The arrival of autumn in New York is worth celebrating. The air takes on a new crispness, the trees in Central Park turn gorgeously golden, and then there’s the food. Suddenly, everything becomes hearty, spiced and pumpkin-scented. Below, we round up seven of our favorite fall eats in the Big Apple – apple treats included.
Pie at Four and Twenty Blackbirds
Tucked away in a small storefront in Gowanus, Brooklyn, Four and Twenty Blackbirds has been steadily turning out the city’s finest pies to ever-increasing acclaim. While the bakery owners’ first cookbook will be released at the end of October, those less inclined to make pie at home should stop by for an ethereal slice of salted caramel apple, bourbon pear crumble, or salty honey – each one more autumnal and satisfying than the last.
Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Kelso Beer Co.
From their lattes to their pasta, New Yorkers eat pumpkin in every possible form from September 1 on. Beer is no exception. Kelso Beer Co., a husband and wife-owned brewery in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, brews a beloved Imperial Pumpkin Beer every fall. Though Kelso doesn’t bottle their brews, the seasonal pour can be found across the city’s bars. A word of warning: at 10.5 percent ABV, this is one to sip slowly.
Autumnal cocktails at PDT
Celebrated bartender Jim Meehan’s East Village speakeasy is only accessible via a phone booth inside neighboring hot dog joint Crif Dogs. Once you’re in, a bevy of seasonal cocktails awaits. The Great Pumpkin melds pumpkin ale with rye, apple brandy, and maple syrup, while the Betula crowns a birch-infused rye and rum concoction with a single star anise.
Apple cider (and other treats) at the Union Square Greenmarket
Sustainability and local eating are both trends that have taken off in New York in a big way, and for those seeking only the freshest fall ingredients, the Union Square Greenmarket is the go-to destination. Open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the market hosts dozens of stalls selling treats ranging from homemade pasta to freshly pressed apple cider, pumpkin cookies and all manner of squash. Best of all, you can talk with the people who grew or baked your fall treats first-hand.
Hot chocolate at City Bakery
One of the best things about autumn? Hot chocolate season. There’s no better hot chocolate in New York than the one poured (or dolloped) at City Bakery. Incredibly thick and rich, this cocoa has the consistency of a just-melted chocolate bar – it’s hard to drink more than a small portion at once (though that hasn’t stopped us in the past). If you’re truly looking to indulge, consider topping yours with one of the bakery’s homemade marshmallows. Cut into cute squares, these vanilla-scented treats melt slowly into the hot chocolate.
Pumpkin doughnuts at Doughnut Plant
Artisanal doughnuts are a favorite among New Yorkers, and Doughnut Plant was the bakery to kick off the trend. Known for its unusual flavors (tres leches or crème brûlée, anyone?), Doughnut Plant also makes several special edition pumpkin doughnuts in the fall. Available in yeast, cake and pumpkin custard-filled varieties, the doughnut is topped with a pumpkin glaze and toasted pepitas.
While ramen is technically available in the city all year long, most New Yorkers would agree that it’s best enjoyed during the cooler months. Happily, there are a number of top-notch bars to choose from. Momofuku Noodle Bar, owned by celebrity chef David Chang, is a perennial favorite, while Ippudo is celebrated for its authenticity (and that incredible pork broth). For ramen with a twist (like a fiery kimchi version), Chuko is another popular choice.
(Main image: Feature © JeniFoto, 2013. Used under license from Shutterstock.com)
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…
whose New York guide covers all the best hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, sights, shops and spas in the city