Chicago is easily one of the top pie cities in the country (and for once we’re not talking pizza). The great thing about pies is there’s a pie for everyone. And the great thing about Chicago pies is we have plenty of pies to go around. Sure there are some people who claim to “hate pies” but that’s most likely because they grew up eating pies at Aunt Nancy’s house and no one liked Aunt Nancy’s pies because she constantly chain-smoked and it infused everything she baked with the flavor of Pall Mall. Save yourself from Aunt Nancy’s pies this holiday season by volunteering to bring the pie (if you’re reading this, sorry, Aunt Nancy).
Below are seven pies you should consider for yourself or for your pie hating friend. Of course, this is in no way intended to be an absolute best pie list. Did we miss your favorite pie and pie shop? Let us know!
1. Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits :: Classic Lemon Meringue Pie
2051 N. California Avenue & 4947 N. Damen Avenue
Bang Bang recently welcomed the Classic Lemon Meringue Pie to their menu on a regular rotation and we can’t get enough. The meringue is perfectly toasted with peaks and valleys that would make the Swiss Alps jealous. The custard is thick and not runny assuring the crust doesn’t end up soggy. Eat this.
Holiday Pie: Spiked Egg Nog Pie
2. Hoosier Mama Pie Company :: Chicago Sunrise
1618 1/2 Chicago Avenue
Hoosier Mama changes up the pie menu daily, so it’s a delicious game of pie roulette when you walk in the door. That isn’t a bad thing because any baker worth her salt will tell you to always bet on pie. If you play your cards right you’ll arrive on a day when Hoosier Mama’s is serving up a “Chicago Sunrise.” This boozy and bitter grapefruit pie uses Malort as the key ingredient. Yes, Hoosier Mama has discovered the true purpose of Malort. It goes in your pie. The pie recently ended it’s run as pie of the week but mostly favorable reviews from customers have earned it a place on rotation.
Holiday Pie: Cranberry White Chocolate Cream Pie or the classic Chocolate Cream Pie
3. First Slice Pie :: Chocolate Peanut Butter/Michigan Sour Cherry
When did you first discover you were piesexual? For many Chicagoans, it was at one of First Slice Pie’s four locations. Faced with so many pie options it’s understanding if you sit down with not one, but two pie slices. Guilt might briefly set in as you slide that last piece of the second pie slice into your mouth, but in your heart you know you’ll be back to order two delicious pieces again. Of course, if forced into the social norms of the one pie slice Pietriarchy we might decide on the creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie (but, let’s face it, we’re still going to flirt with the Michigan Sour Cherry).
4. Spinning J Bakery and Soda :: Key Lime Hibiscus with Blueberry Compote
1000 North California
Few pies are more controversial than the Key Lime Pie. There have been naval battles in the Florida Keys over what constitutes a true Key Lime Pie (#pielies). Does it have a graham cracker crust or traditional pie crust? Topping: whipped, meringue, or au natural? But this is Chicago, so we’re going to the take the Key Lime Pie and make it our own. Spinning J’s took the Key Lime pie, infused it with hibiscus, and put blueberry compote on top. The result is a perfect balance of floral, sweet, and tart. Juan Ponce de León would no doubt approve.
Holiday Pie: Cranberry Orange Meringue
Dust yourself off and pie again A post shared by Claude (@st_claude_) on
5. Bub City :: Coconut Cream
435 N. Clark Street
The coasters at Bub City speak the truth: “Save Room for Pie.” It’s difficult advice to follow when you’re faced with a plate of BBQ, giddy up fries, tater tots, texas torpedoes, and the biggest boozy milkshakes north of Texas. Those that follow the coaster’s sage advice will be rewarded with one of the best homemade coconut cream pies in the city. The pie comes with toasted coconut slices on top adding a delightful crunch to the cream.
6. Bavette’s Bar and Boeuf/Gilt Bar :: Chocolate Creme Pie
218 W. Kinzie Street/230 W. Kinzie Street
Bavette’s is another restaurant where you run the risk of filling up your belly before dessert is served. That would be a mistake because you’ll miss out on the chocolate creme pie. This cream pie is the reason food critics started using “silky” as a way to describe food. The crust is, surprisingly, made of Oreos and the whole thing is topped off with a giant dollop of whipped cream. Can’t get a seat at Bavette’s? No worries, head over to Gilt Bar where they serve up the exact same pie.
i mean, is there anything better than the chocolate cream pie from @giltbarchicago? hump day pick me up with #wcw @abhita A post shared by Godhuli Chatterjee Gupta (@mrsgcg) on
7. Baker Miller Bakery and Millhouse :: Blueberry Pie
4610 North Western Avenue
Baker Miller was born three years ago after Dave and Megan Miller sold their shares in Bang Bang to co-owner Michael Ciapiak. They helped make Bang Bang one of the best places for pie in Piecago, so it’s no surprise Baker Miller is serving up must eat pies. One of those must eat pies, when available, is Baker Miller’s blueberry pie.