It’s officially National Pie Week, and we’re so excited. What could be better than a cheeky pie to warm you up, get you cosy and give you a good hug? Of course, many places in the North are well-versed in pie making, but we thought it would be rude not to focus on the pie capital of the UK: Wigan.
For most of our lifetimes, people from Wigan have been called ‘pie-eaters‘, whether it’s in rugby or football chants, as a derogatory term or a term of endearment. This is said to come from the coal miners’ strike in 1926, when Wigan miners were the first to call off strikes and go back to work – so were said to be ‘eating humble pie’. We will say, though, many argue that Wiganers were also the first to start striking, so the mocking nature of the term is a bit unfair really.
Since then, though, Wigan, whether consequently or just conveniently, has doubled down on its peoples’ nickname, now having more pie shops per square metre than any other UK town, as well as holding the annual pie-eating contest at Harry’s Bar. Anyway, we’re going to run you through some of the best places in Wigan to get a pie this week, and any week really. So, get your stretchy pants out and get ready for our *unofficial* Wigan pie trail hitting all the best pie shops.
Wigan town centre pie shops
A firm favourite in Wigan, Galloways takes pride of place in many locations in the town. We’ve opted for the Wallgate site as it’s the closest to both train stations, but if you’re wandering around Wigan you’re sure to find one! Serving all the classics, including a meat and potato pie with mushy peas and gravy for the fraction of the price of its Manchester counterparts, Galloways seems to be the king of Wigan pie shops, so why not pop along and try a Wigan kebab, AKA a pie barm? Galloways, 33 Wallgate, Wigan, WN1 1BE.
Known around the North for its cheap and cheerful trademark pasties and pies, and subsequently for upping the price to over £1, Poundbakery isn’t exactly a Wigan pie shop, in fact the shop originated in neighbouring Bolton, but in all fairness it is a pie shop in Wigan… so forgive us. There’s a few around town and it’s always a cheap and easy pop-in for some lunch or a snack on the go, so we really can’t fault it. PoundBakery, 28 Market Pl, Wigan, WN1 1PJ.
Another familiar Northern name, Greenhalgh’s is the epitome of traditional Northern baked goods. Again, not necessarily a Wigan independent, again from nearby Bolton, but of course there had to be one in the town given their reputation. Greenhalgh’s is proud of the quality pies and bakes it produces, and at no more than £3.50 for any of their pies, it’s always an absolute bargain for the product you get. This one’s also set in a rickety, Tudor-style house, making it feel all the more authentically Wigan. Greenhalgh’s, 10 Standishgate, Wigan, WN1 1UE.
4. The New Chippery
One thing about us, we’re gonna have pies at a fish and chip shop. The New Chippery is a good old traditional chippy, and they serve your favourite pies whilst they’re at it. They rate highly on customer satisfaction and are experts in providing good grub, with good vibes and plenty of vegan and veggie options too. Pop along for a chat and a sensational pie if you can. The New Chippery, 20 Market St, Wigan, WN1 1HX.
Pie shops on the outskirts of Wigan
5. The Rolling Pin Bakery
This lot are especially excited about National Pie Week, with a special chicken curry pie on offer just this week, and The Rolling Pin Bakery is here to make every week just as glorious. With hotpots, pies and bakes galore on the menu, it’s pretty difficult to choose, and the team are as skilled at piping desserts as they are crimping their pies. Of course, you could opt for a Wigan classic, the pie barm, but if you’re not up for the challenge they’ve got plenty for you to try. The Rolling Pin Bakery, 129-131 Ormskirk Rd, Newtown, Wigan, WN5 9EA.
Due to reopen soon after a rebranding, Baldy’s is renowned in Wigan for taking pie-making up a notch. The British Pie Award-winner brings an artisanal flair to the pie capital, with a menu that includes the likes of the Mexican: steak mince and brisket, smoked scotch bonnets, Baldy’s secret spices, mixed beans, dark chocolate, with a smoked paprika and chilli crumb. So you can see why founder Alex Melling stands out so much in the town – we’re hoping for a reopening ASAP. Baldy’s Pies, Unit 6 Clayton St, Wigan, WN3 4DA.
Hindley pie shops
Self-described at a pie and butty shop, Flapjacks is a humble Hindley haunt with real heart. With most pies and pasties priced at around £2, you can’t really get much more simple but effective. Options are classic with fillings from steak and kidney to cheese and onion, and they have daily specials that’ll warm your insides. Flapjacks, 3 Chapel Green Rd, Hindley, Wigan, WN2 3LL.
8. The Cottage Bakery
Making all pies in-house, The Cottage Bakery is set in a classically Northern end-of-terrace house in Hindley Green. A proper hearty, working class place, the bakery serves everything you’d expect and the staff are always happy to help or chat if you need it. If you fancy tucking into pies your grandma would be proud of, give The Cottage Bakery a go. The Cottage Bakery, 735 Atherton Rd, Hindley Green, Wigan, WN2 4SD.
Leigh pie shops
Originally from Leigh, Waterfields holds a special place in the hearts of Wiganers, and since its opening nearly a century ago in 1926, it has expanded all around the region. Its rich history shows in the quality of its products, serving pies, rolls, pasties, sandwiches and more, as well as the commitment to continue to serve Leigh and surroundings areas such as Warrington, St Helens and Southport. You can always rely on Waterfields for your favourites, and they’re proud to be left standing on the high street. Waterfields, Union Street, 10-14 Union street, Leigh, WN7 1AT.
10. The Farm Shop
Selling salt and pepper chips, cheese boards and joints of meat, The Farm Shop is so much more than a Wigan pie shop – but it does do a flipping good pie. The shop is full to the brim with beautiful produce, often put together into hampers, including traditional pies and pasties filled with meat and potato, and cheese and onion, as well as home-made lobby pies and, of course, pork pies. There’s so much on offer behind the humble façade, so it’s really worth a visit. The Farm Shop, 27 Bradshawgate, Leigh, WN7 4NB.