Many events and celebrations take place in the short month of February. Perhaps one of the tastier celebrations is Great American Pie Month. Lots of pie enthusiasts find themselves in pie heaven when visiting bakeries around Chicago, as there are plenty of options. Whether you’re a fan of cherry (Feb. 20 is Cherry Pie Day), apple or sweet potato, bakeries around Chicago are sure to please your taste buds. In the spirit of Great American Pie Month, here are a few of the local pie favorites in Chicago.
Hoosier Mama Pie Company
What: Flaky, buttery crusts paired with ooey, gooey fillings is what makes up pies from Hoosier Mama Pie Company. More than 10 different kinds of sweet pies, as well as quiches and savory pies, are offered daily. You can purchase the pies by the slice or whole, and they even offer a similar selection of pies in 6-inch forms. A few of the favorites include the sugar cream pie, coconut cream pie and the apple pear cranberry pie. The apple pear cranberry pie starts with a buttery crust, and it includes a filling that is a mixture of whole fruit and jam. The tart cranberries balance out the apples and pears. If you can’t decide on just one slice, they offer a plated flight of three small pie slices that you select from a changing menu of five to six different flavors every Friday.
Where: 1618 ½ Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60622
Hellas Pastry Shop
What: This modest Greek bakery sits on the unassuming corner of Ravenswood and Lincoln Square, but the pastries are anything but average. In addition to its delicious and authentic baklava, Hellas Pastry Shop offers other treats like honey cookies and pies. The spinach pie is a favorite among locals, even non-spinach eating locals, and it’s made with a flaky, buttery crust. If you’re lucky, grab a slice while it’s fresh out of the oven, and it will melt in your mouth.
Where: 2627 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago, IL 60625
Pleasant House Bakery
What: The British husband-wife team, Art and Chelsea Kalberloh Jackson, bring British-style comfort food to the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago. Their menu includes spuds and mash, crumpets, salads, Scotch eggs and savory pies. Their specialties include the kale and mushroom pie, steak and ale pie and the chicken balti pie. The hand pies are also a must-try. Flaky, buttery pockets are filled with tender beef and veggies. You can order items to go, or you can sit and stay for a while to soak up the experience.
Where: 964 W. 31st St., Chicago, IL 60608
Jimmy Jamm Sweet Potato Pies
What: If you’re a sweet potato lover, then you should definitely visit Jimmy Jamm in the Beverly neighborhood. Their specialty, of course, is sweet potato pies, made from a secret recipe from the owner’s father. They have other items on the menu now, such as muffins, cakes, fries, scones, cookies, bread and turnovers, but their sweet potato pies remain as the best-selling item. You can top the pies with various toppings, like honey whipped cream, banana rum cream cheese, pralines and pecans.
Where: 1844 W. 95th St., Chicago, IL 60643
Sweet Mandy B’s
What: Although Sweet Mandy B’s is known for its amazing cupcakes, its pies are also addictive. Just taking a stroll through the Lincoln Park neighborhood, your nose will guide you to the sweet aroma coming from Sweet Mandy B’s. You can order pies by the slice or purchase the entire pie in 6-inch or 9-inch versions. For the chocolate lovers in your household, try the chocolate cream pie, which is made with an Oreo crust and a delicious chocolate mousse filling. Other pies include cherry apple, peanut butter chiffon, turtle, coconut cream and lemon meringue.
Where: 1208 W. Webster Ave., Chicago, IL 60614
Photo Credit: iStockphoto/Funwithfood