Where to Enjoy Pumpkin Spice Dishes and Drinks around Boston
It’s that time of the year again, when autumn’s most ubiquitous spice blend has come out to play.
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All the pumpkin pie flavor, none of the pumpkin: Pumpkin spice season is here. From indie cafés’ takes on the pumpkin spice latte (aka “PSL,” a phenomenon Starbucks begot 20 years ago) to baked goods to boozy fall beverages, here are some Boston-area dining and drinking options to explore when you can’t get enough of that nutmeg-y mixture. (For good measure, we’re including some straight-up pumpkin dishes as well—find those in the final section below.)
This guide was originally published in October 2023; stay tuned for periodic updates.
Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Variations
The Boston team loves a good pumpkin-y caffeinated drink. Here are a few of our 2023 favorites.
Elmendorf Baking Supplies
Come for the specialty baking supplies and ingredients; stay for the tasty café fare. The fall menu includes a PSL made with actual pumpkin puree frothed with espresso, warm spices, and steamed or iced milk. (There’s a kids’ version, too, minus the espresso.)
594 Cambridge St., East Cambridge, 617-945-0045, elmendorfbaking.com.
The Friendly Toast
The brunchy New England chain is going all-in on pumpkin specials this season—check out a few other options in the “Less Pumpkin Spice-y, More Pumpkin” section below. On the PSL-related front, there’s the pumpkin brown sugar crumble iced coffee. The coffee is flavored with pumpkin spice syrup, mixed with oat milk, and topped with whipped cream, maple syrup drizzle, brown sugar crumble, and a caramel cinnamon rim. Available at all locations.
Multiple locations, thefriendlytoast.com.
Head to Jaho’s brand new outpost in Cambridge’s Central Square, or one of its older locations around Boston and Salem (if you dare to visit Witch City this time of year, that is), to enjoy a big variety of intriguing latte flavors. The iced kulfi latte is always a great bet, but we’re here to talk about pumpkin spice. For its PSL, Jaho boosts its scarlet espresso with pumpkin spice syrup and your choice of milk, including tons of dairy-free options. That’s not the only choice: You can go hot or iced, customize the amount of espresso, decrease the sweetness, and add treats like coffee jelly and whipped cream. (Prefer tea? There’s a pumpkin chai latte, too.)
Multiple locations, jaho.com.
La Saison Bakery
While picking up the best slice of cake around—not to mention a wonderful loaf of sourdough, or the newly-returned-to-the-menu French baguettes—you can grab a seasonal PSL, too. Available hot or iced with a choice of milk and one, two, or three shots of espresso. Other seasonal pumpkin treats include a gluten-free chocolate-pumpkin pound cake with walnuts, as well as pumpkin and orange peel cookies.
407 Concord Ave., Cambridge, 617-547-0009, lasaison-bakery.com.
This downtown coffee roaster and café from Japan delights with its beautifully poured seasonal lattes. As of early October, Ogawa has been featuring a salted caramel pumpkin latte for a salty-sweet take on the classic. While you’re there, be sure to pick up a bag of the house blend—a combo of coffee beans from Brazil, Guatemala, and Ethiopia, roasted in Kyoto, Japan.
10 Milk St., Downtown Boston, 617-780-7139, ogawacoffeeusa.com.
Pepita Coffee Co.
A pepita is a type of pumpkin seed, so it’s no surprise that Pepita, the in-house café at Lamplighter Brewing Co.’s original location on Broadway in Cambridge, gets in on the pumpkin-season fun. You can get Pepita’s seasonal PSL hot or iced, with a choice of skim, whole, almond, or oat milk. The Boston team likes it best iced, because Pepita shakes its iced lattes, giving some extra creaminess with a bit of a frothy top. The syrup isn’t too sweet, just a perfect blend of cinnamon and pumpkin pie.
284 Broadway, Cambridge, lamplighterbrewing.com/pepita-coffee.
Revival Cafe & Kitchen
With a trio of locations (Alewife, Cambridge; Davis Square, Somerville; and Boston’s Financial District), Revival is embracing autumn with its own PSL. (“You know we had to do it,” teases the menu.) Available hot or iced, the latte has a few other customization options, including various syrups you can add. Hot honey tahini syrup, anyone? Grab a pumpkin streusel muffin while you’re at it.
Multiple locations, revivalcafeandkitchen.com.
South End Buttery
The Buttery’s pumpkin spice latte—available hot or iced—combines espresso with pumpkin spice syrup, a baking spice blend, and your choice of milk. It’s available half-caf or decaf, too. And don’t forget to watch for pumpkin spice baked goods when available. The café has been known to serve treats such as pumpkin spice cupcakes with salted caramel frosting and vegan pumpkin spice scones.
314 Shawmut Ave., South End, Boston, 617-482-1015, southendbuttery.com.
Other Pumpkin Spice Treats
Fresh baked goods, fall cocktails, and more.
Crazy Good Kitchen
Malden-based burger-and-milkshake spot “CGK” has a Newbury Street location with a liquor license, and its fall 2023 cocktail menu includes a pumpkin spice white Russian. It’s made with caramel vodka and coffee vodka, plus Molly’s Irish cream and pumpkin liqueur.
268 Newbury St., Back Bay, Boston, 617-936-4359, crazygoodkitchen.com.
Donut Villa Diner
Now with four locations, this local diner with a focus on doughnuts (doughnut cheeseburgers, doughnut Benedict, doughnut French toast…) has added a pumpkin spice latte doughnut to its fall lineup, alongside apple cider, apple fritter, and maple pecan doughnuts.
Multiple locations, donutvilladiner.com.
See also: Where to Eat the Top Doughnuts in Boston
Lakon Paris Patisserie
If you’re up for braving the lines for a weekend specialty croissant at Lakon’s busy Brookline or Newton shops, a pumpkin spice latte croissant awaits, at least for now. Keep an eye on Instagram for weekly updates on the special menu.
1410 Beacon St., Brookline; 1169 Walnut St., Newton Highlands; lakonparis.com.
Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant
Available for dessert at both daily brunch and dinner, Lincoln’s offering a caramel pumpkin spice cheesecake this fall—salted caramel, cinnamon whipped cream, and espresso cookie crumble. (You’ll also see hints of pumpkin elsewhere on the dinner menu, such as in the current version of fried chicken and waffles: a kabocha squash waffle with buttermilk fried chicken, pumpkin butter, and apple cider-maple syrup.)
425 W. Broadway, South Boston, 617-765-8636, lincolnsouthboston.com.
This Mediterranean restaurant at the Street Chestnut Hill is toying with our love of espresso martinis this season, offering a pumpkin spice espresso martini made with vanilla vodka, espresso, Kahlúa, and pumpkin spice liquor. Cheers!
33 Boylston St. #3370, Chestnut Hill, 617-545-0000, limani.com/chestnut-hill.
Oddfellows Ice Cream Co.
55 Boylston St.,Chestnut Hill, 617-505-6446, oddfellowsnyc.com.
Union Square Donuts
Here’s a good excuse to visit Union Square Donuts’ brand new Harvard Square location: There’s a pumpkin spice latte doughnut in the current selection, featuring a pumpkin glaze, espresso drizzle, and “the perfect spicy balance of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.” Honestly, you’re going to want to explore the whole fall collection, which also boasts treats like salted brown butter crullers and maple creemee doughnuts.
Multiple locations, unionsquaredonuts.com.
Less Pumpkin Spice-y, More Pumpkin
Some local dishes worth seeking out that are made with actual pumpkin.
At this intimate Somerville Mexican restaurant and bar, you can start your meal with “cantina peanuts”—a nutty mix that combines cashews with pumpkin seeds, plus ancho chili, garlic, and grasshoppers. Then, end with the tamal de calabaza de castilla, a dessert that screams autumn: banana leaf tamal with candied pumpkin, spiced syrup, and vanilla ice cream.
23A Bow St., Union Square, Somerville, barraunionsquare.com.
Blackbird is getting especially pumpkin-y with its fall 2023 doughnut lineup, offering both a pumpkin cake doughnut (topped with ample cream cheese frosting and a sprinkling or cinnamon-powdered sugar) and a PSL Bismarck (pumpkin pastry cream-filled brioche with cold brew glaze and white chocolate latte art).
Multiple locations, blackbirddoughnuts.com.
This North End restaurant is so enthusiastic about its pumpkin tortellini that it devotes a whole page of its website to the dish, which includes amaretti and honey, sage butter, root vegetables, and ricotta salata.
241 Hanover St., North End, Boston, 617-248-6800, bricco.com.
Whatever pastry chef Brian Mercury’s baking up, we’ll eat it. Right now, that means a pumpkin-y pastry puff: caramelized dough surrounds a pumpkin pie filling, and it’s all topped off with maple meringue. We’re there.
100 N. First St. (Cambridge Crossing), East Cambridge, 617-945-1349, thelexingtoncx.com/cafebeatrice.
All through October 2023, the Seaport’s Mediterranean restaurant Coquette is celebrating the season with an entire special menu showcasing the humble pumpkin. Think toasted pumpkin focaccia with Armenian walnut butter; pumpkin-ricotta gnocchi with black trumpet mushrooms; pumpkin mascarpone cheesecake with blood orange sorbet; and a couple of pumpkin-y cocktails, of course. Sibling and neighbor Cocorico is participating as well, serving a variety of pumpkin pastries all month long, including a croissant stuffed with pumpkin pie filling and topped with torched meringue; spiced pumpkin loaf topped with salted almond streusel and pepitas; and pumpkin spice snickerdoodles. Find both spots inside the Omni Boston Hotel at the Seaport.
450 Summer St., Seaport District, Boston, 617-419-8140, coquetteboston.com.
Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse
Well, this dish is absolutely adorable. At Davio’s Seaport location, the pumpkin and sweet potato gnocchi dish is back for the season, showcasing pumpkin-shaped gnocchi in pumpkin spice brown butter sauce with crispy sage and amaretto cookie crumble.
26 Fan Pier, Seaport, Boston, 617-261-4810, davios.com/seaport.
The Friendly Toast
In addition to the PSL-like drink above, all Friendly Toast locations are offering several pumpkin specials for the season, including: pumpkin pancakes filled with brown sugar crumble and topped with maple whipped cream, caramel, and more brown sugar crumble—why not?; pumpkin bread French toast with sweet maple pumpkin butter and candied spiced pepitas; and pumpkin and apple bisque with lime crema, candied spiced pepitas, and fried sage leaves. That last one is gluten-free and vegan, by the way.
Multiple locations, thefriendlytoast.com.
This one’s a classic—and available year-round. At Afghan mainstay the Helmand, the kaddo is a must: pan-fried then baked baby pumpkin, seasoned with sugar and served with yogurt garlic sauce. Try the appetizer version or go for the full entrée, which adds eggplant and challow rice.
143 First St., East Cambridge, 617-492-4646, helmandrestaurant.com.
The Cambridge ice cream shop’s flavors rotate frequently, but as of mid-October 2023, a few pumpkin flavors were available: brown butter pumpkin cheesecake (brown butter pumpkin ice cream with swirls of cream cheese buttercream and graham cracker crust); vegan pumpkin ginger (coconut and cashew milk-based dairy-free ice cream with spiced pumpkin puree and candied ginger); and spiced pumpkin soft serve (try it twisted with coffee soft serve). Plus, two upcoming “Taco Tuesdays” (October 17 and 24) will feature a pumpkin-themed ice cream taco.
1702 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-714-3983, honeycombcreamery.com.
Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar
For the month of October 2023, both Loco locations are offering a special Halloween-themed cocktail menu, and two drinks feature pumpkin. Witches Brew combines vanilla and pumpkin vodka with Rumchata Pumpkin, Hotel Chocolat salted caramel liqueur, pumpkin puree, and a graham cracker rim, while Grave Digger includes Bacardi Dark, Cazadores Café, pumpkin puree, Irish creme liqueur, cold brew, and a black lava salt rim with sour gummy worm garnish.
412 W. Broadway, South Boston, 617-917-5626; 61 Brookline Ave., Fenway, Boston, 857-277-0769; locosouthboston.com.
Mex Taqueria & Bar
We particularly love this Kendall Square newbie during rooftop season, but chillier fall days aren’t so bad thanks to tasty autumn menu specials. Pumpkin makes a couple appearances: There’s a pumpkin tortilla enchilada, for example, stuffed full of Oaxaca cheese and braised lamb neck. Follow it up with pumpkin tres leche cake for dessert.
500 Technology Square, Kendall Square, Cambridge, 617-945-2503, mexcambridge.com.
The delightfully named trio of local restaurants highlights soup in a variety of forms—namely variations on ramen, pho, and Thai noodle dishes. There are some rice bowls on the menu, too, and it’s here that Soup Shack is embracing pumpkin. For a fall special, try the katsu pumpkin curry: breaded fried chicken with mild spicy pumpkin curry, scallions, and fresh cabbage, served over steamed white rice.
Multiple locations, soupshacknoodles.com.
Going strong since 2007, this is one of the only spots in the Boston area that serves Burmese cuisine. (Try the tea salad!) Pumpkin isn’t limited to autumn here; pumpkin lovers will find two hearty, delicious curries to try year-round. There’s pumpkin tofu curry or pumpkin egg curry, each served with steamed rice.
5 North Beacon St., Allston, Boston, 617-412-6799, yomaboston.com.