With countless flavors and fillings, and with crusts varying from pure butter to salty pretzel, there’s a pie out there for every tastebud in your household. But, if you weren’t born with the Martha Stewart gene or merely would rather take-out this year, pick up your pie from one of our favorite five spots in the Bay Area. Here’s where to go for the most hassle-free Thanksgiving dessert you’ve ever tasted.
You can never go wrong with Classic Apple from Three Babes Bakeshop. Add: elegant lattice work brushed with cinnamon sugar chunks and it’s guaranteed love at first sight with a golden-brown coated crust. The crunchy exterior stands in perfect contrast to the filling’s creaminess. Now how about an inside chock-full of juicy, fresh apples and a wonderfully intense cinnamon stick flavor? This Holiday season: two of the “Babes”, owners Anna and Lenore, have pie pickup spots dotted across the Bay Area including Marin, Oakland, Pacific Heights, the Mission, and the Ferry Building.
Where to buy: Three Babes Bakeshop
2128 Folsom Street
San Francisco, Ca
Few dishes can cement a new memory, while also calling up cherished family moments, quite like this one. Chef and owner Toni Chiappetta of Sweetie Pies began her business in an apartment kitchen with an oven just big enough to bake one lone pie. Now Sweeties is booming with 14 pie varieties – including pumpkin. Few bakers make this famed holiday dessert quite like Toni, and hers is no fancy-schmancy postmodern interpretation, just an uber-traditional pumpkin pie done especially right: topped with a flaky pastry cut out and a well-calibrated punch of spice in the filling. It tastes much like any other homemade pumpkin pie…only much, much better.
Where to buy: Sweetie Pies
520 Main Street
Hip Mission Pie produces some of the Bay Area’s favorite fruit-centric pastry creations, beating out pretty much the rest of the berry & rhubarb bunch. Their mouthwatering mixed berry version is nicely tart, while their strawberry rhubarb gives an excellent combination of sweet and slightly sour, made irresistible by a to-die-for crumbly top. We determined that the debate over which was the “best” rhubarb here was a tie – and declared them both the winners. You’ll definitely earn your kiss under the mistletoe with this one! Plus: there are delightful jammy rhubarb mini-pies available, too, perfect for little hands.
Where to buy: Mission Pie
2901 Mission Street
San Francisco, Ca
Pecans take center stage when your Holiday pie comes from PieTisserie. Baker Jaynelle St. John’s operation cranks out not just this tasty favorite, but she definitely earns bonus points for creativity with her signature “Pecante” Pie. It’s a delicious riff on the classic made with cayenne-spiced pecans, which adds serious flavor dimensions. Just in time for Santa, she dubs it one of her: “Random Acts of Sweetness”.
Insider Tip: Jaynelle has also been known to sneak luscious, creamy sweet potatoes into her pecan pies, as well, so check her website for new inventive Holiday flavors.
Where to buy: PieTisserie
(Mainly delivery, with additional Holiday pie pickups held in West Berkeley)
Naughty, nice, and super-delicious, Miglet’s owner Katie Alin is revolutionizing gluten-free goodies one delectable pie at a time! Options abound for the glutenless gang here where everything is completely safe – baked in small batches in her 100% dedicated facility – for celiac sufferers & wheat allergic guests at your holiday table. They’ve got ‘em all: Apple, Pumpkin, Pecan, plus a Vanilla Bean Cheesecake and a Chocolate Apple tart this Holiday Season.
Where to buy: Miglet’s Gluten-Free Bakery
480 San Ramon Valley Boulevard
Where do yo pick up your like-homemade pies? Tell us below!
— Mireille Schwartz
In descending order, Flickr photos courtesy of Benimoto, avlxyz, Three Babes Bakeshop website, Flickr photos courtesy of browniesfordinner, Mel Sharlene, Quin.anya, Cooking Gluten Free