Why is “easy as pie” a phrase used to describe something that takes little effort, when making a pie is anything but? It’s damn near impossible to master the perfect buttery crust and silky filling. Fortunately, for those of us who lack the culinary prowess to conquer the dessert, we can always leave it to the professionals. Los Angeles is filled with bakers that are upholding traditional pies with refined ingredients and ones that are putting their own spin on things with ice cream creations, vegan offerings and more. This holiday season take the pressure off yourself and order out with our roundup of the best pies in Los Angeles. (Psst: The decision to lie and say the pie is homemade is up to you.)
The 18 Best Pies in Los Angeles for the Holidays (or Anytime, Really)
1. Pecan Pie At Friends And Family
Families need not get into heated disagreements on Thanksgiving over the age-old pie preference debate (pumpkin or pecan?)—simply order one of each. For the latter, get this Hollywood bakery’s beautifully sculpted and perfectly flavor-balanced pie, available to order up to a week before Thanksgiving.
5150 Hollywood Blvd.; 323-668-2000 or friendsandfamilyla.com
2. Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie At Mcconnell's Ice Cream
The seasonal favorite from the beloved local artisanal ice cream maker is back: McConnell’s Pumpkin Ice Cream Pie has a salted browned butter shortbread cookie crust and is filled with their signature pumpkin pie ice cream. And then there are the toppings—pecan pralines and salted caramel sauce. It's a great dessert option because you just need to remove it from your freezer 15 minutes before serving. The pies will be available for pre-order starting November 1 until November 22. Customers can pick up their pies on the Tuesday (23) and Wednesday (24) before Thanksgiving.
Downtown Los Angeles, Studio City and Pacific Palisades locations; mcconnells.com
3. Milk Bar Pie At Milk Bar
Ever since hotshot New York–based chef Christina Tosi opened an outpost of her bakery in Hollywood, her fans have been lining up like smiley-face emojis on a sugar high to get her uniquely satisfying treats. This is one of her signature desserts, with a toasted oat crust and salty-sweet filling that she first made for a family meal at the restaurant where she baked. If you have a foodie at your table, they will recognize this as the infamous "crack pie" as it was known for its addictive allure, before calmer minds re-named it. With any event, Milk Bar suggests ordering so that the baked good arrives a few days before it's needed (ideally one to two days). The product stores perfectly in the freezer for up to two weeks and you can pop it right out when ready to eat.
7150 Melrose Ave.; 323-297-3250 or milkbarstore.com
4. Harvest Apple At Winston Pies
If you like your dessert “extra,” you’ve come to the right place. Choose from a dozen year-round and seasonal flavors, including classic cherry and blueberry as well as the caramel-y Chocolate Cowgirl variety. Many flavors can be ordered in vegan and gluten-free options, including this jumbo (11 inches instead of the usual nine) juicy apple pie. Winston takes pre-orders until a week before Thanksgiving and reservations are open so you can get a jump on the holiday season now. But if you forget to pre-order, no worries. Winston bakes extra pies on a first-come, first-serve basis for the week of Thanksgiving. (However, there is no guarantee on quantity or flavors for those same-day purchases.) This year, they are offering Winston Pies Bake From Home and preparing pies that customers can bake at home. These are available for pick up at the Brentwood location between now and mid-November. Pre-order online.
Locations in Brentwood and on West Third St.; winstonpies.com
5. Chocolate Chess Pie At Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken
Nothing’s more Southern than the dense and delicious taste of chess pie, that simple confection of eggs, flour, butter and sugar. Make a meal of, say, a juicy leg and breast of Gus’s spicy Memphis-style bird, then follow it up with a slice of chess pie (and get ready to be blissed out for hours). Gus’s is pretty casual about its pre-orders—order as late as Tuesday, November 23, to pick up the next day.
Locations in Burbank and on Crenshaw Blvd.; gusfriedchicken.com
6. Cherry Hand Pie At The Village Bakery And Café
Extra marks for presentation (a sweetheart!) and the textured sprinkling of Demerara sugar on these juicy little single-serve delights. They’re heaven for breakfast. (Yep, pie for breakfast is definitely encouraged). Since the Village Bakery is known for its hand pies—and churns out tons of them, bless their flour-dusted hearts—you can order as late as a couple days before Thanksgiving to have them around for guests.
3119 Los Feliz Blvd., Atwater Village; 323-662-8600 or thevillagebakeryandcafe.com
7. Pumpkin Pie At Susiecakes
You’re way too cool to pick up one of those bland supermarket desserts, but you don’t have the patience to fiddle with flavor balancing. This cheery bakery has you covered: Order up to a week before your special event and pick up a pitch-perfect pumpkin pie (with just the right amount of spice) the day of. Susiecakes is accepting orders up to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 23, and offering pecan, pumpkin and apple crumble pies this year.
Multiple locations; susiecakes.com
8. Cherry Pie At Republic Of Pie
Cherry is a classic that's not usually thought of as a fall dessert, but in SoCal, it's a year-round favorite for its sweet-tart appeal. Order yours ahead at this beloved North Hollywood hangout, where the Stumptown Coffee flows and customers' glycemic levels are happily off the charts. We recommend ordering early.
11118 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood; 818-308-7990 or republicofpie.com
9. Banana Cream Pie At Urban Plates
Thoughtful hosts help guests with not over-indulging on Thanksgiving by serving individual little pies, like the luscious banana cream pies from Urban Plates. Then again, these sweet fruity, graham crackery bites are so good, you'd better order a few extra just in case anyone wants seconds (and they will). While there’s no hard-and-fast pre-order deadline, Urban Plates management suggests ordering 24 hours in advance, especially for orders of more than a dozen. After that, it's first-come, first-served onsite.
Multiple locations; urbanplates.com
10. Baileys Apple Pie & Coffee Stuffed Cheesecake At The Pie Hole
Serve your pie and coffee in one convenient pan with Pie Hole’s Baileys Apple Pie & Coffee Stuffed Cheesecake. This confectionary concoction combines their Mom’s Apple Crumble inside their Coffee & Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake, wrapped with a Baileys infused graham cracker crust and topped with butter crumble and crushed chocolate chunks. We’re drooling already. Order at least a week before Thanksgiving online for local delivery and pickup. Available for national delivery.
Arts District, Glendale and Hollywood; thepieholela.com
11. Sweet Potato Pie At Southern Girl Desserts
What do Denzel Washington, Mariah Carey, and Samuel L. Jackson have in common? They’re all fans of Southern Girl Desserts. Owners Catarah Coleman and Shoneji Robison base their nostalgic sweets on recipes by their grandmothers. Try their sweet potato pie—the buttery crust is made from scratch and filled with puréed sweet potatoes, cinnamon and nutmeg. All local ordering for Thanksgiving can be done online. Check out their website for delivery and pickup times. Also available for national delivery.
3650 West Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, Suite 100; (323) 293-2253 or southerngirldesserts.com
12. Original Fried Softserve Pie At Magpies
Vegans and non-vegans may not always get along, but we have a feeling Magpie’s vegan-friendly fried softserve pie can unite the two camps, making it perfect for a Thanksgiving table. The delicious dish has corn almond softserve as a base and is layered with vegan fudge and honeycomb before being topped with non-dairy whipped cream and fried candied cornflakes. During the holiday season, Magpies are also offering vegan softserve pies in maple pecan, pumpkin, double chocolate and strawberry shortcake. Starting November 2, all of the Softserve Pies will be available for pre-order through their website and available for purchase and pickup at each location. The pies easily last two to three weeks in the freezer and it’s recommended to pick up early because they sell out every year.
Various locations; magpiessoftserve.com
13. Mini Pies At 27th St. Bakery
Not only are 27th St.’s mini pies irresistibly cute, but they’re also delicious. The dense filling is complimented with their flaky crust. Bring home a dozen for your next get-together and bless your loved ones with their very own sweet potato or pecan pie.
2700 S Central Ave, 90011; 323.233.3469 or 27thstreetbakery.com
14. Pumpkin Praline At Harriet’s Cheesecakes Unlimited
Despite having “cake” in the name, cheesecakes most definitely belong in the “pie” category. And more importantly, Harriet’s cheesecakes belong on your dessert table. Especially their pumpkin praline in all its praline rich, caramely, velvety glory. Pre-order 24 hours in advance during normal times and two weeks in advance during the holidays.
1515 Centinela Avenue, 90302; 310-419-2259 or harrietscheesecakesunlimited.com
15. Winter Luxury Pumpkin Pie At Valerie Confections
Valerie’s Winter Luxury Pumpkin Pie is the fancy cousin of your typical pumpkin pie. They take your classic pumpkin pie filling and put it in a pâte brisée crust then top it off with delicately sweetened whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg. Dig in with your pinky out. You can preorder your pie now and pick up on November 23 and 24.
3364 W 1st St., 90004; 213-739-8149 or valerieconfections.com
16. Purely Apple Crumple Pie At Sweet Laurel
If you have ever found it hard to navigate a loved one’s dietary restrictions during a Friends/Thanksgiving, struggle no more with the Purely Apple Crumble Pie. Sweet Laurel upgraded their classic apple pie with a scrumptious crumble made with Purely Elizabeth Apple Walnut Grain-Free Granola and a cozy apple filling. It’s completely vegan and paleo (aka grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free) and available only in November for pick-up in L.A. and shipping nationwide. Place order 48 hours in advance for non-holiday times and put your order in by November 21 for Thanksgiving.
15279 Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades, 90272; 310-442-2722 or sweetlaurel.com
17. Peach Cobbler At Sweet Red Peach
Some may argue that cobbler doesn’t fit into the pie category, but at Sweet Red Peach their peach cobbler comes with a dumping crust at the bottom and a tender flaky crust on top so we’re firmly counting it as a pie… and a supremely tasty one at that. The crust balances out the cinnamon and sweetness of the peach filling. You can preorder your Thanksgiving desserts now on their website and pickup in person on November 22, 23 and 24.
1035 S Prairie Ave #2, 90301 or sweetredpeach.com
18. California Berry Crumble At Gemini Bakeshouse
The husband and wife duo behind Gemini does a little bit of everything. They can do savory and sweet. They have bagels, bread, cakes and jams, but most importantly, they make pies! This small Silverlake operation makes a delicious pie filled with market-fresh fruit and topped with a beautiful crumble. You can place orders online. Last pickup before Thanksgiving is Sunday, November 21.
2847 W Sunset Blvd or geminibakehouse.com
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