Today’s guest blogger is Fiona Hilliard, if she’s not serving up tips about where to find the tastiest Aussie pies, she’ll be dishing up travel advice and news on The Glove Box blog and Argus Car Hire’s Facebook.
France has its baguettes, Italy has its pasta, but in Australia, they’ve got their… meat pies. Alongside the traditional barbie, the humble meat pie is the closest thing that Aussies get to a national dish. A good meat pie is a really cheap way to eat on the road and a handy takeaway if you’re one of those intrepid adventurers thinking about picking up Sydney car hire and heading out on a cross-country road trip. Hungry to learn more? Let the following suggestions guide you on a culinary tour of Australia’s finest cities.
Dinky-Di Pies & Pastries
When Sydney locals get all pie-eyed, they make a beeline for Dinky Di’s for a fix of delicious steak pie. Dreamt up by Frenchman Francois Cointrel, this chunkily filled meat pastry has been hitting the spot with the Sydney masses since 1992. Cynics needn’t worry about Cointrel’s non-aussie credentials – diners are in safe hands. Having originally trained as a pastry chef, his recipe gets the balance between light and buttery pastry and ‘not too peppery’ filling just right.
525 Old South Head Road, Rose Bay
Also: Bondi Junction, King Street Wharf, Surry Hills
The Upper Crust
If a pie shop has been on the go since 1948, you know it got something good going on. The range on offer is phenomenal, but your best bet is to keep it simple with a classic old school minced beef pie. Perfect if you’ve worked up an appetite at the nearby beach.
1003 Pittwater Road, Collaroy
Harry’s Cafe de Wheels
Any pie shop that takes its name from someone called Harry “Tiger” Edwards is worth a try. Originally a 1930’s pie stall, Harry’s was bought by Michael Hannah of ‘Hannah’s Pies’ fame in 1988. The Tiger’s robust beef, mushy pea, mash and gravy pie is so well-loved, it is now almost a Sydney tourist attraction in itself.
Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo
You can’t help but laugh out loud at Dinkum’s motto “if it’s brown it’s cooked, if it’s black it’s buggered”. The no-frills pie shop is famous for its dark and rich steak pies and light and buttery pastries. On a scale of one to ten, Dinkums is as Aussie as Crocodile Dundee.
29 Block Place, in the Block Arcade
Red Hill Bakery
Here you’ll find an impressive array of meat and posh gourmet pies including Duck and Wine, Rabbit and Pinot, Chicken and Chardonnay, Curried Goat and Lentils, Roasted Root Vegetable and Beef and Burgundy. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ll swoon over their melt-in-the-mouth apple strudel.
Red Hill, Victoria
Pie in the Sky
In recent years, this shop has won a string of awards, including 11 gold medals in the annual Great Aussie Meat Pie Competition. It’s not surprising – Pie in the Sky boasts a huge selection of pies favoured by all kinds of carnivores as well as a delicious spinach and feta cheese vegetarian option. The pies are dished up with a side of chips and salad if you dine-in or packaged in a paper bag if you’re eating on the go.
43 Olinda-Monbulk Road, Olinda
Pie Face may be a well-known chain, but what sets them apart from other franchises is the fact that they pride themselves on baking all of their gourmet offerings from scratch. Oh, and you can’t say they don’t offer service with a smile, all of their pies are topped with a cute hand-crafted ‘pie face’.
136 Queen St, Brisbane
Big Dad’s Pies
These pies do exactly what they say on the tin – they’re larger than your average hand-held pastry, meaning they’re perfect for when your appetite decides to channel ‘horse’. And in case you’ve got any room left, the shop does a nice line in dessert pastries too.
Opposite Ebbw Vale Railway Station, 33 Brisbane Road, Ebbw Vale
No need to ask, it’s always pie o’ clock at this shop. Don’t miss their ever-changing pie of the month which in the past has included hot and spicy Mexican pie. For those too lazy to grab a bottle of their own, there’s even a beer pie!
Spine St, Sumner
Do you want to eat all the pies? Book your hostels in Australia now!
Thanks to Denys T for the excellent images from FourSquare and Flickr. Please note, all images were used under the Creative Commons License at the time of posting.