Rough Day? 8 Ways to Taste Fall's Sweetness Around DC

By Shruti Rajkumar | November 19, 2020 | Food & Drink

Nothing encapsulates the fall feeling more than curling up in a cozy sweater with a hot drink that evokes scents of cinnamon and maple. Here, we highlight the best places to visit for pumpkin spice treats and other fall flavors.


District Doughnut

Three words: Pumpkin. Cheesecake. Doughnut. With homemade vanilla bean yeast dough and decadent creams, glazes and ganaches, District Doughnuts crafts gourmet doughnuts for every season and occasion. If you’re not craving pumpkin spice, sink your teeth into one of the other 14 flavors from the fall-inspired menu—think caramel apple streusel and maple butter pecan. Multiple locations,

Sweetbites Cafe

Whether you’re looking for a dessert for a special occasion or a small pick-me-up treat, Sweet Bites Cafe has you covered with its baked goods made with signature and seasonal flavors. Bite into the sweet layer of brown-sugar cinnamon cream cheese frosting pillowed on top of a caramel apple cupcake. 6845 Elm St., McLean, Va., 703.448.1115,


Ice Cream Jubilee

You scream, I scream… well, you know the rest—especially when it comes to Victoria Lai’s Ice Cream Jubilee. Voted People’s Choice for Best Ice Cream at the DC Scoop competition, the creamery churns summer treats with fall flavors at the Navy Yard. Our favorite? The maple rye pecan—maple ice cream with candied pecans and a splash of rye whiskey from the local Catoctin Creek Distillery. 301 Water St. SE, Ste. 105, 202.863.0727,

Old Ox Brewery

Named after one of the oldest roads in Loudoun County, Old Ox Brewery is a family-owned business with a mission to build a sense of connection for their customers. At the Ashburn location, try the brand’s specialty beer called Oxorcist II. This limited-time concoction is brewed with 100 pounds of pumpkin and ten gallons of pure Vermont maple syrup, and is finished with light touches of pumpkin pie spices and vanilla bean—it’s sure to put you in the fall spirit. 44652 Guilford Dr., Ste. 114, Ashburn, Va, 703.729.8375,


Baked and Wired

Treat yourself to the Great Pumpkin, a cupcake topped with a swirl of pumpkin spice cream cheese icing, pumpkin seeds and a dash of cinnamon. Wash it down with the brand’s seasonal apple cider or pumpkin spice milk. 1052 Thomas Jefferson St. NW, 703.663.8727,

Fare Well

As two-time champions of the Food Network's Cupcake Wars, this diner, bar and bakery knows how to satisfy your sweet tooth with its array of desserts and baked goods. Indulge in an apple gingersnap tart—composed of an apple compote and mousse within a gingersnap crust and coated in an apple glaze. 406 H St. NE, 202.367.9600,


Olivia Macaron

In 2013, Ana Claudia created Olivia Macaron, a business that combined her two favorite things: French macarons and coffee. Choose from 12 signature flavors and a monthly rotation of new flavors inspired by the season to comprise a specially curated macaron gift box. Bite into the layer of pumpkin cream within the pumpkin spice macaron and let the combination of nutmeg and cinnamon dance on your taste buds. 3222 M St. NW, 202.965.1000,


Ramen isn’t the only thing Daikaya has to offer. The Japanese restaurant added to its diverse selection of bar offerings with the Kabocha Spice Kohee. This cocktail stirs together a fall flavor with Jameson cold brew, pumpkin spice, ginger liqueur, Kahluh and Branca Menta. 705 Sixth St NW, 202.589.1600,

Tags: dessert

Photography by: From top, photo: by Anna Meyer; by Anna Meyer; by Sarah Culver; courtesy of Olivia Macaron. Cover photo by Anna Meyer