Texans love their dessert, especially pie. Everybody has their favorite, and while pecan pie is the official state pie, there are endless flavors to please any taste bud. We’ve rounded up ten of the best spots across Texas for a piece of pie.
Blue Bonnet Cafe
Cafe, American, $$$
Open since 1929, the Blue Bonnet Cafe—named after a blue bonnet, or “hat,” and not the state flower—serves up comfort food classics like chicken fried steak, burgers, fried catfish, pot roast, breakfast all day, and more. While all of the food is good, it’s the pies that draw people in from all over the world. Their sky-high meringue varieties include coconut, chocolate, and lemon, while other standard pie favorites include apple, cherry, pecan, fudge, coconut cream, German chocolate, banana cream, and more. They serve 15 varieties in total, and a pie happy hour on weekday afternoons means a sweet deal on a slice of pie and a drink.
Owned by the same family for almost 50 years, the Koffee Kup is a staple along U.S. 281. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but most of the chatter is about their pies. Serving up to 16 flavors a day on a rotating basis, their selections include meringue varieties like coconut, caramel, and chocolate, and traditional, non-meringue selections like lemon chess, apple, black forest, and pecan. If you’re overwhelmed, go for the “Doctor’s Office,” which offers a cream cheese and vanilla custard filling in a graham cracker crust, topped with toasted coconut and pecans.
Chef Julie Albertson has been baking since before opening her first bakery in 1986, with the pies she serves at Texas Pie Co coming from her grandmother’s recipes that have been passed down for generations. Pies come in two sizes: 10-inch deep-dish pies or 4-inch individual pies. The flavors include southern pecan, key lime, blackberry, strawberry rhubarb, buttermilk, and pumpkin. This establishment is also a full-service restaurant that serves daily lunch specials and other non-pie desserts.
Since 1996, this true small-town cafe has been using family recipes passed down through generations. Serving lunch and dinner specials like chicken and dumplings and glazed ham, the meals are solid, but dessert is the real treat. The pie menu is long, featuring traditional listings like chocolate fudge and airy peanut butter pie, plus more unique flavors like peppermint patty pie and lemon drop pie. The house specialty is the brandy apple pie à la mode, which is served in a warm cast iron skillet. Keep an eye out for specialty pies, like millionaire, Toll House, and pumpkin praline, that are cranked out “depending on the mood of the cook and the heat of the kitchen.”
In 1987, Dr. Karen Royer and her husband Bud Royer moved their four children to Round Top to take over the 40-seat Round Top Cafe. Since then, the family has created a Texas landmark, serving gourmet comfort food like a grilled shrimp BLT and fried chicken sandwiches. Their pies are just as famous, especially Bud’s Chocolate Chip and Texas Trash, made with chocolate chips, pretzels, coconut, caramel, and graham crackers. If the café wait line is too long, try Royers Pie Haven just down the street, which was opened in 2011 by the couples’ daughter, Tara.
While this chain has three (soon to be four) locations in the Houston area, it has won over the hearts—and stomachs—of locals and those traveling through the city. Open 24/7, House of Pies serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but prides itself on dessert—the name says it all. Served whole or by the slice, the menu includes specialty, cream, and fruit pies. Fan favorites are key lime, Texas pecan fudge, and strawberry cream, though classics like sweet potato, buttermilk, French silk, and wild blueberry still go beyond expectation.
Located in the Piney Woods of East Texas, this pie spot is a hidden gem that serves up generous slices of homemade meringue and classic pies. Open since 2009, flavors include pecan praline cream, chocolate icebox, banana blueberry, cherry cream cheese, and pecan. Seasonal offerings like strawberry and pumpkin are available as well, and whole pies can be purchased if you need more than just a slice.
Residents of the Panhandle Plains dote on Cast Iron Grill, which serves breakfast and daily lunch specials like chicken spaghetti and meatloaf. They also serve a mean slice of pie, that’s been perfected by the owners and staff since opening in 2007. Through trial and error—throwing away more pies than were served in those first few years, as they got the recipes just right —the pie list grew to include flavors like Jack Daniel’s pecan, chocolate chess, streusel pumpkin, triple layer lemon, and more.
In Fort Worth’s revitalized Near Southside district, this bakery cranks out pies with a modern twist. While classics like apple, buttermilk, and pecan get people in the door, specialties like chocolate chili and mint chocolate chess keep them coming back. Seasonal pies are also up for grabs, and flavors like peach (March through August), apple cranberry (September through February) and eggnog (December only) keep customers full all year long.
What this establishment lacks in pie varieties, it makes up for with serious flavor. The Apple Store, located in the apple capital of Texas, has been growing apples since 1981, and their award-winning apple pie is a Texas favorite that uses fresh-picked apples straight from the orchard. They also have pecan pie, made with Texas pecans, and a Jingle Bell pie for the holidays, made with fresh apples and cranberries. Try a slice of pie on-site at their Patio Cafe, or order a pie online from their website.