Today is National Pi Day, and you could celebrate by bragging that you totally know the next number after 3.14. (ONE! It's one, nerds!) Or you could eat some of these damn fine pies, which are among the country's best. So drop the math book (NERD!) and use today as an excuse to eat at least 3.141 pieces of deliciousness.
Petsi Pies (Somerville and Cambridge, MA)
What you're getting: Peach pie
Over the past 10yrs, Petsi Pies has evolved into an institution so beloved, we wouldn't be surprised if Massachusetts nominated Petsi's owner Renee McLeod for canonization. (Hey, that motorcycle-riding, former bouncer pope might be into it.) People freak out over just about everything on Petsi's menu, but obviously it all comes down to the pies, and in the Summer, the peach rules supreme.
Lauretta Jean's (Portland, OR)
What you're getting: Cherry pie
After making a name at the Portland Farmers Market, Lauretta is currently repping two spots with plenty of coffee, quiche, and, of course, pie. You can't make a bad call with any of the line-up (huckleberries and savory hand-pies are known to surface), but you should definitely check out the classic cherry when it's in season -- it tastes so good you might cry (whoa... Warrant was right).
The Apple Pan (Los Angeles, CA)
What you're getting: Banana cream pie
A place already notable for its burgers and crucial name-drops on Showtime classic Californication, the Apple Pan is also pretty famous for its life-changing banana cream pie, shown here in all its deconstructed glory with its bananas hanging out like so much Duchovny.
Monument Cafe (Georgetown, TX)
What you're getting: Chocolate pie
You'll find more sandwiches than pies on the Monument Cafe menu, but when they've got a chocolate bomb as great as this one, who cares? This slice is their signature dessert, and is so beloved that some especially rapturous people on the Internet say it's "demeaning" to even call it chocolate pie and risk inviting comparisons to its inferior peers.
The Humble Pie Store (Denver, CO)
What you're getting: Chocolate chess pie
Striking a perfect balance between savory (chicken pot pie, pie-wrapped meatballs dubbed "Meatheads" that contain zero Rob Reiner) and sweet (this gooey chocolate chess beauty), the Humble Pie Store's delicious from-scratch slices prove that it could stand to be a little more boastful.
PieLab (Greensboro, AL)
What you're getting: Pecan pie
PieLab, surprisingly, isn't a place where rats are injected with chocolate cream. Instead, it's a pie shop focused on community initiatives that came about thanks to the do-gooders at Project M. The pies are far from a charity case, though, and seeing as they have an entire 'Pecans!' project, you should probably trust that pie option.
Emporium Pies (Dallas, TX)
What you're getting: Lord of the Pies
It's alright, Piggy, you can order one of these without the conch. Lord of the Pies, a deep-dish apple with cinnamon streusel, is just one of Emporium's many pun-filled pies, which also include the Drunken Nut (bourbon pecan) and Smooth Operator (French silk chocolate with pretzel crust).
Cafe on the Corner (Lookout Mountain, TN)
What you're getting: Chocolate bourbon pecan pie
Should you find yourself at Tennessee's ominously named Lookout Mountain, you should absolutely park yourself by this cafe's fireplace with a piece of their boozy, nutty, chocolatey treat. Then... LOOKOUT! For spiking blood sugar.
Hoosier Mama Pie Company (Chicago, IL)
What you're getting: Lemon meringue pie
As the name would imply, the desserts here are just as good as your Mom's, and their recipe book is just as overflowing
with index cards from Aunt Ging as hers, too. Mama's has got berry pies, custards, meringues, and even the King's own Fat Elvis Pie featuring chocolate, peanut butter, and bananas in a graham cracker-peanut-pretzel crust. Sequined white jumpsuit sold separately.
Four & Twenty Blackbirds (Brooklyn, NY)
What you're getting: Salty honey pie
The work of two sisters from South Dakota farmland, Four & Twenty Blackbirds slings pies as exotic as the Chocolate Julep (mint, bourbon, chocolate) and as simple as this sea salt-topped honey pie, a crowd favorite and possible lost Beatles song.
Rib Whip BBQ Truck (San Francisco, CA)
What you're getting: Grandma Ruth's buttermilk pie
Exactly who Grandma Ruth is and exactly what kind of voodoo magic she uses to make her desserts so good remains unclear. But we do know that a slice of her buttermilk pie is the only acceptable finale to a brisket lunch from Rib Whip.
Achatz Handmade Pie Co. (Several MI locations)
What you're getting: Michigan 4-berry pie
They may be a full-on regional chain, but Achatz still boasts the quality of smaller-scale peers. The list of pies is in the dozens, but their most popular and well-known pick is the Michigan 4-berry, made with local cherries, blueberries, blackberries,
Lake Erie water, and raspberries.
Scratch Baking (Durham, NC)
What you're getting: Shaker lemon pie
Scratch has nabbed plenty of pie honors over the years -- its baking mastermind Phoebe Lawless even made the James Beard semifinals last year. And the product definitely lives up to the hype, none more so than the shaker lemon pie. Full of real macerated lemons and double-crusted, so you know it's good.
Bang Bang Pie Shop (Chicago, IL)
What you're getting: Malted milk chocolate mousse or key lime pie
No one's going to shoot you for housing one of Bang Bang Pie Shop's signature slices, but your personal trainer might be pissed. Then again, your gym's free trial with Rocco is up next week anyway, so go ahead and inhale some more chocolate shavings off the malted milk chocolate mousse pie.
The Blue Stove (Brooklyn, NY)
What you're getting: Raspberry plum pie with pecan crumble
Nothing scares this ambitious breakfast mecca. Blackberry chiffon pie? Done. Red velvet custard pie? Next. Mocha pudding pie? Sorry, would you like salted caramel whipped cream with that? Because they have some. Also yes, they have an actual blue stove (it belonged to great-grandma Elsie!).
The Bomb Fried Pies (Dallas, TX)
What you're getting: Guacamole pie
This food truck fries up your more traditional cherry and pumpkin pies, but it also offers this nonconformist guac pie. It's flaky, flavorful, and delicious salvation to people who are constantly trying to con Chipotle into giving them more 'mole.