The hint of a chill in the air, the crunch of a single leaf under your cute fall boot, hot cocktails replacing frozens, 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 16 to try right now, and we’ll keep adding more until it’s time to switch to Christmas cookies.
Cranberry Cup at Lindens at Arlo Soho
The new restaurant on the Arlo Soho hotel’s ground floor is scheduled to open on Wednesday, November 10, and its menu will include one of Thanksgiving’s most familiar dishes in drink form. The Cranberry Cup cocktail includes vodka, apple and thyme liqueurs, spiced cranberry shrub, Angostura bitters, lemon juice and Lambrusco. Sip it in contemplation of the old relish versus jelly debate.
Schaller and Weber’s Upper East Side backyard has transformed back into Hütte, a reimagined Austrian ski lodge for the chilly season. Snack on its cinnamon-sugar apple rings amid string lights, antler decor and, crucially, electric heaters.
This annual Christmas bar pop-up is back at Boilermaker in the East Village from November 9 through December 31. Add its Sippin’ Santa, a mix of aged Demerara rum, amaro, lemon, orange, and the real seasonal kicker, gingerbread mix, to your wish list. It’s served in a darling Santa cup, but watch out! We think he may making notes on whether you’re naughty or nice!!
Long famed for its banana pudding (second only to its iconic cupcakes!) it’s curious that NYC sweets shop Magnolia Bakery has 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
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.
Halloween’s in the rearview, but everyone knows that come November 1, all those jack-o’-lanterns turn back into perfectly seasonally appropriate squash. Nolita’s LaChurreria churns out all manner of novel churros all year long, and its autumnal 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Actual apples that you pick from trees in orchards near NYC?? How do you like them?