Pie oh my!

A comprehensive Minneapolis pie guide for your holiday slice consumption.

Bourbon pecan pie at the Turtle Bread Company on Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis.

Ichigo Takikawa

Bourbon pecan pie at the Turtle Bread Company on Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis.

Lucy Nieboer

The season of merrymaking brings with it many occasions to gather and share goodies with friends and family. Between a final skimming of Cliffs Notes and holiday shopping, from-scratch baking may not be an option. A bakery-bought pie is an easy solution that everyone loves. These parcels of pastry are so good you’ll have your fellow festivity-goers convinced they’re homemade.


Salty Tart Bakery

920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis

Pie to try: The pecan pie here exemplifies the name of this Midtown market bakery. A hint of salt amid crunchy coated pecans melt into a bed of gooey filling, all of which is crammed into a crumbly crust. The traditional and hard-to-find sweet potato pie follows suit with decadence and savory flavors.

Best for: Your boss’s cocktail hour. The pastries here are elegant. Delicately crafted by James Beard nominee/pastry wizard Michelle Gayer, they’re sure to knock the socks off of the hardest-to-please foodies.


Turtle Bread Company

4762 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis

3421 W. 44th St., Minneapolis

4205 E. 34th St., Minneapolis

Pie to try: Although Turtle Bread Co. provides a wide array of classic pie flavors, its most alluring are best suited for brunch. Tall quiches come in a variety of meat and veggie varieties including asparagus artichoke. Soft pillows of egg and cream surrounded by flaky crust generate an out-of-body breakfast experience.

Best for: Your significant other’s parents’ caroling party. The pies here could grace the cover of any cookbook with an American flag on it. Whether you pick cherry, blueberry or apple, the classics here exude an air of pure Americana. To prove to your boo’s mom and pop that you’re a keeper, keep things simple and classic with any of the tried and true flavors topped with a lattice crust.


Keys Cafe and Bakery

114 S. Ninth St., Minneapolis

767 Raymond Ave., St. Paul

500 N. Robert St., St. Paul


Pie to try: In the dead of winter, Keys’ strawberry rhubarb pie transports the eater to the warm, breezy nights spent on Minneapolis porches where chowing down on the sweet products of the now-barren land was commonplace. The soft strawberries, caught in an easy love affair with sour bits of rhubarb, are not overly sugary and supply a little memory of Minnesota summers’ bygone fruits.


Best for: Your roommate’s annual screening of “Love Actually.” The down-home, no-frills pies at Keys are perfect for a group of singles mourning the oncoming crusade of sappy jewelry commercials and embarrassing mistletoe-induced moments. Nothing says, “Happy Holidays, I feel your pain,” like a communal pie experience. No plates necessary; forks suggested.


The Birchwood Cafe

3311 E. 25th St., Minneapolis

Pie to try: Seasonality is key to choosing a pleasing holiday dessert. Apples and cranberries are used excessively this time of year. The Birchwood provides a new take on the old standbys by putting them together in one confection. Velvety sweet apples are intermittently interrupted by the sharp pop of tangy cranberries while the whole beautiful mess sits beneath an unexpected yet delicious fresh ginger streusel.

Best for: Your hippie TA’s solstice party. The Birchwood touts the all-natural, all-artisan, all-local ingredients that will make even the toughest co-op diehard weak in the thrift-store corduroyed knees. A chocolate pecan pie made with Surly? Now that’s a crowd pleaser.