Pre-order the Best Holiday Pies in L.A. Before it’s Too Late!

    LACMA Pie Competition. Photo by Elise Thompson.

It’s time to put your orders in for holiday pies before they sell out! Besides the “Holy Trinity” of Holiday pies: Apple, Pecan, and Pumpkin, this list includes some of the best original and mind-blowing pies in town. Here are our recommendations:

Apple Pie – Martino’s Bakery

Burbank / Pre-order by Saturday 11/21

Best known for their addictive little teacakes, this little Bakery turns out an awesome apple pie. Besides the Hi-top apple pie, you can order pecan, sweet potato, and three different kinds of pumpkin pie, as well as non-seasonal pies. You can also pick up their delicate dinner rolls while you’re at it. Curbside pick-up on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 from 11 a.m – 4 p.m.

Apple Crumble Pie – Susie Cakes

Multiple Locations / Pre-order up til Tuesday 11/24

Founded with her grandmother’s recipes, Susie Sarich makes all of her baked goods at Susie Cakes with simple, natural ingredients. We fell in love with her apple pie, but you can also order 9-inch pumpkin, pecan and pumpkin cheesecake. For people who don’t like pie (what kind of monsters are you???), or as a treat for little ones, there is also a selection of Thanksgiving-themed cupcakes. With locations all around Los Angeles, Susie Cakes is convenient for almost everyone. Pick-up or delivery.

Banberry Pie – Polly’s Pies

Multiple Locations / Pre-order thru Monday 11/23

The greatest pie of them all is the Banberry Pie at Polly’s Pies. Sometimes strawberry pies can be a bit overwhelming, and sometimes they are way too tart. Banana cream pies are just a little dull. The geniuses at Polly’s Pies combined them to make this pie with jewels of ripe, red strawberries in glaze resting on top of a layer of banana cream pie. If there was only one Banberry Pie left in the world, I would fight you to the death for it. OK, we would never really have to fight to the death. Polly’s has lots of pies, but I get a little passionate when pie is involved. It’s not strawberry season, so you may want a more seasonal pie for Thanksgiving. Luckily, Polly’s has just about every pie you might crave, including my second-favorite, the Cherry Pie, plus specialties like Pumpkin Maple Crunch, Mincemeat, Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake and Pumpkin Dream Pie. They even have no-sugar-added pies and pies you can bake at home to fake it. Multiple locations around L.A., the O.C. and Inland Empire are available for pie pickup.

Blueberry or Cherry – Pie ‘n’ Burger

Pie ‘n’ burger Blueberry Pie. Photo by Elise Thompson.


Pie n’ Burger has a lot going for it. For over 50 years the little diner has graced the corner of California and Lake. The Formica® counters and elderly waitresses make entering Pie n’ Burger feel like a trip back in time circa Nick at Nite. As the name suggests, pies are the star of the show here. The fruit pies are possibly the best in Pasadena, especially the cherry and blueberry. The flaky crusts fairly burst with sweet fruit, and the cream pies are topped with mile-high meringue instead of a whipped cream topping, the best of these being the banana. Besides the Holy Trinity of Holiday pies, you can order specialties like Rhubarb, Mince, and Peanut Butter pies. (626) 795-1123.

Brown Butter Pecan Pie – Cake Monkey

North Hollywood and Mid-City / 48-hours notice

Cake Monkey is a great go-to for anything, but I am especially enamored with their little gourmet versions of Hostess treats. They are no slouch when it comes to pies either. Their scrumptious Brown Butter Pecan Pie used to have a top crust, but is now topless and sprinkled with little chocolate cocoa nibs for just a hint of chocolate. The L.A. Times touts Cake Monkey’s Cider Roasted Apple Pie with a double cheddar cheese crust. They are also offering Blueberry Lemon Frangipane, and Cherry Almond pies, as well as a Pumpkin Tart, a Butterscotch Pudding Pie, and a Chocolate Cake Pudding Pie, which you can order Gluten-free. Pickup or local delivery.

Dulce de Leche Banana Cream Pie – Cassell’s Hamburgers

Cassell’s Banana Cream Pie with Dulce de Leche. Photo by Elise Thompson,

Koreatown / Pre-order thru Tuesday, 11/24

The luscious-looking pies rotating in the pie case at this re-do of the classic Koreatown hamburger shack are even better than they look. Dessert is definitely one area where this place beats out the original. Elia Aboumrad, who we fell in love with when she shaved her head on season two of Top Chef, is not only Chef Christian Page’s wife, but she is also a pie wizard. The banana cream pie with dulce de leche will blow your mind. A nearby diner I once convinced to order a slice remarked to me, “That is exactly what banana cream pies have been missing all this time.” Besides the usual holiday pies, Cassell’s is also offering Lemon Icebox, Chocolate Marshmallow and a vegan, Gluten-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. Pickup. Only the Koreatown location is selling whole pies for Thanksgiving.

Honey Bean Pie – Shabazz Bakery

Shabazz Bean Pie. Photo by Elise Thompson.

A lot of you are probably scrunching up your foreheads and asking yourselves, “Bean pie? Like bean beans?” Yes. These pies are made with pinto beans. The addition of “pie spices” makes it taste a lot like a pumpkin pie or a sweet potato pie. For the unfamiliar, you may not want to try new things on a major holiday, but if you know, you know, and this is where you get them. You don’t have to drive around looking for a man in a bow tie with a stack of pink boxes. They also sell the amazing Pineapple Cheese Pie, Blueberry Cheese Pie, Carrot and Lemon Pies. Shabazz Bakery doesn’t use processed white flour, sugar, or unnatural preservatives. Disclosure: The bakery is run by Nation of Islam, but I believe in looking past Religious differences when it comes to pie.

Paradise Cheesecake – King’s Hawaiian

Paradise Cheesecake. Photo by Elise Thompson.

Torrance / 24-hours notice

You probably know about King’s Hawaiian Bread from their sweet fluffy little buns. You might even know that their factory is here in Torrance, which is also home to two King’s Restaurant and Bakeries. What really puts these bakeries on the map is their three-layer Paradise Cake invented by the founder back in Hawaii in the 50s. Where this fits into an article about pies is with the spinoff Paradise Cheesecake. Made up of three-layers of guava, passion fruit, and lime cheesecake, it will bring a definite island feel to your Thanksgiving. In a more traditional vein, you can also order a variety of pumpkin pies. Please click on FUTURE ORDER and select the Holiday menu. Ordering is closed for MAHALOSGIVING.

Peach Blueberry Pie – Republic of Pies

The Republic of Pie. Photo by Elise Thompson.

No-Ho / Pre-order by Tuesday 11/24

The Republic of Pies in North Hollywood excels at fruit pies. Their Peach Blueberry pie is bursting with fresh berries and just enough peach to make it special. But really, you can’t go wrong with their Classic Apple, Cherry or Strawberry Rhubarb pies. Besides standard Thanksgiving pies, they also offer specialties like Blueberry Sour Cream, Espresso Chocolate Cream, Earl Grey Cream, Matcha Cream and Key Lime.

Pecan Cheesecake – House of Pies

Bakery Case at House of Pies. Photo by Gina Pina via Flickr.

Los Feliz

No matter how gentrified the Los Feliz neighborhood around this 51 year-old diner becomes, it never changes its homey, throwback vibe. A perennial favorite of ours, the Pecan Cheesecake isn’t just pecans mixed into a cheesecake; it is a layer of pecan pie on top of a layer of pure cheesecake. It is the perfect marriage, because pecan pies can be too sweet and cheesecake can be too rich. Besides the traditional holiday pies, their huge menu features Key Lime, Peanut Butter, Butterscotch, Pineapple, Pumpkin Cheesecake and a mile-high lemon meringue.

Pie Holes – Pie Hole

Multiple Locations

I will confess, my favorite pie from Pie Hole is the Raspberry, which is out of season. Luckily, my second-favorite pie, the Apple Crumble, is available, as are Pumpkin, Chocolate Brownie Pie, Cardamom-Cherry. Salted Caramel Pecan, and Earl Grey Tea Pie. Really, the best thing to do, although it’s nontraditional and a little spendy, is to order a box of assorted “pie holes,” little hand pies that are seriously addictive. Since Thanksgivings will be smaller this year, you can please everyone without ordering three whole pies, and to be extra Covid-safe you can wrap them up individually. There are five locations around L.A. and Pasadena for pickup and local delivery through Tuesday night. They also ship.

Sweet Potato Pie – 27th Street Bake Shop

Photo from 27th Street Bakery’s Facebook page.

South L.A.

A bakery supported by three generations since, Harry Patterson and his wife founded this business in the 1930’s, then in the 1940’s brought it to Los Angeles from Shreveport, Louisiana, where it became exclusively a bakery in 1956 where it was then run by their kids Greg and Alberta. Now run by Harry’s grand-daughter, 1984 Olympic gold medalist in the 4 x 100 meter relay, Jeanette Bolden-Pickens. Their individual or 9″ Sweet Potato Pies are rich with spices and smooth, sweet yams. You can also order Alberta’s Pecan Pie with a “Caramel delight filling,” or Greg’s pie, which is a layer of Sweet Potato Pie topped with Pecan Pie. In addition to pies, they serve Banana Pudding, Cobblers and cakes, including Red Velvet and Coconut, plus vegan desserts. Call 323-233-3469 to order, or if you are nearby you can get their sweets from Postmates, or at Ralph’s on 8th and Flower or Smart & Final on Compton and Alameda Street West near the Compton Courthouse.


Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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