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 Seattle store 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 coffee tasting mini-class in Seattle. Every Wednesday at 11 AM at the Victrola Roastery & Café location on Capitol Hill in Seattle holds free, public coffee cuppings. Part ritual, part mini-class, each cupping is an elaborate and even fun process of tasting coffee lead by an educated member of the team at the showcase Café and Roastery, housed in a classic 1920’s building.
Free author cooking demonstrations and tastings in Seattle are offered throughout the 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 offers Free Technique Classes. Culinary Specialists at the store will show you favorite tips and techniques as they prepare great recipes. These free one-hour cooking classes include sample tastes of prepared dishes. 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.
Free guided organic food tours in Seattle are available throughout the month at several of Seattle’s PCC Natural Markets natural foods grocery stores, located in neighborhoods throughout the city. The 90-minute guided tours are fun, informative, and FREE. 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 $3 Food Walk is held twice a year, winter and summer. The winter $3 Food Walk is held during the Lunar New Year Celebration in January or February. The summer $3 Food Walk is held during DragonFest in July.
Chocolate food tours and tastings
Free chocolate tasting in Seattle every Saturday during from 11:00am – 3:30pm takes place at the Chocolopolis retail store in Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood. The chocolate “Happy Hour” features a different theme each week with samples around that theme. This is a great opportunity to sample many types of chocolate 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 $5 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, about 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. $5 Guided Tours are by reservation only, June – September. 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. For more information or to book a tour, visit Seattle Chocolates tour page.
$10 Theo chocolate factory tour in Seattle are offered daily in their Phinney nieghborhood 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. For more information, visit the Theo chocolate factory tour page.
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