I spend far too many of my waking hours wishing I were somewhere else. A somewhere else that serves homemade pie.
In service of my hope to begin years of Pie Pilgrimages, I am taking a tip from the Pie of the Month Club, which has compiled a Pie Map, pinpointing the exact locations of places that make our nation great. (My version is far more low-tech, of course, since I haven’t figured out a way to offer you a multicolored, interactive map of the U.S.) I’ll be updating as more information pours in (she said, optimistically).
Before you flee from CurvyMama’s blog, fearing my insanity might infect you, please know that I am not utterly alone in my pie pathology.
Bill and Barbara Windsor of Georgia got it in their heads to take a 29,000-mile trip around the country, and in documenting the journey for a book and website, saw fit to give pie a special category. Needless to say, these are totally my kind of people. The three journalists behind AmericanPieways represent another example of folks who think like me. They seem to have driven down an impressive number of side roads to compile their list of places that dish up great pie.
Consider everything on the interactive map, on Bill and Barbara’s best and worst pies of America, and on AmericanPieways, valuable additions to the list below. As much as I would like to visit every pie shop in America during my lifetime, I regret to say this isn’t possible, even though longevity and stubborn good health run in my family. So I have already begun assigning my scattered chums around the country to go and check out these places. They are members of CurvyMama’s PieTasting Posse. I invite them–and you, if you wish to join the Posse–to visit pie places, take pictures, eat to your heart’s content, and write a little something to post here for our budding Pie Nation, as Hoosier Mama Pies likes to call it. Just don’t send me the bill.
Apple Pan, West Los Angeles. To-die-for cream pies in a no-nonsense diner setting. CurvyMama review
Babalu, Santa Monica. A wacky Caribbean cafe has inspired a cult following for its pies. Banana brownie cream pie, anyone? CurvyMama review CLOSED
Chile Pies & Ice Cream, San Francisco. Item to note: “The Pie”: apples, green chiles and cheddar cheese
Cake Monkey Bakery, North Hollywood. I’ve heard about their butterscotch pudding pie, and a cider-roasted apple pie, too. Available at various locations around Los Angeles, including outlets of Umami Burger.
Jongewaard’s Bake ‘n’ Broil, Long Beach. Famous for cream pies. Banana fudge? Peanut butter cup? I don’t need to be asked twice. CurvyMama Pie Posse review
Mission Pie, San Francisco. They don’t just sell pies, they teach young people how to make them.
Pie ‘n Burger, Pasadena. (One of our team members in L.A. tells me they’ve got great blackberry pie)
Porch Pies. Alabama-born Robyn Poarch has caused quite a buzz by bringing her buttermilk pies to the star-struck in Los Angeles. Available at various locations, including Baby Blues BBQ in West Hollywood. CurvyMama review
The Pie Hole, Los Angeles. CurvyMama review
Simple Things Sandwich & Pie Shop, Los Angeles. CurvyMama review
Granny Scott’s Pie Shop, Lakewood, Colorado
You Need Pie, Estes Park, Colorado
Michele’s Pies, Norwalk
District of Columbia:
Baked and Wired. Georgetown.
Dangerously Delicious Pies, in D.C.’s H Street Corridor. Original location in Baltimore. Run by a tattooed rock musician, this is one macho cool pie shop.
Pie Sisters, M Street, Georgetown
The Pie Shop, Atlanta CurvyMama PieTasting Posse review
Hoosier Mama Pie Company, Chicago CurvyMama review
Big Bang Pie, Chicago
Rolling Pin Bakehouse, Roanoke. Natalie bakes out of her home kitchen, and meets customers in the driveway for payment & pickup. Sugar cream pie is her specialty. Her mom runs “The Pie Lady on 5,” about a half-hour’s drive away on Route 5.
The Coffee Cup Cafe, Sully
Homemade Ice Cream & Pie Kitchen, Louisville CurvyMama review
Missy’s Pies, Lexington
NOLA Pie Guy, online and at New Orleans farmer’s markets CurvyMama review
The Joint, Bywater neighborhood, New Orleans CurvyMama review
Petsi Pies, Somerville
Moody’s Diner, Waldoboro
Two Fat Cats Bakery, Portland
Achatz Handmade Pie Company, various locations CurvyMama PieTasting Posse review
Sister Pie. It made #2 on Bon Appetit’s 10 best restaurants in America. Detroit is calling me!
Rose McGee, a local pie baker, in Golden Valley, who’s famous for her sweet potato pies, and her home-based pie parties. The nearby town of Braham has a beloved pie festival & contest on the first Friday in August, too.
A Slice of Pie, Rolla
Loula’s Cafe, White Fish. Mary Lou Cody is the baker at this breakfast/lunch/pie place on 2nd Street. Old-fashioned, charming neighborhood eatery, with special bragging rights to huckleberry/peach pies.
The Pie Lady, Bartlett, on Route 302
Pie-O-Neer Cafe, Continental Divide
Bubby’s, Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan; Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn CurvyMama Pie Posse review
Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Brooklyn
Grandma’s Pies and Restaurant, Albany, whose name alone shows that she’s got her priorities right
The Little Pie Company, Manhattan, between Times Square and Hell’s Kitchen
Momofuku Milk Bar, Manhattan, midtown and East Village. Items to note: Candybar, Franken and Crack pies
Pie Country, baked in the Bronx, and delivered to four of the city’s five boroughs and parts of Westchester County
Pie Lady & Son, Nyack
Scratch Bakery, Durham
Henry’s, 6275 Route 40, West Jefferson, Ohio. From what I hear, this former gas station serves comforting, home-style cooking, and is known far and wide for its pies.
Schmucker’s, 2013 N. Reynolds Road, Toledo.
Crust And Common, a food cart in Portland
Central Market, Lancaster
Grant Bar & Restaurant, Pittsburgh. Chef Frank Ruzomberka’s been baking the pies at this 80-year-old tavern for 20 years. Coconut cream’s a specialty.
Magpie Artisan Pies, Philadelphia. Butterscotch bourbon? I’m there.
Arnold’s Country Kitchen, Nashville
Sylvan Park, Nashville
Flying Saucer Pies in Houston (since 1967!)
Paris Coffee Shop, Forth Worth
Texas Pie Company, Kyle
Poorhouse Pies, Underhill. Paula & Jamie Eisenberg bake in their home kitchen and sell pies in an adjacent shed, self-serve, with payment on the honor system. CurvyMama review
Mom’s Apple Pie Company, Leesburg CurvyMama review
Red Truck Bakery. Warrenton and Marshall. Just take a look at their menu! Kentucky Bourbon pecan chocolate! And I love the fact that they bake only with fruit that’s local and in season.
Woodruff’s Cafe & Pie Store, Elon. Angela bakes the pies at this tiny shop & luncheonette, and her mom is often found at one of the tables, visiting with — and singing for — customers.
A La Mode Pies, Seattle
Fuel Coffee, Seattle
Comet Cafe, Milwaukee
HoneyPie Cafe, Milwaukee
Sweetie Pies, Door County (how can you resist a place that makes “berried treasure pie”? Honestly!)
Upper Krust, Watertown