Everybody knows the real reason to be thankful at the holidays: dessert. Unfortunately, your Aunt’s soggy-crusted apple pie is enough to send your taste buds packing. Don’t fret, because LA’s best pie places are here to save the day, with flavors that satisfy even the pickiest pie connoisseurs. These bakeries and restaurants offer up American classics, lesser-known flavors, and intriguing new spins on old standbys. Take the family on a pie pilgrimage to one of these sweet spots this holiday season and experience pie perfection.
Tucked into the arts district downtown, Pie Hole serves some artistic, bold flavors to spice up their hip minimalist décor. Skip the traditional options and go with something unusual, like the Earl Grey: a heaping slice with spiced cream nestled on a layer of chocolate. Or take on the spicy, cinnamon-infused Mexican Chocolate. For the little ones, try the perfectly pint-sized mini pies. If you want something truly different, sample the savory flavors, like Mac ‘n’ Cheese.
If you’re a traditionalist, look no further than an LA icon, The Apple Pan. The green-trimmed porch and screen doors welcome you in like a warm embrace and transport you to simpler times. This is place is as American as, well, you know. Watch the kids spin around on the red vinyl bar stools that line the tiny counter while you order up slices of hot apple pie all around. Served with a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream, each sweet and tart bite tastes like nostalgia on a plate.
It’s easy to get sidetracked by all the other mouthwatering dessert options Huckleberry has to offer, like sugar-dusted shortbread cookies and fudgy brownies, but keep your eyes on the prize and stick with the pumpkin pie. The bright lights and warm-wood counters displaying fresh salads and sandwiches will lull you into a false sense that you’re eating healthy, but this pie is only good for your tastebuds and your soul. Thick, creamy, and spiced to perfection, each rich bite just melts onto your tongue. It’s everything a pie should be and more.
Baby Blues BBQ
Most Angelenos have yet to discover the sweet creamy joy of buttermilk pie, but luckily Baby Blues BBQ in West Hollywood is dishing up the hard-to-find Southern staple. The wafting smell of smoked brisket may be too much to resist, so feel free to go hog wild on the Memphis-style barbecue in this homey joint — just be sure to save room for the pie. The banana pudding is the house specialty, but go for the more elusive buttermilk pie: creamy custard topped off with tangy blueberries and hugged by a thick, flaky crust. Bring one of these babies to dinner, and even Auntie Irma is bound to pipe up for seconds.