Best pies in Los Angeles for Thanksgiving (Slide show)
We pick the best pies for your Thanksgiving table from apple pie and pumpkin pie to pecan pie and custard pie.
1/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanPies, glorious pies!
2/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanSpiced pumpkin pie8 1/2-inch pie, $28. Tavern. Advance order required for November 27 pick-up.
As pastry chef of Lucques, A.O.C. and Tavern, Christina Olufsen has a way with a whisk and butter, as evidenced in the flaky, light (and, yes, super buttery) crust which won over the staff (aka Thanksgiving Pie Tasters). As for the filling, there's a nice balance of spice and sweet—the stuff of holiday dreams.
3/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanPumpkin tart8-inch tart, $35. Bouchon. 48-hour advance notice required.
This ain't no pie, but would you expect anything less from Thomas Keller than a fancy-pants tart—pumpkin bread layered with a spiced pumpkin mousse and sweet, vanilla dough and topped with gold? Bring one home to impress the in-laws or gift the (trés chic) hostess.
4/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanPumpkin pie9-inch pie, $10.75. Porto's.
At just over ten bucks, the Cuban bakery's custard-like pie (think creamy and caramelized crème brûlée) is the sweetest fall pie.
5/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanHoney-braised pumpkin tart10-inch tart, $38. Cake Monkey. 48-hour advance notice required for pick-up or delivery.
This cutie-pie creation is the ultimate for the sweet-toothed—honey-braised pumpkin is packed into a graham cracker crust and topped with sugary, toasted marshmallow.
6/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanSweet potato pie10-inch pie, $30. Porch Pies.
Specializing in Southern pies from pecan to chess (choose from lemon, chocolate, coconut), Porch Pies offers a taste of the Dixie year-round by phone or online orders. We love the beautiful maple leaf adornments and the creamy filling that makes us think twice about the tasty wonders of sweet potato.
7/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanSweet potato pie9-inch pie, $25. I Heart Pies. Place order by November 23 for pick-up or delivery (two pie minimum) on November 27.
The baking duo behind the Toluca Lake pie company deliver direct to your doorstep. Try this alternative to pumpkin (with vegan and gluten-free options, too) with a thick, flavorful filling.
8/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanApple & salted caramel pie9-inch pie, $30. Valerie Confections. Place order by November 25 at 3pm for pick-up or delivery.
LA's queen of confections—Angelenos love Valerie Gordon's petits fours and chocolates—offers fall pies like this apple and salted-caramel stunner. The double crust beauty holds up to its good looks with crunchy apples and a soft, buttery crust. The selling point? Salted caramel...we just wish there was more of it.
9/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanApple crumb pie9-inch pie, $23. The Village Bakery & Cafe. 48-hour advance notice required. Last day to pick-up is Thanksgiving Day 8am-noon.
The Atwater Village bakery's pie tasted of apple pie bliss. The rustic pie has plenty of tart apples topped with a buttery, crunchy crumble and attains crust nirvana—a flaky creation to measure all crusts.
10/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanApple pie10-inch pie, $34. Sweet Butter Kitchen. Place order by November 20.
The Sherman Oaks cafe/bakery offers an apple pie that tastes of childhood—soul-warming and made with a skilled hand just like Mom's.
11/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanApple pieSmall, 5-inch, $12.95; large (pictured), 9-inch, $35. Clementine. Place order by November 22.
The beloved Century City cafe/bakery offers holiday pies in small (serves 1-2 people) and large (serves 6-8 people) like this classic apple that encases tart, crunchy apples inside a beautiful, delicate double crust.
12/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanCider-roasted apple pie10-inch pie, $35. Cake Monkey. 48-hour advance notice required for pick-up or delivery.
There's no holding back with this intensely-flavored pie that's anything but ordinary. Pink Ladies and Granny Smiths are cooked in Vermont cider and tossed in brown butter for a syrupy, apple sauce-bomb filling inside a double Cheddar (yes, as in cheese) crust.
13/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanApple pie8-inch pie, $28 (two pies for $50). Bouchon. Place order as soon as possible and specify pick-up time.
More tart than pie, this dainty dessert from the Beverly Hills bakery starts with a sweet, delicate pate sucrée layered with Braeburn apples spiced with subtle hints of cinnamon and vanilla. Topped with an elegant crumb topping and powdered sugar, it's a Frenchman's take on the all-American.
14/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanApple pie9-inch pie, $20. Cafe Los Feliz. Place order one day in advance for pick-up. Open on Thanksgiving Day.
Nothing says Grandma's like a lattice top and Cafe Los Feliz gives a nod to Grams with an old-school crust baked atop a smooth, apple sauce-like filling. There's nothing fancy here, just years of practice (the symmetry!) and lots of love.
15/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanCranberry crumble tart8-inch tart, $28. Susina. 48-hour advance notice for pick-up until November 27 at 4pm.
The Mid-City favorite offers the perfect alternative to the usual holiday pie with this elegant tart. We love the hazelnut-vanilla crumble and the custard layer atop the sweet, buttery crust. The tart cranberry filling makes for a fine replacement to cranberry sauce.
16/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanBrown Butter Pecan Pie10-inch pie, $35. Cake Monkey. 48-hour advance notice required for pick-up or delivery.
Brown butter makes everything taste better, including this pecan pie. Nutty, earthy and not too sweet (crunchy pecans and toasted cocoa nibs are also in the mix), this was our favorite of the pecans.
17/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanPecan pie8-inch pie, $35. Bouchon. 48-hour advance notice required.
The 90210 version of a pecan-bourbon starts with whiskey-infused maple custard baked with whole roasted pecans and a light, sweet crust. Top with chocolate creme and gold leaf and it's pastry luxe at its best.
18/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanPecan pie9-inch pie, $22. Cafe Los Feliz. Place order one day in advance for pick-up. Open on Thanksgiving Day.
There's nothing fancy about this pecan—gooey but not cloyingly sweet and loads of pecans make a standard version that satisfies.
19/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanBlack Bottom Pecan Pie9-inch pie, $28. Magnolia Bakery. Special order only, place order by November 23.
The NYC-based outpost of famed cupcake fame offers tastes of home with sugar-laden goodies like this Black Bottom Pecan that's filled with chopped nuts and just enough chocolate chips that's not too syrupy or sweet. The playful presentation (Pollock-esque chocolate drizzle) somewhat makes up for the lackluster crust.
20/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanButterscotch Pudding Pie10-inch pie, $35. Cake Monkey Bakery. 48-hour advance notice required for pick-up or delivery.
The pumpkin seed brittle alone is enough to get us "oohing" and "aahing" over this looker of a pie. Add a velvety, sweet butterscotch filling inside a graham cracker crust, drizzle with caramel and you have delicious layers of flavor (there's even a hint of smoke) and texture.
21/21Photograph: Jakob N. LaymanMaple Custard Pie9-inch pie, $35. Pie Hole. 72-hour advance notice required.
What exactly does maple custard pie taste like? We like to call it "French toast pie" or "Crème brûlée + pie = Oh my!"
Looking for the best pies for Thanksgiving in Los Angeles? We, pastry fiends, are counting down the days when pumpkin is mixed with all-spice, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon, or when crisp, fall apples are baked with a crumble, lattice or double crust. Is there a better way to pretend that fall actually happens in this city?
To find the absolute best pies in LA, we tasted our way to a final list. Many were too sweet, some were too overpowering with spice, but the selected bunch were our blue ribbon favorites. From pumpkin, sweet potato, fruit (apple, quince, pear, cranberry) and pecan, here are the best pies for Thanksgiving in LA.