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London's best mince pies

Mince pies are a festive staple, but there are too many of them kicking about, frankly. Here are the ones to scoff

London's best mince pies
© Andy Parsons
By Tom Howells and Time Out London Food & Drink |

The mince pie. It’s the sweet festive staple you either love or hate (but you’d only hate them if you were an utter soulless Grinch, obvs). And there are a hell of a lot of them available across this town.

Like Christmas geese, we’ve grown visibly doughy in our efforts to taste and rate an absolute pile of mince pies: from supermarket staples to posher pies from high street names and upmarket bakeries. These are the London mincies (yeah, we’re calling them that) worth getting your baubles in a twist over. Gaudete!

RECOMMENDED: For more festive fun read our guide to Christmas in London

The best mince pies in London, ranked

Aldi Cognac Mince Pie
© Andy Parsons

Aldi: ‘Specially Selected’ mince pies

£1.35 for six

The best of the supermarket pies, Aldi’s cognac-laced number has an over-wet filling, but it’s satisfyingly boozy, with a citrusy, subtly spicy mincemeat. The pastry has a mass-produced softness, but maintains rigidity under pressure (*snort*).

Buy them from Aldi online or in-store.

St John mince pies
© Andy Parsons

St John: standard mince pie

£2.75 each

St John’s pies are old-school and ever-so grown up (like St John itself, basically): think shortbread-short and fatty pastry, with a nicely dense, heavily spiced filling that’s got a fine boozy thwack to it. Chin chin!

Buy them from the St John Bakery, 72 Druid St, SE1 2HQ. Open Saturday 9am-4pm.

Bread Ahead mince pies
© Andy Parsons

Bread Ahead: standard mince pie

£2.50 each

Pretty they ain’t, but these deep-filled numbers are the most savoury-tasting pie on the list. That’s a compliment: the super-short casings are crumbly with fat, and the mincemeat is almost Chrimbo pud in texture. One for the adults. 

Buy them from Bread Ahead, 249 Pavilion Rd, London SW1X 0BP.

Brick House mince pies
© Andy Parsons

Brick House: standard mince pie

£2 each/£7.50 for four

This ace Dulwich/Peckham bakery’s superlative pie is as much an Eccles cake as a trad mincey, with a dense, rum-soaked currant filling and super thin pastry that’s also dead robust. Classic stuff.

Buy them at Brick House East Dulwich, 1 Zenoria St, SE22 8HP ; or Brick House Peckham Rye, Unit 5, 12-16 Blenheim Grove, SE15 4QL.

Highly commended

Butterscotch mince pie
© Andy Parsons

They didn't make the four-strong hitlist, but the following pies all had their charms: 

Aldi, ‘Exquisite’ frangipane-topped mince pies (£2.99 for six)
Butterscotch, jumbo mince pies (£15 for six; pictured)
Greggs, sweet mince pies (£1.75 for six)
Konditor & Cook, standard mince pies (£12 for six)
Ottolenghi, standard mince pies (£7.80 for three)
Pearl & Groove, gluten-free mince pie (£3.50 each)
Pret, standard mince pie (£1.45 each)
Waitrose, ‘Essential’ shortcrust mince pies (£1.80 for six)

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