Chicago’s best pies—for when you don’t have the time

We don’t know where the phrase “easy as pie” originated, but it seems misleading. Pies involve forking ice water into salted flour… kneading, but not too much… rolling… patting out… blind baking… and that’s all just for the crust! Luckily, you can make this season easy by relying on the city’s finest bakers for exceptional pies. Here are the best of the bunch:

Blue Sky Bakery & Cafe

This socially conscious North Center spot employs at-risk youth through a wonderful training program—so you can feel great about indulging. Local, organic, seasonal ingredients make pies like dark chocolate pecan an absolute home run. Pro tip: Blue Sky also bakes wedding cakes!  

Hoosier Mama

Friday night pie flight, anyone? With locations in Evanston and on Chicago Avenue, Hoosier Mama’s diverse flavors. Try Hoosier Sugar Cream, Banana Cream, Ginger Custard, Pear Apple Cranberry with Walnut Crumble, or Bourbon Pecan Chess. You truly can’t go wrong. 

Baker Miller

These Lincoln Square and Uptown counter service restaurants serve baked goods to beat the band. Flavors vary from chai plum crumble to pumpkin to chocolate chess pie. The Baker Miller team worked with Bang Bang before venturing solo in 2014. 

Brown Sugar Bakery

Dangerously delicious. Steve Harvey called this Greater Grand Crossing haunt America’s best bakery in 2013. Alongside fresh cobblers and voluminous cakes, try the laser pie—sweet potato with chocolate, caramel, and nuts. You’ll also find traditional sweet potato, key lime, and lemon ice box. 

Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits

From chocolate pecan to honey with lavender sea salt, these pies have earned their place in the hearts of Chicagoans who travel to Logan Square and Ravenswood for a bite. This trendy purveyor attracts a hipster crowd. 

First Slice Pie Cafe

 First Slice is a “self-funded charity to help feed the homeless.” And it’s delicious. From the bestselling chocolate peanut butter pie, to grasshopper, to balsamic raspberry pear, and Michigan sour cherry, you’ll want to try everything. Or, you can keep it classic: Food & Wine called First Slice’s apple pie among the best in America. 

Jimmy Jamm’s Sweet Potato Pies

Sweet potato reigns supreme at this beloved Beverly haunt. Sweet potato pie and sweet potato cheesecake join savory sweet potatoes with ingredients like chicken and cheese. Pro tip: Jimmy Jamm’s also offers vegan pies. Whether you’re looking to keep it easy or expand your horizons, sampling the fare at Chicago’s best pie purveyors is a great way to savor the holidays and the long winter months. (Nothing warms the soul like bubbling fruit and a buttery crust.) 

CONLON/Christie’s International Real Estate offers plenty of home bases from which you can serve and savor your sweets. The Southport Corridor gem at 3531 North Janssen Avenue to offer plenty of space for hosting, indoors and out. Bon appetit! 



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