The 13 Best Pies in Los Angeles
Looking for the best pies in Los Angeles? You're in luck. These days, pastry chefs are working their baking magic in wild new ways to reinvent the classic dessert: Think deconstructed, single-serve, cereal-infused and unapologetically vegan. And they’re all just as good, err, better than a certain family matriarch used to make us. (Sorry, Mom.)
1. Pecan Pie at Friends and Family
Families need not get into heated disagreements on Thanksgiving any longer over the age-old pie preference debate (pumpkin or pecan?)—order one of each. For the latter, get this Hollywood hipster diner’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 brown butter 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 to pick up a few days ahead, then just remove it from your freezer 15 minutes before serving. Or to pick up closer to the holiday, order as late as Tuesday, November 23 to pick up on Wednesday or Thanksgiving Day.
Downtown Los Angeles, Studio City and Pacific Palisades locations; mcconnells.com
3. Milk Bar Pie at Milk Bar
Hotshot New York–based chef Christina Tosi opened an outpost of her bakery in Hollywood, and her fans line 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 in a less edgy fashion. There's a $50 minimum phone order if you want to secure a pie in advance, or you can show up as late as Thanksgiving Day to pick up one of the extras that are usually baked for the holidays.
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. Staff are jammed with orders, so while there is no cut off date for pre-Thanksgiving orders, as soon as you read this, you should order a pie.
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—just order as late as Tuesday, November 24, to pick up the next day.
Locations in Burbank and on Crenshaw Blvd.; gusfriedchicken.com
6. 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. There are vegan and gluten-free options available also—to guarantee yours in time for Turkey Day, pre-order by Saturday, November 21.
10893 W. Pico Blvd.; 310-474-7464 or atticusinla.com
7. 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. 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
8. Pumpkin Pie at SusieCakes
You’re way too cool to pick up one of those bland supermarket desserts, and you don’t have the patience to fiddle with flavor balancing. (Same here.) This cheery bakery has you covered: Order up to a week before your special event and pick up a pitch-perfect pumpkin pie (just the right amount of spice) the day of. Everybody’s happy. Just be sure to order ahead no later than Monday, November 23, to pick up on Wednesday, November 25.
Multiple locations; susiecakes.com
9. 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. Management recommends ordering the week before Thanksgiving.
11118 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood; 818-308-7990 or republicofpie.com
10. 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 its sweet fruity, graham crackery bites are so good, you'd better order a few extra just in case you need to try it before Thanksgiving itself. 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-serve onsite.
Multiple locations; urbanplates.com
11. Mud Pie at Black Angus Steakhouse
A nice counterpoint to traditional baked desserts, an ice cream pie is hard to say "No thanks" to when offered. This super-tall assemblage of fudge-swirled mocha almond ice cream comes in a chocolate cookie-crumb crust. So it's like a yummy chocolate cookie ice cream sandwich, but in pie form. There's no cutoff date for pre-orders, but management ominously told us the pies are available only "while supplies last," so...better do it ASAP.
Multiple locations; blackangus.com
12. Cereal Killer Cheesecake Pie at The Pie Hole
Next-level creativity for crunch lovers: Cheesecake filling is flecked with Fruity Pebbles, then poured into a Nilla Wafer crust and topped with Frosted Flakes or Froot Loops. (It’s supposed to taste like cereal and milk, but we think it’s way better.) You can pre-order up to the day before Thanksgiving.
Arts District, Glendale and Hollywood; thepieholela.com
13. Pumpkin Pie at Playa Provisions
Want your pumpkin pie to look like Cinderella has been fancied up by magic for the ball? That's the look of this pie with candied pecans and whipped cream rosettes adorning its face, and the crust decorated with leaves cut out of crust. As for the creamy taste? Let's just say if Cinderella had started eating this, she'd have defnitely needed to let out the bodice in her ball gown. Note: Orders must be placed by Monday November 23, for pickup on either Wednesday or by 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, November 26.
119 Culver Blvd., Playa Del Rey; 310-683- 5019 or playaprovisions.com