Written for Food&Home. Originally published on 11 November 2022.

There’s nothing better than a homestyle pie for a quick road trip lunch break. You get to stretch your legs, take in the sights, and enjoy some delicious eats.

We recently visited three of the famous pie stops on the Garden Route, in the Western Cape, to see who has the better pie based on taste, atmosphere, and all around good vibes.

Our ranking is purely subjective, so you may have your own favourite in mind – in that case we’d love to hear about it! Tag us on Instagram @foodandhomesa using #CookingWithFH.

Today’s contestants are:

  • Ou Meul Bakkery in Riviersonderend
  • Houw Hoek Farm Stall in Elgin
  • Peregrine Farm Stall in Grabouw

Each of these stops are famous for their pies, and the heat is on to find out who does it best (subjectively). For the purpose of this experiment, we’re looking at the classic chicken pie as a control measure, because you can’t go wrong with a chicken pie.

Ou Meul Bakkery

The Riviersonderend Ou Meul Bakkery is the original Ou Meul that started it all. What used to be a small little pie shop has turned into an atmospheric franchise.

In Riversonderend you’re welcomed into a warm and cosy store that has fresh bread, baked goods (highly recommend the lemon meringue pie), hot coffee, and – of course – their range of warm and toasty pies.

If you’re a regular to Ou Meul, you’ll more than likely have tried their chicken pie. It’s a firm favourite amongst many visitors with its fluffy pastry and perfectly flavoured chicken filling. You can choose to sit outside on a beautiful day and enjoy your pie and coffee.

The staff are friendly and won’t judge you on how much nougat you buy – it’s impossible not to pick up a few extra snacks on the way. All in all a great atmosphere with good vibes.

Taste: ★★★★★

Atmosphere: ★★★★★

Good vibes: ★★★★★

Houw Hoek Farm Stall

When ascending the stairs into Houw Hoek Farm Stall, we were greeted by beautiful bouquets of proteas and a friendly ginger cat. A definite win on the atmosphere front.

They have a wide range of fresh veggies, bread and milk tarts, as well as lots of pantry essentials from local businesses. The vibes were a little low as we felt rushed to select a pie, and the layout felt a bit too compartmentalised. Perhaps it works well if you’ve got time to peruse the store, but as a quick pit stop it didn’t go as planned with navigating the layout of the land.

As for the pie, it was good, but a bit too saucy with less chicken filling. We hear the milk tarts are a winner though! We’ll definitely be back to give those a try next.

Taste: ★★★

Atmosphere: ★★★★★

Good vibes: ★★★★

Peregrine Farm Stall

Not far from Houw Hoek Farm Stall is Peregrine. They’re always busy and bustling with people as there’s never a car not wanting to turn into this famous pie stop.

Fresh bread, warm pies, and a bright and airy space to sit made it a fun stop. Plus there are a range of other shops nearby to browse including a vintage store, a book shop, and a nursery. You can lose track of time at Peregrine with all it has to offer.

The chicken pie is, in fact, delicious. Generous with the filling and on point with the flavour. We felt revitalised after a long car trip at Peregrine.

Taste: ★★★★

Atmosphere: ★★★★★

Good vibes: ★★★★★

Our overall winner

It had to be Ou Meul. Perhaps it’s nostalgia from previous road trips, but their chicken pie is incredibly delicious. You’ll be tempted to buy another after the first one it’s so good.

Next up is Peregrine Farm Stall. Their pie is delicious and there are many fun attractions to enjoy giving it plenty of good vibes. You’ll need to factor in more time there though as there are lots of little shops to explore – from the book store to the nursery, we spent a lot of our time captivated by all there was to see.

Finally, we have Houw Hoek Farm Stall. Their pie is good, but it was a bit more saucy than packed with chicken. If you’re more into a saucy pie – this may be your go-to. Their seasonal veggies and fresh bread make them an attractive option from an atmosphere perspective, but their good vibes are dampened a little in how rushed it felt.

Do you agree with our ranking? Don’t forget to let us know!

Feature Image: Unsplash