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Best Meat Pie in Australia?

cankles Jul 11, 2007 12:43 AM

Having seen the recent post about the best burgers in Sydney I thought it was time to open a can of worms with the topic "Who makes the best meat pies in Australia"?

If you're Australian you'll know how passionate some people will be on this topic. If you're from overseas, then you need to bookmark this topic and when you get down this way go Chowhounding for this great Aussie icon.

  1. m
    minibrings Oct 6, 2011 01:06 PM

    I still shed a tear everytime I think of the lamb shank pie at the Village Baker in Burnside, SA (suburb east of Adelaide).. It was truly amazing:


    1. ekim256 May 14, 2011 04:28 AM

      haha I went through this blitz when I travelled in Australia. I started in Sydney, ate pies down the East coast. The most interesting was in Port Macquarie where you can get camel, kangaroo, emu, and ostrich pie. I've posted a couple of trips, here are the links for pics. Apologies for not keeping up with this board with reporting back - a lot of my eats were influenced by this board while I was stuffing my face abroad:

      Pie Face
      Link: http://www.cookiesandtomatoes.com/2011/05/sydney-p-p-pie-face.html
      A popular chain in Australia, they sell pleasant little pies. Literally - they look pleased with themselves!
      Lemon, beef, and chicken-mushroom pies were tried. The hot little treats were snarfed with no guilt towards the serene smiles. I never felt guilt from biting gummy bears (head first, of course), so I wasn't about to start with pie! The pies were okay...not too great. I imagine this was like the McDonalds of burgers.

      2. Harry's Cafe de Wheels
      Link: http://www.cookiesandtomatoes.com/201...

      Every city has its drunk food. Toronto has Burrito Boyz and Smoke's Poutinerie while Sydney has pie. I've proclaimed Australia the land of pie. And not any kind of pie...meat pie. Really? Lard-ridden flakey shells stuffed with gravy soaked chunks of beef, pork, cheese, kangaroo, emu, crocodile...think of it, and someone probably makes it. A delicious heart attack in a pastry shell...like a hug. A hug for your heart. Aw.
      Open until 4AM then again at 8:30AM, you're able to get your cardiac arrest-inducing fix after a lively night out and for breakfast before you drag yourself to work. Harry's is located at Woolloomoolloo Bay (I could never remember this correctly...Wallymalloo, Woomoolloolloo...Woollymoollywoo...), seemingly in the middle of nowhere...but people travel for this thing 'cause it's just that good. Possibly just when your senses are a little...enhanced. I opted for Harry's Tiger Curry Beef Pie
      Mushy peas on top, mashed potatoes, gravy, and curried beef...best hug for your heart ever. There's a plethora of sauces to try with your pie - I've never seen mint jelly as a condiment until I visited Australia. Sweet Chilli Sauce is also quite common everywhere too - diners, pubs, street-fare, and in most of the fridges where I surfed. So glad that I got to try this! I was underwhelmed by the infamous Pie Face. I'll admit that being surrounded by rowdy Ozzies and backpackers alike who are just cramming their faces with pie pie pie from a wagon in the middle of nowhere was a lot of the fun!


      1. n
        nutsdeb Nov 30, 2009 03:47 PM

        Being from the South Coast a Huskisson Pie was always good (great pastry and chunky meat) and a Berry Bakery Pies always won the awards. Here in Tasmania Brighton Bakery pies did well and our little out of the way Hamilton Bakery has what my hubby calls the best pies around and he used to drive an hour out of Wodonga for a pie from a little town bakery that I can't recall now.

        1 Reply
        1. re: nutsdeb
          debbieann May 1, 2011 12:15 AM

          best meat pie might be in Richmond Tasmania.

        2. o
          oinkinkc Oct 17, 2009 12:55 PM

          I spent my childhood stopping in the family car for a Yatala pie after a day in the surf. Yatala Pies is right beside the pacific highway betw the gold coast and Bris. I live in the US now but when ever I drive that road I still stop for a Yatala Pie. I could do with 1 right now!!

          1 Reply
          1. re: oinkinkc
            tyrannosaurusjess Nov 29, 2009 10:34 PM

            Unfortunately Yatala do not live up to the childhood memories :(

            I still occasionally stop on the way back from the coast just to see if the last... few times... were a fluke, but the sad truth is that they are like supermarket pies these days, but with more salt!

          2. k
            kennoath Sep 17, 2009 07:57 AM

            Mexican beef pie from Byron Bay Pie Company.
            Not traditional, but really that's a good thing when it comes to Aussie pies.

            1. pacafechef Aug 23, 2009 12:57 PM

              The best meat pies in Aussie are in WA- period.
              #1 - Curry Beef from Brunswick Bakery.
              #2 - Satay Chicken from Continental Meats, Hamilton Hill just outside of Freo.
              #3 - Butter Chicken from the same.
              The pies out east just don't match up.

              1. c
                cap Jul 20, 2009 04:14 AM

                Beefy's, in Buderim QLD.

                2 Replies
                1. re: cap
                  Cappymeg Aug 17, 2009 06:01 PM

                  Worst pies in South Australia,especially curry with sultana's in them. Best pies Lismore,old Telegraph building,mobile type home sells pies out front. See Nardi.

                  1. re: Cappymeg
                    feelinfoodie Aug 19, 2009 06:28 AM

                    The Old Bakery in Wirrabara makes the finest meat pies I have ever had in Australia... I remember taking a two hour detour just so I could buy a dozen and bring them to dinner in Melbourne!!!

                    They are sensational, as is the place and it's other snacks - best of all everybody is local..

                    " Previously Old Bakery Wirrabara, now relocated to Stone Hut, just 7kms south of Wirrabara."

                2. Saxivore Jul 14, 2009 07:33 PM

                  I think what is being missed here is a crucial aspect of the meat pie experience. A meat pie is not delicious in spite of it being so disgusting but it is delicious BECAUSE it is so disgusting. I've travelled the country in search of the best meat pie experience - when I lived in Potts Point, Sydney I used to purchase a Shakespeare meat pie and then run it down to Harry's Cafe in Woolloomooloo for conversion into a Tiger (mash, peas and gravy) - I found a pretty good pie in the bakery in Burra, SA back in the 90s but the quality had declined noticably on more recent trips. Pie in the Sky on the Old Pacific Highway near Brooklyn is always very good, especially after racing a time trial (it's close to Calga). Another brilliant pie I had down near Bateman's Bay was an Emu Pie - one of the most delicious meats in the world. But without a doubt, for me, the best meat pie is Bryant's in Goulburn (it's still there, despite the bypass). I returned there for the first time in years last weekend and whilst the pie I ate there was not fantastic (it just wasn't hot enough) I got a take home pack and when heated to the right temperature they were simply magnificent. Not too chunky, excellent gravy and the pastry just melted. I would drive down to Goulburn solely to get one of these pies.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Saxivore
                    kmh Sep 11, 2009 12:10 AM

                    BRYANTS YES!
                    also the pie shop on the main road at Aberdeen.

                  2. kmh Aug 1, 2007 02:32 AM

                    web page for the great aussie meat pie competition
                    judgements in september

                    1. rambo_ando Jul 15, 2007 02:40 AM

                      It seems every Australian town's bakery is a must try, though not necessarily living up to the reputation. In WA the Dunsborough Bakery is worthy of a mention, however. And who can forget the original pie cart outside the central Adelaide train station?

                      14 Replies
                      1. re: rambo_ando
                        eternalX Jul 15, 2007 03:21 PM

                        Any decent pie shop in the CBD? I have one last day here and have yet to have a pie!

                        1. re: eternalX
                          kmh Jul 15, 2007 03:48 PM

                          for the quintessential experience, get yourself down to woolloomoolloo and have a tiger pie from Harry's cafe de Wheels.

                          1. re: kmh
                            cankles Jul 17, 2007 04:41 PM

                            I have to get into a habit of using the new places feature. Here is a link to Harry's.

                            Harry's Cafe De Wheels
                            Cowper Wharf Rd, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, AU

                            1. re: cankles
                              katea Jul 17, 2007 11:33 PM

                              Very Similar to Harrys is Hannahs in Ultimo - chunky steak with dark peppery sauce. Now if you are driving, from Bowral to Kangaroo Valley, there is a little country store with a very big sign (and an even bigger queue on Sundays) claiming 'The worlds best meat pie'; they are home made, I have even driven two hourse from Sydney for one once, in fact........hmmmmmm

                              1. re: katea
                                cankles Jul 18, 2007 01:06 AM

                                Other people here might correct me if I'm wrong but I think Hannah's is the supplier to Harry's. They make a great pie.

                                1. re: cankles
                                  katea Jul 18, 2007 11:44 PM

                                  thankyou for solving this - my taste buds thought they were too similar!

                                  1. re: katea
                                    kmh Jul 19, 2007 12:24 AM

                                    their "websites" have a strinking similarity

                                2. re: katea
                                  eternalX Jul 18, 2007 12:41 PM

                                  I ended up at Hannah's and had the tiger pie. Was very good, though weird to think of pie as a walking on the street kind of food. Also, I believe Hannah is much cuter than Harry. :)

                                  1. re: eternalX
                                    kmh Jul 18, 2007 04:12 PM

                                    I imagine so. I think harry is dead!

                                    1. re: kmh
                                      cankles Jul 19, 2007 07:26 PM

                                      There's a great write up on wikipedia about the history:

                                      1. re: cankles
                                        kmh Jul 19, 2007 07:34 PM

                                        well done you pie-sleuth!

                                        1. re: kmh
                                          klyeoh Jul 20, 2009 05:30 PM

                                          I never miss having one of Harry's Cafe de Wheels bonzer pies everytime I'm in Sydney, whether buying one off the outlet in Haymarket or queuing up for one at 3am down at Woolloomooloo :-)


                                3. re: cankles
                                  gdaysydneysider Aug 4, 2009 12:37 AM

                                  a few pics of the infamous Harry's ...

                                4. re: kmh
                                  Nush Apr 27, 2011 04:27 AM

                                  Yep I second that- However if you have one during the day it 'justtt' doesn't do it for me like it does in those wee night hours when u get your cabbie to stop on yr way home - (how's that for pie addiction).
                                  there's a pie place in Denmark, WA. Can't remember the name of the place but it was the best I've tasted in oz. With the likes of a pie called 'vinda-roo' on the menu you're not stuck for choice. They've won awards..but after travelling thru oz it seems like most pie shops are 'award winning'.

                            2. kmh Jul 11, 2007 04:24 PM

                              cankles, you didn't tell us your best meat pie!

                              the bakery in scone (near aberdeen) has produced great pies for years and years. a must-stop place as you drive through (it's on the main road)

                              Bryant's pies in goulburn was another, but they have vanished after the bi-pass was built.

                              Harry's cafe de wheels also rates a mention - not necessarily the best in pie quality(although acceptable), but definitely a must-do experience on the pie trail.

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: kmh
                                purple goddess Jul 11, 2007 05:59 PM

                                The Aussie Pie Stop at Narre Warren does a better than average trad pie.. but has some really fabulous, inventive non-trad pies, such as crocodile or Indian lamb curry.

                                The even do a, **qu'elle horreur**, a floater.....

                                Sacrilege in Melbourne

                                Check out the menu: http://www.aussiepiestop.com.au/menu

                                pg, wandering off singing "football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars"

                                1. re: purple goddess
                                  kmh Jul 11, 2007 10:49 PM

                                  you forgot the hills hoist and vegemite in your song, or is that the second verse?

                                2. re: kmh
                                  cankles Jul 12, 2007 02:55 AM

                                  Bakeries in the country seem to produce Australia's finest. Though I did travel to Harry's this week for a cheeky pie. Will put it in my places in my next post

                                  1. re: cankles
                                    purple goddess Jul 12, 2007 05:15 PM

                                    The bakery in Bright seems to win a lot of awards with its pies... and the trip to Bright is just lovely, especially in Autumn.

                                    One place to avoid is our local bakery.. they make the dogiest meat pies ever... I'd go a Four 'N Twenty from the MCG, luke warm and expensive, before I'd buy a pie at Kerrie Road Bakery...

                                    Hell, I'd do a Black and Gold from Coles, before I'd eat another pie from there...

                                    1. re: purple goddess
                                      kmh Jul 12, 2007 08:54 PM

                                      I don't know if they still do them, but the countrylink dining car used to do a good pie (but I haven't done that trip for years now)

                                      1. re: kmh
                                        purple goddess Jul 12, 2007 09:04 PM

                                        I think a lot of the meat pie goodness is tied up with where it's consumed.

                                        Seriously, nothing better than a Four "N Twenty from the pie warmer at the "G", when St Kilda is CREAMING Essendon.. It wouldn't be a full footy experience without some of the boiling hot filling falling into your palm, or down your chin, sauce on yer footy scarf and crumbs in yer beanie!!

                                        But back to good pies... my beef with bakeries is that they don't pre-bake the pie crusts and they sit in a bain marie for hours and the bottoms get all soggy.

                                        A soggy bottom is a sure fire was of having the Ultimate Pie Disaster happen...

                                        The first bite squooches the filling through the soggy bottom and all over the front of your jacket.

                                        oh.. and the penultimate disaster is biting into a pie to find the middle of the filling still cold...


                                        1. re: purple goddess
                                          kmh Jul 13, 2007 12:55 AM

                                          aha, it was the kangaroos & holden cars that threw me off your track.

                                          couldn't agree with you more on all of your points, and yes part of the pie is in the experience - even an ordinary pie can be great in the right circumstances.

                                          the ultimate BEGINNERS pie disaster needs to be added to the above - biting into an extremely HOT pie and having the lava hot filling squirt onto your face/chin. OUCH!

                                          1. re: kmh
                                            tyrannosaurusjess Nov 29, 2009 10:16 PM

                                            This is easily avoided by eating pies using the jess method :)

                                            step 1: remove top of pie from base/filling
                                            step 2: cover the filling with tomato sauce and mix
                                            step 3: eat base of pie with the delicious tomato saucy filling
                                            step 4: eat the flakey pie top upside down with a small amount tomato sauce on top

                                            ok... i need a pie now

                                            (please someone tell me they eat pies like this. it gets odd looks, but it really is the best way!)

                                            oh, and on topic... I've never found a place that does consistently great pies in brisbane. Every time I think I've found THE place something goes wrong. the hunt continues!

                                            1. re: tyrannosaurusjess
                                              Jojo9 Feb 12, 2011 04:49 PM

                                              OMG Jess! That's exactly how I like to eat meat pies. You're right - I get odd looks, but I enjoy it so much that I don't care :)

                                              Anyone know of a good pie place in Canberra? There's a bakery in Fyshwick that does a nice pie (name escapes me - right near Canty's Books), but I can't go out there every time I have a craving.

                                              I've been told the bakery at Robertson has nice pies, but I only seem to go by when they're closed.

                                              1. re: Jojo9
                                                dgilks Apr 30, 2011 11:31 PM

                                                I think you are referring to Flute Bakery at Fyshwick. Also good is Crust at the Fyshwick Markets. Cornucopia in Braddon is good as well.

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