Editor’s Note: O Pie O will close permanently on August 7, 2022, according to a post on the bakery’s Instagram. Its sister restaurant, Heyday, remains open in East Walnut Hills and will continue to serve O Pie O’s honey vinegar pie, whole or by the slice.
When the Great Depression hit, American bakers were at a loss. With the price of lemons on the rise, pie devotees searched for tangy substitutes to sweet pies, and the vinegar pie was born. When O Pie O began in 2014, cofounders Lou Ginocchio and Ian Sobeck wanted to explore the funky-sounding pastry. But traditional vinegar pies were too plain, while honey pies were too sweet. “We decided to make it a little more luxurious,” says Ginocchio.
The resulting combination is a luscious custard pie with a golden-brown top reminiscent of crème brûlée sprinkled with sea salt; its silky texture is a dead ringer for the world’s lightest cheesecake. The apple cider vinegar? Don’t worry, there’s only a tablespoon, which provides a hint of cheek-squeezing pucker that balances the sweet honey.
Ginocchio knew the name might be a tough sell, but it’s clearly become their runaway hit. “Most people say honey vinegar pie sounds weird,” says Ginocchio. So he always has samples ready. “Once they try it, they don’t forget the name.”