and enjoyable.

However, if you’re looking for a quick caffeine fix without the hassle of long lines and crowded spaces, you may want to consider exploring other coffee shops in the market (here are my top picks!).

Ultimately, the decision is yours based on what you value most in your coffee pilgrimage to Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market.

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