Cupcakes, cookie dough, and ice cream have all had their 15 minutes of internet fame among dessert devotees. Even cake has stepped in and out of the sweets spotlight, from Tina Fey celebrating the healing powers of a grocery store sheet cake to the moment we discovered that almost any household object could actually be cake. But for a dessert with an entire day (and at least two towns) dedicated to it, pie still feels underrated.
Even March 14, known as Pi Day because of its numeric designation 3.14, has no intrinsic connection to the sweet treat beyond the pie/Pi homonym. But there are few foods that are as versatile, delicious, and decorative as the humble pie, which can be served up savory, sweet, sour, or somewhere in between. Here are eight of our favorite places to grab a slice (or several) of the best pies across the U.S.
1. Four & Twenty Blackbirds
Founded in Brooklyn in 2009 by two sisters, Four & Twenty Blackbirds now has two New York City locations. Those craving a slice of the bakery’s classic pies, such as chocolate chess, salted caramel apple, or black bottom oat, can find them daily at the original Gowanus location (the interior features beautiful architectural details and decorative tin ceilings) or at the Four & Twenty Blackbird Pie Counter + Bar, located on Dean Street in Prospect Heights. Demand for seasonal offerings featuring locally-sourced, in-season ingredients often far outpaces supply—but if you do manage to get your hands on a slice of sour cherry pie, you’ll forget all about the $44-per-pie price tag after the first perfectly-tart bite.
2. Beiler’s Bakery at Reading Terminal Market
If you like cherry pie, we promise that you’ll still be thinking about the one from Beiler’s Bakery years after the pan and plates have been scraped clean. The stall, located in Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market, has been owned and operated by the same Pennsylvania Dutch family since 1984. Serving fresh-baked goods made on-site with natural ingredients, the bakery offers a variety of breads, cookies, cakes, sticky buns, and whoopie pies. Beiler’s Doughnuts, sold from a separate stand across the aisle (and at three other locations in Pennsylvania and Maryland), are famous enough to have their own Instagram account, but the affordable, mouthwatering pies are reason to make a beeline to the bakery’s market outpost, open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
3. Mrs. Wick’s Restaurant and Pie Shop
If there’s one thing Hoosiers love more than basketball and tenderloin sandwiches, it’s a Mrs. Wick’s Sugar Cream Pie. This classic Indiana dessert dates back to the 1800s and is often referred to as the “unofficial pie” of the state. But no matter how many versions of this treat you try, there’s no cream pie quite as famous as the Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie at Mrs. Wick’s Restaurant and Pie Shop in Winchester, Indiana. Featuring 36 pie varieties on a daily basis, visitors come from near and far to sample multiple iterations of Mrs. Wick’s cream pie, more than 20 fruit pies, and a classic diner menu serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, including mouth-watering burgers and all-day breakfast.
There may be no better place to celebrate 3.14 than in Pie Town, New Mexico. Located along Highway 60, this tiny town of less than 200 people has been featured in Smithsonian Magazine, on CBS News Sunday Morning, and in a feature-length documentary called Pie Lady of Pie Town. The Pie-O-Neer Cafe offers fresh classics and fun twists on old favorites such as Blueberry Hill Pie Muffins and Stuffed Pie Waffles. Have a favorite pie? The Pie-O-Neer encourages visitors to call ahead to place custom orders, or you can sample daily pie options at the cafe’s Pie Bar. If you visit on the second Saturday of September, you can also check out the Pie Town Annual Pie Festival, which features baking contests, games, music, arts and crafts, and more.
5. Veyo Pies
Located in Utah’s Greater Zion area, about 20 minutes from St. George, you’ll find what’s arguably one of the best pie shops in the U.S. A popular stop for road cyclists, you’ll have to wait your turn in line at Veyo Pies to try the fruit, cream, or specialty pies. There’s even a chicken pot pie on the menu if you’re in the mood for something savory. Crowd favorites include strawberry rhubarb, apple, blackberry, mountain berry, and the graham cracker-crusted Veyo Volcano. The pie shop is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
6. Mike’s Pastry
The famous Italian bakery in Boston’s North End neighborhood might be known for its lobster tails and cannoli, but its single pie item is worth notoriety. The ricotta pie is essentially a pie made with cannoli filling, and it’s worth every calorie. If you want to skip the line at the North End location, visit the bakery’s Harvard Square location in Cambridge or Assembly Row in Somerville.
7. Linn’s Restaurant
Genetically a mix between blackberries and raspberries, olallieberries were developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the 1940s. It’s also the primary berry grown at the Cambria farm owned by the Linn family. At Linn’s Restaurant, you can get a taste of the berry in everything from cheesecake to pudding, but the real star of the show is the olallieberry pie. Baked to perfection, with a golden crust and gooey, mouthwatering filling, it strikes just the right balance between sweet and tart.
8. Mom’s Pie House
You can’t throw a rock down Main Street in Julian, California, without hitting a pie shop, but if you only have room for one slice, the apple pie at Mom’s is a good place to start. Still run by “Mom” herself, Anita Nichols, the bakery has been a local staple since 1984. Julian, a former gold rush town, is famous for its apples—which are heavily featured in the local pie, cider, and activities such as festivals and apple picking. Pie-lovers return to Mom’s for the flaky crust and not-to-sweet filling. Don’t forget the side of vanilla ice cream.