The Market's maze-like Lower Levels are full of wonders around every corner—specialty shops with rare collectibles, secondhand curios, and handmade art from around the world—just waiting to be discovered by locals and visitors alike. Enter Sarah Miller and Kristina Knaus, the dynamic PNW blogger duo that makes up Rain or Shine Guides! These two curious Seattleites explored "down under" to share some of their favorite shops and discoveries.
Rain or Shine Guides here! Most of us know that when you visit the market on a busy day the Main Arcade (place with all the day stalls) will be so crowded you can barely walk. We always like to escape those crowds and the good news is you can, without ever leaving the Market. Just venture down to the lower levels and you can take a nice deep breathe. That's right, Pike Place Market is more than you see on the surface; it’s huge (9 acres to be exact) and if you don't leave the top floor you'll never discover all the fun that is below.
Rain or Shine Guides top ten places to shop in the Lower Market Levels:
On the 5th floor of Pike Place Market sits a wonderful little shop selling hand-crafted, small batch chocolate. If you love chocolate and shopping local, well then this is the place for you.
Insider Tip: They are expanding into a larger space in the new MarketFront in 2017 and visitors will be able to view their whole production process, so keep an eye out for that!
2. Slow Loris
Jessica Lynch is the woman behind almost 100% of what you find in this shop on the 3rd floor. Her talents are diverse and so is her shop. You can get wall prints, t-shirts, hats, bags, and so much more.
This place is exploding books. Every surface is covered. It is the best kind of organized chaos, and we love getting lost in here. The prices are right and the staff is ready to help you find your next book to fall into, just watch out that you don't fall over that stack in the corner trying to get to it!
Golden Age Collectables draws people into their shop in the most genius of ways: life size cutouts. You can't miss them as you walk around the 4th floor because Han Solo and Daryl Dixon won't let you! Once you're inside you'll find everything you need to feel young again from The Goonies movie script to rare comic books.
Cintli has everything you need for your Day of the Dead alter as well as unique Mexican jewelry and fun Mexican crafts. It also might be the most colorful shop in Pike Place Market, which always draws us in.
This small publishing house focuses primarily on Japanese authors. Their studio holds not only all of their beautiful books, but beautiful artwork as well. It's an incredibly unique and cool space, which everyone should check out.
This shop is quirky and amazing. You can play pinball, shop their wide pin collection or find great gag-gifts (Squirrel underwear anyone?). We covered Orange Dracula in another post because they have one of the few working film photobooths left in Seattle.
8. Gem Heaven
Gem Heaven is like no other place in the market. While it’s a small shop, it doesn’t skimp on variety and sells a wide assortment of beautiful gems, rocks, geodes, fossils, and crystals. We love reading the signs that explain how each gem promotes wellness, and if the signs don’t answer your questions, the lovely shop keepers can. They are very knowledgeable and helpful.
We covered this shop for April Fools Day, but honestly it's fun year round. If you have a curious kid inside of you we promise you'll have a blast rummaging through the Market Magic Shop. And if you are wondering if the Elvis Fortune Teller is legit, the answer is yes. Yes he is.
This is our go-to place for gifts when we need something useful and unique. Our mothers have their dish towels and our friends have their art. The best part is you are not only walking away with a locally produced item, you can also sleep well knowing you helped support a store that makes it part of their mission to coach the young entrepreneurs that make the goods featured in the store. Ventures, you are so cool.