Love it or hate it, the pumpkin craze seems to be here to stay. From bagels to lattes and beers to ice cream, we celebrate October with an ode to all things pumpkin. The adaptable fruit can be served sweet or savory depending on the spices it keeps company with, but riffs on pumpkin pie—with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger—seem to be the most popular.
Butternut Squash Ravioli
If you love pumpkin, you’ll love butternut squash. We had to include the butternut squash ravioli for pumpkin lovers because of its popularity. The ravioli pillows are coated in a sage brown butter sauce and topped with toasted walnuts, a divine change from the classic stuffed noodles. The Italian food and cozy atmosphere will make you feel like you’re on an Italian vacation. Great for a large group, this is the perfect place to enjoy a family meal. Lunch $12.99, dinner $15.99.
Pumpkin Pie Martini
This pumpkin pie martini will leave you with a cozy feeling inside. Created by bar manager Matthew Levi, this drink tastes like an adult version of your mother’s pumpkin pie. Levi uses his family pumpkin pie recipe, which contains fresh pumpkin, nutmeg, star anise, clove, brown sugar and a few other special ingredients to make the base for this drink. The addition of Bulleit Bourbon adds a sweet and rich fall flavor to this seasonal specialty. $9.
Pumpkin pie isn’t just for the Thanksgiving table. Jerry’s pumpkin pie is as close to homemade as you’ll get without making it yourself. The buttery crust crumbles perfectly with each bite and the on-point spices bring thoughts of leaves crunching with each footstep in the woods, as well as football games and memories of the crisp fall air. While picking up your pie, don’t forget to pick up the rest of the ingredients you need for dinner. 9-inch pie, $9.99.
White Chocolate Pumpkin Mocha
They take their pumpkin drinks very seriously at Mocha Monkey— the coffee shop has pumpkin flavored drinks available the entire year due to customer demand. The white chocolate pumpkin mocha combines the sweetness of the white chocolate with a medley of pumpkin pie spices. This drink can be made hot, iced or even blended. Get the taste of fall and a smile from their staff any time of the year at Mocha Monkey. $3.85- $4.55.
(White chocolate pumpkin mocha in a handcrafted mug at Mocha Monkey in Waconia.)
Salted Caramel Pumpkin Concrete Mixer
Culver’s was ahead of the bandwagon for the pumpkin craze, because pumpkin was first added to Culver’s custard in 1986. They didn’t just stop with their creamy pumpkin custard; they put all the best things in the world of food together and came up with this awesome dessert concoction. Culver’s combines the sweet custard, salty caramel, and savory pumpkin in the ultimate dessert. Grab one of their famous Butterburgers and an order of cheese curds to complement this fall treat and make it a complete meal. $2.69–$4.99.
Pumpkin Walnut Crunch Bagel
Einstein Bros. Bagels
This seasonal bagel only comes around once a year, so get it while it lasts. The pumpkin walnut crunch bagel begins with dough infused with pumpkin, and is covered with a sweet walnut streusel which gives you the crunch. This bagel pairs nicely with plain cream cheese, but try a bit of honey almond cream cheese spread if you are feeling adventurous. Grab this treat on your way to work with a cup of hot coffee or bring enough for the whole office. $1.80.
Open since July, Iron Tap has quickly been recognized as a place to go for a great beer. This fall, the tap house will feature the Pumking, a stellar brew from Southern Tier Brewing. Look for a few other seasonal and local favorites on tap, too. After years of dreaming, scheming, beer sampling and eating, owners Bria and Greg James took a crazy leap of faith and decided to open Iron Tap with the goal of serving excellent brews, good food and a place for family and friends to congregate. Executive chef Justin Chaffee creates a seasonal menu that will pair well with the 30 taps available. $7.