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To take advantage of Chase Sapphire Preferred’s lucrative 3x points on dining offer on the first Friday of the month, we’re rounding up the best in dining. For December, we’re getting into the holiday spirit for the ultimate in crave-worty desserts, and we’re talking best pies from coast to coast. Read on for our team’s roundup of the best pies across the country.
Momofuku Milk Bar, NYC
The Pie: It’s called crack pie for a reason. With its toasted oat crust and buttery filling that melts in your mouth, it’s no wonder this dessert has drawn a cult following. Order by the slice or indulge in a 10-inch pie, which can also be shipped straight to your home.
The Place: Momofuku’s celebrated dessert chain, Milk Bar, has six locations spread throughout New York City and Brooklyn, so it’s not hard to find a spot in your neighborhood to get your dessert fix. The menu serves up modern spins of childhood classics, like soft serve ice cream, but it’s much different than what you’d find at Dairy Queen, with flavors like cereal milk, cinnamon bun, and lemon pound cake. Other menu items include slices of candy apple pie and candy bar pie, as well as the compost cookie, a sweet and salty mix of pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, butterscotch and chocolate chips. Want to throw something savory in to the mix? Milk Bar also sells Momofuku’s famed pork buns. -Lane Nieset
Mission Pie, San Francisco, CA
The Pie: Combine homemade pastry dough made from two-thirds California whole wheat and one-third white wheat, with locally sourced, organic walnuts and you have Mission Pie’s walnut pie, stuffed with a sweet and succulent filling similar to a pecan pie.
The Place: Since Mission Pie aims to bring elements of the community indoors, it’s fitting that the cozy location in the Mission district has floor-to-ceiling windows giving diners a prime view out to the street. The green-certified bakery goes right to the source when it comes to ingredients, working directly with farms to source fresh and seasonal ingredients. Even the coffee and teas are organic, and from California-based Taylor Maid Farms. While the pies sitting prettily in the cases are a work of art in their own right, the bakery also features artwork on its walls by local artists, adding to that community feel. -LN
Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe, Key West, FL
The Pie: Nothing says culinary Key West quite like key lime pie (except maybe conch fritters), and Kermit’s is the place to sink your teeth into a variety of these perfectly tart and sweet confections. Whether its whipped cream or meringue toppings or frozen on a stick and dipped in chocolate, these are must-have treats in Key West.
The Place: Located on a corner near the historic Key West Bight, Kermit, himself is often found standing outside his shop, pie in hand, wearing his green chef’s hat and jacket and his signature white mustache, tempting passersby in for a taste of his sweet treats. The shop is a sort of curio of key lime delights, but the main attraction is certainly the pie. Any slice will do, but the frozen slice dipped in dark chocolate is perfectly refreshing on a hot day in Key West. For a little variety, opt for the frozen strawberry key lime pie dipped in white chocolate. Both are to die for. Just ask The Today Show’s Al Roker who featured Kermit and his pies on the program when they came to town. -Shayne Benowitz
The Pie Hole, Los Angeles, CA
The Pie: If you have a taste for savory, go for an individually-sized mac-n-cheese hand pie oozing with a sharp, creamy cheddar-gouda-pecorino-Velveeta sauce and caramelized onions. If you have a sweet tooth, the velvety maple custard gets the most buzz, but also consider a slice of the rich chocolate peanut butter, which rests on a crispy crust of crushed and salted pretzels.
The Place: The brainchild of a mother and son, this brick-faced and always-busy haunt in the funky Downtown Arts District has done a great deal to heat up this emerging neighborhood. In addition to individual, whole and sliced pies, you’ll find The Pie Hole’s own house-roasted organic coffee blends. Additional locations are found in Pasadena’s Indiana Colony and LAX’s Terminal 2. – Melanie Wynne
Four & Twenty Blackbirds, Brooklyn, NY
The Pie: Try innovative fall specialties like chocolate julep pie, made with mint, bourbon and chocolate, or sweet potato apple crumble, made with ingredients from local organic farms and unrefined sugars like molasses and honey. (Slice, $4.75, Whole Pie $38-$40).
The Place: This Brooklyn pie shop, created by pie-making sister duo Emily and Melissa Elsen, offers a bright, airy coffee shop vibe that goes hand-in-hand with its trendy location. Long, wooden tables are perfect for groups or to post up with your laptop. Their Brooklyn Public Library location offers light lunch specials and breakfast foods, and stay tuned as their pie shop also pops up at various locations throughout the city. There’s currently one in Long Island.If you’re jonesin’ to cook some of their awesome pies in your own kitchen, snag a copy of their book of recipes. -Lori Zaino
Hoosier Mama Pie Shop, Evanston, IL
The Pie: This is a spot for the classics—a traditional apple pie with a flaky, buttery crust stuffed with mouthwatering apples. And for something more avant garde, try the Fat Elvis Pie, made with gooey chocolate, rich peanut butter and bananas in a graham cracker peanut pretzel crust.
The Place: Hoosier Mama has a distinct 1950s vintage feel—it’s as if you’re hanging out in grandma’s kitchen awaiting a sweet slice of homemade pie.They happen to do savory as well as sweet, and you can enjoy a cup of coffee plus one slice of their savory pie options in the morning for $6. Not wine, not beer, but pie flights are offered on Fridays—three small slices of pie from a constantly changing menu of six different types and flavors. If you can’t make it to their shop, don’t worry—you can cure that craving at various coffee shops around Chicago, which sell their pies, like Dollop Coffee, Metropolitan Coffee and Unicorn Café. -LZ
Simplethings Sandwich & Pie Shop, Los Angeles, CA
The Pie: Available only four days a week, there’s often a run on the densely sweet salted caramel pie, which tops a crumbly, buttery graham cracker crust and is sprinkled with a crunchy dusting of sea salt.
The Place: Specializing in personal-size sweet and savory pies and offering a revolving menu of daily choices, both the casual, friendly and illustration-filled West Third Street and Westwood Village locations are ideal spots to modestly splurge on a pie or two, possibly paired with a bowl of homemade soup, a sandwich on fresh-baked bread, or a big, healthy salad. – MW
Pie Shop, Atlanta, GA
The Pie: With over 100 types of pies, it may be hard to choose your favorite, but the coconut cream lures even non-coconut lovers with its smooth vanilla custard and organic coconut flakes topped with whipped cream.
The Place: With an established Buckhead location and a Virginia Highlands location opening soon, this pie palace also puts up tents at the Piedmont Park, Sandy Springs and Brookhaven Saturday farmers markets April through October. They also cater your weddings and events. If you’re hoping to get your favorite pie, be sure to place your order well in advance and prepare to wait in line, as this popular spot gets very busy. If you don’t have a sweet tooth don’t fret, you can still indulge in one of their savory pies, like zucchini squash savory custard or cheddar and onion fried pie. -LZ
Joe’s Stone Crab, Miami, FL
The Pie: While fresh stone crabs during season are the main draw at this South Beach icon, the key lime pie—perfectly chilled, creamy, tart and sweet with a thick graham cracker crust—is de rigueur for dessert.
The Place: Opened in 1913, Joe’s Stone Crab is one of Miami Beach’s original establishments. With Old World Florida flourishes, like stucco exterior with a terracotta tile roof and wrought iron fencing, the interior signals a fine dining affair with white tablecloths and warm, wood paneling. Joe’s no reservation policy leaves your power to charm the maître d’ the prime factor in snagging a good table in a timely fashion. Adored by celebrities and fashionable locals alike, a visit during stone crab season is a major occasion. Order your claws in medium, large or jumbo sizes, along with a variety of sides (mac ‘n cheese, cole slaw, potatoes, etc.), and definitely save room for a silky slice of that key lime pie. Try your hand at home with the recipe. For those in a more casual mindset, get your stone crabs and key lime pie to go from onsite Joe’s Takeaway market. The fried chicken is also a best seller. -SB
High 5 Pie, Seattle, WA
The Pie: Perfectly crisp and flaky crusts with delicious, innovative and memorable fillings. The cherry almond and salted caramel pear pies are worth a detour. Grab a few pie pops (pies on a stick) for later.
The Place: Set in an airy corner space with a hint of retro décor and high, south-facing windows, this Capitol Hill shop/café not only has awesome pies, but also offers a nice spot to hang out. You’ll find all manner of pie creations, from pie fries (crust seasoned with cinnamon and sugar or allspice) to pie milkshakes (yes, what it sounds like). Aside from pie, try the rugelach and cookies, or for something savory, sample the spinach-feta or chorizo-potato flipsides or any of the quiche. There are gluten-free and vegan options, and just about everything can be made to order. Oh, and the coffee is great too! -Peter Rothbart
Antoinette Baking Company, Tulsa, OK
The Pie: Truly gourmet pies with exquisite taste and presentation, you’ll find all the classics, but save room for less traditional creations. Try the Versailles (dark chocolate early grey custard with lemon whipped cream) and the Pink Berry (rose-scented blackberry pie with a graham crust).
The Place: This small bakery is tucked away on an unassuming stretch of businesses south of downtown. If you’re not paying attention, you might walk or drive right past it, but that would be a mistake. You’ll find all manner of baked goods (cakes, tarts, macarons, breads, and more), and everything is excellent. Try the lavender and lemon-poppyseed cakes, the Quisp marshmallow and bacon cookies or any of the fruit galettes. The offerings vary from day to day, so if you’re not sure what to get, just let them choose. You won’t regret it. -PR
Fireman Derek’s World Famous Pies, Miami, FL
The Pie: From apple pie to cherry pie to coconut cream and more, Fireman Derek’s World Famous Pies are made with love by a working City of Miami fireman.
The Place: What started as a hobby at the age of 15 and grew into a small at home business is now a brick and mortar bake shop in Wynwood. Derek Kaplan knew he was onto something when requests for his homemade pies reached peak deamand, and today his bake shop churns out 50 – 100 pies a day. While the fireman’s personal favorite is key lime, his pumpkin pie is in high demand during the holiday season. When he’s off duty at the firehouse, he’s up early rolling out dough, roasting pumpkins and making graham cracker crust. “I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my product, so I really like making sure that it tastes perfect and looks perfect,” Kaplan told the Miami New Times. “When a pie leaves my shop, you know you’re getting a good product.” -SB
Sweet Creations, Nashville, TN
The Pie: Order the mini three-inch pecan pie here (more of a pecan tart), which was voted one of the top 25 pies in the US by Travel + Leisure.
The Place: Miniature three-inch, as well as full-sized nine-inch pies are on order at Sweet Creations, and this is the only spot in Nashville that sells pies and only pies. Keep your eyes peeled for the Pie Wagon, a food truck roaming around Nashville where you can get pies on your lunch break or an after work snack. In fact, if you can’t get to Nashville at all, they ship anywhere in the US, a great idea for the holiday season. -LZ
Lois the Pie Queen — Emeryville, CA
The Pie: They play all the greatest hits here. The pecan and sweet potato pies are killer, or if you want something tangier, try the lemon ice box and peach cobbler.
The Place: Fittingly stationed in a wedge-shaped two-story house in North Oakland, this legendary East Bay diner has been serving down-home southern cooking since 1973. If you like big portions and no frills, you’ll be in heaven. Pie is only half the fun. Try the salmon croquettes, the pecan waffles, or any of the Sunday specials. The place gets packed on weekends, so show up early or be prepared to wait. Open for breakfast and lunch. Cash only. -PR
Dangerously Delicious Pies, Baltimore, MD
The Pie: Order the Baltimore Bomb, a sweet mound of vanilla custard blended with crushed, chocolate-frosted and local Berger Cookies that caramelizes as it bakes on a dense, buttery pie crust.
The Place: The flagship of this hip micro-chain is found in Baltimore’s Canton Square, and serves pies that are savory, sweet, personal- and full-sized, as well as “Ballmer”’s own Zeke’s Coffee and a great soundtrack of rock’n’roll—the owner is a musician as well as a baker. There are two additional brick-and-mortar outposts in Washington, D.C., on H Street in Chinatown, and to find out where the Dangerously Delicious food truck will be serving, follow @ThePieTruckDC on Twitter. Dedicated Dangerously Delicious kiosks are also found inside Detroit’s Third Street Bar and Austin’s hopping Lost Well. – MW
Pie Spot, Portland, OR
The Pie: With a flaky crust shaped like a flower, the traditionally chewy, gooey, nutty and cupcake-sized brown butter pecan is just waiting to be picked… and devoured.
The Place: A long-beloved local food cart known for its individually-sized pie holes and pot pies, in 2013 Pie Spot opened its permanent, bright, artsy and still-aqua-painted location in Northeast Portland’s Kerns neighborhood. In addition to their signature pies baked in cupcake tins, they now feature a full espresso bar and expanded menu that includes quiche and breakfast pies made with sausage, hash browns, eggs and more. – MW
Don’t forget to go out there today and use your Chase Sapphire Preferred card for 3x the points on dining.
For more dining inspiration, check out our previous roundups:
Where do you go for mouth-watering pies?