Pumpkin spice lattes have become so popular in the fall that, dare we say, we’re getting a little tired of them. Now, let’s be honest: We’re not here to declare you should give them up completely. There are, however, plenty of alternatives popping up on seasonal coffee shop menus that showcase other delicious fall flavors you know and love. Head to these local spots to try oh-so autumnal drinks, sans pumpkin spice.
448 Elmwood Ave.
In the heart of Elmwood Village is a cute little coffee shop: With plants, exposed brick, art and beautiful floral-print booth backdrops, Perks is a cozy place to relax when the weather begins to crisp. They create a flavorful homemade pumpkin pie purée special for the season that amps up lattes—and even vegan milkshakes. You’ll also find creative seasonal brews like chai-der, spicy mocha laced with a kick of cayenne and a host of other fall-inspired lattes like caramel apple spice, maple walnut and Harry Potter Butterbeer.
9 Genesee St.
Apparently Overwinter Coffee is also over pumpkin spice for the time being. The small downtown coffee shop isn’t whipping up any PSLs this season, according to co-owner Josh Halliman, but you won’t miss it anyway: Their most popular drinks come fall are maple cappuccino and maple latte. Available hot or iced, they naturally sweeten the drinks with pure maple syrup from local farms. Overwinter can also add a dash of maple to their chai latte, made from homemade concentrate, for those craving a coffee-free kick. Keep your eyes open for additional fall themed specials unveiling soon, too.
Undergrounds Coffee House & Roastery
580 South Park Ave.
The unique decor throughout Undergrounds is reason enough to visit the Old First Ward spot. The art actually plays off the history of the building itself, which was once a funeral home. The coffee shop’s year-round Halloween-esque vibe makes it a perfect place to visit in the fall and sip on plenty of seasonal coffees. They serve a variety of autumn drinks outside of pumpkin: There’s salted caramel dark chocolate, caramel apple, caramel chai and maple cinnamon apple, all served as lattes, steamers, over ice and as blended drinks.
Public Espresso + Coffee
391 Washington St.
Founders James Rayburg and Sam Scarcello create all their own syrups in house—and for fall, wanted something special to represent the season that easily enhances a variety of drinks. The result: Red October syrup, packed with a blend of spices like anise and cinnamon that imbues lattes, cold brew or tea with an invigorating aroma and flavor. Public is always dreaming up new seasonal specials as well, like their late-summer peanut butter and jelly latte. The best way to know about these unique brews? Pop into the café and see what’s new on the board.
Rowhouse Bakery + Restaurant
483 Delaware Ave.
The interior of Rowhouse is as much of a treat as the seasonal offerings you’ll find there once the leaves start to turn. Every room offers its own distinct backdrop, including spots that make you feel like you’ve cozied up on the patio of a NYC brownstone. There’s even a small little library in the nook upstairs: Grab a special-for-fall drink (anything featuring their house-made cider, like the apple cider latte) and settle into one of the many comfortable chairs or couches.
Roots Coffee and Tea
1685 Hertel Ave.
Craving time to unwind with a hot brew in hand? Head in to Roots on Hertel to treat yourself to some much needed me time—and an autumn spice latte, crafted with their house-made syrup featuring maple, anise, cinnamon, clove and more. Or opt to put that autumn spice syrup in a coffee-free option like their chai lattes or golden milk with turmeric. That’s not the only flavorful syrup they create in house from all-natural cane sugars, either: Their cinnamon syrup is a delectable addition to coffee and tea, hot or iced, too.
908 Niagara Falls Blvd.
For the longest time I thought this was simply a chocolate shop, but the Platters inside the Wurlitzer Building proved much more than that. There’s still plenty of chocolate, of course, but they also serve up bubble teas, coffee and specialty drinks you can enhance with one of their many flavor-packed options like sea salt caramel, toasted marshmallow or, my personal favorite, orange chocolate.
Story topics: Food & Drink