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Great Pies from Coast to Coast

Whether they're loaded with fresh cream, seasonal fruit or savory meat, we're willing to bet you'll go the distance for these 10 tasty takes on pie across the nation.

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Photo: Jeff Sacks for Magpie

The Pie's the Limit

Pie is the very symbol of all things American, homemade and nostalgic. It's a metaphor for financial success — not to mention a common prop in slapstick comedy. Most importantly, it's so delicious that we crave it. There are all kinds of pie: seasonal fruit pies, cream filled pies, savory meat pies, and even little hand pies and mini pies. True pie lovers will travel the distance for it.

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Photo: John Towner

Chicago: Pleasant House Bakery

Not all pies are sweet. Pleasant House Bakery specializes in British meat pies, which they call Royal Pies, and is revered for its amazingly buttery crusts. Located on the South Side of Chicago in Bridgeport, the bakery serves savory pies that run the gamut from an outstanding steak and ale version to mushroom and kale, as well as balti chicken served with a side of mint chutney. The compact pies are very filling, and many of the ingredients come from the bakery's sustainable and mostly organic family farm.

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Estes Park, Colo.: You Need Pie!

You Need Pie!, which originally was known as the Estes Park Pie Shop & Bakery, is run by owners Val and Rick Thompson, who divide baking duties. Rick makes the breads and cookies; Val makes the pies and cinnamon rolls. Her cherry peach is one of their best-sellers. The crust recipe is from a family recipe from the proprietor's grandmother, and it is topped with the bakery's signature sweet crumb topping. Like all of Val's pies, it's made with fresh fruit, all-natural ingredients and no preservatives, and it contains a full six cups of fruit, which is twice what is in most pies. 

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NYC: Petee's Pie Company

Petra "Petee" Paredez hails from a pie-baking dynasty: Her parents own the revered Mom's Apple Pie Company in Leesburg, Va. Petee takes the classic chess pie made with butter, eggs, buttermilk and sugar, and puts her own spin on it, flavoring it with bittersweet chocolate, cocoa and sea salt. All it needs is whipped cream and you'll be in pie heaven. Other pie flavors include Hudson Valley apple, wild blueberry and brown butter honey pecan, made with no corn syrup. The shop uses locally sourced fruit and butter, as well as organic flour. Petee's Pie Company is located on the Lower East Side.

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