The happiest hour

What’s better after a long day at work than a light bite and a delicious drink with friends? Fortunately Pike Place Market offers plenty of options for hungry and thirsty crafters to unwind after a long day at our booths.

I love to do happy hour at the Market with my crafts line co-workers and it’s a great central location to get together with non-Market friends too.

Here are a few of my personal favorite happy hour spots in the Market:

1. Maximilien
On a bright, hot summer day it’s hard to beat the big deck at this little slice of France that has been transported to the southwest corner of the Market. Tucked down an unimpressive looking corridor just past where they throw the fish, Maximilien feels a million miles from the hustle and bustle of the Market.

The deck is adorned with large umbrellas and boasts a stunning view of Elliot Bay. And when a French-accented waiter takes your order it’s impossible to resist the frites and fromages, washed down with their special French martini. The happy hour menu offers an impressive selection of French dishes, including escargots, and Absinthe is on the drinks list. Magnifique!

2. Il Bistro
If Maximilien is my go-to happy hour on bright days, Il Bistro is a top choice in the grayer months. The dark and cozy bar is a welcoming haven. Go down the narrow staircase opposite where they throw the fish at 5pm and you’ll generally find a small crowd waiting for the doors to open. If I’m lucky I’ll snag the table with the cushioned bench, but the friendly staff are always happy to push a couple of tables together to accommodate a larger group.

In the best tradition of happy hour, the menu offers superb value (the restaurant is one of the best in town). Start with a crostini, follow with the goat cheese ravioli, and share a couple of the delicate pizzas with your table. Drink a delicious glass of Primitivo and that’s an excellent and inexpensive dinner. It almost makes me want fall to come sooner.

3. Chan
A new kid on the happy hour roster is Chan, which offers Korean food with a Western bent. Tucked away in the courtyard of the Inn at the Market, it’s easy to miss this charming restaurant. But once welcomed by the smiling staff you’re sure to return.

Nibble on the kimchi sampler and and follow up with the sliders, which elicit cries of “more please!” Be sure to try the distinctly Korean cocktails, such as the Kor Royale or the Sojito – delicious.

Other favorite places for happy hour in the Market include Cafe Campagne (the small lamb sliders are to die for), the Virginia Inn (their smoked wild salmon is melt-in-the-mouth sublime) and the Zig Zag Cafe (famous for its superb cocktails).

Happy hour plans always make the work day better. If you have some favorite happy hour spots at the Market please comment and tell us about them. Until 5pm then, cheers!

Emma Roscoe, Red Delicious Bags