Close your eyes and picture your perfect slice of pie…is it a southern-style favorite like bourbon pecan, or a classic like apple? Now that we’ve got your appetite’s attention, we’ll share a few top picks for bakeries around Virginia that know their way around a pie. Find a nearby shop, make a detour during a road trip, or even plan a special outing to sample some of the most mouthwatering pies in Virginia…trust us, it’s worth it.
Red Truck Bakery—Warrenton and Marshall
Red Truck Bakery has been a longstanding favorite in Northern Virginia, with two locations serving Warrenton and Marshall. But it is not just the locals that can’t get enough of this bakery’s creations; former President Obama was a repeat customer, even sending a handwritten “Thank You” note to owner and head baker Brian Noyes for his Sweet Potato Pecan and Bourbon Pie. Oprah Winfrey has also expressed her love of Red Truck in writing, saying, “I looove me some Red Truck sweet potato pie!” In addition to gaining the recognition of several celebrities, the bakery has been honored in publications like Southern Living, Bon Appetit, Garden & Gun, and Conde Nast Traveler. While the pies are a must, don’t miss out on sampling some of their cakes, donuts, and other goodies (like their homemade granola, praised as the best in the world). A visit to the bakeries would be best, but if you get a hankering for their desserts and just can’t wait, Red Truck ships several of their desserts nationwide.
Proper Pie Co.—Richmond
Pies are revered in the South, with recipes tied closely to bloodlines and kept secret from all but the most trusted friends. But the owners of Proper Pie Co. in Richmond have proved that you don’t need to hail from the southern states to know how to make a truly perfect pie. The New Zealand-born bakers serve up a variety of sweet and savory pies that often leads to lines around the block before they even open. Acclaimed Chef Alton Brown stopped by while visiting the River City, and shared his glowing praise for the bakery: “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.” If you find yourself near this Richmond staple, take his advice, with one caveat: Order even more.
Nestled in the Southwest corner of Virginia, Bristol’s Blackbird Bakery serves everything from pies and cakes to pastries, cookies, and their famous homemade donuts. The wide array of treats are laid out in old-fashioned glass display cases that, coupled with wood cabinet accents and simple hanging lamps, create a nostalgic small-town atmosphere that makes you want to cozy up in one of the overstuffed couches and stay a while. Top your pie with a heaping mound of locally made ice cream and a cup of piping hot cocoa or coffee to get the full Blackbird Bakery experience.
Livin’ the Pie Life—Arlington
Some bakeries specialize in a certain type of pie, but Arlington’s Livin’ the Pie Life tackles every type of pie, from cream pies and fruit pies to pies you may have never even heard of before. These include a Bailey’s Irish Cream Pie, Mississippi Mud Pie made with malt chocolate, and the rarely-seen Southern Grasshopper Pie made with crème de menthe. Owners Wendy MacCallum and Heather Sheire also bake an impressive assortment of savory and seasonal pies, creating a menu filled with so many star players it is hard to narrow it down to just one favorite.
The Horseshoe—South Hill
The Horseshoe has been in operation as a restaurant since the 1930s, bringing the finest southern flavors to the table for both residents and visitors just stopping for a bite as they travel through the charming town of South Hill. Their chocolate meringue pie is legendary, but the menu features many sweet staples, from lemon chess and old-fashioned buttermilk pies to a southern Virginia favorite—peanut butter pie. Located close to the exit just off I-85 near the North Carolina border, the restaurant welcomes guests to try why Virginia’s pies beat out any other.
Mom’s Apple Pie—Leesburg and Occoquan
Mom’s Apple Pie has locations in both Leesburg and Occoquan, and one taste of their exceptional pies will have you marking both spots on your map for future visits. Defining the farm-to-table movement for bakeries, Mom’s grows all their own fruits and vegetables at their family-run farm, located just 15 minutes away from the Leesburg shop. Sugar is used sparingly in the pies, allowing for fresh Virginia flavors to truly shine, like the crisp apples that the Shenandoah Valley is known for. Pies are baked fresh each morning, giving you an authentic taste of Virginia.
For folks in the southern coastal regions of Virginia, you can’t get any better than Yummarie’s Bakery in Smithfield. Run by the dynamic mother/daughter duo of Kelly and Marie Payne, the bakery utilizes ingredients from their own garden and orchard to craft delicious pies, cobblers, cakes, breads, and more. Pie flavors include apple, sweet potato, and chocolate chess, as well as more unique offerings like the Pineapple Pie. Haven’t gotten your sugar fix after all that? Order some of the fudge and homemade candies to take home with you.
Woodruff’s Café and Pie Shop—Monroe
Woodruff’s Café & Pie Shop has been in business for over 60 years, with a following so loyal they wouldn’t dream of purchasing pie anywhere else. The bakery serves Southern-style favorites like Old Fashioned Pecan Pie, Buttermilk Pie, and Sweet Potato Pie, but their signature dessert, “Angie’s Famous Apple Pie”, stands out as a clear winner for the bakery. If you’re looking to skip the staples and try something new, ask about the daily special pie.
Jamestown Pie Company—Williamsburg
Well-known for their southern classics like the sweet potato pie, Virginia Peanut pie, and the strawberry rhubarb pie, Jamestown Pie Company has been wowing pie fans in the Williamsburg region since 2004. Grab a slice of their “World Famous Pecan Pie”, finished with a signature lattice crust that shows the bakery’s dedication to homemade perfection. And for those pie lovers outside of Virginia not planning to stop through anytime soon, the bakery ships nationally (and with very affordable shipping rates!)
More of the most beloved Virginia pie shops to try:
- Lee’s Restaurant—Kilmarnock
- The Pie Chest—Charlottesville
- Shawnee Springs Market—Cross Junction
- Bonnie Blue Southern Market & Bakery—Winchester
- Shyndigz Bakery—Richmond
- Pie Gourmet—Vienna
- Virginia Diner Restaurant—Wakefield
- The Swinging Bridge Restaurant—Paint Bank
- Mrs. Rowe’s Family Restaurant—Staunton