Here in San Francisco, we shake up our traditional desserts with homemade shaker lemon, chocolate bourbon pecan and green chile apple as well. These buttery, homemade versions—available by the whole pie, slice and even in milkshake form—are among the best pies in San Francisco for your after-dinner treats.
10 Best pies in San Francisco
The name is a bit of a misnomer: in fact, two babes—childhood friends Anna Derivi-Castellanos and Lenore Estrada—are the master bakers behind this five-year-old pie company. Though the pair has yet to open a stand-alone storefront, you can pick up pies at their Bayview commercial kitchen or their Ferry Building stand. (Whole pies and slices are also available for delivery.) The pies are made by hand each day using all organic ingredients from local purveyors like Balakian Farms, DeVoto Gardens, Nana Mae’s Organics, and Frog Hollow Farm. The holidays bring on autumnal flavors like a corn-syrup-free bourbon pecan, a classic apple—with a crumbly, hand-woven lattice crust—and a decadent sour cream pumpkin. The Bayview location also sells pre-baked pie shells for $14 to impress your guests without the flour-covered kitchen.
East coast transplant Krystin Rubin has been turning out a daily array of sweet and savory pies since 2007. Mission's pie selection is ever-changing according to what’s in season and the whims of Rubin’s appetite. In the summer months, you’ll find mixed berry, strawberry rhubarb, and stone fruit pies. In the fall, those flavors turn to a tart shaker lemon, apple, and pear raspberry. Some flavors are in such demand they can be depended on whatever the weather, including the smooth and airy banana cream. In addition to desserts, Mission Pie offers three varieties of pot pies daily, including a turkey pot pie around Thanksgiving.
After gaining a cult following at their decades-old Mission bakery, Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt added a much-larger sister space—the Manufactory—in the Heath Ceramics building in 2016. Head to the original spot for tried-and-true pie varieties baked to perfection, from the creamy pumpkin to the oat-walnut crumble-topped apple. (The banana cream pie incorporates bittersweet chocolate for an elevated twist.) Meanwhile, at the Manufactory, pastry chef Samantha Baum has concocted a decadent spin on the old-school ice cream cake featuring fior di latte soft serve, blueberry sorbet, housemade jam, candied roasted peanuts, and a peanut butter cookie crust. There's also an array of rotating pies available from the go-go case, including inventive flavors like lemon and ginger and matcha.
Gillian Shaw got her start as a pastry chef at Moose’s Restaurant in North Beach, then Liberty Cafe in Bernal Heights. She launched her own company in 2010, named after her black labrador. Today her goods can be found at cafes and grocers throughout the city, from Ritual coffee shops to Atlas Cafe. But if it’s pies you’re after, you can pick up straight from the source. Shaw offers a dozen or so flavors by pre-order, including apple, apricot crumb, buttermilk, banana cream, and the brilliant chocolate pecan. Deliveries are also available through Good Eggs.
This spot’s pies are known for packing a subtly spicy punch, inspired by owner Trevor Logan’s former home of Santa Fe. The green chile apple pie is the signature dish, a concoction that combines a sweet apple and spicy green chile filling atop a cheddar cheese crust. It’s all topped off with walnut streusel and served a la mode with a drizzle of red chile honey. In addition to the namesake star, fall pie flavors include spiced caramel apple, Mexican chocolate with nuts, harvest pumpkin, lemon buttermilk, and sweet potato with pecan praline. If you’re not up for the whole pie, order it as a shake: They’ll blend any slice into a creamy concoction with ice cream and milk.
This teeny Outer Sunset bakery has a perennial line snaking out the door for breakfast sandwiches, cookies, cinnamon buns, and limited-edition pies. Owner Hilary Passman whips up everything on-site, including special-order pies each fall. The line-up includes apple, pumpkin, pecan, and sweet potato pecan. The crumbly, buttery apple is the homemade apple pie you always wished you could make but have never been able to pull off. Meanwhile, the gooey sweet potato pecan features complementary layers of sweet potato filling and pecan custard topped by a generous drizzle of whiskey butter sauce.
Lotta’s Bakery is the only antique store in San Francisco to also boast a full-service bakery. The haphazard placement of 1940s eclectic prints, figurines, fur coats and Victrolas somehow fit perfectly alongside challah, pastries and cakes. The blackstrap molasses gingerbread is one of the best and most unique treats in the city. Be sure to venture past the bakery counter and into the back side room as you’ll find paintings stacked against one another for more than reasonable prices, as well as Miss Piggy riding a hanging magic carpet.
Yvonne Hines bakes southern treats inspired by her grandmother’s passed-down family recipes. She set up shop in 2006, drawing a devoted following for her Pralines, a silky pecan candy. All her confections are baked from scratch (the secret: copious amounts of butter), including her justifiably famous pecan pie and sweet potato pie. The latter is hailed for its deft balance of spiciness and sweetness.
This worker-owned community bakery shakes up tradition with its sweet potato pie. The filling is made with fresh roasted and spiced sweet potatoes, while the fragrant ginger shortbread crust is a revelation. The apple pie is another standout: the apples are roasted in brown sugar and butter, then topped with a cinnamon and oat streusel. Anyone who has lined up for the bakery’s cinnamon raisin sourdough or warm oat scones on weekends knows the crunchy-sweet appeal of its wares.
Elizabeth Stinson made her first pie for a guy—then she got stood up, and Revenge Pies was born. She makes her pies and tarts from scratch using organic ingredients. (Then there’s the surprise ingredient in the crust: vodka. Trust us.) Regular flavors include apple, pecan, key lime, chocolate, and French vanilla, while rotating seasonal additions might bring pumpkin, apricot, or blueberry. Any pie can be made vegan or gluten-free, upon request. Pick up your pie at the Sanfranpsycho pop-up shop or check out the Revenge Pie booth at Fort Mason’s Off the Grid on Friday nights. Splurge for the pie flight—four pieces of pie loaded onto one plate.