Mmm...pie. No matter how you slice it, America is obsessed with pie. Nearly all U.S. states have their own iconic pies, and eight states either list pie as the official state dessert or have an official state pie. And no matter where you live, a great piece of pie is never too far away.
We judged the establishments and their pies on these criteria: freshness, flavor, texture, mouthfeel, presentation, noteworthy or unique ingredients, innovative flavor combinations, and fidelity to tradition and/or innovative excellence.
Our list includes 36-plus distinct pie flavors, from the traditional apple and cherry to the unique The Baltimore Bomb from Dangerously Delicious Pies in Baltimore and Drunken Turtle at Pie Junkie in Oklahoma City. It's no surprise the most popular pie on the list is apple or a variant of apple, with 10 establishments baking the best version in their states. Whether you like your pie plain, with a slice of cheddar cheese, or à la mode, any way you slice it, these are the absolute best pies in each state.
Courtesy of Slice Pie Company
Alabama: PieLab (Greensboro)
Since PieLab opened its doors in 2009, pie lovers from around the world have come to try the Chocolate Chess, German Chocolate, and Bourbon Pecan. PieLab was founded by a design collective, Project M, and was, at first, meant to be a pop-up. "PieLab is a pie shop meant to gather communities together. It's founded on the idea that simple things, like delicious pie and good conversation, can bring us together and spread joy. Pie+Conversation = Ideas. Ideas+Design = Positive Change," according to its Facebook page. We couldn't agree more.
Alaska: A Pie Stop (Ankorage)
The pie offerings at A Pie Stop may change seasonally, but the made-from-scratch pies are excellent no matter the season. The grandfather-granddaughter team bought A Pie Stop from two Amish and Mennonite women a few years ago, and they use many of their predecessors' recipes to make more than two dozen pies like Apple, Dutch Apple, Bluebarb, Banana Cream, and more. Run by a mostly teenage staff led by 19-year-old owner Alisa Louangaphay, A Pie Stop also makes savory pot pies Monday through Friday that are ready by 11:15 a.m. Customers can call one day ahead to request a pie flavor of their choice be made. The shop also makes gluten-free and sugar-free pies by special order.
Arizona: Rock Springs Café (Rock Springs)
Adding a little Tennessee whiskey to its legendary pecan pie has led to the creation of Jack Daniels Pecan Pie, Rock Springs Café's top-selling pie. Opened in 1932, the café sells more than 30,000 Jack Daniels Pecan Pies annually. Diners can enjoy a slice, but why by a piece when you can buy an entire pie that is packed with locally-sourced pecans from Arizona pecan farms? The café also sells "take & bake" frozen pies that can be baked at home and ships whole fruit pies to all 50 states.
Arkansas: Ms. Lena's Pie Shop (Devalls Bluff)
A true labor of love, Ms. Lena's Pie Shop makes the best pies in Arkansas. Open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only, Ms. Lena's faithful following knows to check her Facebook page to see what flavors are on offer each week. The top-seller is the Coconut Cream Pie, which customers can guarantee themselves to get by ordering ahead.
Courtesy of Ms. Lena's Pie Shop
California: Tartine (San Francisco)
Inspired by the French open-face sandwich of the same name, husband-and-wife team Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt opened Tartine, a bakery, artisan bread shop, and café, in San Francisco's Mission District in 2002. Among the offerings made by the James Beard Award-winning chefs is a seasonally-changing pie menu and two pies that are sold year-round: Coconut Cream Pie and the top-selling Banana Cream Pie. "This is a very American pie and, like lots of modern American pastries, it uses traditional European elements: a flaky crust and a perfect pastry cream," said Prueitt, pastry chef and owner. "I like a cream pie with a filling that is not so stiffened with cornstarch that the cut edges stand straight when the pie is sliced. This one oozes a bit, but you get a much lighter cream filling in return. Because the pastry is lined with chocolate, the pie will, unlike most cream pies, keep for a few days and still have a perfectly crisp crust." Fans of the pie can indulge in a 4-inch individual pie or share a 9-inch pie with family and friends.
Colorado: Gold Star Pies (Colorado Springs)
Ever since the Gold Star Pies truck rolled out on the streets of Colorado Springs in May 2017, there has been a loyal following for Heather Briggs' pies, particularly, the Bourbon Pecan (it frequently sells out when the truck is out and about). Briggs' mother was a pie maker when she was growing up, and the base of the sweet and light Bourbon Pecan pie recipe, which includes toasted pecans, a few walnuts for depth of flavor, and bourbon, is from her. "I added the walnuts and bourbon, and brought my own crust recipe into the picture to get the right play on flavors," said Briggs. "It's a steady pie that always delights, which is why I think it's become the favorite." Made year-round, patrons can buy the Bourbon Pecan pie by the slice or pre-order a whole pie for pickup from the truck.
Courtesy of Gold Star Pies
Connecticut: Cutie Pies (Thomaston)
Husband-and-wife team Tanya and John Clark opened Cutie Pies in 2011, and while the shop (an old ice cream parlor transformed into a bakery) sells 200-plus cupcake flavors, the deep dish fruit and cream pies are not to be missed. There are a dozen fruit flavors like Apple Crisp, Apple Cranberry, Triple Berry, and Pumpkin Pie and a quartet of cream flavors like Banana Cream, Chocolate Cream, Chocolate Banana Cream, and Coconut Cream to choose from. We dare you to stop at just one slice.
Delaware: Sweet Somethings (Wilmington)
As the name suggests, sweet somethings are what you will find at Sweet Somethings, a bakery that bakes cakes, cupcakes, cheesecake, and pie. There are more than a dozen traditional pies, like Apple, Pumpkin, and Pecan, and creative twists like White Chocolate Banana Cream (the bakery's take on the Banana Cream Pie with short dough crust layered with fresh banana, white chocolate pastry cream, unsweetened whipped cream, and topped with shaved white chocolate and cocoa powder) are on offer.
Florida: Joe's Stone Crab (Miami Beach)
You gotta go to Joe's, not just for the stone crabs, but also for Joe's Famous Key Lime Pie. For more than a century, Joe's Stone Crab has been serving the iconic yellow-hued pie made of key limes and condensed milk nestled on a graham cracker crust and topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
Joe's Stone Crab/Yelp
Georgia: The Pie Hole (Roswell)
Ever since The Pie Hole opened in 2011, the bakery has had a loyal following for its pies (there are more than 100 savory and sweet pies) like the Raspberry Cream Crumble, which starts with The Pie Hole's signature Double Butter Pastry, which is filled with delicate sweet sour cream custard and locally grown organic raspberries, and topped with butter sugar crumble. The pie is sold by the slice, and in 3-inch, 5-inch, and 9-inch pies.
Courtesy of The Pie Hole
Hawaii: Ted's Bakery (Haleiwa, Oahu)
What started as a gas station and a grocery store selling canned goods and basics in 1956 turned into Ted's Bakery three decades later in 1987. The bakery introduced pies, including its top-selling Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie, in 1996 and began its wholesale business in 1998. Sold by the slice and by the pie, the Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie was created when the bakery team was making coconut cake and there was some haupia (a coconut-based Hawaiian dessert traditionally found at luaus) filling left over. They decided to make a pie with leftover chocolate and haupia; thus, the Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie with its flaky crust, layer of haupia with a chocolate cream layer on top, and whipped cream topping, was born.
Courtesy of Ted's Bakery
Idaho: Pie Hut (Sandpoint)
Pie Hut's silky smooth Crème Brûlée pie, a baked custard-style pie with a Graham cracker crust and a crispy sugar shell that is toasted to order, is the top selling pie, frequently selling out (in the summer, the seasonal Huckleberry pie reigns supreme). Owner Heather Gross, who opened Pie Hut in 2004, loves to travel and bring back recipes and ideas from all over the world to incorporate into Pie Hut's menu, which includes sandwiches, soups, meat pies, and dessert pies. "The Crème Brûlée recipe is based on one from a 200-year-old French baking book," said Gross, who added it to the menu in 2006. "Took a while to get just the perfect recipe. It's a temperamental pie; it needs the exact right oven temperature, waterbath, and experience to know when it's done. [It is] never quite the same length of time in the oven." The pie is sold by the slice for $4 or by the pie for $16. Pie Hut also ship its fruit pies nationwide Tuesdays through Thursdays.
Courtesy of Pie Hut
Illinois: Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits (Chicago)
Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits opened in spring of 2012 as a pie shop and has since expanded into a full-service restaurant focusing on Midwestern classics like scratch biscuits, pot pies, and, of course, its famous sweet pies. Its Key Lime pie is the most popular. The custard-based pie is the perfect balance of sweet and tart thanks, in part, to the fresh lime zest, and is baked in a buttery graham crust (the crust is made from scratch and thrice baked). While the pie is sold by the slice, we won't blame you if you decide to order (and eat) and entire pie.
Courtesy of Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits
Indiana: Lisa's Pie Shop (Atlanta)
When it comes to determining the most popular pie at Lisa's Pie Shop, it's a tie between the Sugar Cream pie, a rich, smooth, buttery, creamy mix of butter, sugar, and cream, which is the official state pie, and the Humbleberry, a national award-winning combination of apples, rhubarb, red raspberries, and blackberries that is typically a special order pie but sometimes makes an appearance in the shop. The lattice-topped fruit pie was created for the National Pie Championships, which the pie shop has won several times. The Sugar Cream and Humbleberry pies are so delicious, they are only sold as whole 9-inch pies (the shop only takes cash and checks). Interestingly, Lisa, the owner, doesn't like pie and has not tried any of her award-winning pies since opening the shop in 2002.
Iowa: Country Junction (Dyersville)
For 25 years, Country Junction has been making its pies by hand daily. From homemade Apple, Cherry, Peach, and Blueberry to specialty pies like Coconut Cream, Sour Cream Raisin, Banana Cream, Lemon Meringue, Chocolate Mousse, Rhubarb Crumb, and Butterfinger along with Pumpkin and Pumpkin Pecan, there is a flavor for everyone. Be sure to save room after dining on specialties like open-face beef and loaded country fried steak for the pies, which are served by the slice and by the pie.
Country Junction Restaurant/Yelp
Kansas: The Upper Crust (Overland Park)
One taste and patrons instantly know why The Upper Crust's Cherry pie has been the best since two sisters opened the bakery in 2005. Made from scratch using their piemaster mother's recipe, the amazing Cherry pie has a perfectly flaky butter crust that is packed with juicy sour cherries and topped with a beautiful lattice crust. The pie menu changes daily, offering 12 to 18 varieties in 5-inch "cutie pie" portions and full-size pies, and the daily pie slice menu includes six varieties, including sweet pies and quiche.
Upper Crust Pie Bakery/Yelp
Kentucky: Kern's Kitchen (Louisville)
Kern's Kitchen started by only making three pies at a time, but it has transformed into a bustling bakery in Louisville. Opened in 2010, Kern's Kitchen only serves two pies: Golden Pecan Pie and their own trademarked Derby-Pie, which outsells the Golden Pecan Pie. Made from a recipe developed more than half a century ago, Derby-Pie is made with chocolate chips and walnut pieces nestled in a delicate crust. The pies are sold in area grocers and online.
Courtesy of Kern's Kitchen
Louisiana: Not Just Pie (Monroe)
Since 1985, Not Just Pie has been serving American fare, but it's the pies that diners save room for. We previously wrote about Not Just Pie in our article The South's 10 Most Iconic Foods and Where to Eat Them, because of its delicious Pecan pie, for which the pecans are baked in the pie crust first for a more even distribution. The Banana Caramel pie has been the most popular pie for more than 30 years. The pie is made with the restaurant's own handmade crust, house-made caramel, homemade whipped cream, bananas, and topped with crushed Heath bar.
Courtesy of Not Just Pie
Maine: Helen's Restaurant (Machias)
Helen's Restaurant has been serving Down East fare for more than 60 years, but locals and visitors alike know to save room for dessert, particularly the pies. From year-round favorites like Chocolate, Coconut, Banana, Graham Cracker, Apple, Baked Blueberry, Strawberry, Lemon Meringue, Pecan, and Toll House to seasonal Rhubarb, Raspberry Cream, Blueberry Cream, and Pumpkin, it's difficult to choose just one!
Maryland: Dangerously Delicious Pies (Baltimore)
As the name suggests, Dangerously Delicious Pies are, well, delicious, and the most famous of its 70 pies, The Baltimore Bomb, is da bomb. Sold by the slice or the pie, The Baltimore Bomb, a twist on the pie shop's popular chess pies, features vanilla custard with crumbled Berger Cookies. (A staple in Maryland homes, Berger Cookies, which made our list of Best Cookies in Every State, are a vanilla cake-like cookie hand-dipped in fudgy frosting.) The pie is best eaten warm as the chocolate fudge gets very gooey. The pie menu changes daily, and fans can enjoy their pies with rock 'n' roll as local musicians play in the two Baltimore locations, which serve pie for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Courtesy of Dangerously Delicious Pies
Massachusetts: Parker's Restaurant at the Omni Parker House (Boston)
It's not surprising that the birthplace of Boston Cream Pie would also serve the best in Massachusetts and, quite possibly, the world. When the Parker House opened in 1855 (the hotel is America's longest continuously operating hotel, and is also responsible for inventing Parker House rolls and coining the term "scrod"), chocolate was mainly consumed at home as a beverage or in puddings (America's first chocolate mill opened in neighboring Dorchester in 1765). Since colonial times, New Englanders had enjoyed a dessert called American "pudding-cake pie" of which Boston Cream Pie is a direct descendent, according to the hotel. Boston Cream Pie - originally dubbed "Chocolate Cream Pie" or "Parker House Chocolate Cream Pie" though it was technically a cake - became an immediate and perennial hit when the hotel began serving it in the 1860s. It became a Betty Crocker cake mix in 1958. The world famous Boston Cream Pie, which is the official state dessert of Massachusetts, consists of two layers of fluffy sponge cake, filled with light, airy pastry cream that is topped with chocolate ganache and the restaurant's signature white icing spiderweb design and garnished with toasted almonds along the outside of the cake for a bit of crunch. It's nearly impossible to stop here or stay overnight and not order this pie; it can be found on the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus at the hotel. Individual portions are sold in hotel eateries Parker's Restaurant, Parker's Bar and The Last Hurrah, and they're also available via in-room dining. The gift shop, Morsel's, sells individual portions to go, and 10-inch pies are available via pre-order (an 8-inch version, which the hotel flash-freezes, can be shipped overnight anywhere in the continental U.S.).
Coutresy of Parker's Restaurant at the Omni Parker House
Michigan: Achatz Handmade Pie Company (Ann Arbor)
Wendy Achatz and her husband Dave began selling their pies at local farmers markets in 1993 and could barely keep up with demand. The duo bought a nearby apple orchard and opened Achatz Handmade Pie Company. "Our 'family farm' approach means that we take pride in always using the best ingredients and producing the best possible pies," Wendy Achatz explains in a letter on the company's website. Achatz created her signature Michigan 4-Berry by accident. After a long day baking pies, she had berries left over from various flavors but not enough to make one more of each flavor, so she added locally grown tart cherries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries together and the top-selling Michigan 4-Berry was born! "Real pie making is much like running a small family farm; it takes time, patience, hard work, dedication and a whole lot of passion," says Achatz, who has recently launched a series of Kitchen to Commerce videos to help others create their very own success stories.
Courtesy of Achatz Handmade Pie Company
Minnesota: Betty's Pies (Two Harbors)
Betty's Pies began as a fish shack that Betty's father opened by the Stewart River on Highway 61 in 1956. Betty first sold coffee and doughnuts, then hamburgers and hotdogs. The stand turned into a café in 1958 with a lunch counter, more seating, and a pie selection. There are 40 pies, like 5 Layer Butterscotch Pie (a flaky crust layered with melted butterscotch, cinnamon meringue, whipped cream and butterscotch whipped cream), 5 Layer Chocolate Mint Pie (a flaky crust layered with dark chocolate, mint flavoring, cinnamon meringue, whipped cream and chocolate whipped cream), and Turtle Coconut Pie (fluffy coconut custard cream topped with real whipped cream and toasted coconut, pecans, and a drizzle of caramel); all are sold by the slice, by the pie, and by online ordering (the pies can be shipped across the U.S.). Some pies, like the French Cherry Pie (a graham cracker crust with a cream cheese and whipped cream mixture topped with blueberry filling and a hint of almond), and the specialty, top-selling Lemon Angel Pie (a crispy meringue crust shaped high around a light lemon chiffon filling), and Orange Chocolate Pie (crispy meringue crust shaped high around a light lemon chiffon filling mixed with orange concentrate and topped with shaved chocolate). Of the 20 baked pies, the Old Fashioned Apple Pie (Granny Smith apples, cinnamon, and allspice all wrapped up in a double crust) is the most popular.
Mississippi: Sugaree's Bakery (New Albany)
Mary Russell's great grandmother used to make chocolate meringue pie for a small family café in Memphisin the 1950s. The recipe was passed down from Russell's mother along with an antique pie pan that Russel's great-great-great grandmother was given as a wedding gift. "I grew up with my mom taking this chocolate meringue pie to every church pot luck and family gathering and watching people follow her to the kitchen to claim their slice of her dessert before going through the dinner line," said Russell, who started Sugaree's Bakery as a home-based business in 1997 and opened the retail shop in 2001 after establishing a wholesale client base. The chocolate meringue is a hefty pie that weighs 5 pounds: one pound of flaky homemade butter/lard pie crust, 3 pounds of rich and creamy chocolate filling, and one pound of meringue. The chocolate meringue pies are made every Friday and on holidays and come in two sizes: the 5-pound, 9-inch pie and a smaller 4-inch version.
Courtesy of Sugaree's Bakery
Missouri: The Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery (Kimmswick)
When the flood of 1993 threatened to devastate the small historic town, the town attempted to save itself with levee mountains of gravel and sand. To mark this historic flood and to honor the levees, The Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery, which opened in 1985, created a pie to resemble the levees that saved the town and restaurant. "The pie is as tall and grand as the great levees," said Laura Costello, Blue Owl's director of weddings and custom orders. "The caramel and pecans that cover the outside of our pie resembles the sand and gravel of the levees." The massive Levee High Caramel Apple Pecan Pie, which was listed as one of Oprah's Favorite Things in 2011, is made of 18 hand-sliced, hand-peeled apples stacked perfectly and methodically with layers of cinnamon sugar and baked to perfection! Then, the pie is covered with a melted buttery caramel mixed with chopped pecan pieces; it weighs 8 to 10 pounds after baking.
Courtesy of The Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery
Montana: Crossing Bar & Grill at Fetty's (Wisdom)
The signature pie at Crossing Bar & Grill at Fetty's is Buttermilk Pie, a custard pie made with buttermilk, sugar, and eggs. Sold by the slice or whole pie, the recipe came from Joanie Wilke. The super-sweet pie includes huckleberries, which are added to the top of the pie before cooking, which cuts the sweetness. First opened in May 1994 as the Big Hole Crossing Restaurant, a fire at the original restaurant forced the team to shut down, but they bought the restaurant across the street, which was known as Fetty's, and renamed the establishment The Crossing Bar & Grill at Fetty's. Located at a five-way crossroads, the restaurant is on the Continental Divide Trail and the Transcontinental Bicycle Route. There's a loyal following of regulars, who come for pie even though the restaurant is located 60 miles from the nearest town of more than 100 residents and the winters can be as cold as -40 degrees Farenheit and maintain 12-18 inches of snow. Most business in done May through November, but any day is the perfect day for Buttermilk Pie.
Nebraska: Village PieMaker (Eustis)
The small town Village PieMaker has a big time following for its pies, which are made in small batches. Opened 14 years ago, each slice of happiness is made with an uncompromising attention to detail and hand-crimped for the perfect finish. The top-selling hand-made Cherry pie has an incredibly flaky crust that covers a perfect blend of tart red cherry filling. The pies are sold by the pie in the grocer's freezer section at select stores, and they are also available online at villagepiemaker.com.
Courtesy of Village PieMaker
Nevada: Du-par's Restaurant and Bakery (Las Vegas)
Ever since Du-par's opened at a farmers market in 1938, the small restaurant chain has been popular, particularly for its hotcakes and pies, which are served 24/7. There's a Pie of the Month, which is based on the seasons, and more than a dozen traditional fruit, fresh cream, and specialty pies baked in-house daily. The classic Green Apple pie and Southern Pecan are perennial favorites at every location of the California-based chain, and the Nevada location in the Suncoast Hotel and Casino serves the best pie in the Silver State.
Du-Pars Restaurant and Bakery/Yelp
New Hampshire: Just Like Mom's Pastries (Weare)
There are more than 30 flavors of pie on offer at Just Like Mom's Pastries, which also makes cakes, cupcakes, and more. As the name suggests, the fruit pies and cream pies in nostalgic flavors like Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, and Peace Lattice are homemade with love. The shop offers 10 U-Bake Pies like Strawberry Rhubarb, Three Berry, and Apple-Cran-Raisin-Nut that can be taken home and baked. There are six gluten-free flavors, including Apple, Blueberry, and Pumpkin, and four sugar-free options like Apple, Apple Raspberry, and Peach Raspberry.
Just Like Mom's Pastries/Yelp
New Jersey: Delicious Orchards (Colts Neck)
In 1959, Carroll Barclay went from an apple wholesaler to a roadside stand. The move was so successful that the following year he built a 1,200-square-foot stand and started selling fresh apple cider and his wife Janet's Apple Pie. Today, Delicious Orchards is the quintessential gourmet country food market, specializing in fresh fruit and baked goods like apple cider doughnuts made from the orchard's fruit. Sit among the apple trees and enjoy the top-selling Apple Pie, which is still made using Janet's recipe and is sold by the pie only. The apples are picked, peeled, and sliced and each pie is filled by hand.
Courtesy of Delicious Orchards
New Mexico: Pie-O-Neer Pies (Pie Town)
It's no surprise that the best pies in New Mexico come from a town named after pie! In 1995, Pie-O-Neer Pies literally put the pie back in Pie Town when it opened up shop in an abandoned trading post. An award-winning documentary, "The Pie Lady of Pie Town," was made about the shop in 2014, and the Pie-O-Neer was filmed for a segment on CBS "Sunday Morning Show" on November 30, 2014, officially putting Pie Town on traveler's bucket lists. The shop's signature pies with a kick were inspired by local Native Americans, who would sell the owners jewelry and freshly harvested pinon nuts. They were also the ones who suggested adding some red chile powder mixed with cinnamon in the shop's Apple Pie. The result is so amazing, the shop continued experimenting with adding heat to its pies. The spicier green chile was added to what is now its most famous pie, New Mexico Apple with Green Chile and Pine Nuts. The pie shop calls it 'The Pie That Bites Back!" because of the spicy New Mexico green chiles, which contain capsaicin and are loaded with vitamin C. Sold by the slice, whole to go, and frozen unbaked, the four types of pie made daily always sell out.
Courtesy of Pie-O-Neer Pies
New York: Four and Twenty Blackbirds (Brooklyn)
Sisters Emily and Melissa Elsen, who were born and raised in South Dakota and worked in a family restaurant with their mother and her sisters, opened Four and Twenty Blackbirds in Brooklyn in 2010. Inspired by their pie-making grandmother, the duo has gained a loyal following. The most popular pie is Salty Honey, a Four & Twenty Blackbirds original recipe that combines sweet custard with a salty finish. Sold by the slice and by the pie, the Salty Honey pie, which has been replicated and served worldwide, is the product of creativity - bakers in the kitchen experimenting and putting their minds together.
Courtesy of Four & Twenty Blackbirds
North Carolina: Slice Pie Company (Raleigh)
A father's passion for baking and his daughter's dream of turning their shared passion for baking an award winning apple pie into a way of life is how Slice Pie Company was born in 2014. The most popular pie is the State Fair Blue Ribbon Apple Pie, which won first place at the North Carolina State Fair. Weighing more than 3 pounds, the pie is packed with the freshest local apples stuffed into a blanket of flaky pastry crust and "Slice" spices. The pie is dairy-, egg-, soy-, and nut-free. The pies are sold in "bites," mini pies, by the slice, half pies, and whole pies, and can be shopped nationwide.
Courtesy of Slice Pie Company
North Dakota: Tower Travel Center (Tower City)
A truck stop is not where most folks would expect to find the best pie, but the Tower Travel Center off Exit 307 on Interstate 94 near Fargo offers the best pie in North Dakota. The family-friendly rest stop has a gas station, restaurants, convenience store, and bakery. Weary travelers looking for a respite from the road can watch the bakers at work in the kitchen while deciding which pie to order fresh from the oven.
Tower Travel Center/Yelp
Ohio: Just Pies (Westerville)
At the age of 19, owner and head baker Peter Sterk found a love for baking an entirely different kind of pie: pizza. In 1978, Sterk began working at his mother's pizza shop, and he decided to take on the endeavor of creating pies for Mom. Eventually Sterk made the full transition from pizza pies to dessert pies and the first Just Pies storefront opened its doors in Worthington/Clintonville (in 1994, production was moved to a bigger facility in Westerville). The pie menu, which features more than 40 varieties, stems from family recipes, as well as Sterk's own creations like the Tripleberry, a fruit explosion of strawberries, blueberries, and red raspberries all together under the same crust. The pies are sold in as a solo 6-inch version, a more generous 8-inch individual serving, and a shareable 10-inch pie.
Oklahoma: Pie Junkie (Oklahoma City)
Two moms with a passion for baking began their pie business in a rented church kitchen nine years ago. After three years, the duo outgrew the church kitchen and moved into the current 1,000-square-foot Pie Junkie digs in Oklahoma City in 2013. For the last eight years, the moms have been making their most popular pie, the Drunken Turtle, a hand-pressed graham cracker crust filled with rich fudge filling and topped with pecan pieces and house-made salted bourbon caramel. The deep-dish pie, which was inspired by co-owner Darcy's grandmother's fudge pie recipe, is served by the slice and by the pie (locals and visitors in the know buy extra pie and freeze it to take a sweet souvenir home). In their quest to enhance the pie, pecans, caramel, and bourbon were added (the pie shop tried selling a Sober Turtle version sans bourbon, but no one wanted it).
Courtesy of Pie Junkie
Oregon: Banning's Restaurant & Pie House (Tigard)
The full service, diner-style, family-owned Banning's Restaurant & Pie House has been serving 24/7 breakfast, comfort food, and pie by the slice and whole pie since 1979. Owned by Trish Banning and Mark Banning, who both grew up on farms and met while working in a restaurant, Banning's Restaurant & Pie House is a Tigard institution. The top-selling pie is the creamy, rich Peanut Butter Pie with a savory, buttery graham cracker crumb crust, topped with chocolate fudge topping and finished with whipped topping. The pie was created as a special order, but it has turned into a permanent menu item and the restaurant's most popular pie.
For more than 50 years, the Smucker family has been selling casual cuisine, baked goods, and ice cream in the village of Bird-in-Hand in Lancaster County. In addition to the bakery and café, the family runs the Bird-in-Hand Family Inn. The pies are made from family recipes, including the signature, best-selling Shoo-fly Pie, a wet-bottom pie from Pennsylvania's Amish Country.
Courtesy of Bird-in-Hand Bakery & Cafe
Rhode Island: Wayland Bakery (Providence)
For more than 80 years, the Wayland Bakery has produced some of the finest baked goods in Rhode Island. Originally opened in 1928 by the Basilico family, the Wayland Bakery was sold in 1999 to Luis Rodriguez, who runs the bakery with his wife, Elizabeth. The duo make breads, cakes, cookies, pastries, and pies. There are 14 pies on offer, including Apple, Blueberry, Coconut Custard, Minced Meat, and Banana Cream Pie that come in 8-, 9-, and 10-inch pies.
South Carolina: Kaminsky's Dessert Café (Charleston)
Opened in 1992 in Charleston, Kaminsky's Dessert Café just celebrated its 26th anniversary. With additional locations in Columbia and West Ashley, it's easy to get a slice or an entire Toll House Pie, the top-selling pie here. Akin to eating cookie dough in a pie crust, the Toll House Pie here is loaded with chocolate chips, drizzled with caramel and chocolate syrup, and sprinkled with pecans. It's recommended to indulge in this pie à la mode.
Courtesy of Kaminsky's Dessert Cafe
South Dakota: Purple Pie Place (Custer)
Bob Yehle and his wife bought Purple Pie Place in 2013 and remodeled it - located in one of the first houses in Custer, built in 1881, the residence was a rock shop in the 1980s. It's a quaint place to get a slice of the popular Rhubarb and Strawberry Rhubarb pies. Open May 1 to September 30 each year, Purple Pie Place is a restaurant that serves sandwiches, paninis, chicken pot pie, and prime rib French dip along with pie by the slice or whole. Yehle's wife bakes 60 to 150 pies per day, including Raspberry Rhubarb Jalapeno (Bob's favorite), Bumbleberry, Blueberry, Blackberry, Apple, Peach, Cherry, Peanut Butter, Banana Cream, Chocolate Cream, and the top-selling Rhubarb and Strawberry Rhubarb.
Tennessee: Merridee's Breadbasket (Franklin)
From our original 12 Best Pies in America list, Merridee's Breadbasket continues to impress families in Franklin, Tennessee - and us. In 1975, owner Merridee McCray made her family-inspired Pecan Pie and then entered it into the Tennessee State Fair. She entered the Pecan Pie and other pies and breads, winning seven first place blue ribbons that year. The bakery was opened in 1981, and today each baker is trained the same way, each crust's edge is carefully shaped by hand into a traditional crust weave. The top-seller is the Pecan Pie with a smooth, perfectly baked melt-in-your-mouth crust. The bakery also sells sandwiches (the chicken salad is not to be missed), soups, and salads. The bakery has a cookbook, "Favorites," which explains the founding of the bakery: "It all began in 1880 when Anna Maria Faust, Merridee's grandmother, came to Minnesota from Sweden, bringing her most precious recipes, a sense of tradition and an uncompromising set of values for high quality food. She worked as a cook in St. Paul and was at one time the head cook for the Pillsbury family. Anna Maria always wanted to have a bakery of her own. She enjoyed good conversation, good humor and good coffee, which she brewed all the time. Anna Maria passed on this heritage to her granddaughter, Merridee."
Texas: Three Brothers Bakery (Houston)
For the last 69 years, Three Brothers Bakery has weaved itself into the fabric of Houston, offering traditional Jewish breads, cookies, cupcakes, custom cakes and pies to generations of families. The famed Pumpecapple Piecake from Three Brothers Bakery is a three-layer "piecake" featuring a Pumpkin Pie baked in a Pumpkin Spice Cake, a Pecan Pie baked in Chocolate Cake and an Apple Pie baked into a Spice Cake. Each piecake is layered with a generous filling of scratch-made cream cheese icing. The piecake is then topped and covered with the same cream cheese icing, pecan pieces, and a generous caramel drizzle. The Texas-sized Pumpecapple weighs approximately 28 pounds, stands 11 inches tall, and feeds up to 80 people. Sold in-store by the slice and by the pie, the Pumpecapple is also sold in the bakery's online store, The idea of the Pumpecapple Piecake started as a joke in 2010 - it's commonly referred to as the "Turducken of desserts" because of the variety of flavors that are found in the dessert. Greg Morago, food editor at the Houston Chronicle, came to co-owners Bobby and Janice with the idea of a piecake and asked Bobby if he could make the dessert. Since then, the Pumpecapple's popularity has soared - it was even featured on "Saturday Night Live". Three Brothers Bakery has been through three floods in three years and encourages the #shopdisasterzones movement to help small businesses in affected areas recover faster.
Utah: Rocky Mountain Pies (Salt Lake City)
Rocky Mountain Pies bakes old-school pies, which are sold at retail outlets across the U.S. The frozen pie supplier makes 657 types of pies from scratch with expertly blended fruit fillings, flaky pie crust, and hand-whipped meringues like Apple Caramel Crumb, Peach Praline, French Silk, Sweet Potato, and Pumpkin Chiffon.
Vermont: Vermont Apple Pie Bakery Breakfast and Restaurant (Proctorsville)
Launched in 1988, Vermont Apple Pie's signature pie is its eponymous Vermont apple pie. The casual restaurant serves hearty country breakfasts, homemade biscuits, sticky buns, and fresh-baked pies. Whether you eat your pie plain, with a slice of cheddar, or à la mode, Vermont Apple Pie Bakery Breakfast and Restaurant will be waiting with warm pie because, as its Facebook page proclaims: "Good friends are like pie...they are always welcome!"
Virginia: Red Truck Bakery and Market (Warrenton)
When Brian Noyes - the former art director of such magazines as Smithsonian, Preservation, and House & Garden - took a job at The Washington Post, he probably never dreamed that his hobby of making jams and baked goods on the weekend would lead to an award-winning bakery. But as his reputation grew, Noyes would show up at the local farmers market in his red truck (which he bought from clothing designer Tommy Hilfiger) full of baked goods to find a full parking lot of hungry customers; after The New York Times wrote about the bakery, he knew he was onto something good. He opened a storefront in a renovated 1921 Esso service station in Warrenton, Viginia, and the rest is history. The signature Sweet Potato Pecan Pie with Bourbon was saluted by President Barack Obama on Pi Day in 2016 on the White House website and on his own Facebook page. Two pies in one, the homemade pie crust is filled with roasted sweet potato puree with whipped-in butter, brown sugar, sorghum, spices, a hint of orange zest, and a little splash of top-shelf bourbon. Atop that, the bakery adds the makings of a Pecan Pie: pecan halves, thick sweet filling, another layer of pecans and more bourbon that is topped with bourbon-barrel-smoked brown sugar crystals and baked. The Red Truck Bakery and Market, which was on our original 12 Best Pie Shops in America, just released the "Red Truck Bakery Cookbook" through Clarkson Potter/Random House.
Left:Courtesy of Red Truck Bakery and Market; Right: Pete Souza
Washington: A la Mode Pies (Seattle)
In 2009, Chris Porter quit his corporate job to pursue his dream of opening a neighborhood pie shop in Seattle. Today, there are two pie cafes: one across from Woodland Park Zoo and one in West Seattle in the heart of the Junction. A la Mode's signature pie is the Blue Hawaiian, a combination of blueberries, crushed pineapple, and toasted coconut, but the most popular pie is the French Apple and the Apple & Ginger Pear. The beloved Blue Hawaiian, a blueberry pie sweetened with crushed pineapple and covered in an ultra-buttery coconut crumble topping, is our favorite (it's also low in sugar!). It's sold as a whole pie, petite pie, pie baby, and 'Lollipie' (pie-on-a-stick), and the entire pie can be bought via Goldbelly.
Courtesy of A la Mode Pies
Washington, DC: Pie Sisters (Georgetown)
Sisters Alli, Bear, and Cat Blakely opened Pie Sisters in 2010. The trio bakes nearly two dozen flavors of sweet pies and six savory pies. From traditional flavors like Classic Apple Pie with double crust, Cherry, and Banana Cream to specialty pies like the seasonal Apple Sour Cream, Jumbleberry (a mix of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries), and S'Mores, the pies are served in four sizes: pie bites, 'cuppie' (individual size), slice, and 9-inch pie. Several pies are available in gluten-free and lactose-free options. Customers who return the glass pie plate each whole pie is served in get $2 off their next purchase.
West Virginia: Sugar Pie Bakery (Charleston)
The family-owned Sugar Pie Bakery is a team of five who have been making exemplary pies since 2012. The signature, top-selling Apple Crumb Pie is made with hand-peeled and -cut Granny Smith apples that sit in juices and spices overnight, yielding an inside of the pie that is gooey, soft, and slightly crisp. The classic recipe, including the pie crust, has been passed down for generations. Sold in mini 5-inch pies and 9-inch pies, the pie is topped with crunchy pecans, cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter.
Courtesy of Sugar Pie Bakery
Wisconsin: Manderfield's Home Bakery (Fox Valley)
Owned and operated by a third generation of the family, Manderfields' tradition of making extraordinary baked goods began more than 70 years ago. Manderfield's Home Bakery makes 14 pies at each of its locations, including Lemon Meringue, Banana Cream, Caramel Apple, Chocolate Cream, Coconut Cream, German Chocolate, Key Lime, Mincemeat, Pecan, Peanut Butter Silk, Pumpkin, Rhubarb Custard, Strawberry Rhubarb, and the most popular, Turtle Pie, which made our original 12 Best Pies in America list.
Wyoming: Cowboy Cafe (Dubois)
Opened in 1993, Cowboy Cafe serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and pies at its two locations in Dubois and Sheridan. There are more than 20 pies on offer. Save room for pies like Mountainberry, Kahlua Chocolate Pecan, Apple Caramel Crunch, Blueberry Almond Crunch, Peach, and Apple. Want more desserts? Check out the best cookie in every state.