In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are a few things we’re thankful for: 1) Sugar. 2) Butter. 3) The fact that Chicago pastry chefs know just what to do with them. The big feast is ten days away (yep!), and it’s officially time to think about pies. Here are four of the city’s best, ready to round out your Turkey Day table. Just remember to order before it’s too late--flakiness is only becoming in crusts.
First Slice Pie Café
There’s something special at the local café chain, and it’s not just its peanut-butter-chocolate pie. (We’ll get to that.) The bakery’s proceeds help fund organic meals for the homeless. Typically available with 48 hours’ notice--though you’ll want to call early to beat the Thanksgiving rush--the pies come in flavors like pumpkin cheesecake, traditional apple and sweet potato. That PB & chocolate, though? Dangerous.
4401 N. Ravenswood Ave.; 773-506-7380 or firstslice.org
Hoosier Mama Pies
It’s the size of a postage stamp and has a red-checked tablecloth on its sole table. But don’t be fooled: This wee West Town Bakery dominates the local pie scene. (You can tell from the lines.) Its pies come in flavors like persimmon, cranberry and pear-apple-cranberry with pecan crumble. The bakery’s best advice? Order now. Hoosier Mama will make only a limited number of Thanksgiving pies and then stop taking orders when that number is reached.
1618 ½ Chicago Ave.; 312-243-4846 or hoosiermamapie.com
Bang Bang Pie Shop
Whipping up above-average pies and biscuits, the Logan Square shop is taking orders for Thanksgiving while supplies last. (Sense a theme here? Call fast.) Flavors include apple crumble, classic pumpkin and chocolate pecan. You can also order those buttery biscuits in packs of 6 or 12.
2051 N. California Ave.; 773-276-8888 or bangbangpie.com
Goddess and Grocer
With legendary matzo ball soup, this place gets packed at lunchtime; it also makes a mean dessert. The Thanksgiving menu will be available in stores from November 24 to 29, and catering orders must be placed by November 20. Now that you have your deadline, here’s what you’ll have to mull over: pecan, pumpkin or apple pie. Not to confuse matters, but it also makes acorn-shaped sugar cookies.
Various locations around the city; 773-292-7100 or goddessandgrocer.com