When it comes to pies, New Zealanders don’t like to mess about. They’re an important part of the Kiwi cultural identity. A nationwide pie shortage may result in a national disaster. With that in mind, here are our top spots for trying a piece of pastry heaven in Taranaki, New Zealand.
Let’s start at the Taranaki pie Genesis, or the alpha pie makers. The fine people at Andersons Pies have been pursuing this noble culinary art for more than 80 years. Over 80 years is a mighty long time to be in the pie game, and that’s why Andersons of Hawera is considered the veteran of the pie trade; their workers are respected by competitors for their deliciously flaky and gravy-filled pies. Whether you’ve got a ripper of a hunger that needs to be sated with a jumbo steak pie, or you’re feeling a little sexy and have gone for the potato top, you won’t regret a single bite.
Vogeltown Bakery & Hotbread Shop is renowned for many reasons. Its pies are a highlight for the bakery connoisseur, but it also has a scintillating line of cakes and other pastry-related treats. The smell as you enter the bakery is the sort of heady, delicious fug that will break down even the most iron-clad dieter’s resistance, so if you’re looking to lose a few pounds, then you’re better off staying upwind.
This bakery is a favourite local hang out. It’s less about the quick dive out of the work van, duck in and load up here, and more about the leisurely sit down with a knife and fork. That’s not to say this spot isn’t a quintessential Kiwi bakery. The key is to have simple food, that is lovingly made, and the guys and girls at Piccolo Morso deliver this treat.
Blagdon Bakery has been cranking out the golden, crusty goodness for many years. Its legend runs all around Taranaki as a pastry oasis where a hard-working tradie can zip in and pick up a selection of delicious baked goods with minimal wait time. Time counts for a lot when you’ve already been working for six hours by the time 12:00pm rolls around. It’s always busy here, and the chicken curry pie is a fan favourite.
The Public Catering Company is one of the new-age bakeries that is popping up all over New Zealand. Don’t fret, the noble and humble traditions of the New Zealand bakery aren’t in danger. They’re just going to be more refined by the new generation. The pies are to die for, as are the doughnuts. If you’re in the mood for something a little more grown up than a pie, they also have a selection of fantastic meals. This place’s style could very well be the future.
Location-wise, it’s pretty hard to beat Baker’s Dozen. It sits temptingly in the middle of town, on Egmont Street, so for those who are watching the hands on the clock as they creep steadily towards lunchtime, it’s probably the first place that springs to mind when they feel like they’ve got a pie itch to scratch. The bacon and cheese pie is a winner, as is the bacon and egg. That pie is a go-to for the person who works in town and has missed breakfast.
You won’t find your traditional cabinet food here — not the savory sort that our other fine bakeries on the list are producing for the hungry masses. But we couldn’t compile a list without including an exquisite example of a dessert pie. That’s why, when you’re in need of a little blood sugar top-up, you should head down to Petit Paris, and try one of their exceptional chocolate or custard pies. Grab some of their great coffee to wash it down with. Then all you’ll need to do is call a friend to carry you of their in a wheelbarrow.