Pies may be a trifling matter in the South, but in the North, they’re a serious business.
From a proper meaty steak and gravy affair, to chicken and root veg, lamb hot pots and (dare we even say it) the new trend of vegan pies which seems to have invaded our fair lands, the crusty fiends are everywhere.
To help steer you in the right direction, we’ve rounded up our pick of the best pies in the North, and of course – in Manchester…
41. Pie Freakshake – Black Milk Cereal Cafe
This gaff’s so-called ‘freakshakes’ are topped with sweet pies, cheesecakes, toffee apple puddings, molten choccy pudding and seasonal specialties.
Enter at your own risk…
40. Sweet Tattie And Bean Pie – The Earth Cafe
With daily changing specials using the freshest, locally and ethically-sourced ingredients, this place is gold dust in terms of flavour and the feel-good factor.
The food is 100% vegetarian, fantastic tasting and reasonably priced at just £4 for a main (think soothing Caribbean curries and hearty pastries) and side (quinoa, plantain fritters and other healthy delights.)
39. Gammon Pie – Brandling Villa
Wednesday is Pie Night here and you can choose from Northumbrian Steak and Brown Ale pie, Roast Chicken Breast and Gammon pie or Minced Beef & Guinness pie.
All pies come with a choice of mash – the roast garlic is knock-out and will have you revisiting time and time again…
38. Steak & Ale – Pieminister
These guys know their pie and they make a bloody good one. Unapologetic in their monopoly in the North – they know they’ve got a simple, great concept and do it justice.
37. The Moo and Blue – The Black Lion
Steak and blue cheese? This one takes us to our happy place…
36. The Minced Beef And Bovril Pie – Cafe Football
Overlooking Old Trafford and designed by Michelin-starred chef Michael Wignall, this place has a menu that takes match day treats to a whole new level.
The minced beef and Bovril pie has been named the best beef pie in Britain at the British Pie Awards (with a special mention to their sausage roll too.)
It’ll cost you about £15 if you want a pie, chips and gravy (which we do obvs) so this one’s on the pricier side, mind.
35. Chicken Leg And Ham Pie – The Highwayman
They have a selection of seasonal pies on the menu including a chicken leg and ham pie, potato and onion pie, vegetarian shepherd’s pie and a speciality fish pie.
34. The Classic – Pi
The original Pi’s in Chorlton but there’s also a newer, sister site in Altrincham and the food is beautiful.
Lovely jubby ales and ciders too.
— Pi Chorlton (@pichorlton) August 25, 2017
33. The Percy Pie – The Percy Arms
It comes topped with a huge Yorkshire pudding filled with vegetables. Varieties include Chicken and Thyme, Pork and Rosemary and Steak and Ale.
32. Traditional Pie – The Red House
Liquor is gravy to these guys, and it perfectly compliments the award-winning Amble Butcher of Northumberland pies. Stock and pastries are made from scratch and you can taste the difference.
31. Venison Port and Bacon Pie – Vintage Inns
Every Wednesday is Vintage Pie Day at Vintage Inns’ collection of country pub restaurants. Choose from six pies and add you mash and veg!
30. Crocodile Pie – Pie And Ale
Yep, you read that right! And if you don’t fancy a croc, this gaff has got zebra too…
Expect an array of delicious exotic options and a heavy Greek influence – the stifado with rabbit and South African mouflon tamatie bredie.
There’s also a pastry-less pies section offering shepherd’s pies and hot pots.
29. Ice Cream Pie – Pieminister NQ
It has to be done…
28. Cheese Pie w Hot Italian Sausage – Cal’s Own, Newcastle
This Chillington Road diamond in the rough makes you want to jump on a plane, jet to Naples and live there forevermore, munching on glorious hot dough topped with all the mozzarella, pepperoni and chorizo you could ever dream of…
Such is the authenticity of the place. Cal, the owner and chef is very passionate about his ‘pizza pies,’ lip-smackingly good and surprisingly light so not as bloat-inducing as you’d expect…
27. Fish Pie – The Magpie
This Whitby gem is the only real reason you need for visiting the celebrated seaside resort.
The fish pie is standout, the views are even better and the people make you feel like you’re in a home away from home.
26. The House Of Trembling Madness
The York venue comes highly recommended…
25. Pie Sandwich – The New Cake And Sandwich Shop
11 Bennett Street, Hyde, Cheshire, SK14 4PJ
24. Pigeon Pie – The Black Swan, York
Excellent pies…and there are rumours that this place is haunted!
23. The Chicken One – Sam’s Chop House
Sam’s Chop House in Back Pool Fold and Mr Thomas’s on Cross Street, Manchester, both serve up Great North Pie Co creations and they’re bloody good.
For the quality, £12 isn’t a bad deal with the trimmings but if you’re looking for a cheap lunch it isn’t as kind on the wallet.
22. The Best Pork Pie – Bradley’s Bakery
Now this is a contentious one. My father is particularly passionate about pork pies so I understand the gravity of pinning a venue as categorically the best.
But sometimes the proof’s in the pie…
21. The Plate Licker – Sticky Fingers
Great name but better pie at this Middlesbrough café, the beef and Long Clawson Stilton pie is served with mash, crushed minted peas and gravy.
20. Pie Barm, Stalybridge
19. Lamb Pie – Shirley’s Pies, Preesall
Shirley credits her success to simple, great ingredients including Pilling potatoes and eggs as well as cheese from Dewlay.
18. Any Rotating Pie – The Cluny
This pie haven doubles as a super cool music venue based in a former flax spinning mill in Ouseburn, and has a rotating selection of pies each day.
The goods are supplied by the New Zealand Gourmet Pie Company, and come served with mash or chunky double-fried chips, garden peas and lashings of gravy.
17. Beef And Ale Pie – Silversmiths
Every Tuesday evening is Pie Night at this award-winning Sheffield establishment.
The night was launched by Gordon Ramsay, and you can choose from four quality pies.
16. BBQ Pulled Pork Pie – The Hull Pie
This pie chain in Hull sells fresh pies, mash and sides to eat in or take away.
Popular favourites include the barbecue pulled pork or jerk chicken pies.
15. Meat And Potato – SD Berry, Preston
Large queues form every weekday at 11.30 when the first batches leave the ovens, get there early though, when they are gone, they are gone.
14. Fish Pie – Assheton Arms
It contains haddock, prawns, parsley sauce, mash and Lancashire cheese crumb.
13. Bowland Game Pie – The Parkers Arms
Located in the beautiful Forest of Bowland, The Parkers Arms has won national acclaim and is famous for their pie of the day encased in hand raised, hot water crust pastry.
12. Salmon And Prawn Pie – Ring O’ Bells
It comes with cheesy mash and buttered garden peas and is one of Bradford’s crowning glory.
11. Butter Pie – Bowens
The Lancashire Butter Pie, crammed with (you guessed it) butter, onion and potatoes.
It’s a local Catholic tradition that dates back to when meat on a Friday was still a big no-no.
10. Great North Pie Co
This award-winning pie company has a permanent stall in Altrincham’s Market House and the pies are hand-crafted in Wilmslow.
The menu changes seasonally using the best produce from around the north. Expect delights like braised Cheshire beef with stout and redcurrant – and you won’t be paying much more than a fiver either!
9. Homity Pie – The Albert Square Chop House’s
The homity pie is made with Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese, potato and caramelised onion and served with cauliflower puree – it’s a modern twist on a classic and is absolutely divine.
8. Beef Pie – Halls Bakery
Founded more than eighty years ago, the company is still supplying proper pies to the folk of Chorley.
7. Chicken And Mushroom Pie – Hollands Pies
6. Massaman Curry Pie – The Real Thai Pie Company
Pies with an Asian twist including vegetarian and vegan recipes including the Green Thai Vegetable Pie.
5. Slow-cooked Beef Pie – Market Tavern
An absolute charmer of a pub in Durham’s picturesque market square and the best choice to get a pie and pint.
Dunkleys, one of the UK’s oldest family-owned bakeries, make the pub’s exclusive Steak and Ale pie using 100 percent, slow-cooked British beef cooked in a special pale ale gravy and encased in crispy pastry.
Do we hear a “omnomnom”?
4. The Clunky Beauty – Morecambe Football Club
With a winning formula they’re regular and deserved winners of the Best Football Pie awards, they can be purchased direct from the club and are just perfect straight out of the oven in your own home…
Full Roast Dinner Pie -Holmefirth, Yorkshire
This place has a full roast dinner pie, amazing idea and value.
3. The Cow Pie – Mad O’Rourkes, Tipton
You get a certificate if you finish their infamous Cow Pie. It doesn’t come with chips, but the carrots, potatoes, button mushrooms and a bit of kidney is more than enough!
The puff pastry alone is six inches tall.
2. Steak and Ale Pie – Skipton’s Pie And Mash Shop
Simple name, pure ingredients but explosive flavour.
This humble gem is anything but ordinary…
1. Slow-braised Cheshire Lamb With Red Wine Pie – Lord Of The Pies
The Stockport legend has expanded to Macclesfield too and offers a winning selection using the finest British beef.
If this one doesn’t deserve a top spot for the name alone – the £3 price tag should convince you.