SAN DIEGO — In preparation for “Pi Day,” Yelp compiled their best-reviewed pie shops in every state for those looking for a fun excuse to enjoy a slice based on the date’s abbreviation, 3.14, like the mathematical constant. A San Diego County bakery came out on top in California.
California Mountain Bakery in Wynola, a small rural community just down the road from Julian, was ranked best in the state based on a variety of factors, including the overall number of ratings and the positivity of the reviews. As of Friday afternoon, the little shop had a sterling five-star rating on the customer review platform, with visitors raving about the bakery’s variety of sweet pies and savory options.
If you want to visit in person, you should note that the shop is only open for walk-ins on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That means you’d need to visit this weekend — or get one of the company’s pies at the grocery store — if you want to enjoy one on Pi Day itself. The pies can be found in some Sprouts stores in San Diego County and all local Barons Market and Frazier Farms Market locations.
The shop is a family affair. When FOX 5 gave the bakery a call to share the news of Yelp’s top rating, Matilde Padilla answered the phone and helpfully fielded some questions. She is the daughter of Raul Padilla, who has owned and operated the shop for about seven years. Matilde’s brother, also named Raul, manages the shop and a third sibling, their sister, works in the store, too.
The shop uses fresh, local fruit for its pies when in-season. A visitor in December shared a photo of a sign advertising a range of options, including pies that combined apple with cherry, summerberry, mango, boysenberry and blueberry. Danishes, biscuits and breakfast sandwiches round out the offerings.
“We make all our pies fresh everyday and all our dough and ingredients are prepped from scratch,” Raul told FOX 5 by email. “We even peel our own apples,” he added, noting the shop’s location “amongst Julian’s famous apple orchards.”
Reviewers say stopping at the bakery is a perfect way to cap a visit to the mountains for other activities.
“THIS IS A MUST HAVE STOP after a long hike,” wrote Cynthia H., a Carmel Valley resident. “Trust me.”
“If I could give more stars I would. This is hands down one of my favorite places to visit and a MUST after a hike in the mountains,” added Kimberly G. “The customer service is always great and the staff is very sweet.”
Reviewers were also complimentary of the price-point, like Teddy B., who said he didn’t feel like he paid a tourist’s premium for baked goods at the shop.
It may seem far-flung, but a drive to Wynola from downtown San Diego is only about an hour and 15 minutes without traffic. And venturing out to the mountains for a slice of pie is not a foreign concept for many locals: Grabbing a slice at nearby bakeries within the town of Julian is a winter tradition for many families.
If you can’t make it out to the mountains, though, it’s nice to know the shop sells its pies wholesale to a variety of grocers.
You can learn more on the bakery’s Facebook page.
“We’re very excited about our nomination and are very grateful to all the customers who have taken time out of their day to leave us a great review,” Raul wrote. “It really drives us to continue to make great pie and hope we can continue to only make it better.”