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Evan Sung
Evan Sung

The Best Vegetarian Restaurant in All 50 States

Evan Sung
Evan Sung

If "vegetarian cuisine" conjures images of flavorless tofu slabs and rubbery meat substitutes, you’ve been led astray. Stop by one of these 50 vegetarian restaurants from across the country to learn just how vibrant (and filling!) a meatless diet can be.

1. ALABAMA // EVE’S GARDEN

Location: Dothan, Alabama

When chef Kerry Brownlee opened Eve's Garden in Dothan, Alabama, three years ago, it functioned as a raw food take-out prep kitchen, with customers stopping by weekly to pick up their prepared foods. But once the public became hip to Brownlee's creative approach to vegan, mostly raw "cooking," it evolved into a full-service café. "It’s kind of grown with the needs of the public, basically," Brownless told the Dothan Eagle in 2016. The menu changes frequently in order to make the most of seasonal ingredients, but patrons always love her take on Mexican standbys like nachos, enchiladas, and tacos.

2. ALASKA // PITA PLACE

Location: Fairbanks, Alaska

Alaska’s cold climes are to thank for the popularity of such hearty regional dishes as reindeer dogs and caribou chili, but Fairbanks’s Pita Place proves that vegetarian cuisine can be just as satisfying. The seasonal Middle Eastern eatery serves up homemade falafel (order it spicy!), spreads, and pita bread baked on-premises daily. Wash down your meal with a cup of Turkish coffee and a side of walnut baklava.

3. ARIZONA // DESERT ROOTS KITCHEN

Location: Tempe, Arizona

kale salad at desert roots
Yelp, Hannah M.

The menu changes daily at this vegan café, which specializes in global cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients. One day it's Tandoori chickpeas with brown rice, the next it's dill thyme pasta with peas. Desert Roots Kitchen also offers inventive breakfast dishes and indulgent snacks. Fancy an apple cinnamon banana cupcake with coconut peanut butter glaze?

4. ARKANSAS // THE ROOT CAFÉ

Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

Although it's not strictly vegetarian, The Root offers an abundance of meat-free dishes, like the shiitake mushroom burger (made with locally sourced shiitakes, of course), spiced pecan salad, and a house salad made with feta cheese from nearby White River Creamery. The breakfast menu is no slouch, either, and offers up what might be the toughest choice of your day: eggs banh mi or tofu scrambler?

5. CALIFORNIA // GREENS

Location: San Francisco, California

sampler platter at greens restaurant
Yelp, Quyen N.

In a state chock full of vegan and vegetarian restaurants, the nod goes to a pioneer of vegetarian cuisine and the farm-to-table movement. Since 1979, Greens has been plating fresh, locally sourced dishes, including many grown on the restaurant’s own Green Gulch Farm. The classic spot continues to innovate, with options like wild mushroom shepherd’s pie and huckleberry upside down cake with Meyer lemon earning rave reviews. Even if the fare doesn’t entice you, go for the view, which overlooks the San Francisco Marina and the Golden Gate Bridge.

6. COLORADO // WATERCOURSE FOODS

Location: Denver, Colorado

"Vegan comfort food" is how this Denver establishment bills itself. And with dishes like the barbecue pulled jackfruit sandwich and mac and cheese made with cashew cheddar cheese sauce, it's no wonder. Open since 1998, Watercourse prides itself on pleasing even the most meat-loving, I’ll-never-eat-vegan customers. Burger aficionados might be surprised at just how tasty grilled seitan and tofu bacon can be.

7. CONNECTICUT // 21 OAK

Location: Manchester, Connecticut

Back in 2011, chef Shawn Dickensheets competed on Food Network’s "Chopped!" and was eliminated for botching Brussels sprouts. So it's only fitting that he achieve culinary catharsis with a vegetarian restaurant that’s earning high praise in the Constitution State. Bold flavors and global cuisine takes center stage at 21 Oak, which features a rotating lineup of entrees like coconut curried tofu and baked eggplant Florentine. There are also plant-based recreations of classic dishes like French onion soup, chili, and pot roast.

8. DELAWARE // DROP SQUAD KITCHEN

Location: Newark, Delaware

From vegetarian jerk "ChickUn" to meatless, sauce-slathered spare ribs, Drop Squad Kitchen serves up an alternative take on some choice southern favorites. Chef Abundance Child, who grew up cooking soul food, has also made room for salads and smoothies, including a chocolate, banana, coconut, and almond concoction simply called "God." Quite a name, but if customer reviews are any indication, it lives up to the hype.

9. FLORIDA // DANDELION COMMUNITEA CAFÉ

Location: Orlando, Florida

Located in a century-old house with a spacious patio where workers maintain an edible garden, it's no wonder this establishment feels like home to so many customers. Dandelion serves up hearty bowls of chili made with tempeh, kidney beans, corn, and peppers, along with some indulgent favorites like vegetarian nachos and buffalo wings. As the name implies, there are numerous tea selections available, from herbal to kombucha.

10. GEORGIA // SOUL VEGETARIAN NO. 2

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

The words "vegetarian" and "barbecue" rarely occupy the same sentence. But the chefs at Soul Vegetarian No. 2 are proving that southern staples don’t need to be high in cholesterol to be comforting. In place of meat, this Atlanta restaurant makes tofu, cauliflower steaks, and "kalebone"—their signature protein made from wheat gluten and spices—the stars of the show. The sides are just as delectable as the meatless mains, with collard greens, cornbread, and macaroni and cheese rounding out the soul food menu. The dessert section includes dairy-free ice cream for vegans.

11. HAWAII // 'AI LOVE NALO

Location: Waimanalo, Hawaii


Yelp, Cristy S.

From the moment guests pull into the parking lot, 'Ai Love Nalo challenges their perceptions. The restaurant is located in a converted gas station, but the chefs inside the kitchen aren’t serving typical roadside fare. The menu, which features a falafel burger, a BBQ Portobello sandwich, and a salad sprinkled with "coco-bacon," is 100 percent plant-based. In addition to their international offerings, 'Ai Love Nalo sells local Hawaiian specialties. Instead of filling luau leaves with pork to make Laulau, they fill theirs with slow-cooked vegetables. Their vegan "poke" swaps out tuna for tofu.

12. IDAHO // SHANGRI-LA TEA ROOM AND VEGETARIAN CAFE

Location: Boise, Idaho

The Shangri-La Tea Room takes inspiration from many different cuisines to create a vegetarian menu that’s wholly satisfying. Diners can order a Caprese pizza, a curry wrap, mushroom miso soup, or even a mock "toona" sandwich made with vegan ingredients. As the name suggests, the establishment also offers a wide selection of herbal and bubble teas to sip with your meal.

13. ILLINOIS // THE CHICAGO DINER

Location: Chicago, Illinois

In a lot of ways, the Chicago Diner is your typical Midwestern greasy spoon. They serve wings, nachos, moussaka, and even pierogi quesadillas—and it's all vegetarian. As their slogan reads, the restaurant has been "meat-free since '83." In dishes like the country-fried steak and the Reuben sandwich they use seitan in place of animal products. And like any decent all-American diner, they offer a full menu of (vegan) milkshakes.

14. INDIANA // THE OWLERY

Location: Bloomington, Indiana

The college town of Bloomington is naturally home to one of the hippest vegetarian spots in the state. The Owlery offers a wide selection of craft beers and vegetarian grub for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Highlights from the menu include the tofu fish taco and the Philly cheesesteak made with grilled seitan. The restaurant is also home to a vegan bakery that serves cookies, cupcakes, and muffins by the dozen.

15. IOWA // TRUMPET BLOSSOM CAFE

Location: Iowa City, Iowa


Yelp, Gia G.

The vegetarian specialties at this cafe don’t skimp on flavor. For dinner, guests have their choice of spicy peanut pasta, maple-mustard tempeh, and mushrooms braised in a tomato red-wine sauce. The Trumpet Blossom’s Rachel Wrap with egg salad-style tofu and herb aioli is a favorite at lunchtime. After ordering a meal made with organic, locally grown ingredients, don’t forget to treat yourself to one of their signature cocktails.

16. KANSAS // THE BREAKFAST CLUB

Location: Lawrence, Kansas

The Breakfast Club is located in the Ecumenical Campus Ministries building at the University of Kansas, but it doesn't just cater to students. The cafe, independently run by a mother-daughter team, is the place to go for fresh vegan fare in the Lawrence area. From 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday, diners can order black bean hash, biscuits and gravy with seitan sausage, and even pizza.

17. KENTUCKY // ROOTS, HEART & SOY

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

heart and soy
Heart and Soy

Roots and Heart & Soy offer two different options for all-vegetarian Asian cuisine in the same building (the restaurants share an owner). Roots is an upscale, sit-down restaurant that serves up Asian-fusion tapas like a Caprese salad with tea-infused balsamic vinaigrette, summer rolls with veggie ham and tamarind sauce, and curry-braised beets. Heart & Soy offers quicker fare, including noodles, pho, and curry. The highlight of both the menus, though, is the tofu: Heart & Soy claims to house Kentucky’s only tofu manufacturing machine, and it makes all its tofu and soy milk in-house. You can try turmeric tofu, lemongrass tofu, five-spice tofu, and more.

18. LOUISIANA // SEED

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

Seed makes it easy to enjoy some of New Orleans’s best cuisine while staying meat free. Instead of fried chicken, they've got southern-fried tofu nuggets, which they serve with waffles at brunch. Instead of sausage or shrimp po' boys, they've got eggplant and fried tofu versions; instead of crab cakes, they have artichoke cakes. They've also got vegan gumbo, barbecue sandwiches that feature house-made seitan, and zucchini wraps with creole cashew cheese. Don’t forget to grab a beignet or one of their raw desserts before you go.

19. MAINE // CHASE'S DAILY

Location: Belfast, Maine

At Chase's Daily, you can be certain that the vegetables are fresh. The restaurant, produce stand, and bakery, founded in 2000, sources its veggies from the Chases’ family farm in the nearby town of Freedom. The kitchen only serves dinner on Fridays, but it’s great for lunch during the week and breakfast and brunch on the weekends. For lunch, try to get there just before 11 a.m., when the produce arrives fresh from the farm—you’ll have plenty of competition for a table. The menu changes daily, but you can expect killer pizzas, tempeh banh mi, curry fried rice, and on the weekends, breakfast burritos.

20. MARYLAND // THE LAND OF KUSH

Location: Baltimore, Maryland


Yelp, Sam T.

The tagline for the vegan soul food eatery Land of Kush is "you won’t believe it's veggie," and it lives up to the promise. It serves up the best vegan crab cakes in the city, according to the Baltimore City Paper, which in 2015 declared that none of the city’s other vegan options "come as close to replicating the original taste of crab as The Land of Kush does." They’ve got vegan versions of barbecue ribs, chicken drumsticks, and more. To get the full experience, go on the weekends, when they serve their famous crab cakes and vegan drummies.

21. MASSACHUSETTS // VEGGIE GALAXY

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

If all-day tempeh bacon is your thing, Veggie Galaxy is your place. Like most diners, this Cambridge staple has an extensive menu and serves breakfast all day, but it just happens to be nationally recognized as one of the best all-vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the U.S. If breakfast food isn’t your thing, Veggie Galaxy also serves up five different types of veggie burgers, as well as a rotating list of blue-plate specials. Plus, there’s an in-house vegan bakery as well, which churns out cakes, pies, and on the weekends, vegan doughnuts.

22. MICHIGAN // SEVA

Location: Ann Arbor and Detroit, Michigan

This Michigan staple has been serving the Ann Arbor area since 1973 and expanded to Detroit in 2011. Both Seva locations serve an all-vegetarian menu that mixes naturally meatless entrees—like goat-cheese ravioli and baked mac and cheese—with inventive soy-based dishes like poutine with vegetarian sausage, chicken-fried tofu, and a veggie take on the BLT that substitutes chargrilled tempeh for bacon. Most of the menu items include options for vegan substitutes like almond cheese and dairy-free salad dressings. Tip: Go with the General Tso’s cauliflower, which is lightly fried in tempura batter and topped with sweet-and-sour chili sauce.

23. MINNESOTA // HARD TIMES CAFE

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

This collectively owned restaurant is beloved by many a Minnesotan, even the carnivorous ones. Locals rave about the dishes at Hard Times—especially the huge portions for low prices—but the vegan biscuits and gravy tops a number of lists. If you stop by, be prepared to pay cash only, and don’t expect any frills.

24. MISSISSIPPI // HIGH NOON CAFE

Location: Jackson, Mississippi

High Noon Cafe in Jackson does good ol’ Southern comfort food, vegan and vegetarian style. Fans know to hit High Noon for lunch on Fridays, which is when they serve their signature seaside cakes made from tofu, onion, seaweed and Panko. Word has it that they taste better than the crab cakes they’re imitating.

25. MISSOURI // CAFE GRATITUDE

Location: Kansas City, Missouri

If you’re in need of a pick-me-up, you’ll love the Gratitude Cafe for more reasons than just the food. Not only does the diverse menu get top marks, each item is also identified by a positive descriptor, like "Fabulous" (a raw lasagna with veggies, pesto, and cashew ricotta cheese) or "Magical" (a veggie burger on whole wheat with hummus). When the server delivers the dishes to the table, she matches the person to the dish by declaring, "You are Fabulous," or "You are Magical." Great food and an ego boost? Yes, please.

26. MONTANA // WHEATGRASS SALOON

Location: Livingston, Montana

Southwestern Montana isn’t exactly the vegan capital of the world, but that won’t matter when you walk into Wheatgrass Saloon. With cold press juices, quinoa bowls, kelp and squash Thai noodles and more, Wheatgrass is teaching local meat-eaters a thing or two about how delicious a vegan diet can be. Bonus: They’re also home to an eco-boutique filled with regionally sourced jewelry, crafts, lotions, candles, chocolates, and coffee.

27. NEBRASKA // MODERN LOVE

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Modern Love describes itself as "swanky vegetarian comfort food," and Omahans seem to agree, adding "genius," "phenomenal," and "scrumptious" to the list of adjectives. Mac and ‘Shews is a popular choice, and people can’t seem to figure out what sorcery the chefs are using to get the non-dairy whipped cream to taste so good.

28. NEVADA // VEGENATION

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

save the tuna roll at vegenation
Yelp, Ardie Y.

Vegan chicken and waffles is a thing, and it's an incredibly delicious thing at Vegas’s VegeNation. Their Save The Tuna sushi roll is another favorite menu staple, but for those with ever-changing palates, VegeNation offers limited-time-only "Pop Up" dishes, like bacon kimchi grilled cheese and sweet potato ravioli.

29. NEW HAMPSHIRE // GREEN ELEPHANT

Location: Portsmouth, New Hampshire

The Thai-inspired menu at Green Elephant is a haven for vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters alike. The Thai Ginger Noodles and the Pad Thai are always good, but the real show-stopper is dessert: The fried bananas with coconut ice cream is a can’t-miss.

30. NEW JERSEY // FROM SEED TO SPROUT

Location: Avon-by-the-Sea, New Jersey

Vacationing on the Jersey Shore and need to detox from all that pizza, fried seafood, and funnel cake? Visit Seed to Sprout, the vegan/organic eatery run by locals Cara Pescatore and Alex Mazzucca. The two first opened Seed to Sprout in 2012, in Avon-by-the-Sea, New Jersey. Since then, the business has expanded to include a second location in Fair Haven; a brand-new vegan bakery in Wanamassa; and in-house services like cooking classes, custom-order cakes, and meal takeout and delivery programs.

31. NEW MEXICO // ANNAPURNA’S WORLD VEGETARIAN CAFÉ

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

For a taste of the Far East, head to Annapurna’s World Vegetarian Café. The vegan/organic restaurant chain serves authentic Indian dishes, but customers looking for all-American veggie grub can also order baked goods, brunch staples like pancakes or tofu scramble, and veggie burgers [PDF]. Annapurna’s first location opened in Albuquerque in 2002; since then, the chain has grown to include two other local outposts, and a fourth in Santa Fe.

32. NEW YORK // DIRT CANDY

Location: New York, New York

chocolate onion tart at dirt candy
Evan Sung

Dirt Candy began as a humble East Village hole-in-the-wall, but the restaurant grew such deep roots in New York City’s culinary scene that in 2015, owner and chef Amanda Cohen "replanted" her eatery inside a larger neighborhood storefront. From deep-fried broccoli florets to a chocolate-onion tart, Dirt Candy reinvents vegetable-based dishes while celebrating them.

33. NORTH CAROLINA // PLANT

Location: Asheville, North Carolina

Looking for fine vegetarian dining in the Barbecue Belt? Try Plant, an Asheville-based outpost that serves high-end vegan and vegetarian fare. Entrees like Indian-themed dishes, portobello "steaks," and fried plantains are served along with craft cocktails, biodynamic wines, and regionally brewed beers.

34. NORTH DAKOTA // GREEN HOUSE CAFÉ

Location: Fargo, North Dakota

In 2016, North Dakota got its first-ever vegan restaurant: The Green House Café, in downtown Fargo. Customers can enjoy veggie-friendly staples like brown rice bowls and fruit smoothies, or satisfy their cravings with “BBQ” sandwiches, vegan macaroni and cheese, creamy desserts, and other decadent dishes.

35. OHIO // THE ANGRY BAKER

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Vegetarians and carnivores alike can freely indulge at The Angry Baker. The Columbus-based restaurant’s two locations are known for creative, veggie-friendly offerings like "barbecue” sandwiches and tacos made from meaty jackfruit, but select sandwiches do contain meat.

36. OKLAHOMA // THE RED CUP CAFÉ

Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Caffeine addicts and vegetarians alike should feel at home while visiting Oklahoma’s Red Cup Café. Standout offerings include coffee drinks like the "Sexi Mexi" (espresso, steamed milk, and chocolate, cayenne, and cinnamon), vegetable "jambalaya," and biscuits paired with plant-based sausage gravy.

37. OREGON // BLOSSOMING LOTUS

Location: Portland, Oregon

blossoming lotus
Yelp, Joshua C.

Everyone perusing the Blossoming Lotus menu will spot their mission statement of providing organic, healthy options the restaurant describes as "live." That doesn’t mean you’ll need to get combative with your food, though: "live" simply indicates raw and unprocessed, as in the case of their "live pecan pie." The lunch options are served all day beginning at 7:30 a.m., just in case a craving for their lentil-walnut burger starts early.

38. PENNSYLVANIA // VEDGE

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philly vegans have gone wild for Vedge and chef Rich Landau’s twists on classic staples. The lasagna, which uses tofu to mimic ricotta cheese, is a popular menu item. So is a breakfast scramble with broccoli rabe and a trademark dish of roasted carrots served with sauerkraut hummus, which is said to be as delicious as the Reuben it's replicating. If anyone can make Philly something other than a cheesesteak town, it's Landau.

39. RHODE ISLAND // THE GRANGE

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Variety blossoms at the Grange, where visitors can get their fix in every category from brunch (try the Black Eye Pea Burger or "Chicken-Fried" Seitan Waffles with spicy maple syrup) to cocktails to desserts (like the Orange Vanilla Cheesecake). For a bar food fix, try the General Tso tacos made with seitan.

40. SOUTH CAROLINA // LAMB'S BREAD

Location: Columbia, South Carolina

Craving a Philly-style cheesesteak without the steak? Lamb's Bead offers a vegan replica with mock soy pepper steak; burger lovers can grab a house special loaded with condiments on organic nut and oat bread. Other takes on comfort classics like spare ribs and mac 'n cheese are also served up. Regulars might suggest the spicy Kung Po "chicken." Take them up on it.

41. SOUTH DAKOTA // SANAA'S

Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

You might not think their reputation for being the “beef state” leaves a lot of vegetarian options, but South Dakota can satisfy those appetites. Sanaa’s started out as half vegetarian but has since morphed into a mostly-veg menu highlighted by the vegetarian kibbeh, with bulgur patties and potato. The bad news: You’ll only find lunch here, but the vegan-curious will enjoy the Friday night buffet that lets you sample a little of everything.

42. TENNESSEE // THE WILD COW

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

sandwich at the wild cow
Yelp, Denise P.

Local farms source most of this Nashville staple’s menu, and diners rave about their perfectly seasoned and prepared kale options. The Wild Cow is also home to black bean and sweet potato tacos and the Carrot Dawg, a carrot-based hot dog alternative.

43. TEXAS // COSMIC CAFÉ

Location: Dallas, Texas

Spicy, stir-fried Indian cuisine is fused with a little spiritual guidance at the Cosmic, which hosts meditation and yoga classes in addition to a world-class menu. Try the Bombay Sage, with lentils rolled in flour tortillas, or the Dharma Bell, a bell pepper full of potatoes, rice, and possibly a little enlightenment.

44. UTAH // SAGE'S CAFE

Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

If you find yourself passing through Salt Lake City, Sage’s Café is the place to go. Just 10 minutes from the airport and 25 from Park City, this beloved eatery offers organic and locally farmed foods. The café is a regular feature on best restaurant lists for both the city and the state, and the menu is completely vegetarian, offering meat-free and vegan twists on classics like tacos, stir-fry, and stroganoff.

45. VERMONT // PINGALA CAFÉ & EATERY

Location: Burlington, Vermont

avocado toast at pingala cafe
Pingala Cafe

You know a vegan restaurant is good when even diehard carnivores can’t get enough. Yoga-mat-bearing hipsters and meat-and-potato types alike line up for Pingala Café & Eatery’s delectable smoothies, sandwiches, and baked goods, many of which are also gluten-free. For scenic charm, you can’t beat the ambience, either; the homey café is run out of an airy old mill overlooking the Wnooski River.

46. VIRGINIA // SUNFLOWER VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT

Location: Vienna and Falls Church, Virginia

If you’re looking for a vegetarian restaurant endorsement, you can’t do much better than Buddhist monks. A large party of the Dalai Lama’s disciples dined at Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant in 2011, and the place has been beaming ever since. The spot's Japanese, Chinese, and continental fare is also regularly named some of the best in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

47. WASHINGTON // CAFÉ FLORA

Location: Seattle, Washington

In a city with a lot of competition, Café Flora shines. The city’s favorite meat-free restaurant serves up beautiful, rich meals like tortillas and cheesy mashed potatoes, black bean stew, and smoky braised greens. The harvest lasagna, made with roasted butternut squash and tomato fennel sauce, is another winner. Or show up for brunch and tuck in to blood orange ginger waffles, inventive cocktails, and biscuits and gravy.

48. WEST VIRGINIA // THE WILD BEAN

Location: Lewisville, West Virginia

There’s something to be said for the simple pleasure of a really good, conscience-friendly cup of coffee and a muffin. Coffee offerings at Lewisville’s Wild Bean include organic, fair trade, rainforest- and bird-friendly selections for every java lover’s palate, and their fresh baked goods, savory wraps, and burgers are worth a trip all on their own.

49. WISCONSIN // CAFÉ MANNA

Location: Brookfield, Wisconsin

Not content with serving fresh, sustainable, locally grown food, the owners of Café Manna run one of the greenest restaurants around. Take-out containers are compostable, fixtures are recycled. The café itself is made of eco-friendly materials like bamboo and recycled paper. The café even offers vegetarian and vegan cooking classes on the weekends.

50. WYOMING // SWEET MELISSA

Location: Laramie, Wyoming

Vegetarian options are few and far between in Wyoming, but you wouldn’t know it from the flavorful, delicious food at Sweet Melissa's, where the cooks and wait staff are always eager to please. They’re doing a fine job, too; one Yelp reviewer called it "a nice little shop serving heath conscious and veggie/vegan friendly food in a town full of meat and cowboys."

By Stacy Conradt, Michele Debczak, Shaunacy Ferro, Kate Horowitz, Jake Rossen, Abbey Stone, and Jeff Wells.

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Food
The Best Apple Pie From All 50 States
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iStock

There are few things better than a slice of warm apple pie. Here's a roundup of the top pies from every state, whether you prefer yours à la mode, à la carte, or à la delivery.

1. ALABAMA // PIE LAB

Pie Lab sign

Location: Greensboro, Alabama

At the Pie Lab in Alabama, baker Kelley Whatley mixes pecans into her apple filling to give the dessert an unexpected crunch. Her pies are good for the soul in more ways than one: All profits from the bakery are donated to a local charity organization that provides resources to the homeless.

2. ALASKA // TALKEETNA ROADHOUSE

The exterior of the Roadhouse.
mazaletel, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Location: Talkeetna, Alaska

Somewhere between Anchorage and Denali National Park, a combination diner-hostel in the town of Talkeetna is serving up the best apple pie in the state. When the Talkeetna Roadhouse first opened in the early 20th century, they loaded up their horse and buggy with baked goods to bring to miners and trappers in the hills nearby. Today you’ll have to sit inside the actual restaurant for a taste of their apple pie. The item is so popular that the roadhouse even offers pie-making classes October through March.

3. ARIZONA // APPLE ANNIE’S

Apple crumb pie from Apple Annie's orchard.
Jessica Spengler, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Location: Willcox, Arizona

The award-winning pies offered at Apple Annie’s are made with fresh, hand-peeled apples harvested from the family-run farm. After indulging in one of their homemade baked goods, visitors can roam the orchards and pick their own peaches, pears, and apples to take home.

4. ARKANSAS // MS. LENA’S

sour cream apple pie from Ms. Lena's
Courtesy of Ms. Lena's

Location: De Valls Bluff, Arkansas

If you pass by this roadside gem when it’s open on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, it’s worth making a pit stop. One of Ms. Lena's recurring specialties is a tangy, sour cream apple pie served inside a crispy crust.

5. CALIFORNIA // APPLE ALLEY BAKERY

A close up of red apples.
iStock

Location: Julian, California

In a town that prides itself in being one of America’s premier pie destinations, Apple Alley Bakery is a local favorite. Their caramel apple pecan pie is topped with a healthy swirl of caramel and a sprinkling of crushed nuts. We recommend eating this with an extra napkin or two.

6. COLORADO // GRANNY SCOTT’S PIE SHOP

Caramel apple pie from Granny Scott's Pie Shop.
Courtesy of Granny Scott's Pie Shop.

Location: Lakewood, Colorado

Granny Scott’s Pie Shop offers as many as 25 different pie varieties on any given day. Their caramel apple is a standout—made with Granny Smith apples and European caramel, it took first prize at the National Pie Championships.

7. CONNECTICUT // ORONOQUE FARMS

Oronoque Farms apple pie
Courtesy of Oronoque Farms

Location: Shelton, Connecticut

Oronoque Farms got its start in 1949 as a humble stand selling pies on the side of the road. They’ve since grown into a full-blown bakery that uses fruit harvested from local orchards, including their own. Their classic apple pie was voted best in the state by Connecticut magazine.

8. DELAWARE // ARNER’S

French apple pie from Arner's Restaurant and Bakery
Courtesy of Arner's Restaurant and Bakery

Location: New Castle, Delaware

Arner’s Restaurant and Bakery has not one but three varieties of apple pie on their menu (four if you count the apple walnut cheesecake). Their French apple pie comes served with an artistic splatter of icing on top.

9. FLORIDA // THE GOOD PIE COMPANY

boxes of apple pie from The Good Pie Company
Courtesy of The Good Pie Company

Location: Davie, Florida

The Good Pie Company’s moniker is straightforward and incontrovertibly true: they do make a good pie! The Davie, Florida shop is run by married couple Frank and Marti Reich: he bakes the sweet pies while she tackles the savory ones. What’s the most popular menu item? The tried-and-true classic Apple pie, of course! They also make an Apple Cranberry pie; you’ll have to try that one on your second visit.

10. GEORGIA // SOUTHERN SWEETS BAKERY

Southern Sweets Bakery apple pie
Courtesy of Southern Sweets Bakery

Location: Decatur, Georgia

The apple pie at Southern Sweets is piled high with glistening slices of cinnamon-sugar-coated apples. The baked good’s description reads: “Doctors love this one. You will, too.” Now trying telling that to a medical professional with a straight face.

11. HAWAII // HAWAIIAN PIE COMPANY

A view of palm trees from beneath the trees.
iStock

Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

Apple pie cravings can strike anywhere—even on a tropical island. The family behind Hawaiian Pie Co. serves a menu of buttery, fruit-filled pies that are baked fresh daily. Tropical fruits like mango and pineapple are often highlighted, but it’s hard to beat Grandpa Yoshio’s classic apple pie recipe.

12. IDAHO // BRAMBLE

A photo of salted caramel apple pie from Bramble.
Courtesy of Bramble

Location: Boise, Idaho

Of the two dozen pies rotating through the menu at Bramble, the salted caramel apple is a customer favorite. The made-to-order pie service has plans to open a brick-and-mortar storefront in the near future. In the meantime, their pies can be found by the slice at select restaurants and coffee shops in the area.

13. ILLINOIS // HOOSIER MAMA PIE COMPANY

An apple pie from Hoosier Mama Pie Company.
Photo by Brian M. Heiser // Courtesy Hoosier Mama Pie Company

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Hoosier Mama Pie Company is a Chi-Town institution. For their flaky apple pie, the Ukrainian Village bakery sources apples from Ellis Family Farms in nearby Michigan.

14. INDIANA // APPLE WORKS

A picture of Apple Works's apple pie surrounded by apples and a container of sugar.
Courtesy of Apple Works

Location: Trafalgar, Indiana

According to their website, the Apple Works orchard was founded in the late 1980s “with the goal of raising the absolute best apples possible.” And that’s exactly what you’ll find in their outrageous double-crust apple pie. One Indiana travel site named the over-stuffed pastry the best apple pie in the state.

15. IOWA // DEAL’S ORCHARD

The exterior of Deal's Orchard.
Courtesy of Deal's Orchard

Location: Jefferson, Iowa

During weekends in the fall, visitors to Deal’s Orchard have the opportunity to take home one of the homemade pies baked from apples grown on the property. And if you’re looking for something to wash that down with, they also ferment their own hard cider on site.

16. KANSAS // THE UPPER CRUST PIE BAKERY

A tablespoon of grated nutmeg on a table surrounded by whole nutmegs and a grater.
iStock

Location: Overland Park, Kansas

The Upper Crust Pie Bakery is run by a pair of Midwestern sisters who grew up “privileged to know what real pie looks and tastes like.” For their take on apple pie, they use their grandmother’s recipe and add a bit of nutmeg.

17. KENTUCKY // HOMEMADE ICE CREAM AND PIE KITCHEN

The exterior of Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen in Louisville, Kentucky.
HelloLouisville.com, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Location: Louisville, Kentucky

The name says it all—if you’re in Kentucky, this is the place to come for ice cream and pie. Their award-winning dutch apple caramel pie almost looks too good to eat, but with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream on top, it’s impossible to resist.

18. LOUISIANA // COWBELL

Cowbell's apple pie in front of a sign that says "pie."
Sara Essex Bradley

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

The menu at this gas station-turned-restaurant is as funky as New Orleans itself. For dessert, diners at Cowbell can order a slice of the scratch-made apple pie served with caramel and crème anglaise.

19. MAINE // TWO FAT CATS BAKERY

Pies on the shelf at Two Fat Cats Bakery in Maine.
Courtesy of Two Fat Cats Bakery

Location: Portland, Maine

Two Fat Cats Bakery in Portland is Maine’s number one destination for classic Americana baking. Their seasonal apple pie, made with Cortland and McIntosh apples, packs enough flavor on its own without any fancy toppings.

20. MARYLAND // DANGEROUSLY DELICIOUS PIES

An apple pie on a teal tablecloth.
Maryland Science Center, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

You may not expect rock 'n' roll and baked goods to vibe together, but at Dangerously Delicious Pies they’re a match made in heaven. The Baltimore joint was founded by a musician with a passion for baking, and his dedication comes through in the ambitious menu. The apple crumb pie comes topped with a crunchy layer of brown sugar, oats, and butter.

21. MASSACHUSETTS // PETSI PIES

Didriks, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Location: Somerville, Massachusetts

Petsi Pies describes themselves as an “indie” bakery and coffee bar serving up sweet and savory offerings to pie-lovers within walking distance of Harvard. When it comes to apple pie, patrons have their choice of salted caramel apple, apple crumb, or a classic apple pie with a pastry crust.

22. MICHIGAN // GRAND TRAVERSE PIE COMPANY

Location: Traverse City, Michigan

To create their beloved Apple Crumb with Pecan and Caramel, bakers at Grand Traverse Pie Company upgrade their Peninsula Apple Crumb pie with toasted pecans and a caramel drizzle.

23. MINNESOTA // RUSTIC INN CAFE

Rustic Inn Cafe
Courtesy of Rustic Inn Cafe

Location: Two Harbors, Minnesota

Rustic Inn Cafe offers up a caramel apple pecan blueberry gooseberry crumb. Overflowing with gooey, nutty filling, this dessert doesn’t skimp on decadence.

24. MISSISSIPPI // TOM’S FRIED PIES

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Location: Richland, Mississippi

Sometimes the best pie is the one you can pick up and eat with your bare hands. That’s what customers get at Tom’s Fried Pies, and it doesn’t disappoint. In case a regular-sized fried pocket of apple pie filling isn’t satisfying enough for you, they also offer a super-sized “Big Guy Pie."

25. MISSOURI // THE BLUE OWL RESTAURANT AND BAKERY

tempest tea, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

Location: Kimmswick, Missouri

In many ways, The Blue Owl is your typical homestyle, Midwest restaurant. That’s why the appearance of this towering monstrosity on their menu is so alarming. The "Levee High Caramel Pecan Apple Pie" is made with 18 Golden Delicious apples sliced by hand and piled high inside a comical domed crust. The “world-famous” pie has been featured on Food Network and the Today Show and was chosen as one of Oprah’s favorite things.

26. MONTANA // LOULA’S CAFE

Loula's Cafe

Location: Whitefish, Montana

The best pies in Montana can be found at the bottom of a historic Masonic Temple. The restaurant is run by friends Mary Lou Covey and Laura Hansen (the “Lou” and “La” of Loula’s Cafe). They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but their real specialty is their fruit pies—of which they sell 3000 to 4000 every year. You can’t go wrong with one of their four varieties of homemade apple pie.

27. NEBRASKA // STAUFFER’S CAFE AND PIE SHOPPE

iStock

Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

This restaurant’s tagline reads: “Coming to Stauffer’s is like coming home to Grandma’s.” With a claim like that, you better have some amazing pie to back it up. Diners can order dutch apple, sour cream apple, caramel apple, or the familiar classic to satisfy their cravings for home cooking.

28. NEVADA // WET HEN CAFE

Several pies on baking racks.
Courtesy of Wet Hen Cafe

Location: Reno, Nevada

This cozy Reno cafe specializes in rustic comfort food with a French twist. But their famous apple pie, piled with tender apple slices and a crumbly crust, is all-American.

29. NEW HAMPSHIRE // RICHARDSON’S FARM

iStock

Location: Boscawen, New Hampshire

Plenty of farms sell pies made from apples grown on the property. At Richardson’s, they're also churning up their own homemade ice cream that’s perfect for scooping onto a slice of their warm apple pie.

30. NEW JERSEY // SWEETSBORO PASTRY SHOPPE

New Jersey
iStock

Location: Swedesboro, New Jersey

Sweetsboro Pastry Shoppe was founded in 2007 by two friends who grew up together in North Philadelphia and since transplanted to New Jersey, where they’re selling some of the Garden State’s best pies. The sugary lattice crust on their apple pie is good enough to eat on its own.

31. NEW MEXICO // RANGE CAFE

Apple green chile pie from Range Cafe
Courtesy of Range Cafe

Location: Albuquerque and Bernalillo, New Mexico

The apple green chile pie from Range Cafe is a uniquely New Mexican treat, topped with a piñon nut streusel for a slightly savory crunch. Try it with vanilla ice cream for added indulgence.

32. NEW YORK // FOUR & TWENTY BLACKBIRDS

Apple pie from Four & Twenty Blackbirds
Daniel Zemans, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Location: Brooklyn, New York

At this Brooklyn bakery it’s all about the pie. They source seasonal, local ingredients whenever possible and bake with natural, unrefined sweeteners. The salted caramel pie they serve is kissed with just the right amount of saltiness to make those classic flavors pop.

33. NORTH CAROLINA // SCRATCH BAKING

Apple crumb pie from Scratch bakery
Courtesy of Scratch Bakery

Location: Durham, North Carolina

The North Carolina apple crumb pie at Scratch Baking is a true southern treat. Owner Phoebe Lawless, a farmer’s market alum herself, works with local farmers and producers to get her hands on the best ingredients her community has to offer.

34. NORTH DAKOTA // TOWER TRAVEL CENTER

Apple pie from the Tower Travel Center
Courtesy of Tower Travel Center

Location: Tower City, North Dakota

A truck stop may not be the first place most people would go to for delicious pie. But the Tower Travel Center is no ordinary truck stop. The apple pie there is so tasty that it’s worth planning your road trip around it.

35. OHIO // JUST PIES

Apple pie from Just Pies
Courtesy of Just Pies

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Just Pies offers a full menu of award-winning pies, but their apple crumb is the most popular with customers. Baked with Jonathan and Spy apples, it’s finished with a layer of sweet streusel on top.

36. OKLAHOMA // PIE JUNKIE

Apple crumble pie from Pie Junkie
Courtesy of Pie Junkie

Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

The two women behind Pie Junkie in Oklahoma City make the blasphemous claim of serving up pies even better than their grandmas'. But they do give credit where credit is due: The high standards their grandmothers held in the kitchen continue to inspire them to bake top-notch treats, like their brown sugar and oat-topped apple crumble pie.

37. OREGON // RANDOM ORDER PIE BAR

Apple pie from Random Order
Chris Coyier, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

Location: Portland, Oregon

This quirky neighborhood cafe does pies like no one else. For their award-winning version of apple pie, they toss Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples in a homemade caramel sauce and bake that inside a Tahitian vanilla sugar-salted crust. Excuse us while we look up the next flight to Portland.

38. PENNSYLVANIA // THE PIE PLACE

Apple pie from The Pie Place
Chris Winters, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Almost everything is baked from scratch using local ingredients at this hidden delight in Pittsburgh. The apple pies at The Pie Place have won awards, and you can choose from classic or Dutch apple; sugar-free versions are also available.

39. RHODE ISLAND // PASTICHE FINE DESSERTS

Dutch apple pie at Pastiche Fine Desserts
Courtesy of Pastiche Fine Desserts

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

The Dutch apple pie is a standout at this European-style cafe beloved by locals. The filling is a blend of sweet and tart apples from a nearby orchard, mixed with cherries and baked beneath an oat walnut crumb topping decorated with pastry leaves. It's almost too beautiful to eat, but somehow people manage.

40. SOUTH CAROLINA // KAMINSKY'S

Apple pie from Kaminsky's
Courtesy of Kaminsky's

Location: Charleston and Columbia, South Carolina

It's hard to choose among the fancy desserts and beverages at Kaminsky's cozy dessert cafe, but locals rave about the apple crumble pie, served with a heavy dollop of whipped cream as well as delicious ice cream.

41. SOUTH DAKOTA // THE PURPLE PIE PLACE

The Purple Pie Place, Custer, SD
Richie Diesterheft, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Location: Custer, South Dakota

If you ever find yourself passing through Custer, South Dakota, this place will be hard to miss. Inside the Purple Pie Place's vibrant violet walls you’ll find the best pies in the Black Hills. The secret to their irresistible pies, including their classic apple, is in the crust. The recipe achieves the perfect balance of sweetness, and it’s a secret shared by only three people.

42. TENNESSEE // SWEET CREATIONS BAKERY  

Nashville, TN
iStock

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

The apple pie at this popular Nashville bakery is "a taste of Southern perfection," according to the menu. The filling of thick-cut apples and cinnamon is cradled by a lusciously flaky crust.

43. TEXAS // TOOTIE PIE CO.

Tootie Pie Co. apple pie
Courtesy of Tootie Pie Co.

Location: Boerne, Texas

The original apple pie at Tootie Pie Co. requires a healthy appetite, but Tootie’s most ravenous customers can sign up for their Pie Rollers Club and get a different flavor delivered to their door each month.

44. UTAH // THUNDERBIRD RESTAURANT

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Location: Mt. Carmel, Utah

Surrounded by the breathtaking cliff faces of Zion National Park, Thunderbird Restaurant is worth a trip for the views alone. But their apple pie with rum sauce would be a knock-out dish served in any setting.

45. VERMONT // VERMONT APPLE PIE

Fall foliage in Vermont
iStock

Location: Proctorsville, Vermont

Vermont Apple Pie serves hungry locals from 8 a.m. til noon. And with a full bakery that includes their namesake apple pie, dessert is always an acceptable breakfast option.

46. VIRGINIA // MOM’S APPLE PIE

Fresh-picked apples in buckets
iStock

Location: Occoquan, Virginia

Opening a restaurant called “Mom’s Apple Pie” sets the bar pretty high for your signature dish. Thankfully, their homestyle pie made with Shenandoah Valley apples and just the right amount of sugar lives up to the name.

47. WASHINGTON // A LA MODE PIES

French apple pie at A La Mode Pies, Seattle, WA
A La Mode Pies

Location: Seattle, Washington

At A La Mode Pies, owner Chris Porter strives to reinvent his mom’s recipes using high-quality ingredients. His French apple pie is a Seattle treasure (with or without a scoop of ice cream on top).

48. WEST VIRGINIA // SUGAR PIE BAKERY

Apple pie, Sugar Pie Bakery, Charleston, WV
Courtesy of Tabitha Stover Photography

Location: Charleston, West Virginia

Sugar Pie Bakery bakes their items fresh from scratch every day using the finest ingredients. Customers can order everything from cupcakes topped with detailed fondant decorations to more rustic specialties like their apple crumb pie.

49. WISCONSIN // THE ELEGANT FARMER

The Elegant Farmer, Mukwonago, WI
Bev Sykes, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Location: Mukwonago, Wisconsin

It’s hard for anything not to taste great when it’s drenched in caramel sauce. In the case of the “Gourmet Apple Pie Baked in a Paper Bag" from The Elegant Farmer, the pie underneath is even better than the topping. Their unique paper bag baking method creates a perfectly flaky crust every time.

50. WYOMING // COWBOY CAFE

Apple pie from Cowboy Cafe in Dubois, WY
Courtesy of Cowboy Cafe

Location: Dubois, Wyoming

Don't miss this charming café on your way to Yellowstone National Park. The homemade warm apple pie—best with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top—gets rave reviews from visitors.

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Courtesy Maxie B's
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Food
25 Cupcake Bakeries You've Got to Try
Courtesy Maxie B's
Courtesy Maxie B's

While it's difficult to improve upon perfection, bakers are constantly putting new twists on cupcakes. These bakeries showcase the latest trends and the classic style we all know and love.

1. BAKED & WIRED // WASHINGTON, D.C.

A chocolate cupcake from Baked & Wired in Washington, D.C.
m01229, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Baked & Wired is where Georgetown locals go when they’re hankering for something sweet. In 2001, owners Tony and Teresa Velazquez were running a graphics studio out of the same location when they realized they wanted to expand to baked goods and coffee (hence the name Baked & Wired). They offer a variety of unique “cakecup” flavors with equally unique names, like the Pretty Bitchin’, Chocolate Cupcake of Doom (above), and Uniporn and Rainho. They also offer a vegan Oreo cakecup.

2. THE COPPER HEN CAKERY & KITCHEN // MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA

A blueberry muffin topped with frosting and a piece of bacon from The Copper Hen.
Courtesy The Copper Hen

The Copper Hen—a restaurant and wedding venue that serves farm-to-table food and desserts—offers a variety of cupcakes, including miniatures, individual-sized cakes in mason jars you can keep, and cakes that come with a pipette of booze for infusing. Two must-tries are the top selling Champagne Cupcake and the Bacon Blueberry Breakfast Cupcake, a streusel crumb cake layered with bacon and blueberries (as if we needed an excuse to have cupcakes for breakfast). The Copper Hen also sells a chocolate gluten-free cupcake with buttercream frosting.

3. MUDDY’S BAKE SHOP // MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

Two trays of cupcakes from Muddy's Bake Shop.
Kat Gordon

Muddy’s Bake Shop has two locations in Memphis and East Memphis, plus a “secret kitchen,” closed to the public, where they hold classes and pop-up shops. This small-batch, home-style bakery cares about making their community a better place by using sustainable practices and supporting local charities. Owner Kat Gordon says the cupcake that started it all is her best-selling Prozac—a classic devil’s food chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. If you’re into making cupcakes but hate doing dishes, Muddy's will ship you a DIY kit featuring the Prozac and Capote cupcakes. The kit includes six plain cupcakes in each flavor, two bags of frosting, and sprinkles.

4. KYRA’S BAKE SHOP // LAKE OSWEGO, OREGON

A chocolate cupcake topped with caramel popcorn and frosting.
Courtesy Kyra's Bakery

Every item at Kyra’s Bake Shop—the only four-time winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars—is 100 percent gluten-free. The menu is updated monthly and posted on the website so customers can plan their visits around the featured cupcake flavors. Owner Kyra Bussanich recommends trying the PMS, a chocolate cake filled with salted caramel, dipped in chocolate ganache, and topped with marshmallow meringue and peanut butter buttercream frosting. But check the menu because, she says, “it only happens once a month.” You can purchase Kyra’s recipe book, Sweet Cravings, to bake all of her award-winning cupcakes and other treats at home.

5. FOREVER SWEET BAKERY // NORWALK, CONNECTICUT

Push pop cupcakes of various flavors from Forever Sweet Bakery.
Courtesy Forever Sweet Bakery

Locals have voted Forever Sweet Bakery the area’s best bakery four years in a row. Forever Sweet specializes in custom cakes and serves all kinds of mouthwatering cupcake flavors, from Beer Batter Bacon to Banana Honey Cinnamon. You can walk into their shop to purchase a treat from the case, or you can order ahead for one of their “outside the box” styles, like a cupcake push-pop—vanilla cake layered between globs of frosting that will be sure to make you feel like a kid again.

6. CUPCAKE SUSHI // KEY WEST, FLORIDA

A cupcake that looks like a piece of sushi.
Courtesy Cupcake Sushi

These bite-sized, patent-pending cupcakes are hand-rolled and can be eaten with chopsticks, just like real sushi. Owner Lori Shubert started Cupcake Sushi after trying to create a smaller cupcake that didn’t lose flavor. Since traditional paper tends to dry out the cake, she experimented with scooping out the center of normal cupcakes and rolling her buttercream frosting around it. These sweet treats are offered only in Florida at select retail locations for now, but the company will soon offer franchise opportunities. You can also order these little gems online—Shubert recommends trying the Key Lime, Triple Chocolate, and Red Velvet.

7. DIA DOCE // WEST CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA

A chocolate cupcake topped with a piece of brownie and chocolate sauce from Dia Doce bakery.
Courtesy Dia Doce

Dia Doce (“Sweet Day” in Portuguese) has won numerous local awards, including “Best of the Main Line,” and also took first place on the Food Network show Cupcake Wars. You can see their green cupcake truck at local festivals or pop into their brick-and-mortar location in West Chester. Sustainability is important to owner Thais da Silva Viggue, so the shop uses seasonal ingredients whenever possible. Dia Doce has created more than 100 unusual cupcakes, from Lemon Basil to Cereal and Milk to Waffle Cone. That last one features vanilla cake with a fudge center, salted caramel frosting, and a garnish of a waffle drizzled with a bittersweet ganache and rainbow sprinkles.

8. NOTHING BUNDT CAKES // VARIOUS LOCATIONS

Delicious, bundt-cake shaped cupcakes on a tray.
Courtesy Nothing Bundt Cakes

Nothing Bundt Cakes was started in 1997 by two friends, Dena Tripp and Debbie Shwetz. They began baking cakes for friends and family, and they received so many compliments that they realized they could launch an entire bakery. While their signature items are full-size bundt cakes, they do offer bite-sized Bundtinis and mini bundt cakes called Bundtlets. You have to try the Chocolate Chocolate Chip— with more than 220 bakeries throughout the country, you might be lucky enough to find a location within driving distance.

9. BAKED DESSERT CAFE // BERLIN, MARYLAND

Cupcake bombs from Baked Dessert Cafe.
Courtesy of Baked Dessert Cafe

Baked is a made-from-scratch bakery that produces a whole line of delicious items, but customers rave about the cafe's cupcake bombs—an all-natural twist on the popular cake pop (which are usually dipped in artificially-flavored chocolate). They offer a few standard flavors every day, like the popular Chocolate Cake with chocolate icing, and rotate in a few seasonal flavors (like fall's Apple Spice).

10. NADIA CAKES // PALMDALE, CALIFORNIA

A container of four cupcakes from Nadia Cakes.
m01229, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Owner Abby Jimenez opened her first Nadia Cakes in Palmdale in 2009, and since then, has won a number of awards and opened two Minnesota stores in Maple Grove and Woodbury. Nadia Cakes offers cupcakes that are both whimsical and delicious (there's even one called Unicorn Barf that looks surprisingly tasty). Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to visit when the featured flavor is Caramel Red Velvet Junkyard, a moist red velvet cupcake filled with fudge and topped with caramel buttercream, caramel and chocolate drizzle, M&M’s, Oreo and red velvet crumbs, rainbow sprinkles, and a mini Oreo.

11. MAXIE B’S // GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA

A side-by-side photo of Maxie B's s'more cupcake—one whole, one cut in half.
Courtesy Maxie B's

Maxie B’s began in 1985 as a yogurt shop but evolved into the cute bakery that it is today. Named after the owners’ pugs, this shop offers dog treats (pupcakes!) as well as people treats. Oozing with the southern charm you would expect from a North Carolina bakery, they are best known for their layered cakes, but have a scrumptious assortment of pies and, of course, cupcakes. The cupcake menu changes seasonally, and all of Maxie B's items are always made from scratch with locally sourced ingredients. Some seasonally popular varieties to try are the S’mores, the Streuseled Sweet Potato, and the Harry Potter-inspired Butterbeer. They also offer southern flavors like King Cake, Sweet Tea, and Mint Julep.

12. HUASCAR & CO. BAKESHOP // NEW YORK CITY

A creme brulee cupcake from Huascar & Co.
Erin McCarthy

Huascar & Co., located in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City, is owned by Chef Huascar Aquino—the only NYC baker, so far, to have won Cupcake Wars. The bakery uses the freshest ingredients to craft its cupcakes; there are 19 flavors served every day, with many stuffed decadently with cream. You can expect two to three additional flavors that will rotate with the seasons. One of their most popular cupcakes is the Crème Brûlée, a vanilla bean cake with vanilla bean crème brûlée filling, vanilla icing, and a sugar crust that is torched when you order it.

13. HAPPYCAKES:) CUPCAKERY // MOREHEAD CITY, NORTH CAROLINA

The Cookie Dough Cupcake from Happycakes.
Courtesy of Happycakes:)

Happycakes is an award-winning bakery located in Morehead City (a second location in Cary, North Carolina, is opening soon). They use all-natural ingredients and avoid food dyes and artificial flavors. Every cupcake in the shop is made fresh each morning, and the flavors change daily; there's even a schedule on the Happycakes website so you can time your visit. One of the most popular flavors is Cookie Dough, a vanilla cake with a homemade cookie dough center, swirled in a vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream frosting, and topped with a homemade cookie. And don’t feel guilty about buying a dozen, because 10 percent of every sale is donated to a charity that fights sex trafficking in the Philippines. Charitable and delicious.

14. PINKITZEL CUPCAKES & CANDY // TULSA AND OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA

The interior of Pinkitzel Cupcakes & Candy in Oklahoma City.
Elizabeth Albert, Flickr, CC BY SA 2.0

Pinkitzel's two locations are full of eye candy and actual candy. The whimsical and colorful spaces are exactly what husband-and-wife owners Christa and Jonathan were hoping to achieve. Since opening in 2010, their shops have served more than half a million cupcakes and has become one of Oklahoma’s top destinations on TripAdvisor. If you’re lucky enough to live nearby, you can host your next birthday party or bridal shower there and expect to blow your guests away. Almost every cupcake is topped with candy and sprinkles, and flavors range from Bubblegum Cupcake to Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake to Peanut Butter Nutella.

15. MOLLY’S CUPCAKES // ILLINOIS, NEW YORK, AND IOWA

Two cupcakes from Molly's Cupcakes in Chicago.
Jaysin Trevino, Flickr // CC BY SA 2.0

John Nicolaides’s third grade teacher, Miss Molly, baked cupcakes for her students’ birthdays; now, he’s giving back with his bakery, Molly’s Cupcakes, which donates a portion of its profits to local schools. Visitors can pick from pre-prepared cupcakes, like the cream-filled peach cobbler (vanilla cake, cinnamon peach puree, brown sugar streusel, homemade whipped cream, sliced peach), or go the DIY route, choosing their own base and frosting, and finishing up at the Sprinkle Station. You can find Molly’s in New York, in Des Moines and Sioux City, Iowa, and in two locations in Chicago.

16. BREDENBECK’S BAKERY & ICE CREAM PARLOR // PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA

Four Strawberry Champagne cupcakes from Bredenbeck's.
Courtesy Bredenbeck's

If you’re a Pennsylvania native, you may be familiar with this family-owned bakery, which was founded back in 1889. Bredenbeck’s is a popular choice when it comes to Philadelphia delicacies like butter cake and German cookies, and their cupcakes made fresh from scratch every day are a local favorite. They favor quality, not quantity, when it comes to their cupcake flavors: You'll find only a few varieties in the shop at a time, but they do rotate seasonal and holiday favorites. One of their most popular cupcakes is the Strawberry Champagne, a vanilla cake filled with strawberry champagne compote and topped in strawberry buttercream frosting.

17. TROPHY CUPCAKES AND PARTY // SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

The sign of the cupcake bakery Trophy Cupcakes and Party.
Jessica Spengler, Flickr // CC BY SA 2.0

At Trophy's five Seattle locations, customers can buy cupcakes from the case or pre-order a themed dozen. Try the “I Love the 80’s,” which features cupcakes topped with cassette tapes, roller skates, and rainbows. For a limited time, customers can pre-order the “Trophy’s 10th Birthday,” a funfetti cake with vanilla buttercream frosting, topped with a macaron, lollipop, marshmallow, meringue kiss, white chocolate-covered pretzel, animal cookies, cotton candy, donut holes, and Trophy’s own blue candies. Whew. At $12.50 a pop, they’re worth every penny.

18. HOUSE OF CUPCAKES // PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY

House of Cupcakes' red velvet cupcakes.
Courtesy House of Cupcakes

When House of Cupcakes won Cupcake Wars, the line of customers went out the door of their Princeton shop, and the bakery soon needed to expand. They opened two more New Jersey locations in East Brunswick and in Clifton, and in January 2018 they will be opening stores in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. They offer cupcake classes and parties where you can bake and decorate your own cupcakes. Every day they serve 65 different flavors, and owner Ruthie Bzdewka says that the Red Velvet is their most popular cupcake of them all. In addition to all those cupcakes, they also offer cookies and chocolate-covered pretzels. You can find their food truck traveling around New Jersey every weekend; check their Facebook page to find out where they will be.

19. SUGAR MAMA’S BAKESHOP // AUSTIN, TEXAS

The exterior of Sugar Mama's Bakery in Austin, Texas.
Rachel Kramer Bussel, Flickr // CC BY SA 2.0

Sugar Mama’s is owned by husband-and-wife team Olivia and Steve O’Neal. They have a long list of awards and accomplishments, including having made a birthday cake for rapper Kanye West. The owners use locally sourced and Fair Trade-certified ingredients to create a variety of delicious goodies—including 12 different flavors of cupcakes that change daily. If you’re a baklava fan, pick up Harlow’s Honey Baklava—a buttermilk honey cake with Round Rock honey filling and cinnamon buttercream frosting topped with a phyllo puff.

20. FROST CUPCAKE FACTORY // CAMPBELL, CALIFORNIA

A delicious-looking chocolate cupcake topped with shaved chocolate from Frost Cupcake Factory
Courtesy Frost Cupcake Factory

Frost Cupcake Factory sells a handpicked selection from 42 standard flavors throughout the week in addition to seasonal varieties. The two most popular are Rose Velvet and Burnt Almond, and they also offer cake pops, cupcake push pops, and mason jar cupcakes, in addition to other baked goods. Frost customizes cupcakes for corporate clients too; if you head out to a San Jose Sharks game, you may find them in the concession stands.

21. LOVE KUPCAKES // PORTLAND, MAINE

A plate of cupcakes from Love Kupcakes.
Courtesy Love Kupcakes

Love Kupcakes is a bakery and food truck based in Portland that strives to use sustainable practices and all-natural ingredients. They serve traditional, vegan, and gluten-free varieties of cupcakes in an array of sweet flavors like Strawberry Basil, Funfetti, and Snickerdoodle, and introduce seasonal options too. Pick up their best-seller, the Chocolate Sea-Salted Caramel, the next time you're in Maine. Look for their cupcake truck around town and at local festivals (follow them on social media for locations) or rent it for your wedding or special event.

22. WICKED GOOD CUPCAKES // BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

Cupcakes in mason jars from Wicked Good Cupcakes.
Courtesy Wicked Good Cupcakes

Tracey Noonan and Danielle Vilagie are a mother-daughter dream team that started Wicked Good Cupcakes after taking cake decorating classes together. After getting requests to ship their cupcakes from their Cohasset, Massachusetts shop, they came up with the idea of putting the treats in mason jars to prolong their freshness and durability. They were featured on Shark Tank and teamed up with Kevin O’Leary to take their business to the next level—today, they're a super-successful gourmet online retailer. They have a variety of flavors, including Maple Bacon Whiskey and Sea Salted Caramel, that can be ordered online or found in their Boston-area bakery.

23. BLOOMING LOTUS // MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN

A tray of Blooming Lotus cupcakes.
Courtesy of Blooming Lotus

If there is such thing as a healthy cupcake, Blooming Lotus makes it. This bakery is grain-, processed sugar-, dairy-, soy-, and egg-free, and the nut and seed flours they use are high in protein. (Basically, you can eat one of their cupcakes and pretend you’re eating a protein bar.) Blooming Lotus was started after the owner and her sister were diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and they adopted restricted diets. Their baked goods have developed quite a following in stores around the Milwaukee area. They offer three flavors of cupcake: Chocolate Brownie with chocolate frosting; Carrot Cake with toffee frosting; and Spice Cake with toffee frosting.

24. JOZETTIE’S CUPCAKES // MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA

A tray of cupcakes from JoZettie's Cupcakes.
Courtesy of JoZettie's Cupcakes

Everything made in JoZettie’s kitchen is made fresh and from scratch every day. The owner, Mrs. Ida, says she decided to open her shop when she walked by a vacant building with a “for rent” sign on it. Today, JoZettie’s has two locations in Montgomery, where customers can choose from a variety of unusual flavors, including Pineapple Upside-Down Cake and Caramel Pecan Cheesecake. The bakery's best-selling yummies are Sweet Potato, Key Lime, Red Velvet, and Red Velvet Cheesecake, all topped with cream cheese icing. Follow the bakery on social media to discover the featured flavor of the day.

25. JONES BROS. CUPCAKES // OMAHA, NEBRASKA

A Jones Bros Sweet and Salty cupcake next to a box.
Zane Mulligan, Flickr // CC BY ND 2.0

Jones Bros. Cupcakes—a full bakery and ice cream shop—is a true family business: It's run by brothers Brad and Bill Jones, along with their parents, Jerry and Elizabeth. The shop offers a rotating variety of cupcake flavors as well as specials and seasonal tastes that pop up on the weekends. If you're visiting, try the best-selling Sweet and Salty, a chocolate cake filled with caramel and sea salt, then topped with chocolate buttercream and a caramel drizzle. Hit their drive-through window for extra-fast service.

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