Pictured: The Elegant Farmer

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the 2018 spring/summer issue of Experience Wisconsin magazine. The contents of this article were checked for accuracy when it was published; however, it’s possible some of the information has changed. We recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the destinations, attractions or restaurants mentioned in this article.

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Pie is a gorgeous vehicle for seasonal fruits, a genius way to make vegetables delicious and the best thing to hurl at a frenemy during a food fight. Here are eight places making some of Wisconsin’s most unique and tasty varieties—but don’t even think about starting a food fight at them!

Crystal Cafe, Iola

This family-owned diner uses vintage recipes to make pies that stand the test of time. Other keys to their success include hand-rolled crusts and fresh fruits that never touch a can or preservative. Sample the towering lemon meringue for a sense of the bakers’ aspirations.

The Elegant Farmer, Mukwonago

Brown paper bags often contain soggy peanut butter sandwiches. Not so at the Elegant Farmer, which has baked delectable apple pies in them for decades. Dubbed “a cross between a cobbler and a pie” by The Wall Street Journal, these babies even starred in an episode of Food Network’s “Throwdown with Bobby Flay.” To get your fix, visit the Mukwonago shop, place an online order or find them at Illinois grocers such as Caputo’s Fresh Market and Treasure Island.

Honeypie, Milwaukee

Honeypie is the kind of place you can enjoy a cocktail with your pie, or, in it—as in the case of the whiskey walnut pecan pie. For a blend of sweet and savory, order the apple cheddar bacon, made with love and locally sourced ingredients. The bakers also offer pie-making lessons and PieGrams, adorable little pastries you can mail to friends with a personal note.

Judy’s Gourmet Garage, Bayfield

This little shop near Lake Superior (open from late April until late December) makes some of the country’s best pies, according to Travel + Leisure. Try the rhubarb cream cheese— a heavenly blend of sweet, tart, creamy and flaky—and you’ll be walking on air all day.

Market Street Diner, Sun Prairie

This retro diner serves more than 30 pies that are easy to love and hard to stop eating. Savor summer flavors in a slice of peach raspberry or relive Thanksgiving dinner with three varieties of pumpkin.

Norske Nook, Osseo DeForest, Hayward and Rice Lake

Made-from-scratch pies with Norwegian flair are Norske Nook’s calling card—and said pies are frequent award-winners at the National Pie Championships. The cranberry apple is an inspiring ode to Wisconsin produce, and the double crust lingonberry apple is the kind of dessert Norse gods must have eaten. Though the restaurant is worthy of a road trip, you can also order online through FoodyDirect.

Stockholm Pie & General Store, Stockholm

The foodies at Spoon University, a popular food website, say this is Wisconsin’s best place for pie. Clever combinations of ingredients make the offerings sing. Cardamom elevates the blackberry-apple pie, while rum-soaked fruit takes the apple crisp pie to a different plane entirely.

Sweetie Pies, Fish Creek

The bakers at Sweetie Pies know how to showcase the tartness of the Door County cherries that grow near their home. Bursting with flavor, the shop’s cherry pies are must-tries in July, when the fruit is harvested. Not a cherry fan? Celebrate the summer bounty with five-inch Cutie Pies filled with juicy raspberries.



In addition writing arts-themed books and articles, Jessica Steinhoff has served as an editor at two Wisconsin newspapers: Madison's Isthmus and Milwaukee's Shepherd Express.

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