In time for the holidays, where to find the ooey gooey, custardy, and fruit-filled best, from Maui to Miami—plus a case for your fast-food favorites.
America, we don’t get enough credit for dessert. France is rightly renowned for its exquisite pastries. Italy is a destination for gelato alone. But the U.S. outperforms in multiple categories, from colorful cakes to chocolate chip cookies to ice cream sundaes, not to mention pie—the most American treat of all, especially now, with the homey holidays ahead. Last year, we taste-tested the best mail-order pies; this year, we asked our expert friends for the perfect slice.
Debate over even what constitutes a pie can get fierce. In England, the question of whether one technically requires pastry on the bottom, sides and/or top has sparked pie-titions aimed at criminalizing offenders. On this side of the Atlantic, borekas (flaky, triangular hand pies found around Eastern Europe and the Middle East, also spelled “boureka”) have come into question. “Does this really count as a pie?” asked the team that produces sublime versions at K’Far in Philadelphia, when Bloomberg Pursuits let them know they’d made the list. (We say yes; bring on pie-titions!)
However you weigh in, here are 24 glorious pies selected by top chefs around the U.S. And although this list leans heavily toward holiday tables and fall flavors (such as apple), the restaurants and bakeries below shine during summer fruit season, too.
Key Lime Pie Monty’s Raw Bar, Miami With a marina-side setting you might have seen on an episode of Miami Vice, Monty’s does big business with such Florida favorites as stone crabs and key lime pie. Here, it’s the pie crust’s spiced bite that takes it over the top for chef Aaron Thebault. “Monty’s was one of the first places my wife and I went together. It was so memorable, including the pie, we ended up having our rehearsal dinner there.” —Recommended by Aaron Thebault, executive chef at Maddon’s Post in Chicago