Yes, we’ve officially entered fall, best embodied by cozy scarves, crunchy leaves, and, of course, the pumpkin spice latte. But you don’t need Starbucks to get your pumpkin fix—here are seven places serving up everyone’s favorite squash in various forms.
Are you anxious about abandoning your PSL? Fear not, because a pumpkin shake is only a hop, skip, and a jump away from the season's buzziest latte. Capitol Hill’s Juicebox takes pumpkins from Local Roots Farm and crafts a spiced pumpkin butter, which is then blended with dates, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepita date milk. And if you still need some caffeine, you can add espresso for an extra buck. Coffee fix, check. Pumpkin fix, double check.
When it comes to combining Greek yogurt and seasonal flavors, Ellenos does it best. Case in point: their new pumpkin pie flavor. The base is the same as always—yogurt and honey—but then it starts to get interesting when they swirl in pumpkin spice. At the small stand in Pike Place Market, all that goodness is topped with large chunks of Costco pumpkin pie. As for the other locations, they make their own crumble and pumpkin puree to sprinkle on top. You win either way, especially because you can feel mildly healthy despite eating a deconstructed pumpkin pie.
Earlier this week Skillet decided to ring in fall with a roasted pumpkin and quinoa salad at its Ballard and Capitol Hill locations. And while we all know that pumpkin is perfection in and of itself, it doesn’t hurt that the salad’s topped with goat cheese, pomegranate, toasted coconut, mint, and a spiced orange vinaigrette. From bright reds to deep oranges, the salad practically screams fall, but you're in luck if you want the pumpkin craze to continue all year—the salad will be around up until March.
If you eschew "warm and cozy" and prefer your pumpkin on the frosty side, then Central District Ice Cream’s new pumpkin pie cheesecake flavor is right up your alley. The shop starts by making its own pumpkin puree to create a pumpkin ice cream. The next step is crafting a cream cheese flavor, and then swirling the two together. Of course it wouldn’t be cheesecake without a crust, and the scoop shop obeys—they make a real graham cracker crust, then crumble it into the mixture. And yes, there’s another seven seasonal flavors for the month of October, but are you really going to get a guava ice cream in fall? It’s practically heresy.
Though ice cream, yogurt, and shakes certainly show off pumpkin's sweet side, we’d be underestimating the squash if we were to ignore how well it pairs with savory dishes. After all, pumpkins are vegetables. Accordingly, Tavolàta Capitol Hill is presenting a new pasta dish: pumpkin ravioli with roasted onion brodo, pumpkin seed oil, thyme, and Parmesan. Pumpkin and ravioli—name a more iconic and homey fall duo…we’ll wait.
The pumpkin-spice-everything trend might have started 14 years ago, but that doesn’t mean pumpkin can’t be married with treats that vastly predate the early aughts: Take Top Pot’s pumpkin old-fashioned doughnuts, which were rolled out just a few weeks ago and will remain through December 31. Top Pot’s been making them since 2008 and their flagship store on Fifth Avenue cranks out about 250 each day. All that practice becomes clear once you bite into one of the doughnuts, which are made with real canned pumpkin and then topped with a pumpkin spice glaze. The end result is a spicy pumpkin treat that’s not cloyingly sweet. And if you happen to need a beverage, Top Pot also has—dare I say it—a pumpkin spice latte. The syrup is made in house from heated pumpkin puree, so no, this isn’t your ordinary PSL.
Some people dabble in the pumpkin trend, and others dive in head first. If you belong to the latter category, then step right up and partake in Volunteer Park Cafe’s Pot o’ Gold—a roasted sugar pie pumpkin loaded with polenta, fontina and mushrooms, and then topped with a creamy rosemary sauce. Sugar pie pumpkins are on the smaller side—they weigh up to five pounds—but that doesn’t take away from the fact that you’ll have a whole pumpkin on your plate. So get to carving—but with a fork rather than those flimsy grocery store knives. (Seriously, how are they useful?)