Listed below are free cooking classes and food tours in Seattle and around the Puget Sound region. While there are plenty of places in Seattle where you can find cooking classes and food tours costing $55-$75 and more, here we focus on fun food-themed events that are free or cheap ($15 or less), including cooking classes, recipe demonstrations, self-guided food tours, and food tastings. Bon Apetit!
Cooking classes, recipe demonstrations and food tastings
Free cheesemaking demonstration in Seattle can be seen daily Beecher’s Cheese at Pike Place Market. Visitors to the glass-walled Beecher’s cheesemaking kitchen can watch the centuries-old craftsmanship using today’s technology. Grab a beverage or a nosh, then stand to watch the cheesemakers at work. Open seven days a week (except holidays) from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Cheesemaking hours vary.
Free author cooking demonstrations and tastings in Seattle are offered a few times a month at Book Larder in the Fremont neighborhood. While they offer many cooking classes for a fee, other free store events include author talks and book signings, often accompanied by a cooking demonstration with samples for tasting, along with a discount on book purchases. Book Larder is a unique book store featuring a collection of new, collectible, and imported cookbooks. For upcoming events, visit the Book Larder event calendar.
Free technique cooking classes in Seattle, Lynnwood, and Kirkland. On selected days and locations during the month, Williams Sonoma stores offer Technique Classes. Culinary Specialists at the store will show you favorite tips and techniques as they prepare great recipes. Classes for a fee typically include a book or piece of equipment featured during the class. There are also free one-hour classes to showcase tools and techniques. For a list of upcoming cooking classes, check the Williams-Sonoma Techniques Classes page.
Self-guided Pike Place Market walking food tour in Seattle. Since 1907, Pike Place Market has been Seattle’s epicenter of fresh produce, specialty foods, and independent businesses, including a year-round farmers market, bustling crafts market, and owner-operated bakeries, fish markets, butcher shops, produce stands, and specialty groceries. In addition, the nine-acre historic district offers more than 80 eateries, from take-out counters offering small bites to fine dining establishments featuring multi-course gourmet meals. For more information or to download the printable, self-guided tour, visit: Pike Place Market Walking Guide.
Brewery Tour & Tasting is offered every Tuesday – Saturday at 3PM at Pike Brewing Company next door to Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market. Although the tasting is for people 21 and over only, Pike Brewing Company’s tour is suitable for people who are 6 and older. They brew craft beer in a gravity flow, steam powered brewery. Learn all about the ingredients used to make quality, craft beer and what makes Pike Brewing’s unique flavors. Tours are given in English and involve standing and walking. There are no seated segments. Guests over 21 (with valid ID, see their website) will be treated to 4oz. samples of three distinct Pike Brewing Company beers. The tour is free for people under 21 and $5 for people 21+. Reservations are suggested as space is limited. For more information or to reserve a tour, visit: Pike Brewing Company Tour & Tasting
Organic food tours are available throughout the month at several PCC Natural Markets natural foods grocery stores, located in neighborhoods throughout the region. The 90-minute guided tours are fun, informative, and just $5 per person. You get to sample seasonal products and discover choices in organically grown and sustainably raised products. Register for the Walk, Talk and Taste Class online at PCC Cooks.
Self-guided farmers market food tours throughout Seattle neighborhoods can offer local products from Washington State farms. At each market, you can take yourself on a self-guided food tours when you talk to the farmers who grow the food, and some farmers offer limited food samples. Be sure to visit the Information Booth found at most markets for information about what’s in season and other recommendations. Cooking demonstrations are offered sporadically during summer; check the website event calendar for each farmers market. Several farmers markets are open year-round in Seattle: Saturday in the University District and Sunday on Capitol Hill and in West Seattle and Ballard. From June to September, many more farmers markets open for the growing season in the Puget Sound region. Find a farmers market near you at http://www.pugetsoundfresh.org/markets/list.
$3 Asian Food Walks in Seattle’s Chinatown. Twice a year you can treat your taste buds to a food tour of Asia when restaurants across Seattle’s Chinatown-International District offer a variety of $3 bites from China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and beyond. The Food Walk is held twice a year, in winter during the Lunar New Year Celebration and in summer during DragonFest.
Chocolate food tours and tastings
Free chocolate tasting in Seattle takes place at the Chocolopolis retail store in Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood, every Saturday 11:00am-3:30pm and every Wednesday 1:00pm-6:00pm. Each week there is a different theme with chocolate samples. This is a great opportunity to sample different bars and figure out what you like. It’s also a really fun afternoon and a great way to meet other chocolate lovers. More info: https://www.chocolopolis.com/.
Free and $7 chocolate factory tours in Issaquah. Boehm’s Candies offers free self-guided and cheap guided tours at their beautiful chalet in Issaquah, located about 15 miles east of Seattle, off I-90. Free Self-Guided Window Tours are available anytime during business hours and allow you to watch (and smell!) candy makers as they work on the day’s production. Information posted at every window describes each area’s purpose, as well as gives some history of Boehm’s. The best times to visit are Monday through Friday between 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Some areas may be on a lunch break between 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm. During holidays, special events, or other circumstances production may be limited or not available for viewing. $7 Guided Tours are by reservation only, July-August. On the guided tour, you will be escorted through the chocolate factory where you will learn about the art of handmade chocolate and see the authentic chalet where the founder lived. For more information, visit the website for Boehm’s Candies.
$10 Seattle Chocolates factory tour in Tukwila are offered Monday-Saturday at their factory, just south of the city in Tukwila. Taste Seattle Chocolates recipes throughout your journey, explore chocolate-making machines, and the start-to-finish creation of truffles and chocolate bars. Discover the history of chocolate, the untold stories of Seattle Chocolate Company, and learn how new flavors get invented. Reservations are recommended.
$10 Theo chocolate factory tour in Seattle are offered daily in their Phinney neighborhood store. During the tour, you can learn about making of chocolate, from cocoa fruit to bar, as well as the social and environmental issues related to cocoa and cocoa farmers. The first half hour of the tour is seated, while the second half hour is a guided walking tour where they make chocolate from bean to bar. The tours include chocolate sampling and last about one hour. Theo is the first organic and fair-trade chocolate factory in North America.