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.

Wonderpop & Deli

Mac’n’cheese pies, banana and custard pancake pies, and rhubarb and liquorice dessert pies in a tiny shop that takes cues from Alice in Wonderland.

18 Little Lonsdale, Melbourne

Pie Thief

This tiny pie shop has an ex-Supernormal chef in the kitchen making lasagne pies, chicken-parma sausage rolls, vegan pumpkin 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

The Pie Shop

Hot pies and "dodgy" dim sims next door to Pope Joan.

75 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East

Princes Pies

It was the humble charm of a meat pie that inspired this upscale pie joint.

10 Howey Place, 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

Q le Baker

Whole-wheat pastry pies filled with locally sourced meats and house-made goat's cheese.

Shop 709 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra

Fatto a Mano

Organic bakery and northside institution.

228 Gertrude St, Fitzroy

Rustica

Fillings include slow-braised beef cheeks or roasted vegetables. There's also a great lentil pastie.

402 Brunswick Street, 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

Der Partisan

The pies are, unusually, square. Other than that, they're as classic as they come .

87 Holmes Street, Brunswick

Zaatar

A Middle Eastern bakehouse specialising in pies, pizza and folded foccacias.

365 Sydney Road, Coburg