National Pie Week is just around the corner. But, I’d ask, when is it not pie week? As a Northerner exiled in the capital, there’s never a time when eating a pie doesn’t sound like a good idea. Whether you like it Wigan style (in a bread roll, or barm, as they call it up there) or like a true East-Ender served with mash and liquor, pies are always a good decision. Here are the best places to grab yourself a slice (or the entire thing) in London.
Staying at the cheerful end of the pie market, but without skimping on quality, join the queue of fans streaming towards Piebury Corner on their way to Arsenal’s Emirates stadium. The shop styles itself a pie deli and the pies pay tribute to some of the greatest of the team’s players – The Ian Wright, for example, which is lamb, veg and a bit of mint – but you don’t have to be a Gunner’s fan to appreciate the piemanship on show.
209-211 Holloway Rd, London N7 8DL, pieburycorner.com
Sometimes only a good pork pie will do – and our recommendation is those from the Ginger Pig. Now with eight butcher’s shops around London stocking some of the best meat from around the country, you’d expect the fillings to be top notch, and their hand-raised, hot-water pastry pies are packed with pork and just the right amount of jelly. Our favourite spot for finding a Ginger Pig pie has to be the original in Borough Market, where it all began with a sausage stall.
Borough Market, Borough High St, London SE1 1TL (more locations across London), thegingerpig.co.uk
Much has gentrified in Hoxton, but some things don’t change. F Cooke’s is one of those things, still bastion of East London’s traditional foodstuff: pie and mash. The F Cooke of the name is Fred, who opened his first pie and mash shop in Clerkenwell in 1862. The name and his recipe lives on – the claim is that Cooke’s was the first to serve pie with parsley sauce. Joe Cooke, the fourth generation, now runs the shop, which does a decent cup of tea too like all old-school places should.
150 Hoxton St, London N1 6SH
Not just satisfied with making some of the best pies in the London, Putney Pies says it also serves ‘the finest pies in the land.’ It’s quite a bold claim to make, especially given that this is a West London joint far from the pie, mash and liquor heritage of the East End. But this outpost’s geographical location belies its passion for pastry and gravy, with their menu boasting everything from wild rabbit and apple pie, to the flavoursome steak, stout and stilton pie. Controversially, this place also sells pot pies with pastry lids – not a real pie by any stretch of the imagination, but maybe someone else’s cup of tea. If you go on a Tuesday, you can make the most of the ‘Pie and a Pint for £15’ offer, too.
2 Putney High St, London SW15 1SL, putneypies.co.uk
Richard Corrigan is a Dubliner who knows his pies. Tatler named his Game Pie at Corrigan’s Mayfair as its best dish at the Tatler Awards in 2016, and Sunday Times critic Marina O’Loughlin waxed lyrical about the restaurant’s pheasant and smoked sausage pie. Depending on the season Corrigan adds other pies to the menu, making it a year-round treat, all served with a dollop of mash and gravy. Classic.
28 Upper Grosvenor St, Mayfair, London W1K 7EH, corrigansmayfair.co.uk
Holborn Dining Room
It feels almost like a travesty to pierce the pastry on one of Calum Franklin pies. The executive head chef of the Holborn Dining Room’s pie skills are the stuff of legend on Instagram but unlike much Instafood, it’s not just eye candy. The good news is that if you can’t quite stretch to dining in his restaurant, next door he’s opened The Pie Room, a takeaway pie shop so that the artistry and the flavour can be yours to take home. Just don’t try and pass off the work as your own. No one would ever believe you.
252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN, holborndiningroom.com