With the holiday season right around the corner, one friend or relative is bound to request for you to bring a pie to at least one gathering. With our busy lives, we might not have time to dig up grandma's hand-written recipes and slave over the oven all day. Instead, make sure you bring a pie almost as good with this list of killer pies from your local grocery stores

Ranking System

pizza, beer, coffee
Reed Erickson

As American as apple pie may be, cherry pie was more universally available in our local stores. 

I take my pies very seriously. In order to adequately evaluate pies from various grocery stores, I designed a fairly sophisticated algorithm for ranking how good a pie is by percent... Aka putting my college kid math skills to good use.

I enlisted the opinion of my roommate Julia during this pie-licious journey because she has distinctively different values when it comes to what makes a good pie, so when we both thought something was good, it basically represents what everyone in the world would think (right?).

Ralphs: 21% ($4.99)

pie, jam, apple pie, strawberry
Reed Erickson

This pie was disgusting in every aspect—flavor, texture, filling, price and crust. The only people we recommend you serve it to is, well, nobody. 

Reed: I hated this pie so much. Ralph's should be embarrassed for even calling this a pie. Between the Play-Doh-like crust and the filling that resembled glue, I had one bite of this pie and was instantly repulsed.

Julia: What pie? You mean artificial goo with a sticky and squishy bread layer? This "pie" could be administered as a punishment. The flavor was nowhere near able to make up for the minimal earned points in texture. (Not so) nice try, Ralph's. 

Vons: 75.4% ($11.99)

pie, blueberry, blueberry pie, berry, raspberry, strawberry, blackberry
Julia Roccanova
We had mixed reviews on this one, but overall, Vons is clearly an experienced bakery. 

Reed: The crust was amazing—it was slightly flakey but really substantial and balanced out the pie well. I also loved how it had a bunch of whole cherry chunks in it. I am not embarrassed to say that after we rated this pie, I went ahead and finished the whole thing. Good job Vons! (For those of you not in SoCal, Vons is basically Safeway.)

Julia: Don't get me wrong, the pie was really good, and I would definitely buy it again! Although, I was conflicted when evaluating the pie because I liked the flakey crust, but not enough for the crust-to-filling ratio. The whole chucks of cherries were good, but the overall filling was slightly too goopy for me to enjoy. Overall, the texture weighed my ratings more than the taste, but I still recommend. 

Whole Foods: 81% (Whole Pie: $12, Half Pie: $6.50)

pie, cake
Reed Erickson

Coming from Whole Food—typically known for top-notch foods—we both anticipated a little more flavor, but the pie was still AMAZING. 

Reed: This pie was fine. Honestly I was expecting more from Whole Foods, but compared to the other pies, this one was really really good. For me, the filling could have tasted a little better and I didn't care for the crust BUT the price was actually super reasonable. This one also seemed the most "homemade," so if you're trying to pull one over on your family, I'd pick this one.

Julia: A little underwhelming coming from Whole Foods. I really enjoyed the texture of the crust—flaky and crisp with a sugary coating, but the filling could've had more flavor. The whole cherry chunks were exceptional, but the flavor wasn't all there—nor was the filling-to-crust ratio. For a convenient, inexpensive, home-style cherry pie, this is the one for you!

Sprouts (No Sugar Added): 87.69% ($4.99)

sweet, pie, pastry, cake, blueberry pie
Julia Roccanova

Holy. Moly. Let me say no more. No sugar added? Who cares. The natural flavoring is all a pie actually needs. This pie is on my list of best pies ever.

Reed: This pie was SO good! The crust was to die for and the filling wasn't super gooey and there were plenty of whole cherry chunks, which I love! Also, did you see how cheap this pie was?! I'm a huge fan of the no sugar added. I totally didn't miss it at all! The cherries were naturally sweet and the flavors were just so pure. This one also got my sexy nod because of that gorgeous 10/10 lattice design. 

Julia: My tastebuds were pleasantly surprised! Originally, I was hesitant because of the label "no sugar added" mumbo jumbo. Let's be honest, we like our pies sweet, not sour, which is always a possible problem baking with cherries. However, it fulfilled my pie desires with the perfect amount of filling. There were plenty of whole cherries so the filling wasn't too gooey and the crust was buttery and flaky. Yum.

Sprouts (Sugar Added): 89.4% ($4.99)

jam, pie, raspberry
Gillian Dukoff
Unfortunately, the pie was so good we never snapped the picture before devouring it. 

This was the best grocery store pie out there. We were hesitant to give it a 100% (and the algorithm wouldn't allow for it because it would have had to be LITERALLY the best pie we've ever eaten), but this one was as close as it gets. 

Reed: Okay so this pie was everything I said about the previous pie but a little sweeter—just yum.

Julia: Best. Cherry. Pie. Ever. After trying (and loving) the no sugar added from the same bakery, I didn't see this pie surpassing in flavor or texture. Sprouts, you proved me wrong. The sweetness was just a little sweeter than the above pie and the crust was the just as good. Needless to say, we have a winner.

Okay so here you have it folks, your best option for a grocery store pie is Sprout's Farmer's Market! Sprout's isn't located in every community yet, however Vons (aka Safeway) is, so pick up your local cherry pie, wrap it like it's homemade, and serve with no shame or uncertainty.

Based on our very serious use of math and algorithms, we feel that this ranking can be applied to other variations of pie at each respective grocery store. So be sure to give it a try this Holiday Season!