Apple, blueberry, chess, lemon curd, chocolate peanut butter -- no matter your secret craving, there's a pie somewhere in Austin with your name on it. Here's where I go to get some. (Not get some like THAT. Get your mind out of the gutter.)
I used to work at Monument Cafe in college, and while the "Fried Pie of the Day" was always the main attraction, the overhaul of the restaurant into a more organic, farm-grown has added a tiny bit of virtue to those outright sinful pies. The fried blueberry and fried peach were always outrageous bestsellers, so call ahead if you're traveling north up I-35 and see if you can snatch one.
Sweetish Hill is specialty cake central, but I would be remiss if I didn't tell you how truly impressive their woven/checkered pie crusts are, shellacked with some kind of gorgeous something -- egg whites, laced with sugar? -- that makes them shiny and sweet. If you want to show off at Thanksgiving, buy one of their pecan pies: It's denser and more nut-filled than most, giving it a high pecan-to-filling ratio.
Now this...THIS is a diner. Not a hipster "dive," not a "throwback," but an honest-to-goodness, vet-filled, Buddy Holly non-ironically playing-on-the-radio, just-got-rid-of-its-smoking-section-yesterday DINER. And diner's just do pies the best, don't they? I like the Coconut Cream Pie, with toasted coconut flakes sprinkled on top and a filling so soft, I'll still be able to gum it when I'm 90.
When I lived in Hyde Park, Quack's was my little home-away-from-home. When I had a bad day, I sidled up to the display case and pointed weakly at the Salty Oat Cookies. "One of those?" I sniffled. When I needed a last-minute birthday present, I picked up a box of mustache cookies. A holiday party? Rosemary Apple Pie. See, Quack's is like your curmudgeonly but endearing aunt: A little tart, a little "oh, YOU again," but always, but always ready for you with an armful of goodies. And that's the best kind of aunt there is.
1886 Cafe is the little bakery/restaurant inside The Driskill, and that alone is pretty fun -- I always feel like a senator's wife or something eating there. But anyway, 1886 serves classic desserts, nothing crazy -- chocolate cake, banana pudding, etc. -- but I'd like to direct your attention to the classic, Granny Smith apple-filled, oat streusel-covered apple pie, which has probably been used as a bartering tool in secret legislative meetings.
UT students, please don't eat a Hot Pocket. Spend your money on Boomerang's instead, Austin's Aussie meat pies. Hand-held savory pies from chicken & mushroom to curried veggie are $5.50 a pop, and aren't as caloric as you think: Just 300-400 calories apiece on average.
Moist quiches, sweet tarts, and crumbly shortbreads -- Cake & Spoons confections go fast at the Cedar Park, Triangle, Sunset Valley and downtown farmer's markets, and at Franklin's BBQ, who sells their pies for dessert. Their chewy Texas Pecan Pie is so holy and grand it's like the second coming.
Like 1886, Chez Zee makes all the classics -- pumpkin pie, New York cheesecake, etc. -- but oh. My. God, their Kahlua Crunch Pie! I think every woman in Austin has probably tasted this pie: It's Kahlua and chocolate, encased in a chocolate walnut crust.