C California Style

The Upper Crust

by C California Style

Five new bakeries are dishing out perfect pies for your Thanksgiving feast


At her bakery’s new second location in Beverly Grove (the original is in Brentwood), Brianna Abrams sells pie—and only pie—made with a superflaky all-butter crust. Grab a slice of her not-too-sweet cherry, or pick up signature mini PieBites as a quick treat. What to order: Abrams’ Southern-style Cranberry Orange Chess Pie is made with freshly squeezed orange juice, fresh cranberries and topped with candied orange slices for a one-two citrus punch. 8366 W. Third St., L.A., 323-925-4743; winstonpies.com.


After a 10-year hiatus, Kira O’Donnell Babich reopened her from-scratch bakery this past spring. She works with a host of local farmers to create fruit‑forward pies—and even buys (or swaps pies for) Meyer lemons, figs and the like from locals through her Backyard Fruit Project. What to order: The seasonal favorite, a free-form Pear Galette. 2425 24th St., Sacramento, 916-838-4007; realpiecompany.com.


Christina Tosi has brought her playful sweets emporium to Los Angeles, complete with signature items such as Birthday Truffles, cereal milk soft serve and Compost Cookies. Around Turkey Day, keep an eye out for a Pumpkin Dulce de Leche Cake and her popular Thanksgiving croissant. What to order: Tosi’s now-infamous Crack Pie, an ode to making something out of nothing, was first made for a staff meal at New York City’s wd~50. A toasted oat crust encloses the pie’s buttery filling, which is topped with confectioners’ sugar. 7150 Melrose Ave., L.A., 323-297-3250; milkbarstore.com.


The offshoot of San Francisco’s Italian hot spot Che Fico is a dinette and pie shop named for chef Angela Pinkerton’s grandmother, who taught her how to make pies. The restaurant’s rotation of six or seven pies are available all day, even at breakfast. What to order: Sweet Potato-and-Coffee Cream Pie. Pinkerton creates a roasted sweet potato filling, then tops that layer with whipped coffee cream and adds a garnish of candied citrus peel. 834 Divisadero St., S.F., 415-416-6980; theorita.com.


Gjusta alum Nicole Rucker’s long-awaited all-day restaurant and bakery will open on Fairfax Avenue this month, serving pies (whole and by the slice) dailyThey’ll be doing pies and bakery items only the week of Thanksgiving (November 19-25) and will open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner the week of November 26.

Rucker has won multiple awards for her pies—which here include a classic apple made with crème fraîche, and a lemon chess. What to order: Rucker calls her Pumpkin Pie a “unanimous kitchen favorite.” It’s made with roasted kabocha and red kuri squash sweetened with a hint of maple and caramel. 339 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A., 323-852-3210; fionabakeryla.com.

Written by KAREN PALMER.
Illustration by ANDREW BECK.