National Pie Day is March 14 and allows everyone to take a little cheat day from their diets in order to indulge in a slice (or two) of sweet, berry-filled desserts surrounded by traditional buttery and flaky crusts. With Sacramento ranking as the farm to fork capital in the nation, what’s not to like about the abundance of berries, stone fruit and freshly picked apples and citrus that make up some of Sacramento bakeries’ best-selling menu items? So, peruse this list of best local establishments that will comfort and delight any sweet tooth with slivers of fresh-baked, hand-kneaded goodness.
Ikeda’s California Country Market
13500 Lincoln Way
Auburn, CA 95603
(530) 885-4243
www.ikedas.comStarting in the early morning hours at 4 a.m., the team at Ikeda’s begins baking pies, cookies, and coffee cakes, among other deliciously baked goods. The family-owned and operated country market, orchard farm and bakery started with Sam and Sally Ikeda, and eventually sons Glen and Steve took over the family business now with two locations in Auburn and in Davis. The Ikeda’s grow the fruit that’s baked into every pie they sell and up to 15 different pies are offered on the menu on any given day. Flavors range seasonally and include apple, marionberry, razzleberry, pecan, wild blackberry, pumpkin, apricot and more.

Rick’s Dessert Diner
2401 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 444-0969
www.ricksdessertdiner.comCakes, tortes, tarts, and even fluffy pastries, Rick’s Dessert Diner showcases more than 285 varieties of European and American sweet treats. But, one menu item the ’50s-style diner does often and very well is pies. From classic coconut and banana cream pies to apple, nectarine, raspberry and dozens of seasonal fresh fruit varieties, drop a quarter in the retro diner’s jukebox and get lost in every bite your sweet tooth can handle. Be sure to try the old fashioned buttermilk pie, a slice of creamy, delicate southern-inspired heaven with simple ingredients like buttermilk egg custard spiced with a hint of nutmeg and lemon. Simply delicious.

Freeport Bakery
2966 Freeport Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 442-4256
www.freeportbakery.comAs president of the Retail Bakers of America, there’s no question that Freeport Bakery co-owner, Marlene Goetzeler, is passionate about baking—and pies. Her quaint little bakery, which she co-owns with husband Walter, is nestled in the Curtis Park neighborhood and has served the community for almost 30 years. Freeport Bakery offers traditional challah bread baked from scratch twice a week on Fridays and Saturdays, moist chocolate cupcakes with rainbow sprinkles, and endless rows of cookie varieties, but this neighborhood bakery’s most popular item is its peach olallieberry pie. The two fruits complement each other very well in this dessert with a pinch of cinnamon, traditional pie crust, and crumble topping.

RelatedAsk A Sacramento Expert: 5 Best Nutella Recipes

Sam’s Hof Brau
2500 Watt Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95821
(916) 482-2175
www.thehofbrau.comWith a daily piping hot menu that never changes and is always on the more savory side with an abundance of hand-sliced, oven roasted turkey, prime rib and tri-tip dinners, Sam’s Hof Brau wouldn’t be the first place that comes to mind when dessert is on the brain. Yet, despite its meatier menu items, a visit to Sam’s is a sweet surprise when it comes to pie cravings. The almost 60-year-old establishment also has an old-fashioned glass dessert counter with rows of fresh-baked pies in just about every flavor imaginable. Served by the slice, customers dare choose between lemon meringue, blackberry or cherry, coconut, banana or chocolate cream, all with traditional buttery crusts. Hint: Try the chocolate cream pie with its thick layer of whipped topping and chocolate pudding filling.

RelatedBest Places to Buy Cookies in Sacramento

Ettore’s European Bakery & Restaurant
2376 Fair Oaks Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95825
(916) 482-0708
www.ettores.comBrownies, salted caramel tarts, lemon bars, Napoleons…the list continues one sweet pastry at a time when eyeing the dessert menu at Ettore’s. But we’re here for the pies. Pecan pie that doesn’t skimp on the balance between sweet and salty, pumpkin pie that’s rich in flavor and topped with a “sugar dough cookie,” the creativity behind these old-fashioned confections is uncanny. Try the European apple tart, a flaky pie crust filled with fresh apples and cranberries, known as Ettore’s European take on a traditional American apple pie.

I’m Steph and I enjoy writing about every topic imaginable: hard-hitting news, fun profiles on eccentric artists, music features about the loudest band in town, food-related content that tickles the appetite, in-depth audio interviews with award-winning authors, and more. I’m an award-winning freelance journalist living in Sacramento, Calif. with my partner, David, and our one-year-old son, Elliot.