Written by:
Rayna Jensen
Photographed by:
Alyse Gilbert

Tags: Eat

Map It: 714 Traction Ave


Gives Thanks To Downtown

Pie, like Thanksgiving, is a moveable feast. It’s formidable for a baked good, able to anchor strangers, small children, and entire families around a single table. One look around The Pie Hole, the Arts District’s by-the-slice shop, is a testament to the pie’s command: in line are kids in soccer jerseys, artists and actors and businessmen, all gathering for the same thing.


For shop founder Matt Heffner and his mother, Becky, they built their shop on a foundation of family tradition. Becky has won the New Jersey state fair seven times and her family has claim to a giant, multi-generational pie recipe book. If you want a peek at the family secret—sorry, it’s locked in a safety deposit box in Switzerland. But you can still have a bite.


One of the most-loved slices is the Maple Custard—a rich, creamy pie with a crisp sweetness that tastes like the season LA always seems to skip. Another to try, even if you’ve surpassed your pumpkin-flavored-everything quota by now, is Moe’s Pumpkin, baked according to Matt’s great-great grandmother’s recipe.


Despite its classic approach, The Pie Hole is far from basic—all the head chefs come from a fine dining background, and what you find here, you won’t find anywhere else. Like the Mexican Chocolate, an almost-traditional pie warmed up with pasilla peppers, cinnamon and nutmeg, and topped with espresso whipped cream. Or the Earl Grey Pie, a bergamot-infused mousse atop a thin layer of dark chocolate, sprinkled with toasted pistachios. But the Pie Hole isn’t just about sweet: they’ve also got hand pies, quiche, and savory pies.


“We’ve realized that there’s this transformative thing about pie,” Brennan says. “It just makes peoples’ days better.” Proof: the Pie H    ole sold clean out of pies every single day the first six months they were open.



So stop by for a slice. Bring your family, bring your friends, bring your impressive Instagram following. It’s pie, so it goes without saying: everyone is welcome.