If anyone with food allergies is part of your holiday celebrations, look no further than The Gluten Free Baking Co. for dessert. The North Park bakery is offering everything from traditional pumpkin pie and pecan pie to peach crumble and harvest apple pies (made gluten-free of course). Additionally, if you want to bake your own pie at home but are having trouble finding an allergen-free pie crust, they sell pie crust mix. All products are 100% gluten-free and celiac-safe, and many offerings are also vegan, dairy-free, and soy-free.
How to order: Walk in and select pies from the bakery case, or order online at least 48 hours in advance.
Cynthia Crain, known as Boo Boo to her grandchildren, originally developed the recipe for her sweet potato pie for her pie-loving husband, Thomas, and taste-tested it at family reunions before the couple fulfilled a ten-year dream to launch their own business. Cynthia now bakes pies by the hundreds in a commercial kitchen and Thomas sells them at several San Diego County farmers markets. The pies come traditional, gluten-free, and vegan; and in sizes mini, medium, or “big,” ranging in price from $4-$20.
How to order: Find them year-round at farmers markets in Oceanside, Hillcrest, La Mesa, and Little Italy.
This popular 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 vegetarian take on the chicken pot pie. The sweet pies aren’t shabby either. Order up a slice of salted maple and transform it 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 Thursday, November 17, or until they sell out, with pickup on Wednesday, November 23 (11 am–4 pm) and Thursday, November 25 (11 am–2 pm).
Pie aficionados can 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, order online, or save a trip and search local places that sell Julian Pie’s on the website.
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 $6.45 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 of 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.