6 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Pies
Pie is more than a delicious filling enclosed in a pastry crust. It's a holiday dinner staple, a summer barbecue favorite, and the ultimate symbol of comfort. Whether filled with fruit, custard, or chocolate cream, there's a flavor out there for everyone—and that's not to mention the endless list of savory options.
While many will say the best pies are the ones you bake yourself, venturing outside your home for a slice can make the pie-eating experience feel a bit more special. All you have to do is pick the place (which, as we all know, isn't always the easiest task).
If you find yourself yearning for this classic dessert, there are many spots across the country that can help you satisfy your craving. Here are six restaurant chains serving up some sweet options.
Bakers Square Restaurant & Pies
What started out as an independent restaurant in Des Moines, Iowa, in the 1970s ultimately grew into a Midwestern restaurant chain famous for its pies. In addition to its nine restaurants in the upper Midwest, Bakers Square has 48 pie-only locations across 18 states. These can be found at Tahoe Joe's and Famous Dave's locations.
The chain proudly states on its website that its pies have placed first in the American Pie Council National Pie Championships more than 300 times in the last decade. Some of these award-winning pies include Country Apple, Lemon Supreme, Southern Pecan, and the bestseller, French Silk. Customers can dig into these for free every Wednesday, thanks to the chain's "Free Pie Wednesday" promotion, which includes a free slice of pie with any entrée and beverage.
Bakers Square is owned by BBQ Holdings, which also owns another restaurant that is famous for its pies.
Bakers Square isn't the only restaurant chain offering Free Pie Wednesday. Colorado-based Village Inn—the other BBQ Holdings-owned brand—also rolls out the weekly promotion. The casual restaurant chain, which was originally founded as a pancake house in 1958, boasts more than 120 locations in 18 states and currently serves breakfast all day, along with sandwiches, burgers, and more.
Like Bakers Square, Village Inn has won several awards from the American Pie Council. Some of the past winners include the Pumpkin Supreme, Southern Pecan, Pumpkin with Whipped Cream, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Silk.
O'Charley's Restaurant + Bar
This Nashville, Tenn.-based restaurant chain is known for more than just its Southern-inspired menu items. Beyond the list of chicken, steak, and seafood dishes is a dessert menu with two different pies.
There's the Key Lime Pie, which features a graham cracker crust and whipped topping. Then, there's the Ooey Gooey Caramel Pie, which has a graham cracker crust, creamy caramel, and a whipped topping with chocolate morsels and pecans. Customers can order these whole or by the slice. Oh, and pies are free on Wednesdays, too.
House of Pies
As a restaurant chain with "pie" in its name, it's no surprise that this menu includes a selection of different homemade fresh pies. At this six-unit Texas-based chain, customers can choose between fruit pies, cream pies, specialty pies, and meringue pies. For something slightly smaller, House of Pies also sells five-inch mini pies, which are available in a variety of flavors.
The house specialty is the Bayou Goo Pie, which starts with a thin layer of sweet cream cheese and pecan pieces covered in a vanilla and chocolate custard swirl and topped with whipped cream, powdered sugar, and chocolate shavings. If your mouth is watering, but you don't live in Texas, there is some good news: House of Pies recently announced that it will be shipping its pies nationwide soon.
Perkins Restaurant & Bakery
Since being founded as a single Ohio pancake house in 1958, Perkins has grown into a restaurant chain with nearly 300 locations in 32 states and two Canadian provinces. Now, guests can order from a selection of all-day breakfast items, burgers, steak plates, sandwiches, and classic entrées. For those in the mood for something sweet, there's also a bakery. The chain's website says, "The most iconic piece of Perkins Bakery is, you guessed it, our pie."
Perkins sells these pies both whole and by the slice. Flavors range from fruity favorites like cherry and homestyle apple to cream-filled options like Peanut Butter Silk.
This family-friendly restaurant chain got its start in West Virginia back in 1947 and now has around 60 locations across 16 states, primarily in the South. Along with serving breakfast staples, burgers, and sandwiches, the chain also offers a few different dessert options, two of which are pies.
Christy's Apple Pie consists of sweet, saucy cinnamon apples baked in a skillet with an oat crumble, toffee caramel, and walnut chunks. To elevate this dessert, customers can order it with vanilla bean ice cream and a sea salt caramel drizzle. There's also the Strawberry Pie, which has inspired numerous copycat recipes on the internet. This seasonal menu item is made with fresh strawberries in a flaky crust with Shoney's special glaze and a whipped topping.
Correction: Aug. 16, 2023
An earlier version of this article stated that Bakers Square, Village Inn, and O'Charley's are all owned by American Blue Ribbon Holdings (ABRH). In 2021, Bakers Square and Village Inn were sold to BBQ Holdings. ABRH then ceased to exist and evolved into Restaurant Growth Services, which now oversees O'Charley's.