At once down-home and sophisticated, simple and celebratory, savory and sweet, the humble pie contains multitudes within its flaky crust. Perhaps it’s this complexity that given the dessert its enduring legacy. Californians up and down the state are putting their own tasty twist on the classic dessert. We’ve cooked up a list featuring 11 of the state’s very best to put on your buttery bucket list—listed north to south.
Slice of Humboldt Pie: Chocolate Silk Pie
This cozy shop serves savory pie for dinner and sweet pie for dessert, all washed down by locally pressed hard cider. The Chocolate Silk is made from Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate, headquartered in neighboring Eureka.
Noble Folk: Strawberry Mississippi Mud Pie Pie
Two Sonoma-born chefs opened Noble Folk with a mission to highlight their home county’s bounty. What better way than through pie and ice cream? The crust is crafted from old world grains then filled with seasonal ingredients like stone fruit in the winter and blood orange come spring.
Frank Fat’s: Banana Cream Pie
Here’s a curve ball: One of our capital city’s most famous pies can be found on the dessert menu of a Chinese restaurant. The banana cream at Frank Fat’s has been a crowd-pleaser for nearly 80 years. Check out the California Dream Eater trying a bite above!
PieTisserie: Blackbottom Walnut Pie
PieTisserie got its start when owner, Jaynelle St. Jean, began giving away free slices for Valentine’s Day right out of an open window in her mother’s home. How sweet is that? One of her top confections is this riff on the classic nut pie with a hidden layer of chocolate.
Duarte’s Tavern: Olallieberry Pie
What’s an olallieberry? It’s a cross between a youngberry and a loganberry. What’s a loganberry? Shh—no more questions. Let the pie do the talking at this family-owned eatery, dating back to 1897.
Casa de Fruta: Fruit of the Forest Pie
Satisfy your pie-craving whenever it strikes. Casa de Fruta’s 24-hour restaurant serves its sweet-tart Fruit of the Forrest Pie (strawberry, apple, rhubarb, blackberry, and raspberry) both as a whole pie to-go and as a warmed up slice to be enjoyed in-house, topped with a scoop of homemade ice cream of course.
27th Street Bakery: Sweet Potato Pie
An L.A. institution since the 1950s, 27th Street Bakery cooks the heck out of this Southern delicacy. The rich and glossy potato filling is surrounded by an expertly fluted crust.
Tina’s Symphony Bakery: Aussie Meat Pie
Hand-sized meat pies are served throughout Australia as a takeaway treat, but they’re not so easy to find this side of the Pacific. Aussie-born owner Tina Rule is trying to change all that with her stick-to-your ribs treat filled with minced meat and gravy.
Knott’s Berry Farm: Boysenberry Pie
Part raspberry, part blackberry, this hybrid fruit helped put what was once a small family farm on the map. Now a fully fledged theme park, one of the best rides at Knott’s is still the one your taste buds take while biting into the famous Boysenberry Pie.
Eight4Nine: Coachella Lime Pie
In a city filled with 1960’s charm, it’s only appropriate that one of its marquee desserts is a mid-century delight. The pudding-like filling in Eight4Nine’s variation is made from limes plucked fresh from Coachella Valley.
Julian Pie Company: Apple Pie
Due west of San Diego, the little mountain town of Julian is known for two things: apples and pies. Put them together and you’ve got one of the country’s best, served orchard-to-table in this sweet little cafe.