I’m all for spooky season spirit. But honestly, I think it’s time we bid farewell to pumpkin and celebrate differently. From Starbucks pumpkin spice cold brew to pumpkin spice RX bars, it’s all a bit too much. This year, try the following spots to get your spooky sweet-tooth fix. They’ve got a couple of tricks and treats up their sleeves. Plus, they’re all sans pumpkin.
Republic of Booza
OK, this treat doesn’t look scary per se, but it’s scary good. Booza is a traditional Middle Eastern ice cream that’s made to be thicker and creamier than your average pint of Häagen-Dazs. Their fall specials make it completely acceptable to chow down on this cold treat even as the temperatures drop. Some flavors are only fall-themed in title, such as Choc-o-lantern and Dracula’s Bloody Mess, while the Apple Cider Sorbet hits fall flavor notes. A cup or cone of each flavor is $5.25.
Baked by Melissa
If they’re mini cupcakes, that means they’re sorta, kinda, maybe a little healthier right? Debatable, because it’s a challenge to not devour a handful of these adorable cupcakes in one sitting. In keeping with the Halloween spirit, Baked by Melissa offers a variety of package-deal options: the Monster Mash cupcakes ($30), the Graveyard Smash 100-pack ($116) and the Hocus Pocus 50-pack ($58). With eyeball and flying bat designs, these are as easy on the eyes as they are on the tastebuds.
Dylan’s Candy Bar
Candy? For Halloween? Groundbreaking. But seriously, how could you not? Dylan’s is a classic New York City candy store. From their incredibly cute “wicked” gummy bears ($5) to chocolate eyeballs ($2.40) and Belgian chocolate-dipped Twinkies that look like ghosts ($40), Dylan’s proves that candy isn’t just for trick-or-treating kiddos.
Hosting a Halloween bash and need a crowd-pleasing dessert? Financier is your friend. This coffee shop has some spooky cakes that are sure to please. While many may turn to their pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin pie (sigh), Financier Patisserie sells a variety of fall-flavored, Halloween-themed desserts that shouldn’t be overlooked. The deep-dish apple dutch pie ($28) is delicious, and the chocolate nougat cake ($36) has a wispy spider web design atop it.
Park Avenue Autumn
If you’re feeling particularly fancy this autumn, seasonal restaurant Park Avenue is the spot to find all of the fall eats one might desire. Because the restaurant always has a seasonal menu, you can bet they know what they’re doing when it comes to themed eats. Dessert is especially important because their candied yam creme brulee ($12) and cinnamon s’more sundae ($12) never fail to please a crowd. If you’re 21, make sure to check out their dessert wines — a much-needed post-midterm celebration.
East Coast favorite Dunkin’ Donuts is embracing the Halloween spirit this fall. The company has reimagined its classic donuts, giving all of your favorites new names and themed decorations. The Purple Potion is a classic vanilla frosted donut, except the frosting is purple and topped with orange and chocolate sprinkles. The Vampire’s Delight, Ghoulish Gaze, Choc-o-Lantern and Owl Fashioned also fall on the list of Halloween donuts served at Dunkin’, all for the price of $1.
Fall weather seems to be sticking around longer than usual and those whose costumes depend on minimal clothing will be thankful. Before you know it, you’ll be needing to wait an entire year for spooky season to return, so make sure to take advantage of all the food while you can.
A version of this article appears in the Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, print edition. Email Celina Khorma at [email protected]