Everyone knows that the best part of Thanksgiving dinner is the pie, right? I mean, the turkey’s pretty good, but it really shines as leftovers (turkey and wild rice soup, anyone? Turkey and dressing sandwiches? turkey tamales?). Dressing and mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes are fine, but there’s a reason we save the pie for the end of the meal. Because it is awesome.
Because pie is so very important to the holiday meal, sometimes the best course of action is to outsource it. Even though I pride myself on my baking skills, I always purchase pie because nothing is more disappointing than a bad pie. (Which is really true year-round.)
So, if you’re bad at pie, don’t risk ruining Thanksgiving by trying to make one anyway. And don’t get one of those crappy boxed pies from the grocery store. The pie is too important for that. Instead, please consult this carefully curated list, which is the result of extensive testing and research (i.e., eating lots of pie), of local establishments that can supply the most important dessert of the year. Generally speaking, you’ll need to get your order in by around the 25th, so get on it!
Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop, 1905 S. 1st St.
Olivia O’Neal and her flour-dusted crew have conjured up a tantalizing list of offerings for this year’s Thanksgiving holiday. The sweet potato gingersnap meringue is a game changer, not too sweet and with a deep molasses flavor from the gingersnaps. Bonus: if you place your order by November 9, you will be entered into a drawing to possibly win free pie! All pies are $25.
La Patisserie, 602 W. Annie.
Just up the street from Sugar Mama’s is the French bakery La Patisserie, offering up their Continental interpretations of the traditional flavors: apple ($35), pecan ($35), and pumpkin silk ($40).
Royer’s Pie Haven, 2900 B Guadalupe.
Pie lovers’ prayers have been answered: we finally have a Royers in Austin! This long-established cafe in Round Top is certainly worth the approximately 90-minute drive for the Sunday fried chicken and delectable pies (ice cream NOT optional!). Yes, the apple and chocolate chip and buttermilk pies are a delight, but consider the junkberry (all kinds of berries, plus peaches, and a rich cream-cheese topping) or the sweet and salty fudge pie for your holiday needs.
Quack’s 43rd Street Bakery, 411 E. 43rd.
JUST LOOK AT THAT PECAN PIE. Need I say more? Seriously, though, this is some of the best pie in town. It’s well-documented that I love their strawberry-rhubarb (and I have taken them to Thanksgiving dinners past), but I also love the pecan and the pumpkin and the key lime tart and, and, and ….
Upper Crust Bakery, 4508 Burnet Road.
While we usually get birthday cakes from Upper Crust (and those amazing morning buns), it would be a mistake to overlook their pies. In addition to offering reasonably priced pecan, pumpkin, apple, and apple cranberry pies, Upper Crust can also take care of your brunch pastries and rolls for the big meal.