Pumpkin season — also known as fall — is finally here, and it is everywhere. Beyond pumpkin pies and pumpkin spice lattes, many local North Jersey restaurants and shops find creative ways to utilize its sweet and earthy flavor. Chefs can be found incorporating pumpkin into entrees, treats, and beverages at eateries throughout northern New Jersey. For those who love pumpkin and want to try it in unusual and unique forms, we’ve got you covered. We rounded up where to find the most creative pumpkin offerings in Essex County. Read on to learn about some of the most creative pumpkin dishes and drinks in the area.
East Gate Chinese and Japanese Restaurant | 144 Bloomfield Ave #2711, Verona
This restaurant is known for adding a twist to traditional Chinese and Japanese dishes. Alongside sweet potato and mango avocado rolls, the vegetarians in your party can try the pumpkin tempura roll. It’s not considered a dessert roll, but its light crunch and sweet taste make it an excellent after-dinner selection — plus, there’s just something about fried pumpkin that is utterly delicious.
Guerriero Gelato I Multiple locations
(Photo Credit: Guerriero Gelato’s website)
These shops are known for scooping up icy confections in unexpected flavors, such as its blueberry basil and cookie monster. Its pumpkin pie ice cream is a perennial favorite all year round, and in the cooler months, you can enjoy it is served up as Pumpkin Oreo, with bits of the actual cookie mixed in. The Oreo and pumpkin complement one another oh so well, and it makes for a lovely fall treat.
M&T restaurant I 14 US-46, Fairfield
Salted egg is one of the many authentic dishes offered at this restaurant. If you’ve never had one, it is a duck egg that is brined for as long as 30 days. It is commonly eaten alongside porridge for breakfast, but it is also used in pastries and dumplings. At M&T, his delicacy is served alongside crispy pumpkin.
The Montclair Juicerie I 292 Bloomfield Avenue 2nd fl, Montclair
Pumpkin isn’t just for lattes. The Montclair Juicerie whips this nutrient-dense and low-calorie fruit into a healthy and tasty smoothie made with banana, goji berry, flaxseeds, oat milk, and cinnamon. It is simultaneously comforting, refreshing, and super healthy.
Montclair Pasta Company I 33 Walnut St, Montclair
(Photo Credit: @montclairpastaco)
The pumpkin ravioli here is a fall favorite. This vibrant eatery turns it up by filling past pillows with pumpkin and mascarpone cheese, serving it in an apple cider cream sauce, and topping it with toasted pumpkin seeds. You can also find this dish at its sister restaurant, Palazzo. Pasta + pumpkin make for such a creamy, rich, luxurious meal.
Sum Ramen I 188 Essex St, Millburn
Curry korokke – or curry coquettes – are typically stuffed with a mixture of potatoes and ground beef and deep fried until golden. Here, you’ll find this delicious appetizer made with friend mashed pumpkin stuffed with mozzarella. It’s served with curry dipping sauce on the side.
Urban Leaf Cafe I 182D Kingsland St, Nutley
(Photo Credit: @urbanleafcafe)
Coffee drinkers shouldn’t get to have all the fun during pumpkin season — and honestly, tea and pumpkin make a ton of sense. Tea drinkers can find pumpkin pie bubble milk tea among the offerings at this trendy cafe, and it evens serves up hot bubble tea for a warming, cozy beverage. Be sure to order a bubble waffle to eat alongside it for the ultimate comfort snack.
Zeugma Grill I 44 S Park St, Montclair
(Photo Credit: @zeugmanj)
You may be familiar with the walnut and red pepper dip muhammara that is a staple on the menus of Middle Eastern restaurants. This Montclair favorite makes theirs with pumpkin puree and serves it with walnut, garlic, and feta cheese, topped with black sesame seeds. It’s seriously savory — full of flavor and oh so autumnal.