There's a lot to love about fall. The blazing colors of changing leaves, the cooling breeze, and the joyous magic of festivities all fill the air with a sense of celebration and coziness. The season also ushers in an abundance of delicious seasonal flavors that feel synonymous with autumn like pumpkin, maple, cinnamon, apple, and caramel. Fall flavors offer a comforting mix of warmth and sweetness that truly soothes the soul.
A lot of restaurant chains make an effort to capture these fall flavors with new menus. These menu items often take the form of new coffee drinks, donuts, waffles, pancakes, ice cream, and milkshakes. While some chains reintroduce the same popular seasonal flavors every year, others often announce brand-new menu items to keep things interesting. If you're wondering what fall flavors chains have in store this year, you're in luck. We've taken the time to highlight some of our favorites.
Culver's is well known for its burgers, which are made with fresh and never-frozen beef patties. But the truth is that Culver's sweet treats are equally delicious and maybe even more enticing. The company's Fresh Frozen Custard is good enough to give just about any ice cream chain on the market a run for its money. Culver's custard is made all day long at its locations to ensure that each batch is deliciously fresh. The restaurant offers Concrete Mixers (frozen custard flavors blended with extra toppings and ingredients), waffle cones, sundaes, and root beer floats. Culver's features a Flavor of the Day with a huge variety of rotating options like Oreo Cookie Cheesecake, Brownie Batter Overload, and Double Strawberry. The company also runs special limited-time-only seasonal flavors, such as its fall-inspired fan favorite, Pumpkin Pecan frozen custard.
Culver's Pumpkin Pecan frozen custard is made with ingredients that include toasted pecan pieces, sea salt, pumpkin, sugar, and spices. The combination of pumpkin, spices, and pecan bits provides an autumnal flavor that's tasty and satisfying. The pumpkin flavor is well-balanced and avoids being too sweet or assertive. The exact spices aren't listed in the Pumpkin Pecan's ingredients, but it tastes like cinnamon and maybe a pinch of nutmeg. Pro-tip: Level up this seasonal flavor by adding a swirl of caramel when you order.
The Cheesecake Factory
The Cheesecake Factory is known for its sprawling menu that offers everything from stuffed mushrooms and cheeseburgers to Fettuccine Alfredo and Korean Fried Chicken. No matter what you're in the mood for, there's a good chance that the chain has something to satisfy your cravings when hunger strikes. Of course, The Cheesecake Factory is also famous for its dessert menu. The restaurant has hot fudge sundaes and an extensive list of various cheesecakes that are available by the slice. One of the best flavors The Cheesecake Factory makes is its seasonal Pumpkin Pecan cheesecake that's available for a limited time only during the fall.
The flavors of pecan pie and pumpkin cheesecake combine to form a dessert that's rich and delicious. Caramel is slathered on the top layer of this dessert, which also contains some extra chunks of pecans. The mixture of pecans, caramel, and pumpkin pie captures everything we love about fall flavors in a single dessert. Without a doubt, The Cheesecake Factory's Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake is a seasonal treat that we always look forward to.
Cracker Barrel is a restaurant chain that has built a reputation for its Southern homestyle cooking. The restaurant hand-rolls its biscuits and makes its mashed potatoes and gravy from scratch every day. The beef is slow-roasted and the chicken is hand-battered. The company's menu offers popular favorites year-round, such as breakfast all day along with its famous Chicken n' Dumplins. The chain also features various seasonal menu items, including the Iced French Toast Latte.
Cracker Barrel's Iced French Toast Latte comes with espresso blended with cinnamon flavor and steamed milk. It's finished with a topping of whipped cream and cinnamon crumbles along with a drizzle of syrup. The combination of cinnamon, coffee, and syrup creates a flavor that's reminiscent of fall with roasty sweetness.
If you want a more savory taste of fall all year long, Cracker Barrel also makes special plates of turkey and dressing every Thursday. Cracker Barrel's Turkey N' Dressing comes with succulent slices of baked turkey smothered in turkey gravy along with a mound of fluffy dressing (also known as stuffing). The dish comes with biscuits or muffins along with two sides, and the sweet potato casserole is a wise choice.
Krispy Kreme has over 300 locations across the country. The company has a very streamlined menu that focuses on doughnuts, coffee, and shakes. Each location makes its doughnuts on-site, which gives them an amazing level of freshness. There's nothing quite like a freshly-glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut that's still warm to the touch.
Krispy Kreme also rolls out seasonal menu items that showcase new flavors. This fall, the company is offering four seasonal doughnuts, as well as a pumpkin spice latte and a seasonal shake. The doughnuts include the Pumpkin Spiced Original Glazed doughnut, Pumpkin Spice Cake Doughnut, Pumpkin Spice Maple Pecan Doughnut, and Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Swirl Doughnut. While all of these are tasty, the Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Swirl Doughnut is the real standout here, with its spiraling pumpkin buttercream and cream cheese icing. Krispy Kreme's seasonal Pumpkin Spice Cake Shake blends a Pumpkin Spice Cake Doughnut into the milkshake for extra pumpkin flavor. Note: The shakes are only sold in a handful of its locations, at Krispy Kreme ice cream shops.
Another Broken Egg Cafe
Another Broken Egg Cafe specializes in Southern-inspired breakfast fare. The chain has over 70 locations, mostly found in the South. Another Broken Egg Cafe goes the extra mile in different ways on its menu like making its own breakfast sausage and dreaming up enticing concoctions like French toast apple fritters. The restaurant also unveils seasonal options such as Tiramisu French Toast and Lobster Hash Benedict. If you're in the mood for a dish that's more fall-forward in flavor, we'd recommend the restaurant's Pumpkin Waffle.
What makes Another Broken Egg Cafe's Pumpkin Waffle exceptional is the compound butter it's topped with. This compound butter is made with cinnamon and powdered sugar to create a creamy and delicious spread that's both sweet and savory. As the cinnamon butter melts, it drips down the pumpkin-infused Belgian waffle forming a match made in heaven. The restaurant also adds some chopped pecans on top, giving the waffle some extra texture. The sweet and buttery flavor of pecans pairs perfectly with the cinnamon butter and pumpkin. If you want all the tastes of fall wrapped up in a waffle, look no further.
Dairy Queen is famous for its Blizzards, which are basically soft serve blended with various ingredients like Oreos, brownies, and peanut butter cups. Every month, the chain features a Blizzard of the Month that showcases seasonal flavors. For September's Blizzard of the Month, Dairy Queen is featuring its Pumpkin Pie Blizzard.
Dairy Queen's Pumpkin Pie Blizzard is made with soft serve and real pumpkin pie pieces, topped with a swirl of whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg. The addition of nutmeg is a small touch that adds a warm and nutty flavor to the Blizzard, pairing wonderfully with its chunks of pumpkin pie. The silkiness of the whipped cream adds another luscious layer of light sweetness. Altogether, this Blizzard does a great job of capturing all the flavors of pumpkin pie in the form of soft serve. In fact, we'd even go as far as to say that we'd much rather have Dairy Queen's Pumpkin Pie Blizzard than an actual slice of pumpkin pie. It's rich, creamy, sweet, and perfectly spiced, making it one of the best fall treats from a chain restaurant.
With over 1,600 locations across the United States and elsewhere, IHOP is one of America's most widely accessible diner chains. The restaurant is probably best known for its breakfast menu, full of classic diner fare like buttermilk pancakes, omelets, and French toast. IHOP also rolls out limited-time-only seasonal specials such as its Pumpkin Spice Pancakes and Pumpkin Spice Cold Foam Cold Brew coffee.
IHOP's Pumpkin Spice Pancakes are made with real pumpkin and seasonal spices, and served topped with whipped cream. The restaurant offers these pancakes as a combo that comes with bacon or sausage links along with two fried eggs and hash browns. The Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew coffee is made with a pumpkin spice creamy cold foam, which allows the pumpkin flavor to easily blend into the coffee, giving the taste of pumpkin with every sip. The coffee is also sweetened with vanilla for extra flavor. To get a heavy but delightful dose of pumpkin, try the two together by ordering the Pumpkin Spice Pancakes and washing them down with a Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew coffee.
Red Robin is a restaurant chain that specializes in burgers. The gourmet burgers are served on toasted brioche buns that are soft and fluffy yet stable enough to hold everything together. The company has over a dozen burgers on its menu with a wide range of options, including items like sautéed fresh garlic mushrooms, fried jalapeños, or fondue for dipping. Even though Red Robin is mostly known for its savory menu options, it also has some great milkshakes. The restaurant offers classic milkshake flavors like chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla, but it also tends to feature seasonal shakes, too.
Case in point: The Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice shake, Red Robin's fan-favorite fall milkshake that's been brought back repeatedly since 2013. There have been small variations in the recipe over the years, but it often contains a mix of vanilla soft serve, caramel, and pumpkin spice. The blend of pumpkin spice and creamy vanilla delivers a flavor of fall that's nearly irresistible. This shake is so good that we wish it were on the menu permanently, but the fact that it's only available for a limited time gives it some mystique and appeal.
Perkins is the kind of place that you can order breakfast, lunch, or dinner from and not be disappointed. The diner's menu specializes in classic comfort dishes like country fried steak and club sandwiches, and Perkins also has a bakery that sells a selection of amazing pies, cakes, cookies, and muffins. On its seasonal fall menu, Perkins offers tempting choices such as its Maple Bacon Pancake Platter, Pumpkin Spice Pancake Platter, Pumpkin Pie, and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Mammoth Muffins.
The Pumpkin Spice Pancakes are made from scratch with buttermilk, real pumpkin, and cinnamon. But it's the Pumpkin Mammoth Muffin that really shines here, with its pumpkin cream cheese frosting. Another perk (see what we did there?) is the fact that the restaurant offers a turkey dinner with stuffing and cranberry sauce year-round. There aren't too many places where diners can score a Thanksgiving dinner throughout the year, but Perkins has got your back.
When it comes to pumpkin-flavored drinks and other treats, it's hard to beat Caribou Coffee. The company has over 450 locations mostly concentrated in Minnesota. What makes Caribou Coffee exceptional is the sheer amount of pumpkin-flavored menu items that it offers. While most companies might roll out one or two new seasonal menu items, Caribou Coffee features several, giving patrons an abundance of fall-themed flavors to pick from.
The Pumpkin Espresso Shaker, Pumpkin Latte, and Pumpkin White Mocha are just a handful of Caribou Coffee's seasonal offerings. The Pumpkin White Mocha is one of our favorites, melting white chocolate chips into steamed milk, blended with espresso and real pumpkin, and then topped with an elegant coil of whipped cream and more white chocolate chips. Caribou Coffee also makes pumpkin-flavored baked goods, including the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin and Pumpkin Cake Pop. When it comes to pumpkin-flavored menu items, Caribou Coffee offers a generous batch of well-executed seasonal treats, making it one of the best chains for fall flavors.
Slinging donuts, coffee, and breakfast sandwiches for generations, Dunkin' is one of the most well-known breakfast chains in the country. According to the company itself, it sells about 60 cups of coffee every second. Dunkin' showcases enticing seasonal flavors on its fall menu with showstoppers like its Pumpkin Spice Signature Latte, Nutty Pumpkin Coffee (flavored with a dash of hazelnut), and the Pumpkin Swirl flavoring that can be added to the company's various coffee drinks. Beyond the drinks, Dunkin' is also selling pumpkin-flavored muffins, donuts, and Munchkins (donut bites).
For a more savory twist, Dunkin' is also bringing back its Maple Sugar Bacon, which can be ordered on its own or as part of the filling inside a croissant breakfast sandwich, together with a fried egg and white cheddar cheese. The bacon is caramelized with maple syrup and sugar, striking a tasty balance that's sweet, smoky, and savory. There's no doubt that Dunkin' puts the spotlight on rich autumn flavors that rev up the appetite, and its seasonal menu is something that we look forward to all year.
Panera Bread is a chain that's beloved for its soups and sandwiches. The company's You Pick Two option is a popular choice that lets diners match a variety of the restaurant's dishes together for an affordable price. The deal includes half sandwiches, half salads, and cups of soup or macaroni and cheese, among other options.
For its fall menu, Panera Bread leans into the flavor of cinnamon for many of its items. The Cinnamon Crunch Latte — inspired by the company's Cinnamon Crunch Bagel — deliciously sweeps in the warm flavors of autumn. Made with a blend that includes freshly brewed espresso, cinnamon syrup, whipped cream, and cinnamon sugar, this latte delivers big flavors without going overboard. Other menu items that offer the flavors of fall include baked goods like pumpkin cookies and vanilla cinnamon rolls. Between its cinnamon latte, cinnamon bagels, and other baked goods, Panera Bread does a solid job of putting some fall-flavored options on the table.
Tim Hortons is a reliable pit stop for coffee, donuts, bagels, and breakfast sandwiches. Some of the restaurant's popular items include Timbits (donut holes) and cheap iced coffee. The company first opened its doors in Canada back in 1964, and over the years, Tim Hortons has expanded into the United States with over 600 locations.
Tim Hortons' fall menu features plenty of delicious seasonal drinks and treats. Some of these include the Maple Cinnamon Sugar Latte, Pumpkin Spiced Iced Capp, Pumpkin Spice Donut, and the Spiced Apple Cranberry Refresher, which features the flavor of Spiced Chai, with notes of cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The company is also rolling out a Pumpkin Spice Muffin and a Peach Refresher made with ingredients like cinnamon and molasses. We like that Tim Hortons went above and beyond pumpkin in its fall menu by offering fruity flavors like cranberry and peach. The eclectic autumn offerings at Tim Hortons give diners a lot of tasty choices that are worth every penny, but they're only available for a limited time — so get them while you can.
With locations all over the globe, Starbucks is the biggest coffee chain in the world. The company has over 17,000 stores worldwide, with around 6,500 in the United States. Despite a few recent controversies, Starbucks continues to be a popular coffee house chain with some of the most iconic seasonal drinks. It's often considered one of the first to capitalize on the pumpkin spice craze that's taken the United States by storm every year with increasing fervor for two decades, offering the Pumpkin Spice Latte since 2003.
Starbucks' fall menu once again brings back its most famous seasonal drink, the Pumpkin Spice Latte, made with espresso, steamed milk, and pumpkin, flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg, and topped with whipped cream. Alongside another returning favorite, the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, are two all-new additions — the refreshing and pumpkin-less Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso and the Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte, which was a secret menu item for years and is especially popular. To sate your appetite, the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin is also making a comeback, together with the new Baked Apple Croissant.
Chick-fil-A makes some of the best fried chicken sandwiches that you can get from a major chain, but it also has some amazing milkshakes. Year-round, you can count on Chick-fil-A to whip up classic milkshake flavors like chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, and cookies and cream. But the company also rolls out special seasonal milkshakes from time to time, and Chick-fil-A's Caramel Crumble Milkshake is one of our all-time fall favorites.
Chick-fil-A's Caramel Crumble Milkshake is made with the company's signature Icedream dessert and flavored with creamy butterscotch caramel and blondie crumbles. For the uninitiated, blondies are essentially brownies but with a few minor yet crucial differences. Unlike brownies, blondies don't typically use cocoa powder and often contain vanilla and brown sugar instead of white sugar. The blondie crumbles and butterscotch caramel give this milkshake a rich flavor that's reminiscent of fall without resorting to using any pumpkin. It's buttery and sweet, and the crumbles add just a little bit of tasty texture. If you're craving a seasonal sweet treat this fall but you're burnt out on pumpkin, this milkshake will really hit the spot.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.