Did someone say meat pie? Considered by many to be our national dish, the meat pie is about as Aussie as Vegemite, a beer or throwing a snag on the barbecue.
Lucky for you we have compiled a list of the best Aussie meat pies in the Illawarra.
A little over half an hour outside of the centre of Wollongong in the gorgeous coastal hamlet of Gerringong you will find this award-winning bakery.
The bakery took out a swag of awards at the 2022 Australia's Best Pie competition, including for its classic plain mince beef pie.
The secret to the business's success, according to owner and chef Grant Jamieson, was starting from scratch.
"We use slow food cooking methods, so we don't use pre-mixes or anything like that," he told the Mercury recently.
According to its website, it is the number one bakery in all of the Illawarra, so we are guessing they know a thing or two about meat pies.
An icon in the area for more than 30 years, Coniston Bakery was taken over by baker and pastry chef Jason and partner Robyn in 2012. They have since purchased two more bakeries in Unanderra and Crown Street, Wollongong.
While they offer a large selection of pies, it is the plain meat pie, which comes in a regular and family size, that is a much-loved staple and about as Aussie as they come.
If you have room after, why not tuck into another Aussie sensation, a Lamington.
Robertson Pie Shop
Perched on top of the Illawarra escarpment is inarguably one of the best known pie shops around.
While it is in the Southern Highlands, not the Illawarra, plenty of locals will have made the trip to Robertson Pie Shop over the years to get a fix.
The shop has been in the same family since 1980, and has won a number of awards. On the extensive menu you will of course find a meat pie, both in a small and a large family-size version. There are also plenty of sweet treats.
Its location on the busy Illawarra Highway makes it a great pit stop, especially for day trippers holiday makers and motorcyclists.
Hayden's Pies, Ulladulla
While this one is a little further afield, in Ulladulla, on the NSW South Coast, no list of best meat pies would be complete without including Hayden's Pies.
While there are a whole lot of pies to choose from, it has retained its traditional pie made with minced chuck steak and a rich gravy.
This place is more institution than humble pie shop. It might not be the prettiest shop or location on the Princes Highway but people have been known to drive for hours to sample the menu.
Owner Hayden Bridger has been at the helm since 2003 and has earned the title of 'pie master'.
He has assumed near legendary status among locals, surfers and fisherman, and there are often long queues stretching outside.
He told the Mercury earlier this year the secret to the perfect meat pie was butter - "I do enjoy making the puff in a traditional style" and making "everything from scratch".
Located on Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul, is Sareven Bakehouse.
Chef Steve White and wife Sarah took over the former Flemings Cakes in 2010 and made it their own.
They offer a wide variety of pies, cakes, pastries, breads and other products but it is their meat pies that keep people coming back.
A review on Tripadvisor said the meat pies were "something special" and different to any others in the region, but harked back to the meat pie of old.
While you are there, why not sample another one of their best sellers and Aussie icon, the lamington.
Kiama Pie Shop
With a large selection of pies to choose from, Kiama Pie Shop is popular with locals and visitors alike.
If you can't decide which of the many pies on their menu you want to sample, the best bet is to stick with a traditional meat pie, which is available in a normal size or a family size.
Not only that, but you can add mash and peas on top - a true delight on a cold winter's day and perfect during a day trip to Kiama to see the blowhole.