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Photograph: Courtesy of Kevin J. McCormick Photography

A running list of the absolute best fall dishes to try in NYC this year

The city's best fall pumpkin, apple and Halloween candy-flavored food and drinks.

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Amber Sutherland-Namako

The hint of a chill in the air, the crunch of a single leaf under your cute fall boot, a pile of pumpkins outside the bodega poised to become jack-o’lanterns–the outset of autumn in New York is the seasonal equivalent of a heart-quickening flirtation. And, unlike an early infatuation, it just keeps getting more delicious as the days go on. 

Nationally, the arrival of fall is signaled by the annual pumpkin spice panic, but here in the five boroughs, we have many more seasonal flavor options than vaguely fragrant orange powder of dubious origin. Here are 14 to try right now, and we’ll keep adding more until it’s time to switch to Christmas cookies. 

Apple crisp pudding at Magnolia Bakery 

Long famed for its banana pudding (second only to the iconic cupcakes!) it’s curious that the NYC’s sweets shop that swept the nation waited this long to propose other pudding options. But now, and only for the month of November, Magnolia has a brand new apple crisp variety, which layers a creamy, fresh apple base with a crumbly topping.

Magnolia Bakery
Photograph: Courtesy of Magnolia Bakery

Apple Pie cocktail at NR

NR, an oyster and ramen restaurant on the Upper East side, is always tinkering over cocktail innovations. One of this fall’s additions is the Apple Pie, with calvados and earl grey tea-infused gin, apple cider, fresh ginger, and housemade apple syrup.

Photograph: Courtesy of NR

Jack-o’-lantern-shaped Churros at La Churreria 

Nolita’s La Churreria churns out all manner of novel churros all year long, and its spooky season offering is all wound up to resemble a pumpkin, dressed up in sprinkles and served as an ice cream sandwich or on a stick for maximum portable snacking. 

La Churreria
Photograph: Courtesy of La Churreria

Pumpkin spice latte cookie at Chip City

Chip City's seasonal pumpkin spice latte cookie is back. The sweet treat takes pumpkin spice cookie dough, fills with espresso dulce de leche and bakes it all up into an autumnal taste and texture mashup. 

Chip City
Photograph: Courtesy of Chip City

Take it Outside cocktail at the Gansevoort Rooftop

Sometimes, if even for one beautiful moment, rooftop drinking season and hot cocktail season may intertwine like vines in a pumpkin patch on a clear, sunny day. And the Gansevoort Hotel’s recently refreshed rooftop bar is hanging on to the former and getting a head start on the latter. Its Take it Outside tipple mixes mezcal, triple sec, chai tea, steamed oat milk and agave syrup into a warming, boozy bev.

Gansevoort Meatpacking
Photograph: Courtesy of Gansevoort Meatpacking


Apple Martini at Hawksmoor NYC

One of the 1990s and early 2000s most ubiquitous cocktails, the apple martini takes fall’s second most iconic fruit (see: picking, bobbing and carameling), turns it into liquid candy and adds booze. Why did these drop from menus in over the course of NYC’s intervening cocktail resurgence again? Only a few rounds at newly opened British import Hawksmoor will tell. 

Basically Pumpkin ale at Talea Beer Co.

We’ve been (leaf) peeping Talea’s menu for the arrival of its autumn suds since co-founder Tara Hankinson told us that this, and the Oktoberfest-inspired Festie lager, were on their way. Now they're finally here, and Hankinson says both beers are predicted to be best sellers through Thanksgiving. 

Pumpkin cupcake at Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery

It’s never easy to choose between Sugar Sweet Sunshine’s copious cupcake varieties, and at $2.75 each, sometimes we don’t. But the approaching season is as good a reason as any to swap the downtown shop’s lemon and strawberry varieties with its cream cheese frosting-topped pumpkin option.

Apple cardamom doughnut at Doughnut Plant

Doughnut Plant updates the novel offerings at its four NYC locations all the time, and its latest recipe marries apples and fragrant cardamom in a cake ring that gets covered in glaze. A vegan sourdough option is also available. 

Pumpkin pie at Baked

The October/November mainstay that dare not flash its orangey surface the other ten months a year really gets a lot of mileage out of these 61 days each fall. Soon, pumpkin pie will pop up everywhere: At the cafe, in the grocery store, and under your pillow. Baked’s take, available at its shop in Red Hook, hits all the right rich, warm spice notes. 

Pumpkin pie from Baked
Photograph: Courtesy Raydene Salinas

Pumpkin Waffles at Sarabeth’s 

This NYC mini-chain is a popular brunch spot year-round, but fall is the best time to enjoy its pumpkin waffles. Sweet batter is poured into the ideal form and served in fragrant golden triangles along with sour cream, honey and raisins. Dessert for breakfast is the new breakfast for dinner. 

Pumpkin Spice Draft Latte at La Colombe

For those of us who drink iced coffee, cold brew, or just drip that’s cooled off all year long, this Philadelphia import to NYC’s canned pumpkin blend is an entrée to autumnal flavors without having to order a . . . you know. It also has subtle pumpkin notes that you might not even notice if you didn’t know it was there.  

Pumpkin soup and jumbo pretzel at Schaller & Weber

Schaller and Weber has transformed its backyard into an Upper East Side Oktoberfest destination, and its pumpkin soup will be especially enticing once the temperature drops, whether you’re a fan of the flavor or not. Slurp it with sips of Bavarian beer and add a jumbo pretzel to dip for a little fall feast. 

Schaller & Weber
Photograph: Courtesy of Schaller & Weber

Actual apples at Trees

Actual apples that you pick from trees in orchards near NYC?? How do you like them? 

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