Pie Town, NM: As American As Apple Pie

Because it’s impossible to be sad with pie in your mouth, the first stop of our 2024 Summer Trip was in Pie Town, New Mexico. That’s right, I said Pie Town! Obviously, any great American Road Trip is all about the local food you find along the way.

This tiny town of 200 people has a big following, having been featured in Smithsonian Magazine, on CBS News Sunday Morning, and in a feature-length documentary called Pie Lady of Pie Town.

CBS Sunday Morning – 5 min. story

There are two place sto get pie in Pietown, and the Pie-O-Neer is perhaps the most well-known.

Our neighbor Matt casually asked one day, “Have you ever been to Pie Town?” Turns out his childhood friend, Paul Rader, had recently bought Pie Town’s Gathering Place, the town’s OTHER place to get great pie and cafe food. Now we REALLY needed to stop here and check it out!

Back in the 1920’s, The Gathering Place was a cafe, filling station and more, catering to the local ranchers and cowboys driving their herds through the area.

Located on the Continental Divide, today’s modern Pietown gets a lot of through-hikers making their way through the Western continental U.S., seeking a place to rest their weary feet and fill their bellies with, you know, pie, but also a full menu of lunch and dinner options. Paul gave us a tour, showing where he is busy remodeling to make it a fun place to hang out with yard games, a meat smoker, covered outdoor patio, and the like.

Pie Town was recently overrun with tourists making their way west to Texas for the solar eclipse, and the 100 or so pies they usually make in a day were gone by lunchtime each day. Lemon Chess. Black Forest. Coconut Buttermilk. Cherry Berry. New Mexico Apple. Mmmm, mmm!

Was the pie overpriced? It was … $14 for a small-ish, 2-serving pie. Was it scrumptious and worth every penny? Yes — also that. We have to give a nod to Sarah the flour-dusted pie baker, slaving away day and night to provide everyone with seratonin-enhancing deliciousness.

Pietown has exactly what you’d expect in the way of kitschy pie-related marketing, including an annual pie festival in September, and streets such as Custard Junction, Key Lime Lane, and Mudpie Road.

To be clear, this place celebrates “pie” and not “pi” … though the two are technically related. Pie is a circle, and no matter how big or small a circle, the irrational, unending number known as pi is commonly used to find the circumference of area of a circle, with the ratio always being 3.14159265….. Remember this on National Pi Day, which is March 14, or 3.14!

Beyond pie, there’s not much in Pie Town. We camped on BLM land just off the highway, south of Highway 60. We braved the jutted, bumpy road and were rewarded with camping that was free, isolated and serene.

So, the next time you have the urge to tell your boss “to shut his pie hole,” or your single girlfriend tells you it’s “pies before guys” or you fork into some Marie Callendar’s while standing over the kitchen sink, we hope you’ll think of Pie Town, New Mexico!


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