Meat pies are close to our hearts in Australia - a tradition eaten at sporting finals, on the fly and mostly with a plastic cup of beer to wash it down. Those meaty, moist morsels of rich filling, handily wrapped in flaky golden pastry, served steaming hot and maybe dribbled on your shirt are one of the great ways to indulge on grand finals weekend... who doesn’t look forward to a bit of pie and sauce as you cheer for your team?

But gone are the days of that questionable filling - today there’s less mystery meat and more sophisticated combinations of prime ingredients for discerning tastes. After all, just because we’re eating with our hands, doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ve lost all sense of self-respect. From red wine and fine herbs, to French influences or korma curry, here’s our pick of the places to grab a pie for both hands while you’re watching the finals this weekend.

But you’d better get in early, because we can’t guarantee that other people won’t have had the same idea...

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Here’s our pick of the best places to get pies for the weekend:

  1. Black Star Pastry (Newtown) - The lamb shank, red wine and vegetable pie is easily one of the best in Sydney, with flaky golden pastry from the pastry team under Christopher The. It might be a teeny tiny outlet in Australia Street, Newtown, but they turn out huge flavour.

  2. Bourke Street Bakery and little sister Central Baking Depot - The beef brisket, red wine and mushroom pie from the pastry masters at BSB and CBD has a loyal following, but the chicken, white bean and button and porcini mushroom pie is also a hot favourite.

  3. La Renaissance (The Rocks) - This family run French patisserie in The Rocks turns out some fabulous, flaky pies. The oldest continuously owned and operated patisserie in Sydney - their French heritage makes the Vegetable Provencale (ratatouille) pie a winner.

  4. Labancz (Rozelle) – Run by Pierre Labancz, this unassuming little bakery cafe in Rozelle turns out some rich and golden chunky beef pies that are a treat with just a smear of tomato sauce to top off the hearty gravy.

  5. Dinky-Di - Originally just in Rose Bay, you can now grab your chunky beef burgundy pie from a couple of different spots around town (including Bondi Junction and Surry Hills). For something beyond the red meats, don’t overlook the chicken and leek.

  6. The Pie Tin (Newtown) - Pies here are all handmade and amazing, but we have to say that the beef the vegetable korma curry pie (with mushy peas) is hard to beat. Or you can try a slow roasted shredded pork with apple and BBQ sauce.

  7. Harry’s Cafe de Wheels - And just because we’re suckers for nostalgia: the Tiger from Harry’s Cafe de Wheels. It’s all about the beef with mushy peas, mash and gravy.