Thanksgiving is traditionally the biggest day of the year to celebrate and eat cake, with the exception of March 14 (Pi Day) for you math nerds. And in my family, Thanksgiving pies are a big deal. We go all out, making my grandmother’s pie crust recipe days in advance, mixing an insane amount of Crisco into the dough before rolling it out, shaping it, and baking it. The kitchen becomes a busy hub as we pack the crusts with various fillings: apple, pecan, chocolate pudding, and one of my favorites, a pumpkin and ricotta blend that bakes to a creamy yet textured consistency that pairs perfectly with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a giant scoop of homemade whipped cream.
But the baking process is onerous (how many hours does the crust dough have to chill?!), and with so many top-tier pastry chefs and bakeries nearby, it’s a great opportunity to impress friends and family and save some time. showing them of his good taste instead of his baking prowess. Whether you’re looking for a tried-and-true classic, a vegan or gluten-free option, or even a flight of five-flavor mini cakes, there’s a cake on the peninsula to suit your needs. Here are 11 places that offer locally made Thanksgiving pies filled with everything from sweet potatoes to chocolate cream.
Heidi’s Cakes, San Mateo
In our recent Instagram asking readers to share where they’re getting their Thanksgiving pies, Heidi’s Pies was a crowd favorite. When it comes to selection, San Mateo-based Heidi’s Pies has an impressive array of flavors, from whipped cream pies and gooseberry-rhubarb fruit pies to specialty favorites like lime, pumpkin pecan cream cheese. A family-friendly local landmark since 1970 in El Camino near Highway 92, it offers breakfast and dinner all day and 24/7.
Heidi’s Pastels, 1941 S El Camino Real, San Mateo; 650-574-0505, heidipies.com.
Shampa Pastels, Pacifica
Shampa’s Pies is noted for its offerings of warm and seasonal flavors, including bourbon pecan pie, Guittard Chocolate Double Cream Pie, and Sweet Potato Swiss Meringue Pie.
Shampa’s Pies are also sold Thursdays at the Daly City Farmers Market and Sundays at the Outer Sunset Farmers Market. The cake shop was founded by pastry chef, surfer, and bassist Haruwn Wesley, who died in a tragic surfing accident in December 2020. The new chef is Wesley’s stepson, Cosmo Carvalho, who uses the same recipes for the cakes. People must pre-order online by November 20 and are encouraged to pick up their pies before Thanksgiving.
Shampa Cakes, 1625 Palmetto Ave., Pacific; 415-310-3302, shampaspies.com. Instagram: @shampaspies.
Palo Alto Dairy, Palo Alto
Choose a classic cake from Palo Alto’s nearly 100-year-old restaurant, Palo Alto Creamery. Whole pies come in year-round apple, cherry, blueberry, chocolate, banana, lime and chocolate pecan flavors, and pumpkin pies are a seasonal specialty.
Palo Alto Dairy, 566 Emerson St., Palo Alto; 650-323-3131, Instagram: @paloaltocreamery.
Fish Wife Sweets, El Granada
The cakes offered by Fish Wife Sweets, a comfort food operation soon to open a brick-and-mortar location in Half Moon Bay, are pecan, caramel apple and pumpkin. Pre-orders can be placed on their website and pickups are November 23 from 10am to 6pm.
Fish Wife Sweets, Calle Vallejo 131, El Granada, 650-245-5928; fishwifesweets.com. Instagram: @fishwifesweets.
The French Point, Belmont
This San Francisco bakery pop-up operates in both San Francisco and Belmont, though usually only on Saturdays. You can reserve 9-inch cakes or a slice of five small cakes of each of the flavors offered: pumpkin, caramel apple, bumblebee (a mix of berries), fudge spread, and sweet potato. Reserve by November 22 and pick up in Belmont or San Francisco on November 23 or 24.
French Spot Patisserie, 501 Old County Road, Belmont; thefrenchspot. squarespace.com. Instagram: @thefrenchspot.
Maison Alyzée, Burlingame and Mountain View
This French pastry shop recently opened a second location in Burlingame. Thanksgiving pies on offer are pumpkin, pecan, and apple, in 5-, 6-, 7-, and 8-inch diameters. The pumpkin pie is made with a pumpkin spice custard and whipped mascarpone ganache and is topped with caramelized pumpkin seeds. The pecan pie is made with pecan cream and caramelized pecans, and the apple pie includes diced organic apples, a cinnamon confit, mascarpone whipped ganache, and a homemade crumble, according to founder Laurent Pellet.
Maison Alyzee, 212 Castro St., Mountain View, 650-960-1212; 1208 Burlingame Avenue, Burlingame, 650-425-7294; maisonalyzee.com. Instagram: @maisonalyzee.
Mademoiselle Colette, Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Redwood City
Mademoiselle Colette, which has locations in Menlo Park, Redwood City and Palo Alto (and will open early next year in Atherton) is selling Thanksgiving pies in apple, pecan and pumpkin flavors. These must be requested 24 hours in advance. Only the Menlo Park location will be open on Thanksgiving.
Mademoiselle Colette, 816 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park, 650-644-8469; 499 Lytton Avenue, Palo Alto, 650-272-6873; and 2401 Broadway, Redwood City, 650-260-2260; mademoisellecolette.com. Instagram: @mademoisellecolette.
Pie Ranch, Pescadero
Lemon Buttermilk, Apple Streusel, Pumpkin and Pecan Pies are available at Pie Ranch. Gluten-free dough for the pumpkin and pecan tarts is an option for an additional charge. Pre-orders are due November 18 and can be placed at tinyurl.com/pierancho372; pick them up on November 23 from 10 am to 5 pm
Pie Ranch, 2080 CA-1, Pescadero, 650-879-0996; pieranch.org. Instagram: @pie_rancho.
Sweet Diplomacy, Los Altos
This gluten-free bakery has specialty Thanksgiving pies, including double-crust pumpkin and apple and vegan and gluten-free Dutch pumpkin and apple pies. Reserve online at tinyurl.com/sweetdiplomacy357 at least 24 hours before noon on November 24.
Sweet Diplomacy, 209 1st St., Los Altos, 650-800-3816; sweetdiplomacy.com. Instagram: @dulcediplomacyco.
The Village Bakery, Woodside
Order a pumpkin, apple hollandaise or bourbon pecan pie at Woodside’s The Village Bakery to celebrate Turkey Day. Sales end November 20 and pre-orders can be placed on Eventbrite. The cakes will be available for pick up on November 23 and 24. Other Thanksgiving baked goods are also available.
The Village Bakery, 3052 Woodside Road, Woodside, 650-851-5555; tvbwoodside.com. Instagram: @thevillagebake.
Three Babes Bakery, home delivery
While not technically located on the Peninsula, the store delivers throughout the Bay Area through Good Eggs and Locale and is another reader-recommended option. They have the standards: pumpkin, bourbon pecan, and apple, plus a gluten-free bittersweet chocolate pecan and a vegan blackberry crumble. They even offer a disk of dough or a pre-baked pie crust if you want to bake the rest yourself. They also ship pecan pies all over the country.
Three Babes Bakeshop, 2501 Phelps St., San Francisco, 415-617-9774, threebabesbakeshop.com. Instagram: @tresbabes.
Alexander’s Pastry, Mountain View and Cupertino
The six-inch apple, pumpkin, and pecan pies are available for pre-order through Tock. Pickups are from the Mountain View location on November 22 and 23, and delivery options are also available.
Alexander’s Patisserie, 209 Castro St., Mountain View, 650-864-9999; 19379 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, 408-886-3333; www.alexanderspatisserie.com. Instagram: @alexanderspatisserie.