Chicago: Hoosier Mama Pie Shop

I woke up early, drove out of my way, and risked getting a parking ticket at a broken meter. I did it all to make sure I got to the Hoosier Mama Pie Shop before they ran out of pie. And I’d do it again. Pastry chef Paula Haney may have been running with the molecular gastronomy crowd when she was working alongside Grant Achatz at Trio, but here she’s gone country kitchen: gingham tablecloths, battered pie tins on the wall—the whole bit. And her pies are remarkable. The pear-apple-cranberry with walnut crumble is particularly addictive. Just as good are Haney’s scones, which are so delicate you get the impression that if you looked at them the wrong way they might shatter into crumbs. While eating one of those scones and drinking my coffee, I watched Haney and her team fill pie shells and tend to whirring mixers. It was only 8:30 in the morning, but they all had huge grins on their faces. And why not? It may be a bit hellish out in the world right now, but inside this pie shop you feel like you’re in the happiest place on Earth.

Hoosier Mama Pie Shop 1618 1/2 W. Chicago Ave. (312-243-4846;



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