In search of pie in Julian, CA

Good Apple Pie in Julian, CA. Story on

iphone images on Instagram. Follow Todd and Diane 

We used to take for granted all the local gems that are within an arms reach from us. We would drive 5 or 6 hours to discover something new, which ultimately meant having to take a few days off to make the adventure worthwhile. 

 About five years ago we realized that we were looking too far for adventure and started to look locally in our own area for exiting new places to visit. Awesome food stories and the people that make them happen are closer than we think. So back in 2009 we made an effort to have our weekly “moments of discoveries”, where we venture out locally to discover something new, to find new people and learn something different that rocked our world. 
Julian CA
Julian, CA was always one of our stops about twice a year and mostly to go apple picking. It’s in San Diego County and close enough for us to make it a perfect moment of discovery within a couple hours travel time.  

Usually we were alway too early or too late for the apple harvest season. This year we decided to head out again but this time, to finally take the time to search for good pie the Julian is known for. Julian is a quaint, quiet and adorable little town filled with unique shops, little eateries and you guessed it, full of good pie. 
This small town is best known for its apple pie, due to its bustling apple orchards but it’s not to say that there isn’t other fantastic pies to suit everyone’s appetite. A few weeks ago we found some good pie. Our great finds were the Dutch apple pie at Julian Pie Company and the apple boysenberry pie at Mom’s Pies. 
Both pies hit the spot while we went antique prop shopping and exploring the town. It is hard to say who had the best pie. They were both different, different top crusts and fillings and both were delicious. We’d order either again in a heartbeat. If you’re ever in the area stop Julian for pie. And most important of all, make the time to have your moments of discovery. 
These moments for us keep us sane, focused and re-energize to keep doing more of what we love! 
P.S if you have any good pie suggestions were always up for a day of pie explorations! 
Diane and Todd 
{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Cate

    I`m in California for one year, will definitely make a trip up to Julian for some apple picking 🙂 Can you recommend the best time to go? Thank you, and love your website!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Hi Cate.
      If you want to go apple picking, fall would be best. Every year is a bit differnet so I’d google for a farm or two to pick at and see what their timing is like. It is a touch cooler then too which is nice. Have fun!
      T & D

  2. lidia

    the dutch apple pie with cinnamon ice cream is to die for!

  3. Michael

    We love going to Julian. Living about 45 miles away, it isn’t too far to drive and we always enjoy the pies. We have been visiting Julian for the past 35+ years.

  4. Lynn Casella

    My family and I visited Glen Helen(?) near Yucaipa last year. It was lots of fun and while we didn’t eat there, the kids found the rides and the adults found unique shops and a special restaurant with apple pie. Every year I’m always on the lookout for very green tart apples for my apple pie and won’t make an apple pie unless I have Pippins, but they are seasonal. So while they abound, I make pies.

  5. Maya

    Wow! I grew up in San Diego and my family used to go out to Julian every fall for apples and a picnic. The old place we went–Manzanita Ranch–is now gone but the downtown has picked up.
    My grandfather baked pies for a living–his secret–stew the apple core as a part of the filling!

  6. cristina

    I love that you featured Julian. It’s such a cute, rustic main street to walk through and we try to visit at least a couple times a year to support it. Had a couple of scares in the last decade almost losing it to wild fires. It’s a hidden gem that may only be a quick visit, but a nice scenic drive on a lazy Sunday morning/afternoon. 🙂 Found a couple of pewter props/treasures at that antique store!

    Have a lovely weekend, you two!

  7. Dana Somsel

    Love Julian – a couple more places
    O’Dells Pear Orchard and conveniently across the street Mengini Winery

    I like the Mom’s Pies in Wynola – wonderful garden to enjoy a slice of apple boysenberry crumble on one of the picnic table!

    YUM YUM!!!

  8. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious

    The pie sounds fantastic! And you’re right, there’s so many cool places within driving distance although the central coast is where I’d move to in a heartbeat 🙂

  9. I am definitely going to check out where I can go for an apple picking in Berlin’s area. And the first picture of pies – very convincing 😀

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