Oh, heavenly creator of puff pastry. May we take a minute to thank you for everything you’ve done? Every morsel of chunky beef and gravy you’ve kept warm, before we slather it in sauce and gobble it down. Every 4am treat after a night on the schooners. And every road trip snack you’ve allowed us. Cheers, mate.
Biting into flaky, buttery crust and getting a mouthful of juicy, piping hot goodness is nothing short of heaven; especially when you do that thing where you try to keep your mouth from burning and end up just speaking with your mouth full while fanning it with your hand, but also nodding because it’s so bloody good. Or am I the only one?
Either way, pies are the greatest bloody thing to have ever happened to the world, and here are a handful of the best meat pies in Sydney. Go forth and get messy.
Darlinghurst + Paddington
Handmade on site? Check. Packed full of chunky, meaty goodness? Check. Flaky mess all over your top all day? Chickity check. It’s all happening at Infinity Sourdough, which you’ll no doubt be able to tell the moment you catch a whiff of heavenly bready goodness whenever you’re near. There are four delicious creations available (we have very strong feelings for the lamb and pea), and some occasional specials that have been known to cause a line around the corner. Pick up an almond croissant for dessert while you’re there. It’s the literal tits.
Lord Nelson Brewery
Oh, Lord Nelson. Where would the streets of Sydney be without your frosty ales and historic charm? Nowhere. Because when there’s cold beer to be drunk and meat pies topped with mushy peas sitting atop a pool of rich gravy and creamy mashed potatoes, you just know it’s time to head to The Lord Nelson Brewery and tuck in. We like to get messy with ours, mixing it together into an enormous, mushy pile of deliciousness. Let’s be real, this somehow turns into a sparkling clean plate because OF COURSE we licked every last bit of gravy and then blamed it on the dog.
The Pie Tin
Nnnffffff. That’s all I have to say on this one. It’s a shrine to all things pie, and The Pie Tin do our favourite treats justice… Which is good, because they are purveyors of pies after all. All tasty morsels are hand-made on site at the Newtown location, and kept fresh in an oven waiting to be devoured. The pies are on a rotation, but don’t feel like you need to wait around and strike while the filling is hot, because everything is epic. Especially the Sunday roast lamb pie, which is best described with a raised hands emoji. Need more convincing? Oookay. The sweet pies are off the [pie] chart—go for the Tim Tam mud pie—and there are always a lovely selection of salads and sides to turn your pie into a meal (or you could just get two).
Dove & Olive
Do you ever get to the end of the day, think about the direction of your life, and then decide you need a new direction? And then decide that direction is to the pub? I thought so. Especially when that pub is the Dove & Olive, and you would do terrible things to good people for a mere mouthful of their braised beef and veggie pie? Us too. With stout gravy that is richer than Donald Trump’s secret illegitimate children, creamy mash and mushy peas, it’s the perfect accompaniment to some of the epic beers that grace the tap every day. You know, the kind that makes you do that involuntary ‘aaahh’ after every sip. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about.
If you just looked up from your phone or laptop and asked “Where is Glenorie?” then you need to find your to-do list, and put ‘eat meat pie from Glenorie Bakery’ at the top of it. These guys have been baking fresh, tasty, ring-your-mum-and-tell-her-you-love-her pies since 1994. Which is three years longer than Kylie Jenner has been, like, realising stuff. Naturally, the award-winning classic beef pie is second to none, but you can feel free to branch out and give the beef, cheese, and bacon a go because hot daaaang it’s delish.
The Upper Crust
Any Northern Beaches local, or general Sydney pie enthusiast, knows Upper Crust Pies’ big, green and yellow sign shining at them as they make their way down Pittwater Road means one thing, and one thing only, a suggestion of “quick Upper Crust pit stop?” followed by “Yeah, nah for sure, get me a chunky beef”. Serving hot, delicious pies to lovers of all things ‘Strayan since 1948, The Upper Crust is a fast favourite among all that get involved. If you haven’t then go ahead and get involved so you can appreciate what all the fuss is about.
Black Star Pastry
Oh boy *rubs hands together like fat kid in every 50s TV show ever*, do Black Star Pastry have a treat for you. So, what will it be? Kangaroo, lamb shank and red wine; beer and brisket, all of them? Probably the latter. And with twisty pastry wonderfulness on top of a whole lot of chunky, saucy filling, this is one collection of earth-shatteringly crunchy pies that you should take out on a few dates before trying to have your way with. Which you definitely will attempt (guilty).
Bourke Street Bakery
A million times yes to this Sydney institution and its wonderful pies (in fact, all of its wonderful baked goods—shout out to the lamb and harissa sausage roll that I’ll no doubt write an essay about in another article). Right now, in this minute, we’re here to talk about the stu-friggin’-pendous pies on offer here. Classic beef will always be there for you in the tough times, but go ahead and branch out on a beef, beer, bacon and potato if you’re feeling frisky.
Amy Schumer even makes it her first port of call after getting off the shittiest plane ride of all time, so you know it’s a winner, winner, beef brisket, red wine and mushroom pie dinner.
Harry’s Cafe de Wheels
You know how long is a long time to be a purveyor of seriously delicious pies? 70 years, and counting. Which is juuuust about how long Harry’s Cafe de Wheels has been filling the stomachs of hungry pie enthusiasts. The must-have classic tiger pie, with chunky beef, mushy peas, mash, and gravy is a testament to the hard work and dedication to pies that came from humble beginnings in a humble pie cart in Sydney, and ended up a must-visit spot for locals and tourists alike. Want to branch out? Lean beef and curry is your new best friend. Buy it some tomato sauce and a trip to the beach, whydontcha?
Rag & Famish Hotel
The great thing about The Rag & Famish Hotel, apart from its name, is that it doesn’t buy into the whole trendy, refurbed pub thing that seems to be such a trend in Sydney. Not that we have an issue with a trendy pub, but it’s nice to be amongst a proper schooner and schnitty crowd every now and again, ya know? The beef and Guinness pie here comes with a crispy, flaky lid and juuust the right amount of gravy. Want to step it up? The corned wagyu beef pie with onion, bechamel, potato crust, and those oh-so-wonderful mushy peas that simply need to accompany a pie. Happy days.
You know what else is delicious? Pizza.
Infinity Bakery | Image credit: Ben Harris