The 11 Best Pie Shops in San Diego
Get those holiday orders in, stat.
A pie is a transformative food that can go either sweet or savory, with flaky exteriors that reveal slow-roasted chicken alongside a medley of vegetables, or pretty lattice tops with bubbles of fruit peeking from below. And while pies, namely the apple variety, are often claimed as an American culinary classic, you can find international variations from around the world, too. Curious about where to get your pie fix this Thanksgiving and perhaps expand your pie ideology? Read on for 11 places to grab a slice or, even better yet, bring home an entire pie.
Pop Pie Co.
This popular University Heights pie shop bakes up classic pies as well as international versions. Customer favorites include the Green Hog, a mini pie featuring braised pork shoulder mixed with tomatillo, poblano, jalapeno and jack cheese, and a take on the chicken pot pie that’s made vegetarian. The sweet pies aren’t shabby either. Order up a slice of salted maple and transform it into a la mode by topping it with ice cream from its sister shop, Stella Jean.
How to order: Walk in or select your location and order takeout or delivery online. Pop Pie is taking pre-orders online for Thanksgiving through Sunday, November 21, with pickup on Wednesday, November 24 (11 am–5 pm) and Thursday, November 25 (11 am–2 pm).
Julian Pie Co.
Pie aficionados will find Julian Pie Co. classic pies at any local grocery store, but if you’re curious about the place where it all started for owner and founder Liz Smothers in 1986, head to the storefront in Julian, approximately an hour away from Downtown San Diego. There you can tuck into the shop’s original apple, Dutch apple, and strawberry rhubarb pies while taking in the country sights.
How to order: Walk in or order online. The pie shop is full for shipping orders for the Thanksgiving holiday, but you can search locations that sell Julian Pie’s on the website.
San Diego Chicken Pie Shop
The San Diego Chicken Pie Shop is a local institution. Open since 1938, it was originally located on the corner of 5th and B in Hillcrest but today you can find it in North Park on El Cajon Boulevard. While the locations have changed, the recipe for its chicken pot pie hasn’t. Featuring a blend of chicken, turkey, and gravy, it’s still a deal at $5.95 per serving. Do yourself a favor and order up the dinner set complete with whipped potatoes, side of veggies, and a roll with your choice of dessert pie for $12.95. And don’t sleep on their dessert pies either, offered in flavors ranging from apple and blueberry-peach to pumpkin and pecan.
How to order: Walk in or order takeout and delivery by calling 619-295-0156 or ordering online.
You’ll have to head to a Kearny Mesa industrial park to dig into this South African cuisine. Owned and operated by Graham Perkett, gourmet pies headline the menu and all feature a handmade crust that utilizes butter for a flaky texture. Head in around noon and choose from ready-to-eat single-serving portions like steak and mushroom and vegetable curry. Don’t leave without stocking up on family-sized pies located in the freezers. A menu of classic South African desserts, including koeksisters, a deep-fried braided doughnut soaked in a sweet syrup, are also available to order.
How to order: Walk in or call 619-370-8085 for takeout orders.
San Diego native Elizabeth Harris’ love for all things sweet shows up in her pie creations. Some choices include apple crumble, Mississippi mud pie, chocolate cookie dough, pecan, pumpkin, and cherry lattice pies. There’s also a take-and-bake option of savory selections to enjoy later, including meatball pie, breakfast pie, and a Thanksgiving pot pie. Menu selections change daily so call ahead.
How to order: Walk in or call 760-230-6780 for takeout. Customers are encouraged to place holiday orders early and Thanksgiving pre-orders can be picked up on Wednesday, November 24.
Like its Orange County counterpart, this San Diego shop delivers on sweet pastries, including tarts which, let’s face it, are basically pies sans top crust. Loyal customers flock for the black-bottom creme brulee with layers of ganache, sponge, vanilla custard, and torched sugar on top. Or order the more seasonally appropriate Oh My Gourd!—the bakery’s take on pumpkin, but sweetened with honey, with a torched meringue top.
How to order: Walk in or call 619-641-0081 for takeout orders.
Cane Patch Kitchen
Some people swear by pumpkin but let us direct your attention to Cane Patch Kitchen’s sweet potato pie that uses a family recipe that dates back as far as 1912. Owners Ebony Broadway and Tony Smalls made the pie available year-round and sell it whole or by the slice at the Liberty Market location. Also not to be missed is the apple pie baked with a rich caramel sauce.
How to order: Up to 48 hours advance notice may be required depending on how many pies are needed. Order takeout and delivery online.
Mama's Bakery & Deli
Expand your international pie options by visiting Mama’s Bakery & Deli for a Middle Eastern take. Established in 1988, this North Park spot bakes up pies incorporating sajj (an unleavened bread) and stuffed with savory ingredients like cheese, tomato, and pesto, or spinach seasoned with sumac. Go for more traditional flavors like lahmbajeen, an open-faced meat pie, or soujouk, seasoned ground beef mixed with cheese. Finish it off with a piece of Lebanese baklawa for dessert.
How to order: Call 619-688-0717, or order online for takeout.
Debbie's Restaurant & Pie Shoppe
This restaurant is a local favorite for their hearty, diner-style breakfasts and offers at least 15 different pies daily—ramping up their selection to a whopping 25 as the holidays near. Daily pies include peach, boysenberry, coconut cream, banana cream, and lemon meringue, while pumpkin and chocolate pecan grace their extended holiday menu.
How to order: Call 760-741-5680 or order online for takeout. Thanksgiving orders must be placed by Sunday, November 21.
Starry Lane Bakery
Owned by sisters Jaime and Jennifer Schwartz, this bakery was created to accommodate younger sister Jaime after she was diagnosed with life-threatening, adult-onset food allergies. You won’t find any of the top ten allergens anywhere on the menu, including gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish, mustard, and sesame, plus all ingredients are clearly listed so you know exactly what’s in your pie. Choose from flavors like apple crumb, traditional cherry, blueberry, or chocolate silk, and seasonal pies like strawberry rhubarb or pumpkin.
How to order: Order takeout online. Thanksgiving orders must be placed by Sunday, November 21 and picked up by Wednesday, November 24, from 10 am–5 pm.
Village Kitchen & Pie Shoppe
There’s something for almost everyone at this family-owned diner in Carlsbad. One look at the immense selection and you’ll be in pie heaven. The pastries are divided into categories of cream, fruit, and other, but it’s the third category which features the most interesting options, including sour cream fruit, pecan, and custard-filled pies. Everything is baked fresh and sold by the slice or whole pie.
How to order: Walk in or call 760-729-6414 for takeout orders.