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A pecan pie.
Photograph: Tina Harle

The 23 best pies in Chicago

The most irresistible pies in town range from fruity creations to seriously rich chocolate versions.

Written by
Morgan Olsen
&
Jeffy Mai
Contributors
Zach Long
&
Erin Yarnall
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Whether you’re a fan of the classics or prefer something a bit more original, Chicago’s best pie makers are here to please. With a seemingly endless variety of fillings and toppings to choose from, there’s an option for every taste. Key lime fans can head to Joe’s or Bang Bang to get their fix, while those who want to step into a time warp should check out Spinning J. For creative flavors, Stephanie Izard’s Sugargoat offers delights like a chocolate French fry pie. Even gluten-free pies are available, courtesy of Defloured.

While many of these offerings are found at the city’s best bakeries, they also serve as tantalizing desserts at seafood restaurants and steakhouses. And you can usually buy them by the slice, but if you’re trying to be the MVP during the holiday season, grab a whole one for the family. So read on to discover the best pies in Chicago.

Best pies in Chicago

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

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 and the Malört-inspired "Chicago Sunrise"), along with Metropolis coffee, at her tiny, retro pie shop. The pies are, in a word, extraordinary.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Logan Square
  • price 1 of 4

The flavors at Bang Bang rotate regularly, offering a taste of seasonal produce and funky flavor combinations concocted for special holidays. Come summer, diners might be able to grab a slice of lemon pie with tangy lemon cream, frothy lemon mousse and lip-smacking lemon curd. In the winter months, keep an eye out for more indulgent creations, like the chocolate-caramel pie with shortbread cookie crust. Key lime is available all year for good reason—it's an excellent example of what the little shop can do. Citrusy custard pools in a graham cracker crust before being topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. It's spectacularly simple yet inexplicably divine.

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  • Restaurants
  • Loop

Maya-Camille Broussard launched Justice of the Pies as a way to honor her late father, a criminal defense attorney and a self-proclaimed pie aficionado. You can find Broussard and her delicious slices at the Daley Plaza farmer's market, or get them shipped directly to your door via GoldBelly. The sublime lavender-lemon pie tastes even sweeter when you find out that Justice partners with nonprofits to positively impact the lives around them.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Andersonville
  • price 1 of 4

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 organization that provides hunger relief. Whatever it may be, it certainly doesn't hurt that the pie is expertly crafted in classic varieties like French silk, chocolate cream, Michigan sour cherry and Key lime. Inhale the shop's brilliant aroma and feel good about giving back.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Humboldt Park
  • price 1 of 4

Travel back in time (if only for an hour) at this charming Humboldt Park pie and soda shop that's outfitted with old-timey barstools and beautiful vintage accents. Despite its decor, the pies on offer aren't stuck in the past: Diners can choose from imaginative flavors like yuzu-matcha meringue, s'mores, lemon-lavender and key lime-hibiscus. Order a slice and a house-made soda, hunker down in a booth and transport yourself to a simpler time.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Greater Grand Crossing
  • price 1 of 4

Stephanie Hart turns out a number of “down-home delights” at her bakery, many of them smacking of the shop’s eponymous ingredient. Fans flock to the shop's two locations—one in Grand Crossing, the other at Navy Pier—for Hart's famous laser pie, which is stuffed with sweet potato chunks and topped with caramel, chocolate and nuts. Don't tell your granny we said so, but her sweet potato pie is one of the best we've ever had.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Oak Park
  • price 1 of 4

Take a trip outside city limits to Oak Park for a superb selection of baked goods from sisters Molly and Meg Svec. The pair have built a reputation on making pies using local and seasonal ingredients. Flavors include chocolate chess, coconut cream and guava cream but if you can’t settle on just one, Spilt Milk has been known to sell Franken Pies, which are composed of six random slices chosen by the shop. 

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Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Andersonville

Typically anyone who abides by a gluten-free diet would have to count pie out when it comes to their dessert table, but that’s not the case with Andersonville's Defloured, an entirely gluten-free bakery. Defloured’s pies, which are made with a variety of alternative flours, including brown rice flour and tapioca flour, are special-order only, and require a seven-day advanced notice. In addition to the bakery’s pie options, it also offers an array of baked goods, including nearly 20 different types of cookies.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Lake View

When you’re thinking of two foods that work seamlessly together, empanadas and pie aren’t usually the first two that come to mind, but Empanada Mama and the Pie Man have made the two baked items seem like a natural fit since the shop first opened in 2020. Despite opening in the midst of a pandemic, the thriving bakery has been able to build up a decently-sized menu that features not only nine different sweet pies, but a whole host of savory options as well. Slices of the dessert pies are $7 each.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • North Center
  • price 1 of 4

By employing homeless and otherwise at-risk youth and training them to enter the hospitality workforce, this nonprofit café doubles as a social venture. That's all the reason you need to walk through the front door, but after just one bite of their key lime or dark chocolate pecan pie, you'll be a repeat visitor for years to come.

  • Restaurants
  • Rogers Park

Years after building up a devoted following out of the Long Room's kitchen, chefs Kyle Schrage and Jim Torres have set up shop in a brick-and-mortar location in Edgewater, serving griddled burgers and warming comfort foods. Equally appealing, though, is the pub's rotating roster of pies by the Milwaukee cafe Honeypie. Pie maker Valeri Lucks dreams up these 11-inch confections in a cascade of flavors, from seasonal picks like peach blueberry and Door County cherry to piquant combos such as ginger chai cream and old fashioned buttermilk and jam.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Lincoln Square
  • price 1 of 4

Husband-and-wife duo Dave and Megan Miller helped found Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits before venturing out on their own and opening this bakery and millhouse in Lincoln Square. You can expect specialty pies throughout the year, especially around the holiday season, alongside reliable favorites like Key lime and blueberry.

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Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • West Loop

Sugargoat is not chef Stephanie Izard’s first restaurant venture in Chicago, but it’s certainly the Top Chef winner’s sweetest. The bakery opened up in 2020 inside Izard’s Little Goat Diner, and has been been noted for its kooky and delicious desserts, including its chocolate french fry pie, which, true to its name, has a chocolate malt filling and a fry crumble crust. The bakery has an additional five pies on its menu, all with some unexpected twists.

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Lincoln Park
  • price 1 of 4

As its name suggests, this Lincoln Park- and Streeterville-based bakery is as sweet as pie—and luckily, the menu offers a laundry list of actual pies to boot. Nine-inch whole pies come in flavors like apple, pecan, peanut butter chiffon and s'mores. Just don't be surprised when you leave the store with a box of whimsical cookies, brownies and cupcakes; the pastry case at Sweet Mandy B's is irresistable.

  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Rush & Division
  • price 3 of 4

One of Chicago’s most venerable steakhouses is an impressive experience from start to finish. The beef gets star billing, and justifiably so, but Gibsons’ macadamia turtle pie is the item that catches every eye in the dining room when it’s brought out. Pie crust is loaded with vanilla ice cream, graham cracker crumbles, and macadamia nuts, and the towering dessert is finished with drizzles of chocolate and caramel sauce. You’ll definitely have to share this one, and you most certainly will not leave hungry.

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Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
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  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • River North
  • price 2 of 4

We know you’re probably at Hogsalt Hospitality’s sultry steakhouse to feast on luxuries like chilled shellfish and cuts of dry-aged beef. But do yourself a favor and save room for dessert because it’s worth it. Bavette’s offers two pies—lemon meringue and chocolate cream. Although they’re both great, we keep coming back to the latter. It features a cookie crust and silky smooth, pudding-like chocolate filling. If that’s not rich enough, it’s topped with a dollop of whipped cream.

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Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • River North
  • price 3 of 4

We love tucking into an order of chilled crab claws at Shaw's, but we're always sure to leave room for dessert. The seafood restaurant’s Key lime pie is arguably the best option on the menu and is crafted with an almond-graham cracker crust and buttery-smooth filling. If you prefer a fruit-based confection, opt for the raspberry pie, which is stuffed with berries from Mike & Jerry's berry farm in Washington state.

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  • Restaurants
  • Patisseries
  • Lincoln Park
  • price 2 of 4

If you want to show up your entire family at Thanksgiving, bring a pie from Vanille Patisserie, a French pastry shop with locations in Lincoln Park and Chicago French Market. Every year, the bakery puts out a roster of tempting seasonal confections, like pumpkin with cinnamon whipped cream and chocolate Nutella French silk. Place your order in advance—these pies go fast for good reason.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Greater Grand Crossing
  • price 1 of 4

Over in South Shore, this charming little shop dishes out an assortment of sweet treats. While you can order a slice (or two), be the hero at your next gathering by bringing a full pie. The Key lime, pecan and sweet potato are all stellar.

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Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
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  • Restaurants
  • Filipino
  • East Village
  • price 2 of 4

Before Genie Kwon started turning heads at modern Filipino standout Kasama, she was Oriole’s pastry chef. Guests who had the pleasure of dining there were sent home after their meal with an exceptional pie from Kwon to enjoy the following day. Her current offering at Kasama is an apple hand pie with perfect crust. It’s big enough to share but we totally understand if you’d rather be a little selfish.

https://media.timeout.com/images/105925010/image.jpg
Jeffy Mai
Editor, Time Out Chicago
  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Douglas

Eméché isn’t just a name for the Bronzeville bakery, it’s the story of the bakery’s roots. Started by Chicago native Janell Richmond, Eméché (which translates to "tipsy" in French) began with Richmond making alcohol-infused cupcakes in her New York apartment. After moving back to Chicago, she opened up her brick-and-mortar shop in 2019, treating customers to a whole range of specialties including pies in classic flavors like apple and Key lime.

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  • Restaurants
  • Humboldt Park

Though Heather Bodine-Lederman—the mastermind behind this 100 percent vegan bakery—has turned her attention toward cakes since starting Pie, Pie My Darling in 2014, you can still find some pretty delicious pies on the menu now and again. Stay tuned to the bakery's Instagram to watch out for pie offerings, which come in unique flavors like Butterfinger, raspberry Danish and chocolate peanut butter pretzel, and don't hesitate to grab a slice of fresh-baked cake from The Handlebar and Upton's Breakroom in the meantime.

Note: The bakery's West Town storefront is currently closed due to COVID-19, but you can still place orders online. 

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