If it feels as though the axis of history would crack from the weighty sadness of a world without pie, it might be because pie is delicious has been part of the Western diet since Medieval times. It didn’t even take a Renaissance for people to start pouring custards, puddings and creams into crusts. Maybe the Dark Ages weren’t quite as dark as we’ve been told… Banana cream pies didn’t become a thing in the U.S. until the 1880’s, when advances in transportation made it possible to import fruit from distant lands. The first recipe for banana cream pie appeared in 1880. They’ve come a long way in 135 years. The following list is some of the best that L.A. has to offer.
The Apple Pan
10801 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Nearly everyone that speaks of this dessert talks about it with praise. The fact that their banana cream pie is terrific is not surprising though as they serve over 6000 of them in a year. The banana cream pie at The Apple Pan feels as classic as this 68-year-old institution, consisting of a thin crust, creamy vanilla filling poured over ripe bananas, and finished with fresh whipped cream.
408 S Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
It’s been described “light as air” and “a pastry tour de force.” At a restaurant where the food is consistently praised by critics, many people come just for this dessert while others find room, long passed fullness, in order to fit it into their meal. The Bäco Mercat banana cream pie starts with a bowl of puff pastry lightly lined with caramel. A cloud of banana cream is poured in, and shrouded with a topping of fluffy cream. A sprinkling of cocoa powder rests ontop.
11700 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Featuring a live jazz band each night of the week, Bandera in Brentwood is the ideal location to grab a drink with friends, enjoy a romantic dinner, or just come for the desserts. The banana cream pie at Bandera is arguably one of the best banana cream pie’s in the city. With rich vanilla cream custard, garnished with chunks of whole banana, topped with whipped cream and crushed chocolate, then drizzled with semi-bitter caramel, it’s something you won’t want to miss out on after snacking on their terrific dinner menu.
Brite Spot Diner
1918 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Brite Spot Diner has been serving fine food to the fine folk of Echo Park since 1949. In a town like Los Angeles, where tastes and trends are as ephemeral as “it” quality, that’s really saying something. The food here is consistent across-the-board, but their award-winning pies are true stand-outs. The banana cream pie starts with a flaky, buttery crust, coated with a chocolate-caramel glaze. They then add an amazing nine fresh bananas, and pile on a thick swath of vanilla pastry filling and a veritable mountain of whipped cream. The whole thing is dusted with Oreo cookie crumbs. It’s so good, Brite Spot is even worth traveling to from the Westside.
1751 Ensley Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90024
The pastry case at Clementine has a powerful siren song, and we would happily get stranded on a deserted island with any of these desserts, any day of the week. The Clementine banana cream pie is an edible trip down memory lane, recalling the beloved vanilla pudding and Nilla wafers we loved so much when we were young. Here, the vanilla pudding is accented with creme fraiche and blended with an entire banana. A thick dollop of whipped cream is the perfect finish.
Coral Tree Cafe
11645 San Vicente Blvd
Brentwood, CA 90049
Light as air, anchored to earth with a crumbly shortbread crust and the thinnest of almond shavings, the banana cream pie at Coral Tree Cafe is as ethereal as its slender, industry-type patrons. The pies are packed with a blissful amount of banana, shining through in every creamy bite. Sliced fruit is heaped with vanilla cream, and the whole thing is piled high with homemade whip and a drizzle of chocolate and scattered almond slices.
House of Pies
1869 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
At an establishment named “House of Pies,” it should come as no surprise that the pies are some of the best in town. On any given day, House of Pies churns out about forty different flavors of pie. They aren’t just a house of pie, they’re more like a high-rise condominium of pie. Good thing they’re all great. The House of Pies banana cream pie is an old faithful – flaky crust, thick chunks of moist banana, vanilla custard and mouthfuls of whipped cream.
8225 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
“The banana cream pie will change your life.” This is only one of the accolades we’ve heard about Suzanne Tracht’s singular banana cream pie at Jar. A rich, creamy classic, it’s undoubtedly superior to any of the bygone pies it recalls. This is the kind of banana cream pie a modern-day Don Draper would order, in the type of steakhouse he would spend his time. Buttery pie shells are painted with a generous layer of impossibly smooth vanilla cream, then filled with mounds of sliced bananas. More cream is added over the fruit, and the dessert is topped with whipped cream and ribbons of rich caramel sauce.
Simplethings Sandwich and Pie Shop
8310 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Simplethings, as the name may imply, breaks it all down to, well, the simple things. Sandwiches, salads, pies – both sweet and savory – are on offer here. Aside from their delicious salted caramel and banana dessert with all its smooth, salty, and sweet goodness, they serve a great banana pie that is served on Saturday’s and is more than worth the visit. Make sure to call the shop, too, as their schedule is always changing, and you may just get lucky and score one of these deliciious pies on other days also!
7122 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Susina Bakery has been a go-to for sweet-toothed Los Angelenos for almost 15 years. The walls are lined with a beautiful assortment of tins and jars and boxes of delectables from near and far, and their pastry case is nothing short of an exercise in restraint. Their inimitable banana cream pie comes in a shortbread crust lined with chocolate and handmade caramel. A blanket of banana pastry cream comes next, followed by two whole bananas, fresh whip and chocolate shavings.