No road trip is complete without a lunch stop for a golden flaky pie from a small-town bakery. The Blue Mountains has some legendary pie shops and the hardest decision will be, how many is acceptable on a cheat day? Luckily each pie shop is close to a bushwalk.
If you're driving from Sydney, the first bakery worth stopping at is the Bakehouse Gourmet Pies in Glenbrook; however they were sold out of all pies when I visited, and the Springwood store had sold out of all meat pies. Surely a good sign although frustrating.
A sausage roll ($4.70) from Bakehouse Gourmet Pies was massive, had golden, crispy pastry throughout and the filling had a hint of herbs. There's a nice park, with play equipment opposite the Bakehouse or they offer shared seating inside.
Don't confuse the nearby Glenbrook Village Bakehouse with the Bakehouse Gourmet Pies or you'll be disappointed.
The pumpkin, fetta and lentil pie ($6.85) from the Bakehouse on Wentworth in Springwood was certainly the biggest sized pie I tried. The pastry twists on top (which tasted like sourdough), made it filling and the inside was hearty, with a slight curried taste. The ingredients worked well together, although the base was a little floppy.
Bakehouse on Wentworth pies are baked in Blackheath daily and can be found in Glenbrook, Springwood and Leura. I suggest visiting earlier in the day to avoid disappointment.
Pumpkin, fetta and lentil pie from Bakehouse on Wentworth, Springwood.
Lawson Cake Shop is a classic old-school bakery with neenish tarts, vanilla slices, pineapple tarts and rock cakes. They have a good selection of dessert and savoury pies ($4.00) and a sandwich bar which can be handy for a bushwalk picnic lunch.
Their steak pie ($4.00) had flaky puff pastry throughout and whilst not necessarily fancy, there's something nostalgic about their pies. There's a balcony with seats out the back of the shop.
Bakery Patisserie Schwarz, better known as 'Schwarz's' in Wentworth Falls is highly addictive. It's a traditional German bakery with sesame pretzels, crusty bread rolls and poppy-seed danishes - but their pies are extraordinary.
Beef and mushroom pie from Schwarz's Bakery in Wentworth Falls.
Their steak and mushroom pie ($4.60) had tender chunks of slow-cooked beef, thin slices of button mushrooms and rich homemade gravy stuffed into a crisp, buttery pastry that was solid enough to eat with one hand.
Mountain High Pies also in Wentworth Falls, is a popular stop for day trippers with a huge choice of sweet, savoury and vegetarian pies and plenty of seating.
Their pies range from $5 to $7 each (click here for the menu) and you can add a scoop of mashed potato, mashed pumpkin, peas and gravy for only $3.50 turning a snack into a filling meal. Pies are baked in-house and they also offer family sized pies (ranging from $17.50 to $24.50).
Mountain High Pies in Wentworth Falls has a huge range and plenty of seating.
Hominy Bakery in Katoomba is famous for their sourdough bread but their pies are uniquely scrumptious. I ate the tender beef pie ($5.90) which featured a pie top so crisp, it crackled and was filled with huge pieces of slow-cooked beef. The gravy had a vague hint of spice which was intriguing but it was the crunchy pastry that was the real winner.
Hominy Bakery in Katoomba has excellent pies.
Piccolo Cafe in Mt Victoria is a surprising little find on the way to Mt Wilson. They offer a selection of homemade gourmet pies, pasties and sausage rolls. I tried their chicken and Camembert pie ($6) and pork and fennel sausage roll ($5). Both had firm pastry, and the pie included tender chunks of white chicken.
It's a small cafe and they do have seating, but if you get takeaway, about ten minutes drive along the road to Bell, there is a nice view and easy parking.
Chicken and Camembert pie from Piccolo Cafe, Mt Victoria.
There are multiple roadside stores in Bilpin advertising pies but Pie in the Sky (about 15 minutes past the Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens) has freshly-baked pies coming out of the oven throughout the day which is the first thing you'll smell when you walk in. It's futile to resist.
Bilpin, being famous for apples, I tried the family size apple pie ($12.00) and it did not disappoint. The apples were chunky and were lightly cooked to retain a little bit of crispness. The pie was tart with a mellow sweetness and the pastry snapped and crinkled with each bite. The sugar on top, caramelised when re-heated in the oven. Add a big scoop of creamy vanilla ice-cream to warm apple pie and it's as if wintery nights were made for this.
Overall, there are some outstanding pies in the Blue Mountains, each with their own standout feature but my favourite would be 'Schwarz's', in Wentworth Falls for their rich, home-style baked goods, reasonable prices and pies so delicious, I'm craving one just thinking about them.
There are other bakeries in the mountains but all of the places listed below, specialise in pies.
Bakehouse Gourmet Pies 3/31 Park St Glenbrook P: 02 4739 2288 Open Mon-Fri 7am-5:30pm, Sat 7am-4pm and Sun 7:30am-4:30pm
- 226 Macquarie Road Springwood P: 02 4751 578 Open Mon-Fri 6:30am-5:30pm, Sat 7am-4pm and Sun 7:30am-4pm.
- 208 The Mall Leura P: 02 4784 3588 Open Mon-Sat 7am-5pm and Sun 7:30-4pm.
- 105 Wentworth Street Blackheath P: 02 4787 7255 Open Mon-Sat 7am-5pm and Sun 7:30am-4pm
Lawson Cake Shop (no website)~302 Great Western Highway Lawson P: 02 4759 1546 Open Mon-Fri 5:30am-4:30pm and Sat-Sun 7:30am-1:30pm. CASH ONLY