Without color-changing leaves and cool temperatures, Miami marks its transition into autumn with a sweet batch of pumpkin spice desserts and drinks.
When Starbucks debuted its coveted pumpkin spice latte in 2003, the coffee giant spurred dozens of local restaurants to create their own fall-inspired items. From cookies and coffee to fritters and rum Bundt cakes, pumpkin spice treats share a similar blend of seasonings, including cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
According to a recent study by Yelp, Miami has a clear list of favorites when it comes to pumpkin spice-flavored items.
Yelp identified businesses with the words "pumpkin spice" written in reviews and then ranked each spot based on review count and overall restaurant rating. Those that made the cut received at least four of five stars, with hundreds of corresponding reviews. Here are Miami's five favorite pumpkin spice eats and drinks.
1. Vegan pumpkin doughnut at the Salty Donut. With an ever-changing lineup of seasonal doughnuts, the Salty Donut in Wynwood embraces fall with a vegan and gluten-free baked pumpkin doughnut. Each one is drizzled in a pumpkin spice glaze and topped with almond streusel. The shop offers other autumn-inspired items, including a caramel apple fritter topped with a sweet cider glaze and a caramelized fig doughnut garnished with a salted honey glaze and topped with brûléed figs and almond streusel ($3 to $5). 50 NW 23rd St., Miami; 305-925-8126; saltydonut.com.
2. Pumpkin pie pancakes at Pubbelly Noodle Bar. On Sundays, Pubbelly Noodle Bar in Sunset Harbour rolls out one of Miami's most decadent brunches, complete with dim sum, noodles, ramen, and a selection of breakfast plates such as shakshuka, chilaquiles, and chicken and waffles. However, the restaurant's most popular dish, according to Yelp reviews, are the pumpkin pie pancakes ($14). Each stack is topped with a generous pat of almond butter, bourbon syrup, and vanilla foam. 1418 20th St., Miami Beach; 305-532-7555; pubbelly.com.
3. Pumpkin spice cookies at SpecialTea Lounge. On Coral Way, SpecialTea carries a vast selection of tea, coffee, and baked goods, along with lunch items such as sandwiches and salads. During fall, the café offers pumpkin spice cookies, available for $1.50 apiece. Comparable to sugar cookies flavored with pumpkin spice, the treats are mentioned more than 500 times on SpecialTea's Yelp page. 10766 Coral Way, Miami; 305-554-8327; specialtealounge.com.
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4. Pumpkin spice chai latte at Pasión del Cielo. The seasonal menu at Pasión del Cielo wouldn't be complete without a pumpkin spice chai latte. With a warm and creamy texture, the drink is described as "fall in a cup" ($3 and up). It's offered at both the Coral Gables and Kendall locations only during the season, so try it before it's gone. 100 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables, 305-448-0007, and 8915 SW 72nd Pl., Miami, 786-597-2007; pasiondelcielo.com.
5. Pumpkin spice rum Bundt cake at Scrumptious Sweets MIA. This local dessert business is known for its selection of homemade Bundt cakes infused with rum. Flavors range from lemon and guava to dulce de leche and dark chocolate, and gluten-free varieties are also available. In the fall, Scrumptious Sweets whips up a pumpkin spice version ($5) with a chocolate base and a generous spread of pumpkin spice cream. 305-987-2842; facebook.com/scrumptioussweetsmia.