Food

11 Pumpkin-Spice Treats Around Washington

Ditch the Starbucks “PSL” for the real deal.
Baked and Wired’s Pumpkin Shmumkin ice cream sandwich. Photograph by Anna Spiegel.

After a bike ride among the fall leaves along the W&OD Trail, stop in at Old Ox Brewery (44652 Guilford Dr., Ashburn) located just off the path and equipped with racks. The tasting room pours pints of the Oxorcist, the brewery’s seasonal brown pumpkin ale made with 100 pounds of gourds and gently spiced with 50 boxes of graham crackers.

Shaw’s new Uprising Muffin Company (1817 Seventh St., NW) offers pumpkin muffins year-round, but you can make it super-seasonal on Wednesday and Saturday, when the baked good gets topped with candied walnuts and a pumpkin-spice glaze.

Feeling chilly? Cozy up with a book, a hot drink, and a slice of pumpkin pie topped with cinnamon ice cream at an old Dupont favorite, Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe (1517 Connecticut Ave., NW).

We’re fans of warming up on a brisk afternoon with a cup of Soupergirl’s (314 Carroll St., NW; 1829 M St., NW) locally sourced, vegan soups at both the Takoma Park and Dupont locations. A tasty fall option: the chunky pumpkin-and-black-bean soup, spiced with cumin, cinnamon, and ginger.

Georgetown Cupcake (multiple locations) boasts a pumpkin-spice cupcake, but don’t let the name deceive you—the real pumpkin-y goodness is found in the dense, moist pumpkin cheesecake with maple-cream cheese frosting.

On the lingering warm days with summer-like temperatures, try Baked and Wired’s (1052 Thomas Jefferson St., NW) Pumpkin Shmumkin ice cream sandwich—a thick round of zesty pumpkin ice cream smashed between two molasses-ginger cookies.

Toast to the season with Estadio‘s (1524 14th St., NW) pumpkin, Scotch, black tea, and smoked-paprika slushito. The frosty beverage may not keep you warm, but it’s plenty festive.

Get the best of the fall dessert and cocktail worlds at Daikaya (705 Sixth St., NW), where crispy fried-pumpkin karaage with five-spice yogurt can be washed down with a bourbon-based spiced pumpkin mule.

For on-the-go goodness, try a pumpkin-spice cupcake, made with real pumpkin and topped with cream cheese frosting, from the Sweetbites food truck (locations change daily; get our Food Trucks newsletter to find it each day).

Spice up your Sunday brunch with pumpkin pancakes topped with ginger butter and chili-infused maple syrup at Agua 301 (301 Water St., SE).

Summer meets fall at El Centro D.F. (1218 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 1819 14th St., NW), where you can sit outside and sip a pumpkin margarita. Tequila gets infused with anise, clove, and cinnamon-spiced pumpkin purée for a week and is then mixed with chili-ginger syrup and given a cinnamon-sugar rim. Cheers!

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Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.