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Modesto offers plenty of choices for fresh pies
209--Modesto Pie PIC
The Village Baking Company and Caf in Modesto. - photo by Staff photo

MODESTO – Let them eat pie.

Or cake. Or custard. Or anything made with sugar and flour and more sugar.

Because you have to eat something when you drink coffee.

In two weeks many will be enjoying turkey and stuffing and a host of other treats that varies by region and family and tradition. The only other staple in entire stable will be pie, and Americans will consume more of it in next six weeks than they will for the entire rest of the year.


Maybe it’s a seasonal thing. Could have something to do with breaking into the canned fruit when the weather turns. Or maybe it’s because people just like pie.

In any event, if you’re Marie Callender’s, none of that matters – you’re just grateful that for the next month you’re going to have people flooding through the doors to make sure that they have something baked and good to take with them to their next social gathering.

And you’ve got choices.

A quick trip to the grocery store, some ready-made crusts and a few cans of filling – plus a few hours – will get the job done. But if you need something that looks pretty, Modesto has more than a few places that specialize in deserts and making sure that your delicacy is the one that everybody will be talking about.

What else did you expect from the town that brought you American Graffiti?

Here are a few spots worth checking out:

• Marie Callender’s – Yes, it’s a chain. And yes, it gets very, very busy. But Ray Kroc had to open one restaurant before it became McDonalds, and now everybody knows about the hamburger. Marie Callendar’s is the McDonald’s of pies, only the obesity comes on slower and people are actually happy when you bring them pie. 3500 Coffee Road.

• Dessert Cakes and Pastries – So this place isn’t a pie shop. So what? They have macaroons. They have eclairs. And they are delicious. I’ve never actually tried to order a pie here so I’m not say that it’s not possible, but this place is a one-stop for anything that you can’t find in the aisle of your local convenience store at 2 a.m. Did I mention that they have macaroons? 3025 McHenry Avenue #E.

• Edith’s Gourmet Baking Co. – So people from the Bay Area that visit their own fancy farmers markets actually make trips to Modesto once they get a taste of the treats that this hidden haunt serves up. It’s true. So if somebody is willing to drive from San Jose to Modesto because they liked the whole wheat bread, imagine what this place can do to an apple pie? That’s what I thought. 400 I Street.

• Village Baking Company and Café – You want it all? They’ve got it all. A full-service lunch counter only adds to the list of offerings that includes everything from tarts to wedding cakes. And ‘tis the season. Located in McHenry Village, the quaint shop is once-all for your home-spun holiday goodness.