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In the annals of culinary blood sport, pie baking isn’t too competitive. Apple, pumpkin, crème, no big whoop. But lately, pastry chefs are working their crusty magic in wild new ways: deconstructed, single-serve, cereal-infused and unapologetically vegan. And they’re all just as good, err, better than a certain female matriarch used to make us. (Sorry, Mom.)

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Banana Cream Pie at Paley

Banana Cream Pie at Paley

We’re crushing on the individual banana cream pies; the crust-to-filling proportions are on point. And hey, no one said you couldn’t have two.

6115 Sunset Blvd.; 323-544-9430 or

Cherry Hand Pie at The Village Bakery and Cafe  los angeles best pies

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.

3119 Los Feliz Blvd., Atwater Village; 323-662-8600 or

Grape Pie at Craft Los Angeles
Robert Schwartz

Grape Pie at Craft Los Angeles

It’s the high-low of humble pie: A Concord grape pie served with a side of peanut butter ice cream, inspired by a PB&J sandwich. And of course, it’s arranged all fancy deconstructionist.

1011 Constellation Blvd.; 310-279-4180 or

Blueberry Pie at Love   Salt photoshopped
Love & Salt

Blueberry Pie at Love & Salt

A classic blueberry pie for the discerning foodie, this crust is made with fresh-milled Abruzzi Rye flour (made from Cali-grown heritage crops) with a toasted oats and brown butter streusel topping. Oh, and it’s filled with local berries from the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market.

317 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Manhattan Beach; 310-545-5252  or

Salted Caramel at Atticus Creamery   Pies
Atticus Creamery + Pies

Salted Caramel at Atticus Creamery + Pies

Not a fruit filling kind of lady? We feel you. So do the folks at Atticus, where a mini pie shell gets a bottom layer of chocolate ganache, then a caramel mousse filling, then a tower of light cream topped with caramelized popcorn.

6015 W. Third St.; 323-934-7980 or

Apple Hand Pie at Di Alba
Emily Hart Roth

Apple Hand Pie at Di Alba

So maybe you don’t have time to sit down and properly enjoy dessert. No problem with these grab-and-go versions of a classic Apple-Thyme pie. The golden, flaky crust is dressed with a simple glaze and warmed to order. 

827 E. Third St.; 213-620-6244 or


Cereal Killer Cheesecake Pie at The Pie Hole

Next-level creativity for crunch lovers: A house-made cheesecake filling is flecked with Fruity Pebbles, then poured into a Nilla Wafer crust and topped with Frosted Flakes. (It’s supposed to taste like cereal and milk, but we think it’s way better.)

Various locations;

Vegan Cookies N  Milk pie at Clara Cakes
Clara Polito

Vegan Cookies N’ Milk pie at Clara Cakes

Have you heard of the 19-year-old vegan, Clara Polito, who runs an Atwater Village bakery? Well, it’s high time you gave yourself a break from dairy and tried the recipes in her just-released cookbook, Clara Cakes: Delicious and Simple Vegan Desserts for Everyone! Or maybe just order a custom pie from the shop.

213-880-2253 or 

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