It might just be us, but when we think of Pi Day, we don’t conjure images of scientific and mathematical equations. Instead, steaming, latticed pies come to mind (leading to the eventual quick trip over to the nearby bakery to stop the cravings). Celebrate National Pi Day this year with a slice from one of these excellent Virginia bakeries.
Proper Pie Co.—Richmond
This pie shop serves New Zealand-style savory pie as well as sweet pies, and you can’t leave Proper Pie without trying one of each (think Mince & Cheese finished with a slice of Blueberry Apple). They have new pies baked daily and update their Facebook every day to report the daily menu.
Upon making a stop at Proper Pie, famed Food Network Chef Alton Brown said, “I ordered two: Roasted Lamb and Vegetable and Pork Chili Verde. I don’t know which one I liked better. All I know is I want more.”
And about the sweets: “I had to separate this recommendation for this simple reason: their savory pies are out-of-this-world, but their pumpkin pie is the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had in my life. That’s right, best ever. Not only is the consistency creamy and not too sweet, but they top it with a salted caramel. If you’re in the area, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not trying a slice of this pie. I will also go on to say you should probably try the coconut cream pie too. Yes. Get both.”
We wholeheartedly agree with his reviews.
Located just off State Street in historic downtown Bristol, Virginia, Blackbird Bakery opened its doors in the summer of 2008. Since then, it has become a favorite bakery shop for the locals in Bristol and the Tri-Cities area. Although the specialty of the bakery is doughnuts, the pies and tarts are not to be overlooked. For a taste of heaven, try the Cherry Pie, but you really can’t go wrong no matter what you order.
Livin the Pie Life—Arlington
Although not technically a brick and mortar store yet, Livin the Pie Life was named the Best Pie Shop in Virginia by Delish.com. The retail location will open in April in Arlington, but fans can order their pies online or pick one up at one of the farmer’s markets in the area.
According to owner Heather Sheire, “There really isn’t anything like what we’re providing, because we like to do all the pies. We do cream pies, we do fruit pies, we like to do throwback pies — old-fashioned pies, like you don’t see anymore, like just plain rhubarb pie. There’s a whole cavalcade of long-forgotten pies.”
Those include a southern grasshopper pie, made with crème de menthe. Other customer favorites are the Bailey’s Irish Cream pie and a Mississippi mud pie baked with malt chocolate. Mark the opening on your calendar to grab a slice (or five) from this notable Northern Virginia bakery.
Piety makes a regular assortment of “little pies” so that you don’t have to feel guilty for ordering an entire pie for yourself. If you feel like sharing, they also bake “big pies” (9” pies, to be exact) in flavors announced daily. And these aren’t the only types of pies that Piety is known for. The shop makes special pizza pies as well. The wide variety and rich flavors of the desserts made at Piety is guaranteed to turn you into a regular customer.
With a name like Pie Gourmet, one would expect top-of-the-line pie. Fortunately, this shop delivers just that. In fact, The Washington Post calls it “a gem among local bakeries.” Enjoy a range of fruit pies, cream pies, cheesecake, dessert pies, and even dinner pies, like lasagna.
This pie is so good, even the President of the United States can’t resist! When a staffer brought him a Pecan Pie, he liked it so much that sent a thank you note that requested more Red Truck Bakery pies (specifically, the Sweet Potato Pecan and Bourbon Pie pictured above). This isn’t the only celebrity endorsement for the bakery; Oprah Winfrey said in O Magazine that Red Truck Bakery was one of her favorite food sites. Additionally, Travel + Leisure calls them one of the best small-town bakeries in America and Condé Nast Traveler named the spot one of “America’s 13 Sweetest Bakery Destinations.” But don’t take these publications words for it! Come by and try a slice of their delicious pies, made using only fresh, seasonal fruit and nothing from a can. Not near Roanoke? No problem! Many of their pies can be shipped directly to you.
Mom’s Apple Pie—Leesburg and Occoquan
The preservative-free pies handmade at the aptly-named Mom’s Apple Pie bakery are crafted with freshness in mind. The owner grows her own fruits so that she can use only the best seasonal fruit available. These pies taste like they are infused with a tiny bit of Virginia, with crisp Shenandoah Valley apples and sugar used sparingly so you can get the natural flavor and sweetness of the fruit. Visit either the Leesburg or Occoquan locations for the freshest slice of pie you’ll ever eat.
Jamestown Pie Company—Williamsburg
If you happen to stop by Jamestown Pie Company in Williamsburg, make sure you try the “World Famous Pecan Pie” finished with their signature lattice crust. This bakery is well known for their classic southern pies like Sweet Potato, Strawberry Rhubarb, and Virginia Peanut Pie. Last year, they even made a signature “Pi Day” treat, a delectable strawberry kiwi pie. Even pie fans outside of Virginia can get a chance to try out these delectable pies; Jamestown Pie Co. ships nationally (and with very affordable shipping rates!).
The Pie Chest—Charlottesville
This Charlottesville bakery does both sweet and savory pies. Although The Pie Chest serves up over 20 pies each day, the Bourbon Pecan Pie is a customer favorite. Even with such a full menu, you’ll still only find pies that pass even the toughest scrutiny. Expect fresh and straightforward from this Cville establishment; Rachel Pennington, the baker and owner of the Pie Chest, says, “The Pie Chest strives to be a place where simple, delicious, humble food is served and received with the warmth in which it is made.” And to fans of the Pie Chest’s goods, the bakery accomplishes this goal every single day.
Hill High Bakery—Berryville
The Hill High Bakery & BBQ Company began as a small family-run bakery in 1946. The pie shop was run out of the packing house of a well-known orchard in Loudon County. After the orchard closed in the 1980’s, the small pie shop was expanded to include a deli and store. The bakery closed in 2014, but the demand for the pies never went away. The owner took a year off and then relocated the bakery to a new located in Berryville. At the new location, visitors can also get some of the best barbecue in the area and finish off the meal with a slice of pie that has been a tradition in Berryville for almost 70 years.
Celebrate Pi Day with a gift for your sweet tooth and sample a slice at one of these excellent pie shops around Virginia. If you have a favorite not on this list, let us know so that we can try them out!
© pkeppel for Virginia’s Travel Blog, 2016. |