Best pies in Chicago

Whether you're looking for fall classics like apple and pumpkin or summer staples like blueberry or cherry, here's where to find the best pies in Chicago

Photograph: Martha Williams
Bang Bang Pie Shop

We're not sure exactly when Chicago became so pie-crazed, but we don't care–the past few years have been an embarrassment of riches when it comes to our favorite dessert. Whether it's rich chocolate pies by the slice from Bang Bang Pie Shop, perfect renditions of pecan pie at Shaw's Crab House or decadent peanut butter pie from Bub City, here's where to go for a terrific slice.

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Best pies in Chicago

Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse

Critics' pick

David and Megan Miller's (Bang Bang Pie Shop) new millhouse and bakery is, unsuprisingly, serving up some of the best pies around. Since they're milling grains in house, that means a sage-laced pumpkin with graham crust, a sweet-tart cranberry apple with a vegetarian crust that uses coconut instead of lard, and creamy butterscotch pie with oat cookie crust.

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Lincoln Square

Bang Bang Pie Shop

You could say this place is a coffee shop: It roasts its own beans to create bold, serious cups of hot and iced coffee. Besides, back when this business was a food truck, it was called Bang Bang Pie and Coffee. But now, the “coffee” has been lopped off, and it’s mainly a pie shop. There’s a particular charm to that—a place where you can just meet someone for a slice of pie, whether in the vintage-y interior or at a picnic table in the huge yard. Whatever you do, don’t overlook the biscuits, particularly when topped with gravy.

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Logan Square

Blue Sky Bakery & Café

By employing homeless and otherwise at-risk youth and training them to enter the hospitality work force, this nonprofit café doubles as a social venture. But to be honest, the only thing you'll think about once you've had one of its chocolate-chunk cookies, cheddar-chive scones or local produce–packed pies is how well this cute café is serving you.

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West Lakeview

Bub City

Between the bourbon, a live-music stage that would be easy to hop onto and the very disturbing mannequin of a cowboy urinating in the women’s bathroom, the Melmans’ latest hit is a place where one could make a lot of bad decisions. Here’s one you won’t regret: ordering a slice (or six) of chef Doug Psaltis’s pie for dessert. The lemon-meringue and banana-cream are incredible, but the Peanut Butter Chocolate Delight—made with Valhrona chocolate ganache and housemade peanut butter—is positively insane, a marriage of comfort food and unimpeachable finesse. Psaltis’s secret: his wife, Hsing Chen, the former pastry chef at the Peninsula, who he says taught him everything he knows about pie.

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River North

First Slice Pie Cafe

Maybe it's the giant pie sculpture in the window here that seduces you and draws you in. Or maybe it's the fact that eating at this charitable café is an easy way to support an org that provides hunger relief. Inhale the aroma of fresh-baked pie (red wine and poached pear, and standbys like apple) and feel good about giving back.

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Andersonville

Hoosier Mama Pie Company

Critics' pick

Former fine-dining pastry chef Paula Haney made a name for her pies at farmers’ markets and coffee shops. Now she sells seasonal creations (from strawberry-rhubarb in spring to apple and pumpkin in fall) and signatures (like her incomparable banana-cream), along with Metropolis coffee, at her tiny, retro pie shop. The pies are, in a word, extraordinary. But while pie is Haney’s thing, don’t ignore the scones, either, especially the chocolate chip.

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East Village

Shaw’s Crab House

Critics' pick

We love the seafood at Shaw's, but dessert's another high point—Shaw's pies are among the best around, and one bite of the thick, gooey pecan pie (with a caramel-pecan sauce), and you'll wish you saved extra room.

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River North

Comments

2 comments
Bill F
Bill F

Good suggestions, but you should have included Loretta's Bakeshop and Cafe on Randolph St. They even have hand pies in case you need to grab your pie on the run. All the deliciousness and no need for a fork.