Back to Pike Place Market: a salmon sandwich to talk about at Market Grill


September 22, 2016 by Terumi

Eat like a local in pike place market in seattle

Who would have thought 52 weeks could take more than a year?  I’m SLOWLY eating my way through Pike Place Market and as much as I’m trying to eat at new places I can’t help but get hung up on some that I love.  (Like Delaurenti.  It is SO hard to come to the market and NOT eat at Delaurenti.  I could do 52 weeks at Delaurenti so easily!)

Market Grill at Pike Place

But I decided to overcome my summer market hiatus with an iconic market spot that I’ve never been to, across from the fish stand I call the “Sparkly Fish Stand” for it’s fresh, shiny fish and the happy guys that work there.

Sparkly fish stand in the market

At the Market Grill there is usually a line and all the spots are usually full.

All except for one on the day I went.

So I cozied up between my new neighbors while I waited for my salmon sandwich.  There was a salad that looked amazing and a chunky, warm fish stew that looked very tempting too.  But the salmon sandwich had so many arrows pointing to it highlighting it as “world-famous” that I had to see what it was all about.

I went to pull out my phone to pass the time and then noticed that the lady sitting next to me was also by herself and suddenly I was compelled to do something very un-Seattle.

“So have you been here before?”

It’s almost novel in this era that when you talk to the people around you, sometimes they also want to talk too.  This lovely women had been living in Seattle for less than a year and had moved from New York where she had just retired as a school administrator. The Market Grill was one of her favorite market restaurants and she liked the salmon salad.  The next thing I know we were talking to the man on my other side.  He was from Atlanta just visiting friends and he also ordered the famous salmon sandwich.  And all the while we chatted, the guys behind the counter were making friendly remarks, helping tourists make sense of American change, smiling and offering us drinks of water or refills and napkins.

The food came and the world felt a little smaller.

Salmon Sandwich at the Market Grill

And the salmon sandwich tasted heavenly; a mixture of friendly and delicious.

I can see why the lady I sat beside comes here often and why there is such an incredible line.  I think the reason why I love Pike Place Market so much is that it connects so many people from around the world.  We need more places like this in the world and I’m glad I get to hang out here every week.  Have you ever had a friendly salmon sandwich or do you have a favorite place in Pike Place Market?  I’d love to hear!

(PS. If you’d like to read more about where I’ve been in the market, the list is here and it’s definitely a work in progress. It’s getting even more difficult now that I’ve tried so many places that I keep wanting to revisit.)

(PPS. If you are a vegetarian, I noticed there is a portobello mushroom sandwich on this menu too! And if you visit with kids and there are no seats, there are often seats an tables near an area called the Atrium kitchen or the Sound View Cafe )


  1. mrsportiasmith says:

    I definitely want to try the portobello sandwich! And I love that you started a convo – you are so personable!

  2. majl says:

    I love this. To connect with others over a shared meal or just food in general is something we too often neglect in a time when we are always so busy, and so engaged with our devices. Thank you for this lovely reminder. Now I want a friendly salmon sandwich!

  3. You bit of open kindness makes me proud to be from Seattle.

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