The pie takes on many forms in Australian culture. It's a football game staple, a midnight snack between bars, eating competition fodder and the source of an infinite number of burnt tongues.

Whether it comes from a bakery or a pub doesn't bother us too much, but there are a few "musts". A pie must be hot – almost too hot to eat straight away. The pastry must be flakey, the filling must be rich, and by damn that pastry should cover the whole pie. Stews with pastry roofs are just that. They're not pies.

Country Cob Bakery Boronia

This small eastern suburbs bakery is famous for its pies: in 2020, they were crowned the best in Australia.

951 Mountain Highway, Boronia

Wonder Pies & Deli Collingwood

Head here for sturdy pies filled with mac’n’cheese, confit duck, bacon and eggs, and lasagne by acclaimed chef Raymond Capaldi.

128 Langridge Street, Collingwood

Pie Thief

This tiny pie shop has an ex-Supernormal chef in the kitchen making lasagne pies, chicken-parma sausage rolls, vegan pies and more, best followed with a hot Milo or an old-school vanilla slice. If you can’t decide, grab a party-pie tasting paddle.

297 Barkly Street, Footscray

Falco Bakery

All of the pies here are notable: they're buttery, shatteringly crisp but robust enough to maintain their structural integrity (even after a few big bites). The must-try pie here is the Rockwell pie – an homage to Rockwell (which used to occupy the space) and its renowned patty smash burger. It even comes with special sauce.

288 Smith Street, Collingwood

The Pie Shop

Don't let the humble name fool you: these are no ordinary pies. Chef Matt Wilkinson's pies are as inventive as they are delicious, proving that sometimes, it's okay to mess with the classics (if you know what you're doing).

75 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East

Bread Club

If you see the boeuf bourguignon pie, that's your go. Otherwise, the sausage roll is also an excellent option. We recommend buying some house-made chilli jam or tomato relish as well, it will suit whatever you order.

558 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne

Austro

This Austrian bakehouse inventively brings classic European flavours to both its sweet and savoury pastries. Past pie varieties have included a Hungarian goulash with a puff-pastry top, and a marsala-braised beef-cheek pie.

147-149A Cecil Street, South Melbourne

Fatto a Mano

This organic bakery is a northside institution, that's especially beloved amongst Fitzroy workers for its lunch options. There are a range of classic bakery sandwiches and big, fat slices of pizza to choose from. There's also a regularly changing line-up of pies with traditional fillings to order, too.

228 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

Loafer Bread

All of the classic pies are here, but it's worth considering the quiche for something a little bit different.

146 Scotchmer Street, Fitzroy North

A1 Bakery

This Sydney Road staple has been reliably dishing out Lebanese-influenced pies (among many other things) since 1992. The spinach and haloumi pie is a must-try.

643-645 Sydney Road, Brunswick

Candied Bakery

Past flavours at this American-inspired bakery have included Tex-Mex black bean and curried haloumi. Classics such as chicken curry and beef are mainstays, too. For those with a sweet tooth, classic American flavours such as banana and key lime are also available as whole pies.

81a Hudsons Road, Spotswood

Babka

When it's on the menu, the pumpkin, tomato and basil pie practically flies out of the pie warmer.

358 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

Tivoli Road Bakery

Go here if you're the only pie aficionado in your group. You can get your pie fix, and everyone else gets to enjoy great soups, pastries and croissants.

3 Tivoli Road, South Yarra

Knead Bakers

The tomato relish served on the pies and pasties here will make you rethink your relationship with regular old tomato sauce.

396 Burwood Road, Hawthorn

Convent Bakery

A great lunch option if you're at Abbotsford Convent, enjoy one of the classic pies on one of the large outdoor tables.

1 Saint Helliers Street, Abbotsford

Zaatar

A Middle Eastern bakehouse specialising in pies, pizza and folded foccacias. Fillings include shanklish, spinach, chicken and haloumi.

365 Sydney Road, Coburg