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Where to get kickass pies in the Cape

Pies aren’t very trendy these days. Their old-timey pastry has made way for cauliflower banting bases, brioche burger buns and Southern-style waffles with fried chicken. But when the temperature drops and the winter wardrobe comes out, we don’t care about what’s hip – we just want what’s warm, comforting and familiar. And that means pie. Pie with golden, flaky, buttery pastry, and piping-hot filling of roast chicken or pepper steak that burns all the way down. Yes, please. Here’s our pick of where to find the best pies in the Cape right now.

The Bakery at Jordan (Stellenbosch)

While the menu changes every day, pies usually make an appearance, depending on what George Jardine (chef at 2014 Top 10 sibling Jordan Restaurant) feels like making. Look forward to a pie of Chalmar steak and beer – usually local Devil’s Peak or CBC – or a steak and kidney version. The pies generally come with pomme purée (that’s fancy for ‘mash’) and are priced R95 to R110.

The Bakery at Jordan. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

George Jardine’s pork pie at The Bakery at Jordan. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Bird’s Café (City Bowl)

This charming Bree Street bistro is known for its famous chicken pie. We got the inside scoop of the method: first the chicken is portioned and sautéed with onions and herbs. After it has some golden colour, mushrooms are added and it’s all simmered with a splash of white wine. The chicken is removed, flaked off the bone, and added to the blended-up stock for the juicy filling, with some kept aside as a rich mushroom gravy to be served alongside. The dish comes with a side salad for R78 on the lunch menu.

Coimbra Bakery (Claremont)

This unassuming bakery never disappoints with its old-school pies. Daily there are 12 different options, including their legendary chicken and mushroom (large and small); Cornish pasty; chicken and smoky beef; beef curry; roast chicken and herb; steak; pepper steak; steak and kidney; steak, mushroom and onion; sweet chilli steak; spinach and feta; and their latest addition, the burger pie, with a beef patty and cheese tucked inside the pastry. Prices range from R20,50 – R26. Grab a seat in the window to watch the street traffic and enjoy your pie with gravy as a standard, and grab a side of potato wedges, fries or salad at an additional cost. Everything is made from scratch in-house.

Fresh at Paul Cluver (Elgin)

While they’re about to close for their well-earned winter break until 15 August 2015, you’ll have something to look forward to come early spring. Fresh, a former winner of the Eat Out Best Country-Style Restaurant, usually has a pot pie (with a homemade puff pastry lid) on the seasonal menu. Past favourites include a pie of gammon simmered in apple cider and served with potatoes and Elgin apples; a hearty chicken and leek pie; or the occasional beef and red wine pie – whatever chef Niki Hall-Jones feels like cooking, really. You’re in good hands. The pies range from R110 to R130 and come with an über-fresh side salad from the estate’s garden.

Fresh at Paul Cluver. Photo by David Ross.

Fresh at Paul Cluver. Photo by David Ross.

The Foodbarn Deli (Noordhoek)

A Noordhoek neighbourhood favourite and more casual sibling to Foodbarn Restaurant under the helm of Franck Dangereux, the Foodbarn Deli makes seven different pie flavours. Go for a boozy French coq au vin; the chicken and mushroom; pork and red wine; Moroccan lamb; beef; pepper steak; or vegetable pie. All come with a salad, sautéed potatoes or both. Sit in and enjoy a pie for R55, or grab a takeaway (just the pie) for R19.50. Everything is made from scratch, including the pastry.

Houw Hoek Farm Stall (Grabouw)

This popular stop on the way into the Overberg and beyond offers South African classics like curried steak, pepper steak, plain steak, chicken, chicken and mushroom, ham and cheese, spinach and feta, and bobotie pie for R23 each, as well as the slightly more gourmet venison or free-range chicken pies for R25. If you stay for a meal instead of collecting crumbs on your lap in the car, sit down at the restaurant and enjoy your pie with chips, wedges, salad or vegetables for R40.

Jason Bakery (City Bowl)

Labelled as ‘kickass pies’, the pastry bombs at this trendy bakery change daily. “Which means we change the ingredients and the way we cook them daily, too. We roast, stir fry or stew. But meat is always free range,” says manager Brigitte Lilley. The #kickasspie of the day is sent out as a tweet every morning. They go for R42 on average, but fancier items like the lobster mac ’n cheese pie (yes) is R60. Their latest creations include a lamb burger pie with grilled aubergine, parmesan and house tomato sauce; and the chermoula roast free-range chicken pie with toasted cashew nuts and stir-fried veg. Order it with a side salad and pay an additional R20.

Jason Bakery. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Lamb burger pie from Jason Bakery. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

La Petite Tarte (De Waterkant)

The care from the owners is evident at this French-style bistro. They offer a pot-roast chicken pie made with an organic, free-range roasted bird and fragrant celery and carrots for R88. The mushroom pie is anything but standard, with a filling enhanced by onions caramelised in balsamic vinegar and a touch of brown sugar, for R79. Then there’s the winter haddock pie that appears on the specials menu – “It’s my favourite, because I make it,” quips owner Johan de Villiers. Steamed haddock is mixed into a sauce of rich mature cheddar cheese and white sauce, with a little bit of cayenne pepper “to give it a spark” and wrapped in a triangle of sour-cream pastry. All pies are served with a salad dressed with proper French vinegar and mustard.

La Petite Tarte. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Pot-roast chicken pie (L) and mushroom, caramelised onion and thyme pie (R) from La Petite Tarte. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Ou Meul Bakkery (Foreshore)

This wide selection of pies made famous in the Riviersonderend branch and snapped up by hungry office workers includes fillings of pepper steak; steak and kidney; chicken; mutton (not curried mutton – it’s a creamy, cheesy, mushroomy mutton pie, says manager Erika); venison (springbok); ham and cheese; spinach and feta; beef sausage roll; and bobotie. Order a side to accompany your pie, such as roasted vegetables, a side salad or golden chips with truffle oil. Pie prices range from R27-R34, with chips going for R15 and the greens for R19.

Ou Meul Bakkery. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Ou Meul Bakkery. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Peregrine (Grabouw)

This gem deep in padstal territory serves robust flavours in generous portions. Their famous homemade pies still reign supreme, with offerings including springbok; chicken; chicken and mushroom; plain steak; pepper steak; steak and kidney; bacon and cheese; curried mince; and spinach and feta. Made on site, all are rich, packed with filling and topped with gravy. They come with chips, salad or coleslaw for R45.

While we take care to ensure the accuracy of our pie intel, please note that some fillings and prices might change without our knowledge. Pies are naughty that way.

Tell us about your favourite pies in the comments section below

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