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Joe’s Seafood’s Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Anjali Pinto

12 Pumpkin Spiced Foods and Drinks to Try Now in Chicago

From cakes to cocktails

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Joe’s Seafood’s Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
| Anjali Pinto

Starbucks introduced the pumpkin spice latte, or PSL, in 2003. Over the last 16 years, the seasonal sipper has become the coffee giant’s most successfully-marketed beverage to date. Since then, major food brands jumped on the PSL-flavored bandwagon, from Cheerios to Oreo to KitKat. And looking to capitalize on its own PSL fame, this year Starbucks introduce its second-ever pumpkin beverage: pumpkin cream cold brew.

But putting aside fame and fortune, there is absolutely no denying that the flavors of pumpkin, plus warming brown spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove, jive perfectly, while signaling the onset of a new season and cooler weather.

Unsurprisingly, a number of Chicago restaurants and bars are playfully embracing pumpkin and spice. Whether an ode to fall, or a whimsical riff off the cultish Starbucks drink, below, 12 places around the city that are getting into the pumpkin and spice spirit.

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The Whistler

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Logan Square’s creative cocktail bar and music venue the Whistler is giving a tiki twist to classic pumpkin pie. For her pumpkin orange-hued Buck Hunter cocktail ($12), bartender Marina Holter infuses toasted corn meal into Scotch to replace pie crust. She then adds fat-washed buttered velvet falernum, plus an allspice dram to stand in for the pie filling that likewise calls for burnt sugar and pumpkin syrup. She finishes the libation with lemon, a layer of spiced Angostura, and a cinnamon stick. 

An orange cocktail in a tall narrow glass.
The Whistler’s Buck Hunter
The Whistler [Official Photo]

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

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Over at downtown seafood haunt Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, chef Justin Diglia has just added a new pumpkin-laced dessert to the menu. Think pumpkin-chiffon pie ($9.95), with pumpkin chiffon and a layer of homemade whipped cream sitting in a graham cracker crust, topped with maple syrup and spiced walnuts.

A slice of pumpkin chiffon pie.
Joe’s Seafood’s pumpkin chiffon pie
Anjali Pinto

Beatrix

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Hit up any Beatrix location for partner John Economos’ next-level PSL, the pumpkin cream nitro coffee ($4.85). The caffeinated creation blends nitro coffee with homemade pumpkin and vanilla whipped cream, plus cinnamon and raw sugar.

A small glass is filled with a nitro coffee drink.
Beatrix’s pumpkin cream nitro coffee
Anjali Pinto

Mastro's Steakhouse

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Mastro’s Steakhouse in River North is celebrating fall with a new pumpkin butter cake ($18). Executive chef Matt Bedell explains that the sweet is a seasonal variation on the steakhouse’s most popular dessert, gooey warm butter cake. This version calls for his butter cake recipe blended with fresh pumpkin and warm spices. He tops the raw batter with pumpkin pie-spiced cream cheese then bakes the cake. Once it’s out of the oven, he adds a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzles caramel on top.

A golden round pumpkin butter cake with whipped cream and strawberries.
Mastro’s Steakhouse’s pumpkin butter cake
Mastro’s Steakhouse [Official Photo]

Marshall's Landing

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River North’s daytime hangout Marshall’s Landing is offering a fall spin on one of the world’s most popular classic cocktails. Bar manager Cristian Roman’s savory pumpkin Old Fashioned calls for bourbon, pumpkin and squash purée, Angostura bitters, and maple-demerara syrup. Drop in during happy hour when the drink is $9 a pop.

An orange cocktail in a glass with rosemary.
Marshall’s Landing’s savory pumpkin Old Fashioned
Marshall’s Landing [Official Photo]

Joe's Imports

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Bar manager Marilia Pieretti at Fulton Market wine bar Joe’s Imports is celebrating pumpkin and spice with her “white girl wasted” ($15) cocktail. Her bourbon-based intoxicant calls for orange juice, maple syrup, and pumpkin spice syrup.

A peachy-orange colored cocktail in a thin glass.
Joe’s Imports’ “white girl wasted”
Joe’s Imports [Official Photo]

Publican Quality Meats

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Lauded meat market Publican Quality Meats is celebrating fall flavors with pumpkin spice Rice Krispies treats ($3). Executive pastry chef Erika Chan’s dessert gives the old-school treat a seasonal upgrade, with caramelized white chocolate and spices such as cinnamon, clove, ginger, and nutmeg.

Two thick Rice Krispies treats on a blue and white plate.
PQM’s pumpkin spice Rice Krispies treats
Isabelle Langheim/One Off Hospitality

Eden Chicago

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Barman Alex Rydzewski at West Side’s Michelin-recommended Eden is behind the new American restaurant’s cocktail ode to pumpkin spice. “Back to basics” ($14) calls for bourbon, Kahlúa, egg white, half-and-half, mole bitters, pumpkin seeds, and a spiced pumpkin syrup. “I wanted to capture the classic fall flavors that everyone knows and associates with the pumpkin spice latte, and turn it into a great cocktail to enjoy as the cooler weather approaches,” Rydzewski said.

A brown cocktail in a martini glass.
Eden’s “back to basics” cocktail
Eden [Official Photo]

Yūgen Restaurant

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Inspired by beloved Japanese animated film “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” head bartender Stella Miller at Yūgen is offering “a pumpkin and herrie pie,” ($17) cocktail which riffs off the classic PSL. Her drink combines aged cachaça with Japanese pumpkin syrup, cherry heering, lemon, and nutmeg. She garnishes the cocktail with brûléed Japanese pumpkin and a Luxardo cherry.

An orange cocktail in a rocks glass.
Yūgen’s “a pumpkin and herrie pie”
Yūgen [Official Photo]

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

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While it might not be full-on ice cream season, that’s not stopping Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams from diving into the pumpkin fun. Drop into any location for a scoop of newly-launched pumpkin cake roll: heirloom pumpkin ice cream swirled with five-spiced cheese and cake.

Revival Food Hall

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Last month, downtown dining market Revival Food Hall debuted its autumnal spiced pumpkin latte ($4.75 to $6.25). Made from a blend of house-made pumpkin butter, vanilla, turbinado sugar, and spices, this SPL is a welcome introduction to fall.

A pumpkin latte in a white ceramic coffee cup.
Revival Food Hall’s Spiced Pumpkin Latte
Revival Food Hall [Official Photo]

Popular River North mediterranean spot Ema is offering a fall riff on its famous frozen Greek yogurt dessert. The spiced, seasonal iteration ($7.95) calls for Ema’s signature froyo base plus candied pumpkin seeds. The dessert is also on offer at quick-serve cousin, Rotisserie Ema.

A small copper bowl containing swirled frozen yogurt, topped with pumpkin seeds.
Ema’s fall frozen yogurt.
Christina Slaton

The Whistler

Logan Square’s creative cocktail bar and music venue the Whistler is giving a tiki twist to classic pumpkin pie. For her pumpkin orange-hued Buck Hunter cocktail ($12), bartender Marina Holter infuses toasted corn meal into Scotch to replace pie crust. She then adds fat-washed buttered velvet falernum, plus an allspice dram to stand in for the pie filling that likewise calls for burnt sugar and pumpkin syrup. She finishes the libation with lemon, a layer of spiced Angostura, and a cinnamon stick. 

An orange cocktail in a tall narrow glass.
The Whistler’s Buck Hunter
The Whistler [Official Photo]

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

Over at downtown seafood haunt Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, chef Justin Diglia has just added a new pumpkin-laced dessert to the menu. Think pumpkin-chiffon pie ($9.95), with pumpkin chiffon and a layer of homemade whipped cream sitting in a graham cracker crust, topped with maple syrup and spiced walnuts.

A slice of pumpkin chiffon pie.
Joe’s Seafood’s pumpkin chiffon pie
Anjali Pinto

Beatrix

Hit up any Beatrix location for partner John Economos’ next-level PSL, the pumpkin cream nitro coffee ($4.85). The caffeinated creation blends nitro coffee with homemade pumpkin and vanilla whipped cream, plus cinnamon and raw sugar.

A small glass is filled with a nitro coffee drink.
Beatrix’s pumpkin cream nitro coffee
Anjali Pinto

Mastro's Steakhouse

Mastro’s Steakhouse in River North is celebrating fall with a new pumpkin butter cake ($18). Executive chef Matt Bedell explains that the sweet is a seasonal variation on the steakhouse’s most popular dessert, gooey warm butter cake. This version calls for his butter cake recipe blended with fresh pumpkin and warm spices. He tops the raw batter with pumpkin pie-spiced cream cheese then bakes the cake. Once it’s out of the oven, he adds a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzles caramel on top.

A golden round pumpkin butter cake with whipped cream and strawberries.
Mastro’s Steakhouse’s pumpkin butter cake
Mastro’s Steakhouse [Official Photo]

Marshall's Landing

River North’s daytime hangout Marshall’s Landing is offering a fall spin on one of the world’s most popular classic cocktails. Bar manager Cristian Roman’s savory pumpkin Old Fashioned calls for bourbon, pumpkin and squash purée, Angostura bitters, and maple-demerara syrup. Drop in during happy hour when the drink is $9 a pop.

An orange cocktail in a glass with rosemary.
Marshall’s Landing’s savory pumpkin Old Fashioned
Marshall’s Landing [Official Photo]

Joe's Imports

Bar manager Marilia Pieretti at Fulton Market wine bar Joe’s Imports is celebrating pumpkin and spice with her “white girl wasted” ($15) cocktail. Her bourbon-based intoxicant calls for orange juice, maple syrup, and pumpkin spice syrup.

A peachy-orange colored cocktail in a thin glass.
Joe’s Imports’ “white girl wasted”
Joe’s Imports [Official Photo]

Publican Quality Meats

Lauded meat market Publican Quality Meats is celebrating fall flavors with pumpkin spice Rice Krispies treats ($3). Executive pastry chef Erika Chan’s dessert gives the old-school treat a seasonal upgrade, with caramelized white chocolate and spices such as cinnamon, clove, ginger, and nutmeg.

Two thick Rice Krispies treats on a blue and white plate.
PQM’s pumpkin spice Rice Krispies treats
Isabelle Langheim/One Off Hospitality

Eden Chicago

Barman Alex Rydzewski at West Side’s Michelin-recommended Eden is behind the new American restaurant’s cocktail ode to pumpkin spice. “Back to basics” ($14) calls for bourbon, Kahlúa, egg white, half-and-half, mole bitters, pumpkin seeds, and a spiced pumpkin syrup. “I wanted to capture the classic fall flavors that everyone knows and associates with the pumpkin spice latte, and turn it into a great cocktail to enjoy as the cooler weather approaches,” Rydzewski said.

A brown cocktail in a martini glass.
Eden’s “back to basics” cocktail
Eden [Official Photo]

Yūgen Restaurant

Inspired by beloved Japanese animated film “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” head bartender Stella Miller at Yūgen is offering “a pumpkin and herrie pie,” ($17) cocktail which riffs off the classic PSL. Her drink combines aged cachaça with Japanese pumpkin syrup, cherry heering, lemon, and nutmeg. She garnishes the cocktail with brûléed Japanese pumpkin and a Luxardo cherry.

An orange cocktail in a rocks glass.
Yūgen’s “a pumpkin and herrie pie”
Yūgen [Official Photo]

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

While it might not be full-on ice cream season, that’s not stopping Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams from diving into the pumpkin fun. Drop into any location for a scoop of newly-launched pumpkin cake roll: heirloom pumpkin ice cream swirled with five-spiced cheese and cake.

Revival Food Hall

Last month, downtown dining market Revival Food Hall debuted its autumnal spiced pumpkin latte ($4.75 to $6.25). Made from a blend of house-made pumpkin butter, vanilla, turbinado sugar, and spices, this SPL is a welcome introduction to fall.

A pumpkin latte in a white ceramic coffee cup.
Revival Food Hall’s Spiced Pumpkin Latte
Revival Food Hall [Official Photo]

Ema

Popular River North mediterranean spot Ema is offering a fall riff on its famous frozen Greek yogurt dessert. The spiced, seasonal iteration ($7.95) calls for Ema’s signature froyo base plus candied pumpkin seeds. The dessert is also on offer at quick-serve cousin, Rotisserie Ema.

A small copper bowl containing swirled frozen yogurt, topped with pumpkin seeds.
Ema’s fall frozen yogurt.
Christina Slaton

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