Long before pumpkin spice was added to anything consumable, our forefathers enjoyed fall harvest crops abundant with apples, squash, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and pecans. These flavorful and filling ingredients have continued to be incorporated into seasonal dishes, with a few twists here and there for good measure. Check out how some of your favorite fall foods are being prepared at Boston-area farms, restaurants, and breweries.
Apple Cider DonutsApril–December: 9 am–7 pm, Mon.–Fri.; 9 am–6 pm, Sat.–Sun. January–March: Closed Mon.–Tues.; 9 am–6 pm, Wed.–Fri.; 9 am–5 pm, Sat.–Sun.614 South Main St., Sharon – Commuter Rail to Foxboro, then short Lyft or Uber ride, onsite parking How to Get There
You could buy apple cider donuts from the store or you could eat them while surrounded by acres of pumpkin crops, farm animals, and corn mazes at Ward’s Berry Farm in Sharon. It’s not just about the experience, though, it’s about the fresh taste that’s worth making the trip from Boston. They’re available on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 am to 4 pm for just $1 each.
Chicken Squash Penne11 am–10 pm, Mon.–Sun.226 Newbury St., Boston – Copley T stop, limited street parking How to Get There
At this fine Italian eatery, the penne con zucca ($22) is a symphony of classic autumnal flavors made with sautéed chicken, roasted butternut squash, apple cider, and Gorgonzola. Also on the menu is the vegan squash ravioli made with zucchini, basil, and arugula. With an intimate indoor dining setting of 14 tables, as well as a large selection of wines, Piattini might be your next date night option.
The Great Pumpkin Ale11:30 am–11 pm, Sun.–Mon.; 11:30 am–12 am, Tues.–Thurs.; 11:30 am–12:45 am, Fri.–Sat.1 Kendall Sq., Bldg. 100, Cambridge – Kendall/MIT T stop, One Kendall Square Parking Garage How to Get There
Cambridge Brewing Co. has handcrafted beers using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients since 1989. Its Great Pumpkin Ale, available for the first time ever in a can this year, is made with locally grown sugar pumpkins, malt, cinnamon, and allspice. Basically, it’s fall in liquid form. Grab a pint ($6) straight from the brewery located near MIT or check your local liquor store for a six-pack.
Curried Sweet PotatoClosed Mon.; 11 am –9 pm, Sun.–Thurs.; 11 am–10 pm, Fri.–Sat.506 Park Dr., Boston – BU Central T stop, limited street parking How to Get There
Siblings Irene, Andy, and Mei started Mei Mei as a food truck in 2012 and soon opened a brick-and-mortar retaurant a year later with their signature takes on creative Chinese-American food. The menu focuses on vegetable produce, often locally sourced from places such as the Urban Farming Institute of Boston in Mattapan. All meat used is pasture-raised, humanely slaughtered, and sourced within 250 miles of the city. The curried sweet potato ($6) is a colorful dish, incorporating ground beef, creamy red coconut sauce, and crunchy purple pickles.
Sticky Buns6:30 am–8 pm, Mon.–Fri.; 8 am–6 pm, Sat.; 8 am–5 pm, Sun.12 Farnsworth St., Boston (plus six other locations) – South St. T stop, SL3 bus, limited street parking How to Get There
Flour Bakery, founded by pastry chef Joanne Chang, is a hometown gem in Boston. The first location opened in 2000 and there are now seven branches dotted around the city. Chang’s sticky buns ($4) are an all-time favorite made with dark, sticky caramel and toasted pecans. The pastries were even featured on an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the Food Network.
Let the comfort food eating commence.