The Best Pies in Los Angeles

Banana Cream Pie at The Rose Venice | Photo: @therosevenice, Instagram

Whether a pie’s got a lid, a crumbled cap, Graham cracker crust, and a fruit, nut, or custard filling, L.A. has plenty of enticing options. Grab a fork and knife or use your hands and enjoy some of our favorites.

Chess pie at Bludso’s Bar & Que | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Bludso's Bar & Que

Nicole Rucker, who dominated the 2012 KCRW “Good Food” Pie Contest and won the “Perfect Pie” award at the 2013 APC Crisco National Pie Championships, now serves Rucker’s Pies every Sunday at Smorgasburg LA, the multi-stall Arts District food market. On a regular basis, you’ll find two of her pies at Bludso’s Bar & Que in Hollywood. Her Chocolate Chess pie is a terrific take on a Southern classic that features dark chocolate custard crafted with Compartes 73% cocoa and a delectable crust. Treat yourself to a warm slice and a scoop of sweet potato burnt sugar ice cream from Scoops wizard Tai Kim. You’ll also find Mexican lime pie if you prefer a tangier flavor profile.

Cider-roasted apple pie at Cake Monkey Bakery | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Cake Monkey Bakery

Even though pastry chef Elizabeth Belkind and business partner Lisa J. Olin have a neon sign in their Mid-City bakery that reads, “enjoy life eat cake,” rest assured that Cake Monkey Bakery puts plenty of effort into alternatives like pie. Belkind bakes delectable blueberry frangipane pies, which contained concentrated Michigan blueberry jam, a layer of tangy, gritty lemon frangipane, and piecrust studded with Demerara sugar granules, which caramelize during baking. Depending on the time of year, you might also find cherry almond pie, brown butter pecan pie, butterscotch pudding pie, “creamy dreamy” chocolate pie, or cider-roasted apple pie in an indulgent double cheddar crust.

Sweet potato pie at Dutch Oven Bakery | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Dutch Oven Bakery

The working class community at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains is the setting for David Davis’ small but soulful bakery, which is best known for honey muffins, but also yields some excellent pies. Sweet potato pies feature buttery crusts and silky orange fillings. Davis and his family also bakes pumpkin pies and darker, earthier bean pies. Bonus: they also produce plastic-wrapped mini pies, which are great for a quick hit.

Key lime pie at Fishing with Dynamite | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Fishing With Dynamite

Manhattan Beach is a long way from the Florida Keys, but chef David LeFevre has managed to create a memorable Key lime pie at his small seafood-centric restaurant that’s only two blocks from the pier and Pacific Ocean. Creamy, sweet tart filling tops a Graham cracker crust. Flames of torched Kaffir meringue shoot out of the top. The tantalizing pie is plated on decorate lime slices and finished with tangy lime zest.

Coconut cream pie at Pie 'N Burger

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Pie 'n Burger

It’s always pie o’clock at Pie ‘N Burger, which has lived down the street from Caltech since 1963. So says the neon clock on the wall near the entrance. Current owner Michael Osborn started working there in 1972, and the same pie maker has been filling shelves with fruit and cream pies since 1971. They bake more than a dozen types of pie every day. In July and August, that means peach pie with big chunks of fruit and little more. Coconut cream pie is available daily, complete with shreds of toasted coconut, a fluffy meringue cap and thin crust. You may find apple, cherry, or minced meat as well.

Salted Honey Custard at The Pie Hole | Photo: @thepieholela, Instagram

The Pie Hole – Arts District

Chef Matthew Hefner and business partner Sean Brennan launched the first Pie Hole in the Downtown L.A. Arts District and now has outposts in Glendale, Hollywood and Pasadena’s Indiana Colony food court. The duo sells sweet and savory pies from a tempting display case, with varieties listed on butcher paper. Their deep roster includes seasonal, baked-from-scratch pies like Salted Honey Custard and Matcha Tea.

Meyer Lemon Gelato Pie at Pizzeria Mozza | Photo: @actresswithanappetite, Instagram

Pizzeria Mozza

Mozza has become a juggernaut at the corner of Melrose and Highland, with three compelling restaurants that sit side by side, plus a grab-and-go outlet. Dessert has always been a key strength, thanks to James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Dahlia Narvaez and her mentor, Mozza co-owner Nancy Silverton. Last summer at Pizzeria Mozza, the most casual restaurant of the bunch, Narvaez created a towering strawberry gelato pie. Currently featured on the menu is a Meyer Lemon Gelato Pie.

Chocolate Espresso Almond Cream pie at Republic of Pie | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Republic of Pie

Jon Stocking has built a NoHo Arts District destination hangout, thanks to a unique vibe and a variety of sweet and savory pies. The café features exposed wood rafters, reclaimed wood walls, and a Stumptown Coffee program that includes cold brew on tap. Pie fillings include cherry, peach, and pumpkin, depending on the season. Some pies are available year-round, including a memorable Chocolate Espresso Almond Cream, which features a marzipan base, a gritty blend of espresso and chocolate, espresso pastry cream, espresso whipped cream and whipped cream. The base is a fairly basic crust of flour, butter, eggs, and water. The Republic plates this pie with a decorative squiggle of chocolate sauce.

Banana Cream Pie at The Rose Venice | Photo: @therosevenice, Instagram

The Rose Venice

Pastry chef Josh Graves graduated from Ray’s & Stark Bar and Faith & Flower and has settled in nicely to a restaurant without an ampersand. At Rose Café, the high-volume restaurant from Chef Jason Neroni in Venice, Graves features seasonal pies on the dessert menu, but it’s the classic Banana Cream that we crave.

Grapefruit pie at Salt's Cure | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Salt's Cure

Chef Chris Phelps and chef/partner Zak Walters gracefully transitioned from their original West Hollywood home to a larger space in Hollywood. Now they’re surrounded by production and post-production offices and preside over a full bar. Thankfully, one of their classic desserts survived the transition: grapefruit pie. They originally conceptualized the pie as a California play on a steakhouse classic: key lime pie. Firm, orange-hued custard is sweet and pleasantly tart, constructed with a soft Graham cracker crust, whipped cream, and candied grapefruit peel.

Apple pie at The Trails | Photo by Joshua Lurie

The Trails

Mickey Petralia’s outdoor café near Griffith Park trailheads offers visitors painted picnic tables, trees strung with colorful lights, a circle of hay bale seating, and musical accompaniment in the form of chirping birds. The hefty slab of apple pie has a butter-based crust and slices of sweet tart fruits sprinked with cinnamon. The Trails also typically makes a vegan pie, either strawberry rhubarb or mixed berry.