Day Trips: Key Lime Pie Tour

Looking for America’s coolest summer pie at bakeries and restaurants around the area

Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

Key lime pie is a little bit of summer sunshine in a pie pan. The cool lime tartness evokes the feelings of a summer breeze. Recently I set out to sample as many versions as I could of the chilled dessert with a graham cracker crust. Like snowflakes, there are no two Key lime pies exactly alike.

Key West, Fla., rightly claims the origins of the creamy delight, but the recipe got to Texas as fast as it could. Over the last four months my family, friends, and I tried Key lime pie from 11 restaurants and bakeries. These are our five favorites. For the complete list go to

Three Brothers Bakery in Houston makes one of the best Key lime pies in America, according to the American Pie Council. It had too much white frosting, but the filling had a nice tartness.

Mrs. Bush's Pie Company in Canyon Lake was a nice discovery on my search. The small bakery makes a tasty Key lime pie that is lime green with a thin white frosting and a graham cracker crust.

Maxine's on Main in Bastrop makes a no-frills pie with a tartness that stays with you.

Bird Bakery in San Antonio and Dallas produces a Key lime dessert that is more like Mexican flan with a nutty crust, but it is sublime.

Luby's Cafeteria around the state makes the group's favorite Key lime pie. I even purchased a second one from the Texas-based company just to be sure. The pie has a little too much sweet frosting, but the lime green filling on a crushed chocolate cookie crust has a delicious balance of sweetness and tartness.

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Key lime pie, Key West, Three Brothers Bakery, Mrs. Bush's Pie Company, Maxine's, Bird Bakery, Luby's

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