SAN DIEGO — San Diego is known for its carne asada, seafood and craft beer selection, but you may be surprised to find out it’s also home to some of the best pie in the state.
Yelp has compiled a list of the ‘Top Pie in Every State’ and there’s one shop in Wynola, a small mountain town near Julian, that hands out slices that taste like home.
California Mountain Bakery was named as the home of the best pie in the state, based on a variety of factors including the number of high ratings and the number of positive reviews.
The shop is a family affair born of a dream, owner Raul Padilla told FOX5SanDiego.com. His father has been a baker in Julian for over 30 years working at different spots across the community, but he had hoped to one day open a bakery of his own.
Padilla, who attended culinary and business schools in San Diego after graduating from Julian High School, decided to help his father start the bakery and, about eight years ago, California Mountain Bakery opened shop.
Virtually every member of their family works in the bakery, from Padilla to his parents and siblings, making the pies they serve in-house every day from scratch.
“(We) make everything at our bakery, from start to finish,” Padilla said. “A lot of simple steps to make a pie, but we try to make them as best as possible (by) using the best ingredients and make each step right.”
These ingredients are largely sourced from local growers while they’re in season. That includes the apples they use for the shop’s quintessential apple pie offerings, using some of Julian’s famous apple orchards.
That includes what Yelp called their best flavor: mango apple pie, a Hispanic twist on the American classic.
“Since we’re a small shop, we’re able to use some of those apples in our pies while they’re in season and we’re able to accommodate with the growers (to get) whatever they have available,” Padilla said of this partnership.
California Mountain Bakery also has savory options that are a favorite among reviewers, like their chicken pot pie. While his father handles most of the fruit pie options, Padilla said that creating these options was where he really got to let his culinary background shine.
Other pastries — like donuts, Danishes and biscuits — round out the shop’s offerings, with customers raving about all of the delectable choices.
“This is literally the definition of a hidden gem,” a Yelp reviewer from San Jose wrote. “Every Julian trip I have from now on will include this bakery. This place has my heart.”
With so many other great pie options in Julian, Padilla is grateful for the recognition Yelp has given his family’s shop for the second year in a row.
The full list of Yelp’s best in state pie shops is available here.
“We appreciate it very much. Being a small mom and pop shop bakery, we’re happy that people recognize the amount of work that we put into our pies,” he said.
The honor of being deemed the spot to get the best pie in the state has helped grow the community at the heart of their business.
“Our customers have become friends and some of our friends have become family of the bakery,” Padilla said. “They continue to visit us to this day and support us to this day.”
California Mountain Bakery is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the weekend.