Pumpkin spicers, sure. But there's also so much more.
As the days shorten and leaves grow progressively crunchier, the time is well and truly upon us for slurping a squash-based soup while wrapped up in a Lenny Kravitz-sized scarf.
It wasn't possible to fully give in to cosy-core over the past couple of weeks, with unseasonable hot spells delaying our wardrobe transitions and instilling a healthy dose of climate panic but now, Storm Babet is battering away and our appetite for all things spiced has been awakened. With this in mind, we've compiled a list of seasonal treats we have our eye on in Dublin right now.
From pumpkin and sage pasta dishes to spooky cocktails, here are our 12 picks of the season.
Queen of Tarts
A dessert usually reserved for American sitcoms and your mate who does their big shop in Fallon and Byrne, pumpkin pie isn't much of a thing in Dublin and it's a crying shame. Sweet and spiced in equal measure with a smooth, custard filling, it's the kind of dessert Irish people could definitely get on board with given our recent affinity for pastel de natas. Pumpkin pie is like the pastels comforting, traditional auntie, with a sturdy shortcrust base and that all-important hit of *autumnal* flavours like nutmeg and cinnamon, essential for this time of year.
Nab yourself a slice at Queen of Tarts on Cows Lane, a go-to for sweet treats in the city.
Trick or Treat Kraken cocktails
Irish Craft Cocktails
Sugar, or spice?
Whatever your preference, you can be assured that all things nice are healthily flowing through each of these Irish Craft Cocktails creations, both mixed up with Kraken Caribbean rum as the base.
The Kraken's Trick is dark and moody with Kraken Black Spiced, chocolate, caramel, charcoal and lime, while the Treat offering is sweeter with Kraken Black Spiced, cherry, vanilla and lemon.
Ideal to buy in for seasonal pre-drinks or a scary movie marathon at home - grab a bottle via the Craft Cocktails website.
Jack O’Lantern cocktail
Peruke and Periwig
Think of this as a nighttime pumpkin spicer, to be enjoyed with the girlies while cosied up in one of Peruke's red velvet nooks putting the world to rights. It's got everything you'd crave of a blustery Autumnal eve; Dark rum, Campari and that all important pumpkin syrup - it's the kind of drink the Sanderson sisters would sip with relish if they ever ended up in 21st century Dublin.
Lolly and Cook
If you're looking for something solid to accompany your seasonally spiced latte, we're seeing a few pumpkin-flavoured donuts cropping up around the city for your consuming pleasure. In Lolly and Cook's reliable, classically comforting style their offering is sizeable and doughy with an enticing chocolate glaze - the perfect autumnal treat.
Pumpkin Spiced Donut
If you prefer a classic dusting of sugar atop your ring-shaped treats, The Morning have you covered with the latest offering from their Pleasants Street oven. Anyone who's chowed down on a donut from this spot knows they're a quiet contender for the best in Dublin - bouncy sourdough with carefully considered fillings, and you know their pumpkin spiced offering will be no different.
Baked Pumpkin Cheesecake
Phoenix Café's baked cheesecake is topped with seeds and pecans, so that means it's technically a salad. Crying out to be enjoyed with a coffee after a leisurely stroll through the park, deer-spotting and leaf-crunching while wrapped up warm in your favourite chunky autumn knits. It's what this season is all about, let's be honest.
Pumpkin Milk Tea
Nana's tea shop
If you've had your fill of lattes already, open your mind and your heart to this pumpkin milk offering from bubble tea experts Nana's Tea Shop. Available to enjoy hot or cold, this tea is like the traditional lattes cool, younger gen Z sibling and we envisage a lot of people rushing for it this spooky season.
Pumpkin and sage pasta
Far be it from us to neglect the savoury potential of pumpkin. Everyone's favourite seasonal squash is also making its presence felt in soups and pasta dishes all over Dublin's fair city, including in this tasty Cavatelli dish from Little Forest. Located in the heart of Blackrock village, Little Forest is the sibling restaurant of Forest Avenue on Sussex Terrace and is revered by Dublin foodies for its bouncy pizza crusts and creative pasta dishes. With crispy sage leaves and a healthy grating of parmesan, this is the perfect plate for this time of year.
The pandemic brought with it enough banana bread to last a lifetime, but this pumpkin offering from Urban Health has us feeling ready to trust sweet loaves again. Lovingly topped with with a fluffy buttercream, either this or its blueberry crumble cousin would go down a treat for the season that's in it.
The Spooky Chick
Cluck Cluck Chicken
The only chicken worth driving through the Walkinstown Roundabout for, now topped with a creamy pumpkin slaw.
If you like your bird burgers with a spooky edge, this beauty from Cluck Cluck is just what the banshee ordered with crispy chicken dipped in "devil's" hot honey, chipotle mayo, pumpkin slaw and of course, the glue that holds us all together - good ole fashioned American cheese.
Cluck Cluck have locations in Walkinstown and The Square in Tallaght.
Pear, cardamom & star anise spiced cake
With all the pumpkin talk you'd nearly forget that October is also prime pear season, with their creamy sweetness coming to life in this delicately spiced cake from Black Sheep. With peppery cardamom and star anise slicing through the buttery pear, this cake is moist, seasonal and the ideal mid-morning elevense.
Soups and Tarts du jour
Experts when it comes to incorporating fresh, seasonal produce into their daily dishes, if you've a hankering for a squash-based soup or a timely tart Daddy's never misses. Die hards will know their savoury tart and soup offerings change from day to day, so it's always worth casting an eye over their IG if you're craving a comforting, colourful lunch.
Header images via Lovin Team / Instagram / irishcraftcocktails