Autumn is upon us and with this new fall season comes cozy trends in fashion (hello, boots and sweaters) and decor (we see those pumpkins and mums on your doorstep) and our favourite, food. When the days turn chilly and damp, we start to crave comfort foods and seasonal flavours, and White Rock’s restaurants and coffee shops are ready to satisfy that craving with seasonal menus, harvest flavours and all the pumpkin spice you can handle!

Fall in White Rock means Oktoberfest at Ulis and this year is no exception. From September 16 to October 8 book a table at Uli’s Restaurant and enjoy a traditional menu of German favourites. The menu includes ham hocks “the size of your head” or Weisswurst (a traditional Bavarian sausage) served with mashed potato, sauerkraut and red cabbage, and Sauerbratten, a German “soured” roast served with red cabbage and semmelknödel (dumplings). Plus there’s spaetzle and pretzels and apple strudel, and German beer!  The folks at Uli’s go all out to make it feel like a classic Oktoberbest celebration, from the lederhosen and dirndl skirts to Franzl and his squeezebox (if you know, you know) performing German drinking songs! Reservations are a must for this popular event and they’ll be offering an early bird special on the entire Oktoberfest food menu from Thursdays to Saturdays for 4:00 pm to 4:45 pm reservations.

Thanksgiving will soon be upon us and the incredibly popular take-home Thanksgiving dinners from Hillcrest Bakery and Deli are back. Made from scratch, the dinners include all of the traditional fixings including roast turkey, mashed potato, stuffing, veggies, gravy, cranberry sauce, and of course dessert which is your choice of a classic butter tart or pumpkin tart! Dinners are available for pick up or delivery on Saturday, October 8th, or pick up only on Sunday, October 9th.  And while you’re ordering dinner, you may as well order extra dessert, and arguably pie is the must-have fall dessert. While the jury seems to be split between a classic apple pie and the less popular, but much loved, pumpkin pie, every year the folks at Hillcrest bake, from scratch, their own unique blend of pumpkin or apple, and spices into a delicious, light and flaky deep-dish pie crust and they might just be better than your grandmother’s pies! Order both and see for yourself.

If you are one of the aforementioned pumpkin pie lovers but are feeling the need to elevate your dessert, then get yourself to Chez Christophe. Try the Pumpkin Travel Cake topped with cinnamon ganache, or the Pumpkin Spice Danish with a pumpkin spice creme brulee centre with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, orange zest and tonka bean. And available for Thanksgiving only are the individual Pumpkin Tarts in collaboration with Vancouver’s Paragon Tea Room: featuring cinnamon namelaka (kind of a cross between a super smooth ganache and creme patisserie), Paragon roasted green tea monte and pumpkin filling on a tart shell. This is not your grandmother’s pumpkin pie!

Our favourite vegan eatery, Grounds and Greens Cafe, is taking fall head-on and bringing back the Pumpkin King and the Great Pumpkin Latte.  In keeping with the great tradition of pumpkin spice lattes, the Great Pumpkin Latte is a frothy and smooth pumpkin spice latte topped with coconut whip, caramel sauce, graham cracker crumble, and pumpkin pie meringue. Its partner in all things fall, the Pumpkin King is an autumn twist on their classic “Ice Queen”, an epic whipped coffee confection.  And their popular s’mores cookie has been reinvented for fall with a vanilla base, roasted sweet potato, candied pecans and a caramelized marshmallow on top! Put them together and you have the quintessential fall experience. If you’ve been celebrating the arrival of Fall a little too hard, they’ve also launched their “Hangover Soup”, a garlic-based broth soup with sweet potato, sourdough croutons and green onions, finished with sesame oil.  Guaranteed to cure any hangover, it is packed full of immunity boosters to keep you tip-top over the winter season.

To kick off the arrival of fall, Alebrijes Kitchen + Bar is embracing all things pumpkin! Be sure to try the scratch-made, puff pastry braid stuffed with caramelized pumpkin, which is a traditional candy served in Mexico during autumn. Sourced from a local farmers market, the pumpkin is cooked with piloncillo, a sugar similar to molasses, cinnamon, orange and spices. And because you can never get enough pumpkin, order the new Pumpkin Spice Margarita. Made with homemade pumpkin spice syrup, orange bitters, orange liqueur and Tequila Centenario Anejo, it’s a perfect celebration of the season. And from October 16th to November 6th they will be offering “Pan de Muerto”: a traditional Mexican Bread made to commemorate their ancestors during “Dia de los Muertos” (day of the death) on November 1st and 2nd. This fluffy bread is made in-house, flavoured with butter and orange blossom, and stuffed with chocolate cream.

Cooler days and changing colours mean more full-bodied beers are in demand, and White Rock’s craft breweries have got you covered. Try 3 Dogs Brewing‘s “Jack Jack’s Pumpkin Ale”, made with real pumpkin, cinnamon sticks, vanilla and spices, perfect for a crisp fall day. White Rock Beach Beer‘s “Border”, is a Baltic-style Porter with a big, malty aroma and chocolate notes. Sure to keep you warm on cool autumn nights. Or maybe you’re not quite ready to let summer go, in which case Galaxie Craft Brew House‘s Polaris Peach sour is just as peachy as it sounds. At 4.3% ABV, it’s a nice light option on a beautiful day and takes advantage of the last peaches of the season.