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Grand Traverse Pie Co.

525 W. Front St., Traverse City, MI - (231) 922-PIES
Posted By Michael Stern on 9/21/2002 4:42:00 AM
If you were led into this place blindfolded, you’d have no trouble naming its specialty, for the air is perfumed by the unspeakably delicious aroma of baking crust and bubbling-hot fruit filling. As the name suggests, it is a limited-service restaurant where pies are virtually all that matter. Indeed, other than coffee and a few kinds of cookie, pies are the only thing on the menu; and much cross-counter business is whole pies to go.

There are a handful of tables inside and (when weather permits) outdoors, to which you can carry a warm, just-cut slice and appreciate the absolute goodness of a pie that is individually crafted out of raw fruit and sugar (never any gelatin or thickeners other than plain flour) in a crust rolled from dough made from scratch daily.

Northern Michigan is the fruit capital of the Midwest, where apples, cherries and blueberries are harvested in abundance, and it is the double-crust fruit pies that are the need-to-eats. Among the varieties available, most of them named after sights and places around Traverse Bay, are Suttons Bay blueberry, Front Street apple, lakeshore berry, Union Street peach strawberry, and Long Lake berry cherry. Some thirty varieties are in the kitchen’s repertoire (not all available every day); and in addition to the signature fruit pies, there are Key lime, coconut cream, and (in season) autumn harvest pecan and Northport pumpkin.

We swooned over Peninsula apple crumb with its rich, crunchy topping, after which we walked out with a nice selection of GTPC preserves, including cherry barbecue sauce and cherry jalapeno salsa.

In addition to the original store in Traverse City, Grand Traverse Pie Co. has shops in Brighton and Okemos, Michigan. Mail-order pies are available, shipped 2nd Day Air Monday through Wednesday.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Cherry pie is a tart sweetie and the true taste of Michigan.
"Cherry pie is a tart sweetie and the true taste of Michigan."
Michael Stern





Grand Traverse Apple Pie: it's the Platonic ideal!
"Grand Traverse Apple Pie: it's the Platonic ideal!"
Michael Stern


Behind the counter, racks hold oven-hot pies cooling and wafting their come-hither aromas into the air.
"Behind the counter, racks hold oven-hot pies cooling and wafting their come-hither aromas into the air."
Michael Stern


Seats inside are limited to a few casual tables, as in a coffee shop. These comfortable places to sit, good coffee and extraordinary pie add up to a virtually perfect eating experience, humble though it may be.
"Seats inside are limited to a few casual tables, as in a coffee shop. These comfortable places to sit, good coffee and extraordinary pie add up to a virtually perfect eating experience, humble though it may be."
Michael Stern


Everyone who walks into Grand Traverse Pie Co. becomes a pie judge, like at the state fair. The day's beauteous selection is set on display for comparison and contrast in such qualities as texture, delicacy, aroma, and eye appeal.
"Everyone who walks into Grand Traverse Pie Co. becomes a pie judge, like at the state fair. The day's beauteous selection is set on display for comparison and contrast in such qualities as texture, delicacy, aroma, and eye appeal."
Michael Stern


Front Street is a well-traveled thoroughfare in Traverse City. You often see drivers tap their brake lights and slow when they pass, apparently to have a view of which of the pie repertoire are in the window and for sale this day.
"Front Street is a well-traveled thoroughfare in Traverse City. You often see drivers tap their brake lights and slow when they pass, apparently to have a view of which of the pie repertoire are in the window and for sale this day."
Michael Stern



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