Austin's Finest Pumpkin Spice Creations
Even skeptics have to admit there are some great local options
By Emily Beyda,
1:22PM, Tue. Nov. 20, 2018
Fall is here, and that means that it’s time for us to discuss the most divisive of all fall beverages: the pumpkin spice latte.
Whether you love it, hate it, or think it’s an overblown excuse for society to shit all over things beloved by women, the fact is that even us pumpkin spice skeptics have to admit that Austin is home to some pretty spectacular iterations. Our favorites, then, without further ado:
Summer Moon Coffee Bar
Famous for their moon milk (cold in the summer, hot in the winter, sweet and creamy and lightly spiced all year long), the hip local chain gets seasonal with their approach to the PSL. Called the Autumn Moon, it’s a blend of that celebrated moon milk with warm autumn spices and just a hint of pumpkin puree.
The folks at Houndstooth are the types that you wouldn’t imagine sullying their single origin espresso with something as prosaic as plain pumpkin spice, and fittingly their Thanks o’ Latte (get it?) makes the drink into an art form, with that just-roasted espresso blended with actual pumpkin pie filling and a splash of warm steamed milk.
There are few cozier spots to sip coffee than Cenote’s high-ceilinged living room, where their seasonal fall syrup is a house made pumpkin spice blend with real pumpkin puree, sugar, and autumnal spices. Be careful that the octopus statue out front doesn’t snatch it from your hand. After all, eight arms equals eight opportunities to drink PSL.
Quack’s takes the maximalist approach to the art of pumpkin spice. You can get your PSL with a slice of their universally beloved pumpkin pie, available year round but never more seasonally appropriate, perfect with a side of whipped cream. They even sell whole pies if you’re really committed to pumpkin.
Ok, so it’s not technically pumpkin, but there’s no spot in town more Instagram-worthy than Killa Wasi, and their chicha morada has much of the same delicious warm spice flavor that makes the beleaguered drink a favorite of many. Plus it’s served cold, which counts for a lot on those unseasonable bursts of warmth that’ll still be popping up here and there for a few weeks.
Another ideal destination for those who like their pumpkin with a side of pumpkin, Epoch has a delightfully soft, and not too overwhelmingly sweet, vegan muffin in their pastry case that makes the perfect accompaniment to their PSL with house made syrup made from brown sugar, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice.
Amy’s seasonal PSL-adjacent pumpkin ice cream is the perfect basis for a PSL milkshake, or even, delightfully, a pumpkin spiced affogato (just add espresso). And it’s pretty damn close to perfect all on its own. Think pumpkin pie filling in ice cream form, with pumpkin purée, spices, & cream.
And then, of course, there’s beer. Black Star Co-Op has had a popular seasonal pumpkin spice beer on the menu for a few seasons now, and if you’re anywhere close to as autumnally-minded as we are, you’ll be thrilled to hear it’s back on the menu for a limited time only.
We’re not here to tell you that the PSL at Bennu is the most complex, bespoke, or hiply handcrafted in town. It’s just a regular PSL, made from bottled syrup and espresso. But you know what it is? Available. When that PSL craving hits at 3am, Bennu has you covered.