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Best pies in the San Francisco Bay Area – San Francisco Chronicle

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A spread of pies on the counter at Pie Society in Berkeley.
A detailed side view of the passion fruit meringue pie at Pie Society.
Dorijene Duenas takes an order from a customer at Pie Society in Berkeley.
Black bottom bourbon pecan walnut pie at Pie Society in Berkeley.
Before Thanksgiving every year, bakeries of all stripes roll out pie specials. But the Bay Area’s pie scene is so much more than one-off pumpkin or apple pie; here, there’s buttery, flaky goodness happening all year long. 
We have operations totally devoted to pie, with rotating menus that reflect the seasonal bounty. We have Asian American bakers who deliver unconventional flavors in aluminum tins. We have fine-dining chefs who have turned their attention to the nostalgia of pie. And we have restaurants that offer just one kind of pie — but oh, what a pie. 
These are the San Francisco Chronicle Food & Wine team’s favorite pie spots in the Bay Area, listed in alphabetical order. And yes, they’re great choices for your Thanksgiving table. — J.B.
Blue Plate
Disciples of Blue Plate’s excellent key lime pie on the 23-year-old Mission District restaurant’s dessert menu know that they can also order a whole pie ($38) to eat at home. This is the platonic ideal of key lime pie: a custardy but firm texture, full-force lime flavor and sturdy graham cracker crust. It all gets topped with an ample dollop of fresh whipped cream and lots of lime zest. — E.K. 
3218 Mission St., San Francisco. blueplatesf.com
Edith’s Pie
It used to be nearly impossible to secure a pie ($35 and up) from Edith’s, a weekly pop-up in Oakland known for perfectly flaky crusts and rapid sell-outs. Thankfully, production has ramped up and the pop-up is now preparing to open a full-blown cafe in Uptown with sweet and savory pies alongside wine and low-ABV cocktails. Until then, eaters will need to keep an eye on Instagram to see what’s going in the oven for Saturday pickups. Seasonal fruit pies are always a good choice, but the crackly chocolate chess, creamy mango-passion fruit meringue and “world famous” scribble (a combination of buttery walnut, dark chocolate and maple) are worth pouncing on when you see them. — J.B.
272 14th St., Oakland. edithspie.com
Burnt honey pie by Melissa Chou, the former pastry chef for Mister Jiu’s, is available at the Grand Opening pop-up.
Grand Opening 
Grand Opening owner and former Mister Jiu’s pastry chef Melissa Chou pays permanent homage to honey with a bee and honeycomb tattoo on her arm, so you know her honey pie is going to be good. Toasted honey gives the custardy pie a rich, caramelized flavor. It’s finished with beeswax cream and sprinkles of bee pollen on the top. Try a slice ($12) at Chou’s weekly Chinese American bakery pop-up on Sundays in San Francisco’s Chinatown or preorder a whole pie ($82) for pickup in San Francisco or Oakland. Look out for holiday specials, like a black sesame apple pie. — E.K. 
28 Waverly Place, San Francisco. grandopeningbakery.com
Green House Bakery
One of the finest bakeries in the Bay Area is hidden in an Oakland home. Green House Bakery has been quietly impressing hordes with fresh doughnuts, expertly baked pastries and a petite-but-fearsome passion fruit pie. The crust is made with graham crackers and coconut flakes while the radiant lilikoi filling mirrors a key lime pie, merging condensed milk with passion fruit juice. It’s wildly tangy, sweet and creamy but not cloying thanks to multiple acidic elements, like whipped vanilla bean labne. This pie is seasonal, usually available from September through October, but you can preorder it for Thanksgiving and Christmas. (Outside of the season, the pie on offer might be lemon strawberry cream.) The home bakery announces “bake sale” dates on Instagram or its website. These bake sales usually happen on weekends on a first come, first served basis, and customers line up and wait for hours. Keep an eye out for preorder announcements, as orders fill up quickly. Thanksgiving preorders start Tuesday, Nov. 8. — C.H.
greenhousebakeryoakland.com
Heidi’s Pies
You can order pie at any hour of the day at this San Mateo institution, which has been open since 1970. (It’s sadly no longer open 24 hours a day, seven days a week due to the pandemic, but pie remains an all-day affair.) People flock to Heidi’s during the summer for highly sought-after seasonal peach and strawberry pies, but the old-school diner churns out just about any flavor your heart desires from classic pumpkin to mango. Banana cream is luscious with still-intact banana slices, while the super-tart blueberry pie comes with a generous serving of sour cream on top. Heidi’s serves a limited number of slices ($7.49) with more flavors available as whole pies ($24-$29). — E.K. 
1941 S. El Camino Real, San Mateo. Heidipies.com
House of Better 
One of Wine Country’s best kept secrets is the unofficial pie shop at the Dr. Wilkinson’s resort in Calistoga. (There’s even a pie vending machine, but it’s currently out of service.) Chef Trevor Logan’s beloved, buttery pies from the defunct San Francisco outfit Green Chile Pies are now served at his newest restaurant, House of Better, a casual, Southwestern-themed eatery with a healthy spin. While this small takeout window always has plenty of flavors on deck — like Mexican chocolate or nectarine and berry — its signature green chile apple pie wins every time, so don’t let the others distract you. Yes, it sounds like an odd choice, but there’s something magical about this sweet-and-spicy combo and the way the modest kick from the green chiles complements the baked apples instead of overpowering them. You can order by the slice ($8) or full pie ($40) while dining at the resort’s tables or Adirondack chairs. Have a go on the giant tree swing before you leave. — J.L.
1507 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga. houseofbetter.com
The Turkish coffee cream pie is a highlight at Loquat in Hayes Valley.
Loquat
It’s unsurprising that at a San Francisco bakery from a powerhouse team of coffee and dessert experts, the dessert that marries those two worlds — Turkish coffee cream pie — is a standout. At Loquat, a new Jewish bakery from Four Barrel Coffee owners Tal Mor and Jodi Geren and ex-Tartine pastry chef Kristina Costa, this pie’s pudding-like custard has rich coffee and cardamom notes, set against a crisp dark chocolate crust. The bakery makes a mini version ($8), best enjoyed in the warm space with an espresso, as well as a whole pie ($50). — E.K. 
198 Gough St., San Francisco. loquatsf.com
A slice of passion fruit meringue pie, which is always on offer at Pie Society in Berkeley.
Pie Society 
The lineup of sweet and savory — and even gluten-free and vegan — pies changes constantly at Pie Society. The bakery, which operates out of a commercial kitchen in industrial West Berkeley, comes from Angela Pinkerton, a James Beard Award-winning pastry chef from her years at three-Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park and a former partner at San Francisco’s Che Fico. One consistent attraction is the passion fruit meringue pie, with three distinct layers of tangy curd, slightly savory bay leaf cream and toasted, airy meringue. The custardy options, such as the rum-infused coconut cream and the over-the-top, coffee-spiked mud pie, tend to create devoted society members. Preorder whole pies ($40 and up) or sit down with a slice ($7) and coffee on the sunny patio. — J.B.
2533 Seventh St., Berkeley. Pickup also available at Dolores Deluxe, 3500 22nd St., San Francisco. piesocietysf.com
Stonemill Matcha 
Stonemill Matcha pastry chef Mikiko Yui puts a refreshing twist on the classic, but occasionally leaden, chocolate cream pie with her matcha cream pie, sold by the bright green slice ($7.50) or available whole for holiday preorders at the Mission District cafe. White chocolate provides a rich, velvety backbone that’s spiked with bitter and toasty matcha. It’s topped with a cumulus cloud of zesty orange cream topping. — C.P. 
561 Valencia St., San Francisco. stonemillmatcha.com
Tacos Osuna
When Alfredo Osuna isn’t manning the grill at Sinaloan-style taqueria Tacos Osuna, he’s making guava pies. The pies de guayaba ($25) are something like a cross between a fresh fruit pie and a cheesecake. The base consists of sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, heavy cream and a squirt of lime. It’s bejeweled with diced green guayaba and pecans, then cross-hatched with cajeta, Mexican caramel. Though it has the richness of a cheesecake, it ditches some of the sweetness and the inclusion of guayaba adds freshness and crunch. You can pick one up at Tacos Osuna or preorder one for pickup in Oakland. — C.H.
instagram.com/chessecake_osuna
Blackberry crumble pies cool on a rack at Three Babes Bakeshop in San Francisco.
Three Babes Bakeshop
Over more than a decade, baker Lenore Estrada has established Three Babes as a Ferry Plaza Farmers Market fixture, and appropriately, her seasonally changing pies ($45 and up) are made with organic fruits from local farms. Look out for juicy stone fruit pies from Frog Hollow Farm in the summer and classic apple pies with fruit from Devoto Gardens and Orchards in the fall. Estrada even has a few gluten-free options, like key lime with a gluten-free graham cracker crust. The bakery is open for daily delivery and pickup from its commercial kitchen in the Bayview; longer distance shipping is an option. — C.P.  
2501 Phelps St., San Francisco. threebabesbakeshop.com
The chocolate haupia pie (left) and sweet potato haupia pie at Ono Bakehouse in Berkeley.
Ono Bakehouse
Ono Bakehouse in Berkeley specializes in Hawaiian baked goods and snacks. One of the most nuanced offerings is the small but mighty sweet potato haupia pie ($10). It’s 4 inches of comfort, with a flaky crust, purplish sweet potato filling and cool coconut custard. Sweet, starchy and light, it goes great with a warm cup of coffee or tea. If you’re not a fan of the tubers, there’s also a rich chocolate haupia pie ($10), made with chocolate cream instead. Larger, 9-inch versions aren’t on the day-to-day menu but often appear for holidays. — C.H.
1922 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley. ono-bakehouse.square.site
Janelle Bitker is The San Francisco Chronicle senior editor of Food + Wine. Email: janelle.bitker@sfchronicle.com
 
Janelle Bitker spearheads The San Francisco Chronicle’s Food & Wine department. She joined the newspaper in 2019 as a food enterprise reporter, covering restaurants as well as Bay Area culture through a food lens. Previously, she served as a reporter for Eater SF, managing editor at the East Bay Express, and arts & culture editor at the Sacramento News & Review. Her writing has been recognized by the California Newspaper Publishers Association and Association of Alternative Newsmedia.
Elena Kadvany joined The San Francisco Chronicle as a food reporter in 2021. Previously, she was a staff writer at the Palo Alto Weekly and its sister publications, where she covered restaurants and education and also founded the Peninsula Foodist restaurant column and newsletter.
Caleb Pershan was previously a fellow covering the media at Columbia Journalism Review and a senior editor at Eater covering food in San Francisco and New York. His work has also appeared in Gawker, San Francisco magazine, and New York magazine’s Grub Street. He is an avid baker and cyclist, and holds degrees from Columbia Journalism School and Bowdoin College.

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