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The 17 best pies in America

For lovers of pecan, pumpkin, banana cream, Key lime and beyond, behold: the best pies in America

Honeypie Cafe
Photograph: Michael Goelzer Honeypie Cafe
By Patty Lee and Time Out editors |

While the popularity of other sweets rise and fall, there’s one iconic dessert that never goes out of fashion: pie. It’s the burger of the dessert world, a true stayer (we’ve also got you covered for America’s best burgers, by the way). But in their pursuit to make the best pies in America, top bakers aren’t just resting on the laurels of the nostalgia that comes with a slice of warm apple pie—they’re gussying up fillings with house-made caramel, fusing classics into delicious new favorites and even giving back to the community. Trail the sweet scent to the bakeshops below for exceptional pies, from the best bakeries in Chicago to the best bakeries in New York and everywhere between. Finishing scoops of ice cream, not included (but highly recommended). Follow Time Out USA on Facebook; sign up for the Time Out USA newsletter

Best pies in America

Dangerously Delicious Pies
Photograph: Courtesy Dangerously Delicious Pies

Baltimore Bomb from Dangerously Delicious Pies; Baltimore, MD

Ask a Baltimorean to name a local speciality and chances are they’ll point you to a box of Bergers’ cookies. Slathered in chocolate frosting, the treats are indulgent enough on their own, but this Charm City shop scatters them into a pie that even Duff Goldman dubs a guilty pleasure. As the round bakes, the shortbread and chocolate chunks melt together to form a rich fudgy shell over the vanilla custard—just think of this as chess pie on crack. Thank you, Dangerously Delicious.

Pie Lab
Photograph: Courtesy Pie Lab

Chocolate bourbon pecan pie from Pie Lab; Greensboro, AL

Since its founding in 2009, design-studio-slash-bakery Pie Lab has set out to support the community one pie at a time (they provide job training for local youth and resources for Greensboro small businesses). Chef Kelley Whatley helps the cause with her boozy, chocolatey twist on the old Southern classic. Crack through the burnished shell of caramelized pecans and you’ll get a spoonful of smooth, eggy custard that carefully straddles the line between runny and firm. Eat dessert, do good—now that’s something everyone should get behind.

Two Fat Cats Bakery
Photograph: Courtesy Two Fat Cats Bakery

Blueberry pie from Two Fat Cats Bakery; Portland, ME

When it comes to iconic foods, Maine has two: lobster and blueberries. And just like a good lobster roll, a superb blueberry pie relies on the freshness and simplicity of its key ingredient. In the case of quaint Maine bakery Two Fat Cats, that means forgoing bigger cultivated berries for the tinier wild variety to give the oozing innards of this rustic double-crust pie a more intense blueberry flavor.

Scratch Baking
Photograph: Courtesy Scratch Baking

Shaker lemon pie from Scratch Baking; Durham, NC

Depending on whom you ask, Shaker lemon pie traces it origins to either Pennsylvania or Ohio. But the one that’s currently capturing the attention of America’s citrus-lovers comes from the North Carolina kitchen of James Beard-nominated pastry chef Phoebe Lawless at Scratch Baking. She macerates whisper-thin slices of lemon in sugar for three days, then combines them with eggs and butter to create a tangy marmalade-like custard. One bite, and plain old lemon meringue will no longer do.

S'mores pie at Baker Miller
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

S’mores pie from Baker Miller Bakery and Millhouse, Chicago

Dave and Megan Miller’s charming Baker Miller Bakery and Millhouse serves plenty of dreamy baked goods, including amazing pies available by the slice or whole. They’re milling grains in-house, which means the pies come on unexpected, hearty crusts, like a coconut vegetarian crust. You’ll need to wait until summer for their star pie, s’mores, served atop a graham cracker crust. With a thick layer of chocolate fudge and a cap of marshmallow, this pie bests its inspiration.

Salt's Cure
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Grapefruit pie from Salt’s Cure, L.A.

That one of L.A.’s best slices of pie comes from a breakfast spot specializing in charcuterie is besides the point. Salt’s Cure’s take on Key lime pie—swap out the limes for grapefruit—expertly walks the line between sweet and tart, with a to-die-for graham cracker crust holding it all together.

The Pie Shop
Photograph: Courtesy the Pie Shop

Coconut cream pie from the Pie Shop; Atlanta, GA

It might take you a while to find the Pie Shop (hint, the entrance is tucked away in the back of the shopping center), but when you finally do stumble into Mims Bledsoe’s homey bakeshop, make a beeline for her standout coconut cream pie. Rich, flaky and finished with a light-as-air whipped cream, this is as dreamy as pies come.

See the best pies in American cities

Salty Honey pie from Four & Twenty Blackbirds
Photograph: Raydene Salinas
Restaurants, Bakeries

The best pies in New York

From sweet crossbreeds in Union Square (hello babka pie) to a killer key lime in Red Hook, meet the best pies NYC has to offer