Autumn is upon us, with school back in session, cool breezy weather, crunchy leaves underfoot and — most importantly — pumpkin and pumpkin spice goodies everywhere you look.
What started with lattes is, at this point, a ubiquitous flavor experience that signals the coming of fall even more than colorful foliage and spooky decorations. Pumpkin spice is here and, at restaurants and cafes in Delco, it’s definitely here to stay!
If you crave the coziness that is all-pumpkin-everything, seek out these specials at local spots near you:
Swiss Farms is a Delco institution! In addition to snacks, milk and groceries, this drive-through convenience market also makes tasty coffee drinks to keep you going during morning errands. Every October, this mini-chain (with one of its headquarters in Broomall) brings back its popular Pumpkin Soothers, an iced or hot coffee jazzed up with shots of pumpkin and white chocolate, and topped with a cloud of whipped cream.
Multiple locations throughout Delaware County.
Photo courtesy of Kia’s Cakes
Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes at Kia’s Cakes
Every autumn, this cute cafe stocks its cases with all types of baked goodness, like pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cheesecake, and even a pumpkin spice mocha drink! Our top pick is the pumpkin spice cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting (a vegan version of these is also available). Fluffy, decadent and charmingly decorated to look like little pumpkins, these make the perfect bring-along to fall gatherings.
16 S. Lansdowne Ave., Lansdowne; (484) 461-3793.
Photo courtesy of Linvilla Orchards
Fall is simply incomplete without at least one visit to Linvilla for apple picking, hayrides and choosing the perfect decor for the porch or patio. And while the apple cider donuts might be the star of the show in Linvilla’s farm market bakery, do not sleep on the pumpkin pie. Not just for Thanksgiving, this classic dessert belongs on the table all season long, preferably with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Enjoy a fresh-baked pie, or a frozen one, which you can heat up at home for an effortless dessert. Not a pie person? Linvilla’s bakery has so many pumpkin goodies on offer, like pumpkin whoopie pies, pumpkin fritters, pumpkin fudge, pumpkin scones and more!
137 W Knowlton Rd., Media; (610) 876-7116.
Photo courtesy of Sterling Pig
Smooth, malty and subtlety sweet, pumpkin ales are the craft beer world’s love-em-or-hate-em equivalent to pumpkin spice lattes. Local beer lovers, take note: You’ve got multiple options for Delco-made pumpkin beers, including Sterling Pig Brewery’s The Gourdfather, an Imperial Pumpkin-style ale brewed with roasted Hubbard squash and a housemade pumpkin spice blend; and 2SP Brewing Co.’s Imperial Pumpkin Spiced Ale, a strong brown ale brewed with molasses, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and Madagascar vanilla beans. Find both for a limited time only at the breweries and at select local retailers.
Sterling Pig: 609 W. State St., Media; (484) 444-2526; 2SP: 120 Concord Rd., #101-103, Aston; (484) 483-7860.
Photo courtesy of 2SP
Photo courtesy of Chill Out Ice Cream
In one of our recent summer ice cream roundups, we shared the thrilling fact that Chill Out Ice Cream offers over 125 flavors of soft serve. One of those flavors, which makes a special appearance in fall, is pumpkin pie. Order it in a cup with caramel sauce and whipped cream for the full effect! Creamy swirls of this flavor prove once and for all that ice cream is a year-round dessert.
12 Acres Dr., Ridley Park; (484) 494-4601.
There are plenty of colorful, healthy snacks to choose from at this juice bar in Havertown. When it comes to smoothies and smoothie bowls, you’ll find the usual tropical flavors, like pineapple, coconut and acai berries. But come autumn, something special hits the menu: Pumpkin Pie Smoothies Bowls. The base is a smoothie made from pumpkin, oat milk, bananas, vanilla protein and pumpkin spice, which is topped with granola, bananas, apples, pumpkin seeds and an almond butter drizzle. What a delicious way to start the day, or to fuel a workout!
30 Brookline Blvd., Havertown; (610) 446-2042.
This family-friendly brunch/lunch spot does not disappoint when it comes to its dishes; whether you choose sweet or savory, the portions are generous and the flavors are bold. Take, for example, one of Tank & Libby’s popular seasonal specials: Pumpkin Pie French Toast. This autumnal twist layers thick slices of challah bread with whipped pumpkin and tops the whole thing with caramel and whipped cream. It’s a little slice of heaven.
We can’t mention fall breakfast dishes without including pumpkin pancakes! At Poppi’s Cafe, a no-frills diner with homestyle food, you’ll find fluffy, delicious pumpkin pancakes with a sweet pumpkin drizzle on the menu all season long. Whether you order a short or full stack, be sure to order a cup of coffee for the ultimate cozy combo.
1254 Township Line Rd., Drexel Hill; (484) 455-7841.
Everything at Chef Reeky’s plant-based restaurant, The Cheezy Vegan, is about inventive ingredients, big flavors and over-the-top presentation. The brunch-focused menu is loaded with fun dishes to choose from, and there are always some sweets available, as well. During the fall, keep your eyes peeled for their Pumpkin Spiced Bundt Cake, a tender cake dripping with pumpkin frosting.
604 Fairview Rd., Woodlyn; (610) 543-2300.
Photo courtesy of Thunderbird II
Not all pumpkin food has to be sweet! At Thunderbird II in Springfield, the Hayride Salad (now in its 10th year as a fall special) is a healthy combination of lettuce, sunflower seeds, roasted turkey, dried cranberries, candied walnuts and apples. The best part is that it’s dressed in a housemade sweet-tart pumpkin cider vinaigrette made with pumpkin, apple cider and a blend of spices. Order one for a light lunch, or as a side with one of Thunderbird’s signature pizzas!
188 Saxer Ave., Springfield; (610) 328-1131.
Tucked into the back of this fabulous garden store and produce market, you’ll find a small cafe offering local baked goods, coffee and scratch-made prepared foods. Along with salads, wraps and dips, there are always a selection of hearty soups, which rotate along with the seasons. During the fall and winter, don’t miss the pumpkin chipotle soup, a creamy, luscious soup with just the right amount of fiery heat.
81 Pennell Rd., Media; (610) 566-1680.
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Want to know more about everything Delco? We’re more than just your source for good eats — we’re your source for where to stay, what to do and more in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. We’re Visit Delco, PA, and we’ve got you covered from Philly to the Brandywine. Find us at 1501 N. Providence Rd., Media, PA, 19063; (610) 565-3679 or online.
— Emily Kovach
Featured photo courtesy of Mangos & More