Post image for Savary Island Pie Company

Restaurant: Savary Island Pie Company
Cuisine: Bakery/Desserts/Sandwiches/Breakfast/Coffee
Last visited: August 22, 2011
Location: Vancouver, BC (West Vancouver)
Address: 1533 Marine Drive
Price Range: $10 or less, $10-20

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 5 – 5.5
Service: 2
Ambiance: 4
Overall: 5
Additional comments:

  • Locally owned
  • Since 1989
  • Local favourite
  • Neighbourhood gem
  • Freshly baked goods
  • Mostly Natural/organic/local ingredients
  • Home made bread/desserts/pies
  • Famous for pies
  • Hot breakfast/lunch items
  • Busy/line ups at peak hours
  • Cozy/very casual atmosphere
  • Baked goods to go
  • Vegetarian friendly
  • Gluten free/Dairy free available
  • Eat in/Take out
  • Winter Hours: 6am to 7pm daily
  • Summer Hours: 6 am to 9 pm daily

**Recommendations: Pies! I liked the Apple Pie and Buttermilk Pie, but make sure you request the apple pie to be heated up and get it a la mode of course! The Strawberry Rhubarb and Raspberry Rhubarb Pie are supposed to be hits too. For savoury, the Chicken Pot Pie and Grilled Chicken and Fresh Basil Sandwich, and the Tortiere is apparently a highlight I missed. I’m curious about their Blueberry Omelette and will order that next!

Oh so this is what Britney Spears was referring to when she sang the lyrics “Gimme gimme more, gimme more, gimme gimme more”! Oh god, more mama! Please!

I’m not in the area often, and this is actually my first post for West Vancouver, but after discovering this local favourite I want to move into the neighbourhood. To the locals in the area: you are so lucky! For me, this would be the Be ‘wiched Cafe of West Vancouver, BC. Totally different in styles, but both equally as impressive in their own ways!

On this occasion I attacked this “must try” eatery with Sherman (who I have to thank for the pretty food photos too). It’s been on my foodie wish list for ages now and the day couldn’t come any sooner! It even managed to exceed my high expectations I had for it and if I could give it an award, I’d give it one!

I don’t know why this place isn’t more talked about, but the majority of locals are well aware of it and I bet their keeping it a secret. For being around since 1989 it deserves so much more attention than traditional word of mouth, and the place should be packed with more than just those living and working nearby.

The bakers are likely non-professional, and there’s nothing really gourmet about what they’re making. But that doesn’t matter, it’s the execution and quality of ingredients that deem it as the perfect homestyle bakery with a touch of sophistication that suits the area.

Everything is freshly made and baked on site, and it is foremost a bakery, but I wouldn’t deny any of their savoury items. In fact, I found their savoury items even more memorable at times!

I was surprised it didn’t smell like freshly baked pies from the oven, but being that it was 11am, maybe I just needed to come earlier. The pies are constantly being prepped and packaged in the kitchen, but the whole “mass production process”, didn’t come across at all in almost everything I tried. I’m not even sure where they retail them, but the actual location is worth checking out because there’s more than just pies to enjoy.

Savary Island Pie Company has that “farm to table” philosophy and I could feel it in the ambiance and taste it in the food. Everything is made with fresh and natural ingredients that are mostly local and organic. The menu says everything is “natural and organic”, but I’m not sure if everything is. Regardless, the food is incredible and noticeably fresh. It was very reminiscent of places found in in the Okanagan or interior BC.

On the other hand, don’t be fooled by the “healthy” looking cafe, some of the food is as rich and as buttery as some of your greasy spoons, but it’s disguised incredibly well.

This is no doubt a hidden gem, unless you are familiar or live in the area. I highly recommend it as a must try and I can’t believe it took me so long to visit it. I feel like I’ve been deprived for so many years, and for a cafe of this style, it has got to be one of my favourites thus far based on what I tried. I really can’t wait to go back!

On the table:

**Chicken Pot Pie6/6

  • Made with free-range chicken, peas, carrots and onions in a lightly creamed base $8.50 (The only item where you can +$4 for a side soup)
  • Omg. To think that I almost missed out on the chicken pot pie. It sounded so ordinary, but this was no ordinary chicken pot pie.
  • This is a pie you look forward to and dream about.
  • This is something I imagine Food Network’s Ina Garten to make, but hers would have bigger pieces of roast chicken.
  • I’ve made a lot of chicken pot pies and have tried a lot as well, and this was one of the best, surely due to the crust.
  • Although the portion isn’t big, you will be full from the flavour.

**Chicken Pot Pie6/6

  • This pie just melts in your mouth! It’s gorgeous! It tastes better than it looks and it looks good!
  • It was a very rich and indulgent chicken pot pie, but the filling wasn’t heavy, it was the crust!
  • It was a super soft, tender and extremely flakey crust that was bursting with buttery flavour.
  • It was savoury and more buttery than a normal pie crust. You wouldn’t use this crust for a sweet pie.
  • It wasn’t a crispy top, but more crumbly and it was almost like a pie crust meets a biscuit meets a flaky cookie crumble.
  • It’s a traditional chicken pot pie filling with carrots, onions, celery, peas, corn, potatoes and chicken and the sauce is chicken stock based rather than cream based.
  • It wasn’t an overly rich or saucy filling which is good because the crust was enough.
  • It was bathing in natural chicken juices rather than a floury thickened gravy (although there could be still flour).
  • The white meat chicken was moist and the ingredients were fresh and the filling was solid, but the highlight was the crust which was memorable.
  • Sure it could have been made with slow roasted chicken, roasted corn kernels, and freshly shucked sweet peas that aren’t as overcooked, but we’re not fine dining here.
  • I also don’t know anywhere that’s serving that, so this is the best it’s going to get for me so far.

Split Pea & Ham Soup2/6

  • $4 as a side available with the Chicken Pot Pie only. Bowl $6 Have it with a slice of one of our homemade breads. $7
  • Fresh homemade soups vary daily.
  • The soups here are supposed to be fantastic, and lots of people ordered them, but I wasn’t keen on this one.
  • It’s a very chunky split pea soup, with no apparent meat flavour besides the minimal chunks of tender ham which I could have used more of.
  • It was a creamy puree of split peas, but not smooth, and it wasn’t rich or hearty although flavourful.
  • It was a very smoky and musky soup and it almost seemed mustardy.
  • Split pea soups can be like this, but this one had added dill and it just didn’t complement the musky flavour of the soup.
  • It was a bit odd tasting because dill is so lemony, but in the context of this soup it wasn’t going to brighten up any flavours, but instead fight them.
  • I could taste a little sweetness from some diced yams or carrots, but those also lost their flavour.
  • The dill just threw off the flavour of the soup and I found it overpowering and Rosemary or thyme would have been a better bet.

**Grilled Chicken and Fresh Basil Sandwich - 5.5/6

  • Served on Italian bread with green onion pesto, aged white cheddar cheese, fresh tomato and organic marinated chicken. $12.25
  • This was a freaking expensive sandwich, but it was so damn good I’d order it again.
  • This is not an ordinary chicken sandwich and I almost overlooked it, just like I did the pot pie.
  • It’s not a big sandwich, and everything is very light and fresh, but the flavours are very buttery, salty, and a bit rich so it can be filling.
  • It was almost like a layered warm chicken pesto sandwich meets a Caprese and the flavours of a BLT without the bacon… crisp prosciutto and avocado would have been an amazing addition!
  • What else was amazing? The house made bread!
  • The bread was so light, airy, stretchy and somewhat fluffy with giant holes, but not chewy like a baguette.
  • It was lightly toasted and it had a very soft crunch and the bread doesn’t feel rough or scratchy.
  • The bread was as buttery as garlic bread without the garlic and it was almost like a focaccia meets a croissant.
  • They buttered it before toasting it, and it made it extra rich and moist, but very delicious.

  • It was the perfect bread to filling ratio.
  • It was stuffed with tender and moist slices of well seasoned white meat chicken breast and it was quite saucy from a few sauces.
  • I couldn’t taste the aged white cheddar cheese, but I think it was mixed into a spread and it tasted like a cheesy Caesar dressing meets a tangy garlic aioli.
  • It was a thin layer of fresh “green onion pesto”, but it was apparent and it tasted like basil pesto to me, which is even better!
  • I could taste basil and parsley more than green onion, but I don’t think there were any pine nuts.
  • The filling was saucy, moist, juicy, buttery, and creamy, but not wet or soggy and everything just came together so well.
  • The only thing is that it is on the salty side because every layer is seasoned with their special blend of seasoning salt.
  • The sauces were salty enough alone and so was the buttery bread, so I could have used less salt somewhere. I like salt too!

**Apple Pie6/6 (ask for it warmed up)

  • $4.95 + $1.50 a la mode Whole pies $25-27
  • They’re famous for pies, so please promise me you won’t leave without having two!
  • Apple sounded like the typical choice, but I figured I should start with traditional before trying the others. It’s easy to make a point of reference with apple too since almost everyone has tried an apple pie.
  • I don’t care who your mom or grandma is, but if they can make a better apple pie than this… please introduce me.
  • This is one of the best I’ve had, mainly due to the crust, but I have yet to try the pies from the Chilliwack Airport Cafe.
  • This was a very traditional pie, but it’s West Coast in style rather than Southern. By that I mean it was somewhat “healthier” and less indulgent.
  • I prefer natural apple pies rather than the really sweet sugary apple pies that seem baked in caramel and cinnamon. I’ll eat those too, but there’s a time and place.
  • I like the apples to stand out and this one nailed it!
  • I made the request for it to be warmed up (you have to request it), and it intensifies the apple flavour and is so much better.
  • I could bite into chunks of apples, and I prefer chunks instead of slices when it’s in an apple pie. They held their shape and kept their texture, but still melted in my mouth with every bite.
  • I think she used a combination of apples (green and red) and it was more tart than sweet and it wasn’t gummy or pureed, but tender, creamy and still whole.
  • The filling actually reminded me of a McDonald’s apple pie in the sense that it wasn’t strong with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves or warm spices. There was a hint of cinnamon and the rest of the spices aren’t noticeable.
  • The apples are coated with sauce, but not a rich, buttery, brown sugar caramel sauce. It’s not sticky or gluey.
  • The secret is in the crust, which I find is the highlight!
  • It wasn’t as buttery as the Chicken Pot Pie crust, and of course it’s not savoury, but it’s just as amazing!
  • The crust is incredibly tender and very flaky and it cracks as you touch it, but it still held its form.
  • The crust was almost like a flaky crust meets a buttery crumble topping, but it’s not sweet and sugary.
  • It’s a very moist, soft and loose for a crust, but also crispy unlike the Chicken Pot Pie crust.
  • It’s taboo to order a pie and not get it a la mode.
  • The vanilla ice cream was bursting with vanilla bean seeds and vanilla flavour, and it was more creamy than hard with no greasy after taste.
  • I was surprised that the ice cream was GFS/wholesale ice cream, but it was good!

**Lemon Buttermilk5.5/6

  • With or without berries $4.95 Whole pies $25-27
  • This is a true ode to the South! The Buttermilk Pie! Hard to find in Vancouver, so try it here!
  • This is another must try, but it doesn’t have their signature pie crust, so I recommend getting this in addition to a fruit pie.
  • It was a super creamy room temperature pie, and reminiscent of cheesecake, but much lighter. I’m not huge on cheesecake and I loved this!
  • It doesn’t taste cheesy, since it’s buttermilk, but it has similarities.
  • It was very fluffy and almost moussey and it was like a baked custard meets a “poorly made flan” as Sherman would say… but in a good way!
  • It wasn’t as smooth as a custard because it’s made with a bit of biscuit flour, but it’s very moist and creamy.
  • It had a nice tangy brightness and was almost like baked lemon yogurt.
  • It’s sturdier, creamier and denser than a lemon tart, and cheesier than a ricotta pie.
  • It’s not heavy, greasy and almost like a sweet, tart, and tangy quiche.
  • It is very easy to eat and not that sweet at all, the apple pie was sweeter.
  • The top part of the lemon buttermilk was more cooked and the bottom part was more custardy.
  • The crust was a soft and moist shortbread crust and it was more floury than buttery, but I couldn’t taste the flour.
  • I got it with the berries and there weren’t many berries and the blueberries were very dried and wrinkled, but the pie was still excellent!
  • I thought it would be topped with a fresh berries in syrup which I think would be great.

Cranberry Orange Pecan4.5/6

  • $3.17
  • I love pecans and nuts, so when I saw the top covered with nuts, it had my name all over it.
  • It had a nice big and round crispy muffin top which was my favourite part, but it always is. I wish I had a Newman to eat the stumps.

  • The inside was super moist and the ingredients were fresh and plentiful.
  • I could see the bakers constantly grating orange zest and these were loaded with orange zest and fresh cranberries.
  • There were some oats in there as well, but it wasn’t an oatmeal muffin. It just gave it some nutty texture.
  • What bothered me was that there were no pecans inside the muffin. The amount on top made up for it, but I like some inside too. It made the stump even less desirable.
  • I could see the orange zest throughout and the flavours were very bright and zesty, but it wasn’t a tart muffin and not too sweet either. It had natural flavours.
  • They’re really good at making things not too sweet here.

Apricot Almond Scone2.5/6

  • $2.75
  • If I ordered a muffin, why not a scone?
  • I loved the crispy exterior, but it didn’t really go much further and it was kind of sad because I was confident they would nail something like a basic scone.
  • Maybe I just needed another flavour, but I love almonds.

  • You can see it was dry and a bit crumbly rather than flakey, fluffy, buttery and moist.
  • I’m sure the apricots were fresh, and they were  bit hairy from the skins, but they tasted dried and I prefer them a bit juicy even though they’re baked in a scone.
  • It wasn’t a buttery or sweet scone really and I wanted more almond flavour.
  • There were some sliced almonds throughout, but it needed almond extract and perhaps some vanilla flavouring to enhance that almond flavour. I really couldn’t taste it, but I got the crunch of some pieces.
  • It was quite crumbly and I was really surprised it wasn’t very buttery considering how buttery everything else had been.

Carrot Cake - 3/6

  • $5.04
  • I found it a pricey carrot cake, but that’s because it was made with organic carrots.
  • It drove me insane trying to figure out why it was green. Naturally you’d assume it was zucchini, but organic carrots actually turn green when baked with baking soda.
  • What bothered me was that it wasn’t fresh. It had been obviously sitting in the fridge and it captured the other flavours so it didn’t taste as good as it could have been.
  • There was a thick cream cheese layer and it was quite cheesy and sweeter than the cake, which wasn’t that sweet at all.
  • It was bursting with fresh shredded carrots and also a couple random pieces of apricot, but there was no apricot flavour in the actual cake.
  • I could bite into the crunch of carrots and it was actually a bit salty too.
  • I could taste nutmeg, and then a subtle hint of cinnamon.
  • It was a very moist cake, but a bit dry on the edges from being in the fridge.
  • It’s a good carrot cake, but nothing special. I also prefer it with raisins and nuts and a darker molasses colour.

Granola Bar3/6

  • $3.56
  • I love granola in all forms. I know its super easy to make, but I like store bought ones just as much. I’m a nuts and seeds kind of person.
  • This was a giant chocolate granola bar, and I didn’t know it was only chocolate and oats.
  • It’s very chocolaty and the chocolate chips were creamy and soft and semi melted.
  • The granola bar was quite hard rather than soft and it was somewhat chewy, but it’s the “get stuck in your teeth” chewy.
  • I could have used a darker chocolate chip quality, nuts and just more ingredients in general.
  • This wasn’t anything you couldn’t do at home and it was good, but nothing you’re missing out if you pass on it. Save the calories and order another pie instead!

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erin August 28, 2011 at 12:04 pm

This is one of our fave spots and we were just there yesterday. Like you said- it’s a secret gem that I haven’t wanted to share with anyone!!! The coffee is secretly some of the best I’ve had too.

Had the bfst sandwich yest- which is just like the chicken one you posted except with egg and my exact words to my boyfriend: this is the best sandwich I’ve ever had! That said- $12 for a sandwich is exorbitant :(

The buttermilk pie is our fave so I’m really glad you liked it so much.

Can I ask you a favour? Please take down this review so “our” table stays that way? ;)

2 Mijune August 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm

@Erin – yay!!! I’m so happy I located one of your fav spots that has now become MY fav spot too!! OMG! I went their once, tried to kill their menu and didn’t want to leave!!!

OMGGGGG WITH EGG??!?! MY FAV!!! Drool.. I want one now!!! I agree with the price, but it’s almost so good, you can’t help it. It’s all the organic ingredients they’re using that jacks up the price!!

LOLL at your last comment! Sorry hun, I can’t deprive Vancouver of this deliciousness! I promise not to take your table though! ;)

3 MyFoodprint August 28, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Every dish looks amazing! Add another spot on my list of “to-go”! And um, Mijune, how are you not 1000 pounds??!! Tips please!

4 Bow August 29, 2011 at 1:07 am

Made it to the North Shore, again…Savary Island Pie Co. is tres cher but very good…good enuff that Whole Foods sells their pies at even higher prices than $25/ea. These were the prices over 10 years ago(compared to a cheap crappy “pie” at Safeway for $3.99). A favorite spot on the N. Shore which has a dearth of good places to eat. When it’s winter, raining and miserable we come here at night for a coffee and a piece of pie(I like the fruit pies) and leave feeling much better…all is right with the world.

5 Mijune August 29, 2011 at 10:11 am

@MyFoodprint – lol! Oh trust me I was stuffed after this! Although I went to high tea at The Secret Garden 1.5hours later… o.O Oh but please try this… you’ll have room when you see see how good everything is! :)

@Bow – Yes! So pricey!! I didn’t know they had it at Whole Foods, but I don’t live by on either. It’s expensive, but the ingredients are really expensive so I can see why. Aw Bow…you’re so lucky to live by this place! It’s magical!

6 degan August 29, 2011 at 11:46 am

I’ve been wanting to go here for ages but somehow it always seems so far, or we’re doing too many things while we’re over there. Thanks for teh reminder!

7 Mijune August 30, 2011 at 11:18 am

@degan – next… road trip to Chilliwack to test the pies at that airport!!! I need to compare :) I’d bring a Savary Island one for back to back comparison lol

8 Linda August 30, 2011 at 11:59 am

mmmmm my mouth totally just watered reading your post! so many pies, so little time!

mmm the chicken pot pie looks great – definitely doesn’t look like its traditional counterpart since this version seems to be a bit lighter in terms of the dough which in this case was totally beneficial! i love that the juices are from the chicken and not from the thick gravy!

i love split pea soup and the musky flavour may be from old split peas? i always order this soup whenever i see it on the menu but maybe from this place, i’ll pass. mmm nothing pairs better than fresh basil + tomatoes + chicken… nomnomnom, i can’t wait to put these ingredients together myself tonight :)

the lemon buttermilk pie sounds interesting and definitely something i’d like to try :) and WOW organic carrots turn green when they’re baked with baking soda?!

9 Brenda August 31, 2011 at 12:18 am

I’d heard their pies were good but hadn’t tried them until a friend bought a Savary lemon buttermilk pie to a dinner party. It was one of the most delicious pies I’ve ever had! I will definitely stop by their shop the next time I’m in the area.

10 Mijune August 31, 2011 at 12:16 pm

@linda – i’m so excited for you to try this gem!! I know the carrot thing was new to me too! U caught that!! good eye my dear!

@brenda – that buttermilk pie… is amazing! I just don’t care for the wrinkly berries really.

11 Sedap Makan September 5, 2011 at 2:01 am

I love this place. Best pie crust and fillings you can find. You should try the multigrain loaf. It is heavy but so filling and delicious. The chocolate cake is worth the drive to the north shore as well. All of the pies are good. The cost of a single peice is not much more than the whole pie so its easy to sample a few kinds.

12 Mijune September 5, 2011 at 10:27 pm

@Sedap – Yeah it was hard for me to narrow down which fruit pie to choose! I haven’t compared these pies to Aphrodite and Tartine yet… have u?

13 Tara @ Mindful Nourishment October 9, 2011 at 11:38 am

So my hubby and I were on the North Shore yesterday and your pie post came to mind. With no idea of where it was or the name, we luckily drove until we found it!

Freaking delicious, I’ve never had crust like that in my life!!

We had the buttermilk pie and blueberry. I wish I remembered you got the chicken pot pie, as we would’ve gotten that too.

We’ve eaten at Aphrodite’s many times and love their pies. My standard pie is always blueberry, so in comparison, the fillings for both places are delicious. Aphrodite is more of a simple fresh typical filling (lemon, sugar, blueberries), where Savary did more of a mulled wine sort of filling with the blueberry – which worked. We tasted citrus, but it seemed more like grapefruit, rather than lemon. Interesting. Crust aside?? Well no contest, Savary is mind blowing.

14 Mijune October 9, 2011 at 11:57 pm

@Tara – eeekk!!!!! woohoo!!! I’m SO happy you loved this place!!! Your comment got me so excited! Buttermilk Pie would be great for thanksgiving too! Actually all of them would be! You should go back to try that chicken sandwich and the pie too! That chicken sandwich is surprising… I know it sounds “whatever” and looks kind of “whatever”… but it was really good! let me know your thoughts when you try them! Thanks for commenting back on here for the update!

15 Tara @ Mindful Nourishment October 13, 2011 at 11:00 am

I’ll definitely update when we go back again. Which will have to be soon, because my hub and I decided to have a pie making contest with each other to see who could make a crust closest to Savary. Guess what?? We both have A LOT of work to do. We’ll have to go back to Savary to do some serious research (aka eat lots of pies) to figure this out. We thought the secret was lard and butter, very little manipulation, and chilling the dough…. uhm, yeah, we’re missing something. haha

16 Mijune October 13, 2011 at 2:35 pm

@Tara – omg!!! that is SOOO CUTE!!!! Seriously!!! What a nice activity to do together!! I love it!!! Try experimenting with savoury pies too! I had a perogie pie and it was AMAZING! Butter crust, mashed potatoes, cheese, bacon, onions and sour cream on top.. DROOL

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