Whether we yay it or nay it, we have to admit that pumpkin-flavored anything begins to have a certain hold over us this time of year, populating the shelves of the nearby Trader Joe’s or peppered into the offerings at our favorite coffee shops. And now that it’s finally (finally) getting a little bit cooler out, it’s time to embrace all things autumnal with these top spots to get your pumpkin fix in Bull City. And if PSLs aren’t your thing, there are plenty more fall-inspired flavors to warm you up.
But first coffee…
Caffe Bellezza Mobile Coffee Bar has not one but two pumpkin beverages on offering to satisfy your fall cravings. For those who love a classic, the Insatiable PSL comes with homemade syrup – and tastes way better than the flavor pumps at Starbucks! For those on the more adventurous side, try the Headless Horseman – a dirty chai with pumpkin. You can catch them on Saturday mornings at the Durham Farmers’ Market in Central Park.
Newcomer on the scene Cloche Coffee is coming in hot with a delicious trio of fall-inspired beverages: the Spiced Apple Latte, the Harvest Latte, or the Muscadine Mocha. I ordered the Spiced Apple, which had me breathing in heavenly scents of sweet apple crisp. The Harvest Latte has a cozy mix of maple, sweet potato and cinnamon, and the Muscadine Mocha combines white chocolate and fruit for a decadent combo. You can even get them iced if, you know, it hasn’t quite hit those optimal fall temperatures yet. If those descriptions don’t have you digging out your blanket scarf, we don’t know what will. Head on down to their new location near the Duke University Wall Loop on Broad Street!
The Jack and Oak at Bull City Ciderworks is the pumpkin cider your heart has been looking for. Aged on light American Oak, and made with pumpkin puree, vanilla bean, cinnamon, and caramelized organic cane sugar, one sip will have you grinning like a Jack O’Lantern. It’s not too sweet, and goes down smoother than the other kind of Jack!
P.S. Bull City Ciderworks’ apple pie-inspired cider, Cardinal Cin, is also out. I would suggest ordering up a flight to try a few seasonal flavors, and enjoying them by the fire pits!
While you won’t find a pumpkin beer on the menu at Fullsteam, they do have an excellent vegan pasta to celebrate the harvest season, with some nods to end of summer favorites. The dish consists of roasted shallot, eggplant, sweet corn, tomato, Fox Farm & Forage seasonal mushrooms, all tossed in a pumpkin seed soy milk crema, and the pasta itself is actually roasted spaghetti squash. I honestly forgot there wasn’t actual pasta in it, and it was quite filling! I also ordered the suggested beer pairing, the seasonal Full Stem – a beer/cider collaboration that combines to give you a tart apple ale. For someone who enjoys both ciders and beers, this is the perfect combo. (Fun fact: I learned from Fullsteam’s website that this type of fermented beverage made by blending malted grain and apples is known as a “Graf,” and the term to describe the beverage comes from Stephen King’s book, “The Dark Tower.” Spooky!)
Known for their seasonal dining experiences, it’s no shock that Piedmont is taking advantage of the local NC harvest with mouth-watering options like the Pumpkin Ravioli, served in a walnut brown butter sauce, with crispy sage, pecorino romano, and garlic toast. You can pair it with a Fall Salad to start, which comes with roasted apples,spiced pecans, and cornbread croutons.
(P.S. – they will also be hosting a 5-course Orin Swift Wine Dinner on October 17 – with the first course being a Pumpkin Confit, with compressed apple, goat cheese, smoked pepita crumble, black garlic and maple vinaigrette. Sign me up!)
We all know North Carolina fall means we could still be sweating like it’s summer, so head on over to The Parlour for the best of both seasons! Pumpkin pie ice cream is officially on the menu, and worth the long line for the homemade graham cracker pie crust crumbles. There is also an apple butter ice cream, and word on their Instagram is that there will be a vegan pumpkin flavor coming too!
For you baked goods lovers, Loaf has a pumpkin cream cheese danish, with flaky buttery layers of pastry enclosing a dollop of homemade pumpkin spiced cream cheese and a dusting of powdered sugar. Ninth Street Bakery is serving up a pumpkin bar, with crumbly layers of oats and pumpkin (plus it’s vegan and gluten free). I bought one for dessert but ended up eating it before my lunch because it looked so tasty!
If you’re the type of person who likes to look to the next, next holiday, look no further than East Durham Bake Shop’s Malted Pumpkin Pie. This is the perfect treat to round out the season of the Great Pumpkin. Plus, they are already taking orders for Thanksgiving, so be sure to get yours in!
More fall goodness around town from our followers:
Autumn Lager at Fullsteam Brewery
All-natural pumpkin spice latter at Oak House
Hot Caramel Apple Cider at Joe Van Gogh
Spiced Caramel Latte at People’s Coffee
Apple Crisp with chai ice cream at Nana Steak
The Pete Loaf at It’s a Southern Thing
Apple Pie Ice Cream at The Parlour
Cranberry Cinnamon Sour at Durty Bull
Apple Cider Donut at Monuts
Pumpkin Spice Latte at Bull and Bean
Where is your favorite place to find fall-inspired treats in Durham? Send us a message!
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