The humble meat pie is as synonymous with Kiwism as the Christmas pavlova, a slice of Vogel's or a summer barbecue. So it goes without saying, that when it came to scouting out the nation's very best pie, we took our quest to the people.
Deep within the regions, tastiness is brewing – encased within a perfectly baked, golden brown pastry shell. From Fairlie to Hari Hari, Mt Albert to Waikanae, while a meat pie is subject to opinion, here are the Kiwi pies that we think deserve a little extra kudos, and a second squirt of tom sauce. Behold, our annual meat pie round-up:
1. Lake Farm Pies, Cambridge, Waikato
Where to begin with these magnificently meaty morsels? Lake Farm Pies boast the best take-home variety of pie available, with their online offering an absolute saving grace come chilly winter days. Each award-winning pie is crafted with love, using a tried and true farm-to-table ethos. With 18 flavoursome combinations to choose from, like Classic NZ Prime Mince with Aged Gouda, we're Lake Farm loyal to the core.
2. The Fridge, Kingsland, Auckland
The highly-decorated pies on offer at The Fridge have been luring in Aucklanders since way back. Full of filling, the meat-to-pastry ratio is spot on. Sizeable portions mean that everyone leaves happy and satisfied.
3. Muzza's Pies, Mt Roskill, Auckland
Legendary in their own right, these fabulously flaky pies are worth savouring. With sweet and meaty flavour combinations like Apple & Boysenberry or Chicken Cajun, there's a whole lot more on offer here than just your classic steak and cheese, however don't get it twisted, that's also world-class.
4. Fergbaker, Queenstown, Auckland
No doubt you're already familiar with Ferg Burger, Queenstown's juiciest attraction. Pop next door and you'll discover the Ferg family is growing, with Fergbaker generating its own lengthy queues. On a chilly winter's day, what's better than a meaty steak pie encased in gorgeously golden pastry? Nothing, that's what.
5. The Burleigh, Blenheim
When we asked our loyal Facebook following to share their favourite pie-oneers with us, one name we couldn't look past was The Burleigh. While it's safe to say this legendary Blenheim locale needs no introduction, the pies here are people's choice and voted among the very best. By the sounds of it, we might need to make a pie pilgrimage down south...
6. Jo's Place, Brooklyn, Wellington
The capital certainly isn't short on foodie offerings, with the humble pie being no exception. Jo's Place came in hot on our list as one of the windy city's best pie stops, boasting a range of classic flavour combos and all baked in-store, Wellingtonians rate Jo's as the place to be.
7. Siggy's Pies, Waikanae, Wellington
Holding pride of place in Waikanae is Siggy's, a charming little bakehouse with a killer line-up of freshly-baked pies. We're talking inspired flavour combinations like Pork, Apple and Cider, Curry Mince and Vege Tex Mex. When in Wellington, Siggy's is a must.
8. Fat Bastard, Invercargill
This cult-eatery has garnered quite the following down south, and it's not hard to see why. Boasting an impressive social media presence and a good-looking line-up of puff pastry delights – think fish chowder or steak and Portobello mushroom pies – Fat Bastard have quite simply nailed the consistency and fundamentals of their pie game.
9. Wooden Table, Dunedin
Housed in the grand old dame on the corner of Gordon Road and Bush Road is where you'll find this enchanting little bakery and cafe. Along with serving a stellar selection of homemade pies, the team at Wooden Table also offer gorgeous artisanal celebration cakes and sweets – perfect for any occasion.
10. Scratch Bakers, Auckland CBD
A favourite in the Dish office, Scratch are the perfect weekend brunch spot. We love the inspired range of pies on offer here and the added of bonus of being able to heat up our favourite flavour at home. Scratch's light and fluffy pastry, flavoursome fillings and generous portions make this Auckland-based bakery a deserving addition to our pie-oneer round-up.
11. Fairlie Bakehouse, Fairlie
Another bakery affirming that the South do it best, is Fairly Bakehouse in Canterbury. Piqued as "outstanding" by more Facebook followers than we can count, there's something special brewing round these parts. With combinations such as chicken and goulash and pork belly and apple, we're positively salivating at the thought.
12. Hunter Gatherer, Hari Hari, West Coast
Turns out, the West Coast is home to something pretty special. Hit the open road and you'll come across Hunter Gatherer, a delightful little cafe and cakery than can lay claim to being as charming as it is delicious. Unsurprisingly, the homemade savouries and pies are well worth the detour.
13. Jimmy's Pies, Roxburgh
Piqued as the nation's best by the likes of Lonely Planet, when it comes to pies, Jimmy's aren't messing around. Consider something a little different like the apricot chicken pie – a flavoursome, fruity and flaky revelation.
Almost all of our favourite pie-oneers in this round-up offer delicious vegetarian options.