With the weather getting colder, we're starting to crave comfort food and nothing is more comforting than a satisfying slice of meat pie. From traditional Quebec-style tourtiere to the Australian-style meat pies that are suddenly all the rage in Toronto, here are our picks for restaurants that are a slice above the rest.
Wiseys Pies and Bakehouse (874 Eglinton Ave E, wiseysbakehouse.wordpress.com)
A new kid on the block, this bakery opened earlier this summer and specializes in savoury, New Zealand-style meat pies. This cute cafe serves up satisfying, filling fare in a variety of flavours such as mince and cheese, Thai green curry chicken, and mushroom and steak ($6). Additionally, you can pick up larger, family-sized pies to take home for $17. Also serving sweet pastries and Aussie-style flat white coffee, Wiseys is welcome addition to Leaside.
Kanga (65 Duncan St, eatkanga.com)
Also newly opened this year, Kanga serves up traditional Australian meat pies that are meant to be eaten with your hands ("like a burger," the staff advises). Their flaky crusts hold gravy-drenched stuffings like steak and bacon, chickpea curry, or butter chicken. Our favourite is the Canadian, which features steak that's been braised with Amsterdam Downtown Brown Ale. Kanga also gives you the option to "poutine your pie" by putting it in a box and smothering it in gravy, fries and curds. Read our full review here.
Pie Squared (366 Bloor St E; twitter.com/Pie2Squared)
Promising to bring you "the science" behind the perfect pie, this brand new shop next to Sherbourne subway station is decorated with periodic table-like symbols which adorn the walls, the takeout boxes, and even the top of the pie crusts. The UK-style pies are square shaped, which means there's less crust and more filling than traditional round varieties. Flavours include Guinness steak and potato, Montreal smoked meat and Southern pulled pork. At just 2 for $8, it's a hearty meal that won't break the bank.
The Pie Commission (935 Queensway; piecommission.com)
It's worth the trek to Etobicoke to sample The Pie Commission's large array of savoury meat pies. Their traditional British-style pies come in a wide variety of rotating flavours, including lobster and shrimp, mac 'n cheese, chicken cheddar bacon mash, and beef 'n beer. You can swing by their takeout window to pick up their individual 5" pies (served to go with salad or fries), or a mixed pack of four frozen pies you can bake at home. All are made from scratch in-house with all-natural ingredients.
Bannock (401 Bay St, oliverbonacini.com/bannock.aspx)
Specializing in Canadian comfort food, this eatery attached to the Eaton Centre serves up Arcadian Court chicken pot pie ($18) that's fit for a lumberjack. A buttery crust holds peas, carrots, moist chicken and a creamy velouté sauce, topped with a puff pastry lid. The pie, which arrives in a porcelain baking dish, is served with a generous side of mashed potatoes and gravy.
Honourable Mentions: Emma's Country Kitchen, Woodlot, The Emerson, Andrea's Gerrard St. Bakery, Mabel's Bakery