The 10 Best Pumpkin Dishes in NYC Right Now
Pumpkin Spice Lattes do not count.
The leaves are falling, temps are dropping, and pounds of candy are lining the shelves at your local bodega, which can mean only one thing: it’s pumpkin season. But this year, instead of just using your pumpkins as decorative accessories, you might want to think about actually eating them. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins are sent to landfills every year. And, it turns out, the staggering amount of methane gasses released from these trashed Jacks is a contributor to climate change.
But while many of us might be intimidated by cooking a giant pumpkin, Laura Scheck, the founder of Teaching Table, who leads cooking classes in Brooklyn, has an easy fix for all that waste. “The easiest and safest way to prep a pumpkin is to cut it in half, remove the seeds (roast those separately), and roast until tender—no peeling or cubing required,” says Scheck. “The softened, subtly caramelized flesh that it yields has so many applications.”
And it’s not just for sweet desserts like pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread. “I make a classic Oaxacan molé sauce and purée with cooked pumpkin, some stock, and coconut milk to make a decadent vegan bisque,” says Sheck. “I also use roasted pumpkin as an unexpected ingredient in my fall tacos, paired with black beans, cotija, chili peppers, and molé sauce or a simple green salsa.”
Turns out, some of NYC’s best eateries are transforming our favorite seasonal squash into culinary masterpieces, too. This fall, check out these inventive and delicious pumpkin dishes around the city, and think about what you can do with your pumpkin, come November 1.
The dish: Pumpkin and persimmon pastelito
This Crown Heights newcomer is bringing New Mexican (as in the state, not modern Mexican) cuisine to New Yorkers with stuffed sopapillas, bursting breakfast burritos, and various pastries from Eric See, the mastermind behind the former Awkward Scone. From now through Thanksgiving, go for the pumpkin and persimmon pastelitos, with the fruits encased inside a rye crust and sprinkled with pumpkin seeds on top.
How to order: Walk in only
The dish: Pumpkin guokui
When Crop Circle opened in August it made a splash with its classic Northern Chinese street food, guokui, a stretched, stuffed dough. It’s then flattened into an oval shape and baked in a tandoor-style clay oven, resulting in a beautiful, golden Guokui with a super crispy crust and gooey insides. Now, for the fall season, Crop Circle is making a pumpkin-filled guokui, where the dough is stuffed with a creamy, slightly sweet pumpkin puree and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
How to order: Walk in. Order takeout and delivery via website, Seamless, Uber Eats.
The dish: Toasted pumpkin seed with smoked chile dip
The former queen bee of Dos Caminos and Rosa Mexicana, Ivy Stark, offers a Mexican menu that includes shareable dips and tacos at her stall inside Time Out Market New York in Dumbo. If you’re ready to go beyond guacamole in your quest for Mexican dips, Stark’s toasted pumpkin seed with smoked chile dip is sure to broaden your horizons. Served with crunchy veggies from Brooklyn Grange and chile-toasted saladitas for dipping, the whole dish is also vegan.
How to order: Walk in and order using Time Out Market New York’s app or website. Order delivery via DoorDash.
The dish: Pumpkin spice latte cookie
Sometimes you just need a cookie, ya know? Chip NYC knows, and always seems to be there when you need them, with a roving truck and multiple locations, including a new Williamsburg locale opening on Halloween. In honor of pumpkin spice latte (PSL, baby) season, Chip NYC is offering their cookiefied version of the coffee drink obsession: a pumpkin spice cookie filled with gooey espresso dulce de leche. Check their IG to see which flavors are on tap for the day; Pumpkin Spice Latte shows up about twice a week right now.
How to order: Walk in. Order takeout and delivery via their website.
The Bar Room at Temple Court
The dish: Pumpkin roulade
Temple Court executive pastry chef Abby Swain has created an extra-special autumn dessert for the Bar Room dinner menu. Her delicate pumpkin roulade is made by incorporating roasted and pureed pumpkin from the Union Square Greenmarket into a fluffy cake batter. It’s then rolled with a cashew and brown sugar spread, drizzled with a spiced crème anglaise, and brown butter braised pumpkin seeds are sprinkled on top.
How to order: Reservations are available on website. Not available for takeout or delivery.
The dish: Pumpkin soup
Modern Asian restaurant Hortus NYC recently announced a new executive chef, Youjin Jung (Del Posto, Osteria Mozza, DB Bistro & Oyster Bar, Boulud Sud) who has launched a new fall menu, including a creamy pumpkin soup made from Japanese pumpkin and butternut squash that’s topped with a cilantro espuma and served with grilled bread alongside. Hortus, which comes from the Latin word for garden, is true to its name and features a hidden second-floor garden oasis, complete with propane heaters and umbrellas.
How to order: Reservations are available on Resy for indoor and outdoor dining. Order takeout and delivery via Caviar, ChowNow, GrubHub, UberEats.
The dish: Pumpkin mezzaluna
Andrew Carmellini’s Williamsburg restaurant inside the William Vale Hotel is focused on the food of Southern Italy, which means plenty of handmade pizza and pasta. There’s so many to choose from, but come fall, the plump pumpkin mezzaluna makes an appearance, topped with ruby-red pomegranate seeds, fresh rosemary, and a shower of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
How to order: Reservations are available on their website. Order takeout and delivery via website, Caviar, Seamless.
LoLo's Seafood Shack
The dish: Pumpkin bisque with shrimp and crab
Owned and operated by Harlem locals Leticia Skai Young and chef Raymond Mohan, who’s originally from Guyana, LoLo’s refers to the Locally Owned, Locally Operated seaside eateries the couple encountered while in the British West Indies, called lolos. Mohan, who trained under Jean-Georges Vongerichten and David Burke before becoming chef de cuisine at Aquarella in Puerto Rico, offers a seafood-heavy menu with a Latin-by-way-of-New-England spin. For the fall, his take on a classic pumpkin bisque features luscious chunks of shrimp and crab. It’s served with one of LoLo’s classic johnnycakes slathered in honey butter, making it big enough for a small meal or as a perfect starter.
How to order: Reservations are available by calling 646-649-3356 or walk-ins for the outdoor dining area. Order takeout and delivery via Seamless, Postmates, Uber Eats.
The dish: Pumpkin gingersnap banana pudding
While Magnolia Bakery may have become famous for their cupcakes, every true New Yorker knows their banana pudding (which you can also make at home!) is a matchless standout of its own—and the best northern rendition of a Southern classic. Perhaps Southerners would disapprove of this autumnal twist, but on the menu for fall is a creamy pumpkin pudding layered with gingersnap cookies and bananas and spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cloves.
How to order: Walk in. Order takeout and delivery via DoorDash, Seamless, Toasttab, Uber Eats, and nationwide shipping via Goldbelly.
The dish: Pumpkin pie mochi ice cream creation
Wholesale and direct-to-consumer mochi brand Mochidoki opened its first brick and mortar shop in Soho last spring. Culinary Director Natsume Aoi, who grew up making mochi in her grandmother’s Okinawa kitchen and was previously executive pastry chef at Morimoto, is charged with conceptualizing each mochi creation. For the fall, she combines the seasonal pumpkin & cookies mochi ice cream with a dark chocolate and gingerbread crust. Pumpkin spice cream is dolloped on top, followed by carefully placed candied pecans and cherry.
How to order: Walk in. Order takeout and delivery via Caviar, DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, Seamless, Uber Eats.