It might be just another made-up holiday, but for fans of cozy autumn flavors, Pumpkin Spice Day — Oct. 1 — is a great excuse for celebration.
The signature fall flavor takes center stage at cafes and sweets shops across Philadelphia, where it’s found in many forms. As an alternative to the chain coffee shops, check out these options for bespoke pumpkin spice lattes, along with some selections of pumpkin spice-infused treats.
1000 Pine St. (Washington Square West)
Known for consistency and good service, this Center City cafe makes a pumpkin syrup in-house from real pumpkin puree, spices, and lots of brown sugar. It’s made into a PSL served hot or iced, with an option to go decaf or choose from a variety of milks — skim, oat, almond — to fit all dietary needs.
Reading Terminal Market (Center City)
This Amish family behind this RTM stand that makes sweets on the spot — you can get lost in watching the treats get fried, stuffed, and iced — loves to add to the already expansive flavor selection. To welcome the fall season, there’s a pumpkin creme-filled donut with cinnamon topping.
222 W. Rittenhouse Sq. (Rittenhouse) and at 30th Street Station
This micro-roaster with two locations — a small sit-down cafe just off Rittenhouse Square, and a to-go stand in the train station food court — offers what you might call a truly artisan version of the PSL. Fresh, house-roasted coffee is pulled into an espresso, then blended with steamed milk and maple syrup, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon. A drizzle of housemade pumpkin syrup tops it off.
Multiple locations (Northern Liberties, Rittenhouse, Fishtown, Brewerytown)
Pumpkin spice schmear, anyone? Even if you don’t want the sweet flavors on your bagel itself, the many outposts of this mini-chain from Glu Hospitality (also behind Figo, Leda, Vesper, and Anejo) offers drinks that carry the taste of fall. Choose the pumpkin cookie coffee, or the pumpkin pie latte — hot or iced.
8126 Germantown Ave. (Chestnut Hill)
Come autumn, the focus at this 134-year-old sweets destination switches from ice cream to baked goods. You’ll find pumpkin pie, a pumpkin spice pound cake, pumpkin cheesecake squares, and pumpkin donuts, all available in individual portions or to take home for the fam.