When the weather shifts a gear and the sunny days are fewer and further between, there’s nothing quite like a hot pie to warm you up from the inside out. Indeed, there’s an immeasurable amount of comfort in golden pastry and hearty fillings. No longer the domain of flavourless mystery meat, there are now quite an array of interesting and exotic pies spilling from ovens all over town. But don’t worry, there’s still a place for the stalwart beef pie with a dollop of sauce – they’re just a bit better than they used to be.

Here’s our pick of the pies.

1. Bourke Street Bakery: Chicken, sweet potato and pea with lime pickle – $5
These guys are champions of flaky, golden pastry. It’s one of the cornerstones of their thriving bakery business. It’s no surprise, then, that every pie on the menu here has a long list of loyal fans, but our favourite is the chicken, sweet potato, pea and lime pickle, just for something a bit different. Baked daily, see what’s on offer.

2. Central Baking Depot: Chicken, white bean and mushroom – $5.50
Little sister to Bourke Street Bakery, these guys might spring from the same roots, but that just means their pies have a big reputation to live up to. Baked fresh daily and always hot, watch out for beef brisket, mushroom and red wine. But our hearts are taken with the chicken, white bean and mushroom combo.

3. Black Star Pastry: Young Henrys beer and brisket – $7.80
If you haven’t tried pastry from Black Star in Newtown, then you really don’t know what you’re missing. Chris Thé and the team turn out some wicked cakes, breads and desserts, but their pies are no slouch. The brisket pie made with locally brewed Young Henrys beer is rich and hearty. Beer in your pie? What more could you want?

4. The Pie Tin: Bangers and Mash – $5.80
Also in Newtown, the crew at corner spot The Pie Tin specialise in pies, both sweet and savoury. Bangers and mash pies topped with creamy mashed potato are a belly-filling exercise in nostalgia. But there are plenty more on offer, such as the slow roasted shredded pork with apple and barbecue sauce. But save room for the sweet options. There’s a whole cabinet of sweet treats including whipped lime and cherry smoothie. You can get a wedge for around the $6 mark, or take home a full one from $39.
1a Brown Street, Newtown

5. Harry’s Café de Wheels: Tiger – $6.20
A legend all of its own, no Sydney pie list would be complete without a Harry’s mention. Best eaten from the neon-lit cart at Woolloomooloo, you can’t go past a Tiger with the works. Beef in a dense pastry crust, topped with potato mash, mushy green peas and drowned in gravy. Tomato sauce is a must to add to the mix. Making a mess with one of these is a rite of passage.
Corner Cowper Wharf Roadway and Brougham Road, Woolloomooloo
Also in Burwood, Haymarket, Liverpool, Newcastle, Parramatta, Penrith, Tempe and Ultimo

6. La Bancz: Chunky Beef – $4.50
This humble little French bakery makes everything in-house and they’re a local favourite for bread, pastry, Double Roasters coffee and, yep, pies. There are lamb and potato or chicken and leek options on offer. But our favourite is the simple and robust chunky beef. You can eat it in-house with salad on the side, but we think greens might be a bit redundant as the pie is a whole meal on its own.
719 Darling Street, Rozelle

7. St. Malo: Chicken and Leek – $5.50
Well known for their organic sourdough breads and beautiful pastries – which include blackberry custard brioches and spelt date scones – the busy bakery at the back of St. Malo in Crows Nest also turns out a neat array of pies baked daily. Fresh from the ovens at around the 10am mark, the chicken and leek pie is a creamy and savoury mouthful, with just a hint of sweetness from the leeks.