Might be helpful to share our experiences all in one spot.
I think there's been a few sporadic posts on this but nothing comprehensive....
The Gaurdian did a roundup listing Mission Pie, Miette, Crave Bakery, Zanze's Cheesecake, Peasant Pies, Fat Apples, and Beard Papa for uh, pumpkin cream puffs. None of those really sound great.
Andronicos: Buying from a supermarket never feels special enough to me, but the "prize winning" Pecan is the best I've had. Since they redesigned their Irving St. location, the store, and the pies look entirely different now. Hmm.
Mission Pies/Destination Pies: Maybe they farm out their bulk pie making during the holidays or something? I've liked their pies the rest of the year, but the crust was flavorless, and lacked butter or something on the samplings I had last Thanksgiving.
Bi-Rite: Really disappointing. We couldn't even eat their house branded pecan pie.
Plutos: Not that anyone would go here for a pie, but just in case, I can report it depends on the year, and where they're ordering them from. They're usually huge 18" pies. Last years was really generic. A couple years back amazing. Who knows for this year.
Anyone have any experience with holiday pies at Arizmendi or Bay Bread?
Is Tartine doing specials? What about Mission Beach Cafe, or maybe Memphis Minnie's?