Pike Place Chowder – A Seattle Institution

Pike Place Chowder is basically a Seattle institution at this point, if the hordes of tourists and locals alike who descend upon their small storefront are any indication. Open in 2003, Pike Place Chowder has become synonymous with award winning chowders, and they churn out a variety of them using only the freshest ingredients, herbs, and spices.

Foodolish was lucky enough to sample not only the classics, but a few other notable chowders, and sandwiches on a drizzly winter afternoon. First up was the clam chowder bread bowl, which was everything you would expect from their signature dish. You get a large, hollowed out, sourdough bread bowl overflowing with their classic, award winning clam chowder. It was creamy, hearty, and overflowing with clams, diced potatoes, bacon, cream, and celery. While we couldn’t discern their secret blend of herbs and spices, we can tell you it packed the perfect punch. The sourdough bread bowl was sturdy enough to hold up to the chowder, but definitely could’ve benefitted from a nice toast.

Photos by: foodolish.com

For those of you who simply can’t decide which chowder to commit to, Pike Place Chowder offers a sampler, which lets you select four 5oz bowls, along with a side of bread for dipping. The seafood bisque is tomato based, with chunks of fish and shrimp. We noted some subtle basil and red pepper in the broth. The spicy chorizo gave the crab and oyster chowder a nice little kick, but we were sorely disappointed with the lack of flavor given the crab and oyster combination. A larger bowl may have yielded the oysters we felt we fished for. The smoked salmon chowder was smoky, and creamy, with a hint of capers. We felt this was the quintessential pacific northwest chowder. We rounded out our sampler with the day’s market chowder, which was loaded with lobster, crab, and corn. Of the four we sampled, this was our favorite, as it was bursting with flavor. The addition of sweet corn really knocked this one out of the park.

While they may be known for their chowder, Pike Place Chowder also churns out some mean sandwiches! Nothing but lobster here! The lobster roll arrived with large, succulent chunks of juicy, seasoned, Maine lobster, tucked into a buttery, toasted split top roll. Similar in texture to brioche, but the east coast version. The lobster was lightly dressed in mayo, lemon, and celery, with a dash of seasoning, and a sprinkle of chives. They didn’t mess around with the lobster, because why would you? The freshness of the lobster really shone through and we easily could’ve demolished a second one.

Similarly, the Dungeness crab roll was just as good, for all you crab lovers out there. Lightly tossed in mayo, lemon, celery, and a dash of seasoning, and served in the same buttery, toasted split top roll. We absolutely loved the fact that the mayo was super light and almost undetectable. Dusted with paprika and chives, we could taste the straight out of the sea freshness.

Overall, Pike Place Chowder lives up to the hype. If you’re craving something warm and hearty, make your way down to their original Pike Place Market location, or their storefront in Pacific Place. If you can’t, they ship their product, or you can have Amazon deliver it to you. A small price to pay for award winning chowder.

Pike Place Chowder | 1530 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101 | Open 7 days a week


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