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Best of Toronto

The Best Pies in Toronto

Posted by Erinn Beth Langille / April 4, 2014

pies torontoThe best pies in Toronto can be found in bakeries and pastry shops around the city, each with their own version a slice above the rest. Some stick to the traditional, serving a perfected copy of what Grandma used to make, buttery, flaky and filled with ripe fruit. Others raise the bar by adding crowd-pleasing details like chocolate drizzle tops and thicker shortbread crusts.

The origins of pie-making go back to 9500 B.C., when our ancestors made rustic free-form pies out of oats and wheat, filled them with honey and baked them over hot coals. The popularity of pies grew and spread throughout Europe via the Roman roads, until nearly everything seemed to be baked in some kind of pastry vessel.

My personal favourite, and one I'm hoping comes back in style, is the animated pie: A form of banquet entertainment, rabbits, birds, turtles, and even human beings were set into pies, to be released when the pie was cut. (That's why the old nursery rhyme goes "four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.") In the 14th century the Duke of Burgundy had a huge pie made that, when sliced open, released music from the 28 musicians stuffed inside. Now, doesn't that sound like a little slice of heaven?

Here are the best pies in Toronto.

See also:

The best meat pies in Toronto
10 bakeries to buy pumpkin pie in Toronto

Wanda's Pie in the Sky

Wanda's Pie in the Sky

Wanda’s Pie in The Sky will have you pie-eyed in Kensington Market. The classic crust is perfectly flaky and often beautifully latticed. As for the flavours, there's apple, Niagara peach, rhubarb, Ontario sour cherry, coconut, banana, lemon cream, key lime, chocolate hazelnut and pecan, to name just a few. To Wanda! More »

Phipps Bakery Café

Phipps Bakery Café

Holy heck, Phipps Bakery Café and its marvellous pies. There’s always a delicious twist; their blackbottom pecan pie has a chocolate crust and chocolate drizzle, the traditional pumpkin pie is amplified by spiced pepitas around the edge, and the white chocolate lemon mousse has a coconut meringue shell. More »

Apiecalypse Now

Apiecalypse Now

Vegan and delicious? Leave it to Jen at Apiecalypse Now to bust all the myths about butter being essential to good pie. Her fruit pies, like blueberry and strawberry apple, or her excellent pumpkin pie, will make you forget about the absence of dairy entirely. More »

Absolute Bakery

Absolute Bakery

Cabbagetown locals have a favourite pie hole, and it’s Absolute Bakery and Café. Their rich buttery crust is fantastic, and the choices are too - there's pecan, apple, cherry, blueberry, mixed berry and French custard with fresh fruit on top. More »

Hot Oven Bakery

Hot Oven Bakery

Since 1957, Hot Oven Bakery has been serving up delicious pies around Toronto. They started as a little bakery in the Cloverdale Mall, and now have locations in Bloor West Village, Roncesvalles and the Kingsway. The secret to their success? Using butter to get that rich crust, and fresh fruit for the filling - the berry pies in particular are great. More »

Mabel's Bakery

Mabel's Bakery

Classic pie is a Mabel’s Bakery specialty, and the flavours on offer include sour cherry, peach, apple, strawberry rhubarb, lemon meringue, key lime and coconut cream. Fruit is used at the peak of the season for optimum flavour; the crust is golden, flaky goodness. More »

Kensington Natural Bakery

Kensington Natural Bakery

Once located in Kensington Market (hence the name), Kensington Natural Bakery has called The Annex home since 1991, and caters to allergies and delicate constitutions without compromising taste. The variety of pies often includes vegan, gluten- or wheat-free and refined sugar-free versions; peach, pecan and cranberry are often made with spelt crust, and they're nicely priced, too. More »

Hansen's Danish Pastry Shop

Hansen's Danish Pastry Shop

With a name like Hansen’s Danish Pastry Shop, you have to figure they have a leg up on pies. This old-school East York fixture offers a traditional European mom-and-pop approach to their pies - they're gooey, sweet, buttery, flaky, rich, piled high, and baked fresh daily with tender loving care. More »

Flaky Tart

Flaky Tart

Using fresh ingredients and home-style technique, chef Madelaine Sperry bakes up wonderful pies in her Mount Pleasant shop Flaky Tart. Fruit pies, covered with sugar-sprinkled pastry crust or with a crumble topping, come in flavours like apple-pear-cranberry, apple raspberry and strawberry rhubarb. More »

Discussion

17 Comments

Alicia / April 4, 2014 at 02:11 pm
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What about Madeleines (http://www.madeleines.ca/)? Hands down the best pie I've had in the city!
megr / April 4, 2014 at 02:52 pm
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Wanda's is so overrated. Pies are ALL crust. You get a couple spoonfuls of filling then a 2 inch hard,bumpy crust. Overpriced crust pies.
David / April 4, 2014 at 03:03 pm
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Well Wanda had that rat infestation!!

BEST PIES:CRAWFORDS in BRAMPTON.
Dick Hornblower / April 4, 2014 at 08:15 pm
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Madeleines IS a good pie!
Alex / April 4, 2014 at 09:09 pm
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Another vote for Madeleines. Delicious innards, very nice people.
Alice replying to a comment from megr / April 4, 2014 at 11:04 pm
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I rarely comment on BlogTO, but I came here to write the exact same thing. Wanda's Pie in the Sky is so overrated, their crust is hard, filling was inconsistent the two times I visited, and it doesn't taste homemade at all (like, that amazing fresh taste). My first visit was disappointing, especially having gone after reading rave reviews about the place.
poh replying to a comment from Buttery / April 5, 2014 at 02:40 am
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I hate most vegan desserts as they usually are greasy and really sweet, but I do make an exception for vegan pies, because North American pies don't really need eggs or dairy. Vegan pies are usually made with vegetable shortening not oil. Shortening actually gives pie crust better texture and tenderness than butter or lard (which is a waste for pie crusts IMO). Personally I prefer a pie crust made with both shortening and butter, that butter flavour is crucial. With a little practice and patience, homemade pies with homemade crusts are a very doable thing.

Crawford's Village Bakery in Brampton has great selection of pies. I have a friend that always brings over pies from there. There fillings can be a little on the sweet side, but that's somewhat of a good thing as you don't finish the whole pie in one sitting (which I have shamefully done with some killer homemade pies on a few drunken occasions).
Scotty / April 5, 2014 at 11:25 am
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Wanda's is overrated. If you want the real deal go to The Pie Shack. It's sad to see family establishments like this getting overlooked by the hipster yuppies.
http://www.blogto.com/bakery/pie-shack-toronto
Westender / April 5, 2014 at 11:26 am
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I know that pies are not their raison d'être but both San Remo and Messinabakeries should be on this list. San Remo for their lemon meringue and Messinafor their berry pies.
J replying to a comment from Alicia / April 5, 2014 at 02:19 pm
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Last I saw, Madeleines Cherry Pie and Icecream was gone.
So I looked it up.. its at Runnymede and St Clair now.

Too far for a non-car person :(
Graeme Quinn / April 5, 2014 at 09:37 pm
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I agree with Wanda's being overrated. I used to live in the neighbourhood, and as a lover of pie, I gave it many tries. It was good, but definitely not deserving of #1, and also extremely overpriced.
Holly / April 6, 2014 at 09:02 am
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Totally agree on Wanda's. I know this doesn't relate to their pie, but I had some cupcakes from there that I would be ashamed to serve and I'm a terrible baker. They were "chocolate", but just crumbly dark-coloured flour. Worst baked good I've ever had.
Alicia replying to a comment from J / April 6, 2014 at 12:37 pm
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I too was sad that they moved from their original spot at Bathurst and Dupont, but you can also buy their pies at Fiesta Farms!
jimmytwostep replying to a comment from Scotty / April 6, 2014 at 04:54 pm
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I actually pass the Pie Shack this past Friday evening and there was a For Lease sign in the window. I'm not sure what's going on, but most likely scenario is that it's shutting down, unfortunately. I always wanted to go but never found my way out that way during business hours.
Alissa / April 10, 2014 at 07:33 pm
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HI, How about Sue Ellen's Pies? I travel 2 hours to pick up her pies at the organic market in Richmond Hill. Best pies hand down. Especially her Maple pies.
MichelleNash replying to a comment from Alissa / April 10, 2014 at 07:41 pm
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I totally agree. Sue Ellen has been part of our family on the first Sunday of each month. We joined her pie club after seeing her on TV. You are amazing! www.sueellenspies.com.
Sue Ellen's Pies / April 12, 2014 at 02:59 pm
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HI. MichelleNash and Alissa. Thank-you for considering Sue Ellen's Pies. To be on this blog you need to own a store front. As many people know I am an Award-winning online boutique bakery.
See you next weekend Michelle at the Market.

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