Eat This Now: 14 Fall Dishes and Drinks to Try in Philly

Smoked cocktails, festive risotto and, yes, even pumpkin spice
October 20, 2017
by Wendy Ramunno

The leaves are changing color and apple cider is in season once again. Fall has arrived at long last and with it comes a new set of menus filled with our favorite foods. From grilled octopus to Instagram-friendly soft serve ice cream, these 14 dishes are essential eats this fall in Philadelphia. 

Charred octopus at Hearthside

It only makes sense to order something off the grill at this new wood-fired BYOB from Collingswood, NJ husband-wife team Dominic and Lyndsay Piperno. On the seafood side, charred octopus tentacles are set atop refried beans and paired with avocado and pickled red onion. 

801 Haddon Ave., Collingswood; 856-240-1164

Matsutake risotto at Serpico

At his South Street namesake spot, Peter Serpico uses creamy risotto to showcase the flavor of sought-after matsutake mushrooms. Parmesan, black pepper, hon shimeji mushrooms and kombu round out the dish. 

​​ 604 South St.; 215-925-3001

Potato pave at Whetstone Tavern

To create this refined version of scalloped potatoes at the Queen Village brasserie, chef Eric Leveillee slices the potato into 30 layers and presses it into a brick. Cider, champagne and chanterelles foraged at Green Meadow Farm give it an autumnal boost.  

700 S 5th St.; 267-239-0906

Manhattan Project at Barclay Prime

We can’t think of a better way to welcome fall than adding a bit of smoky flavor to our cocktails. This new addition at Stephen Starr’s Rittenhouse steakhouse features Maker's Mark Starr Private Select bourbon, Grahams 30 year old tawny port, plum bitters and smoked Amarena cherry.

237 S 18th St.; 215-732-7560

Duck of the day at The Good King Tavern

Fall evenings are made for a bottle of wine and a chalkboard special at Bernard and Chloe Grigri's comfy French pub. A rotating daily selection of duck dishes (sourced from Keiser’s Pheasantry) from chef Nick Basik includes sauteed duck breast, confit thighs, and crispy wings with harissa glaze and hazelnuts.

614 S 7th St.; 215-625-3700

Pumpkin spice draft latte at La Colombe

Even pumpkin spice haters should consider trying this new addition to the La Colombe draft latte lineup. Real pumpkin purée and minimal added sugar make it both healthier and a lot more palatable than mainstream versions. 

Multiple locations

Al pastor tacos at Philly Tacos

Los Taquitos del Pueblo co-founder Juan Carlos Romero has found a new permanent home in Point Breeze. Head to this no-frills BYOB (may we suggest tequila) for a selection of Romero’s well-regarded tacos and platters, from beef head to vegetarian to the satisfying al pastor.

2011 Reed St.; 267-819-9406

Dry aged cote de boeuf for two​ at Townsend

Chef Townsend Wentz has added a hearty 32-ounce dry aged cote de boeuf to the menu at his East Passyunk French bistro. The grass-fed, grain-finished Creekstone beef from Pat Lafrieda meats is dry aged for 30 days and paired with rich potatoes Sarladaise, caramelized onions and Madeira jus. 

1623 E Passyunk Ave.; 267-639-3203

Butternut squash risotto at Fond

After freshening up the interior of their East Passyunk spot earlier this fall, chef Lee Styer and his wife, Jesse introduced a new seasonal menu. In addition to sweet butternut squash, this risotto dish features brussels sprouts, pomegranate and pumpkin seeds. 

1537 S 11th St.; 215-551-5000

Soft serve cone at Kuriimii

One of the newest additions to Chinatown's dessert row, this Instagram-friendly "soft-serve jawn" offers a handful of mostly Asian-inspired flavors like matcha, taro and charcoal vanilla (pictured). Toppings range from gold leaf to Pocky sticks to out-there hot Cheetos. 

1023 Cherry St.; 215-964-1223

Pumpkin pie float at Marigold Kitchen

Part of the 10-course. $90 tasting menu at the University City BYOB, this dessert float features house maple soda topped with a gingersnap cookie and pumpkin ice cream, dusted with freshly grated nutmeg. 

501 S 45th St.; 215-222-3699

Chicken tortilla soup at Good Spoon Soupery

Whether you're in the neighborhood of the Good Spoon shop in Fishtown or visiting the Headhouse Farmers Market on a brisk Sunday morning, the comforting tortilla soup is worth seeking out. The warmly spiced, richly flavored broth is studded with chicken, corn and crispy tortilla shards.

1400 N Front St.; 267-239-5787

Ricotta gnudi at Volver

If the 12-course, $125 fall tasting menu at Jose Garces's swanky Kimmel Center spot is too much of a commitment, look to the à la carte menu, available in the dining room Tuesdays and Wednesdays and in the bar Tuesdays through Saturdays. We have our eye on the ricotta gnudi with brandy, Parmesan cream, fava beans, English peas and wild mushrooms.  

300 S Broad St.; 215-670-2303

Pastries at Walnut Street Café

There’s a lot worth checking out at the Cira Centre South’s all-day restaurant from the team behind New York’s acclaimed Rebelle. At the top of the list is pastry chef Melissa Weller’s heavenly assortment of baked goods, from chocolate babka to kougin-amann to pistachio-cherry croissants. Bonus: All are available to-go.  

2929 Walnut St.; 215-867-8067 

pumpkin spice latte