Where To Eat Pie For Breakfast
As a New Englander, it's not only your right, it's your duty.
Pie season is upon us and happily, digging into this dessert for breakfast is a New England tradition. As a consummate pie-lover, I've put together a sampling of some of the top spots to nibble sharp cheddar with your cold apple pie and sip hot coffee with the perfect pumpkin slice—even when your craving hits well before lunch.
Northeast Pie Company
This little food truck turns out a wide variety of pies that are popular all over the New Hampshire seacoast, from classic apple with homemade vanilla ice cream to pecan pear and savory pies like Canadian pork and meatball parm. They even have a special breakfast pie with scrambled eggs, bacon, all kinds of veggies, potatoes and cheddar cheese. Owner Michael D’Amico was inspired to open the spot while studying abroad in New Zealand with his girlfriend (now fiancée) Erin, who, along with family and friends, helped him open the business in May of this year. D'Amico takes pride in his American adaption of pasties (hand pies) he ate overseas. “Our chickens are roasted and hand pulled, our eggs are farm fresh, and our dough is all hand rolled," he says. "No shortcuts in any of our pies.”
717 Columbus Ave., Rochester, NH, 201.694.7243, facebook.com/northeastpiecompany
Deluxe Town Diner
This popular diner in Watertown was one of the most frequently referenced spots in a crowd-sourced poll of where to find pie for breakfast. Husband and wife owners Don and Daryl Levy serve a variety of pies (all-day, of course) including maple-apple-oatmeal, pumpkin, and cherry crumb. In warmer months, you’ll find seasonal favorites like strawberry-rhubarb, peach and three-berry. As Christmas approaches, they will add Derby pie, a festive chocolate-walnut combo, to the rotation.
627 Mt. Auburn St., Watertown, 617.926.8400, deluxedinerbrands.com
Travelers have been enjoying pie at Moody’s Diner on Route 1 for over 80 years. They must be doing something right! The restaurant is run by the children and grandchildren of original owners Percy and Bertha Moody, who started in the hospitality business in 1927 by opening three cabins and charging just a dollar to stay the night. They went on to open a lunch wagon, which became the diner still standing today. The spot sells old-fashioned flavors like mincemeat and squash, as well as chocolate, coconut and peanut butter cream pies and other seasonal favorites. They even make a sugar-free fruit pie because everyone, including diabetics, deserves dessert (for breakfast) sometimes.
1885 Atlantic Highway, Waldoboro, ME, 207.832.7785, moodysdiner.com
The name says it all. Since Renee “Petsi” McLeod opened the flagship bakery in 2003, two other Petsi cafes have popped up around Cambridge and Somerville. In the evening hours, you’ll find the same pies served at her Inman Square southern comfort food restaurant, Tupelo. But we are here to talk about breakfast, so my recommendation is to stop by a cafe and order a slice of bourbon chocolate pecan, tropical key lime, or sweet potato pie. Because sweet potato is a vegetable... right? Breakfast of champions!
Bakery – 285 Beacon St., Somerville, 617.661.7437, petsipies.com
Cafes - 31 Putnam Ave., Cambridge, 617.499.0801 & 594 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, 617.945.5278
Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar
Okay, I'm kind of pushing it here. Rosebud isn't open for breakfast, but they serve pie at brunch (and the rest of the day and night too) and the pies are pretty darn good, so let's make an exception. The pie case greets you right at the host stand on arrival, which guarantees you'll be thinking about what slice to get before you've even placed your drink order. My favorite? The New England Cider Pie, which is filled with an apple cider custard and topped with cinnamon whipped cream and a caramel drizzle.
381 Summer St., Somerville, 617.629.9500, rosebudkitchen.com
Miss Lyndonville Diner
This Northeast Kingdom gem deserves credit for actually teaching me about the pie-for-breakfast tradition. Many years ago, my grandmother and her best friend Millie would take me and my sister to the diner for pancakes topped with strawberries and, of course, Vermont maple syrup. Just past the cigarette vending machine was a dazzling display case filled with coconut cream, southern pecan and blueberry pies, nestled next to goblets of green JELL-O. Perched atop vinyl stools—flannel-clad elbows resting on the counter—there were always a group of (what I think of as) true Vermonters: weathered men with big leathery hands who would give Grammy a nod and maybe a “Morning, Helen,” if they were feeling chatty. Inevitably, at least one of them would be enjoying a piece of pie with their steaming mug of black coffee. When I called up this morning to see if slices are still available in the early hours I was told, “We serve our pies anytime,” which, at the Miss Lyndonville, means starting at 6 a.m. Except on Sundays, in which case you’ll have to wait until 7.
686 Broad St., Lyndonville, VT, 802.626.9890, facebook.com/Miss-Lyndonville-Diner