On the Road Eats: Best Pumpkin Dishes Across the Country
Every year, people around the country line up for pumpkin specialties — some even wait all year for a chance to enjoy the sweet and savory dishes featuring this autumnal crop. Food Network has collected some of its favorite pumpkin dishes from coast to coast to ensure that you get your pumpkin fix this fall. Try the Pumpkin and Fontina Risotto at Bottega Napa Valley in California, the Peanut Butter and Sweet Pumpkin Hotcakes at Dor-Stop Restaurant in Pittsburgh, the freshly made Pumpkin Ravioli at Giacomo's Restaurant in Boston and much more by exploring Food Network's collection of On the Road pumpkin delights!
1. Bottega Napa Valley —Yountville, Calif.
Pumpkin is a Food Network favorite, so it's no surprise that Chef Michael Chiarello spends his days off set at his restaurant Bottega Napa Valley whipping up an incredible Pumpkin and Fontina Risotto. The nutty flavors of this fresh take on an Italian dish are only accentuated by the warm ambiance of Bottega, perfect for an autumn meal. The combination of the rustic and the refined are conveyed through ample seating at community tables and an outdoor terrace.
Recommended Dish: Pumpkin and Fontina Risotto
2. Cafe 222 — San Diego
This restaurant identifies itself as quirky American cuisine. From the teacup chandeliers to the cheese-grater flower vases, it's easy to see why locals enjoy the spunky eclecticism of this marina locale. Pumpkin hunters will be happy to know that Bobby Flay fondly recalled having brunch here on The Best Thing I Ever Ate. San Diego natives insist on having the Pumpkin Waffle, but they also recommend trying the Peanut Butter and Banana Stuffed French Toast.
Recommended Dish: Pumpkin Waffle
3. CK's Wings-n-Things — Johnstown, Pa.
Wing lovers will find themselves in heaven at CK's Wings-n-Things with a whopping 1,330 different flavors. Not only does CK's boast a wide variety, but it's been an award-winning establishment for more than a decade. While it might seem crazy, the Pumpkin Pie Wings are a beloved combo of sweet and savory. Those searching for a bit more spice should level up in spiciness, starting with the Ragin' Cajun' Wings (mild), stepping it up to the Gold Rush Wings (hot), advancing to the Hellbanero Attack Wings ("death") and the brave finishing off with Deathwish III ("suicide").
Recommended Dish: Pumpkin Pie Wings
4. Cranberry Island Kitchen — Freeport, Maine
Viewers of Throwdown with Bobby Flay know Bobby is a competitive chef who always brings his A game, so when a restaurant comes out victorious, Food Network knows that eatery's got the goods. In Freeport, Maine, bakers Karen and Carol bested Bobby with their Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese. Besides their talents in the kitchen, Karen and Carol attribute their win to their dedication to using fresh, local Maine ingredients, including Maine maple sugar.
Recommended Dish: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese
5. Dor-Stop Restaurant — Pittsburgh
Guy Fieri takes his hotcakes very seriously, so pumpkin lovers will be happy to know that the Triple D host was enamored of the Peanut Butter and Sweet Pumpkin Hotcakes. This family operation is known for being such a cozy neighborhood favorite that even Guy brought his parents here. Located on a corner, this popular local establishment often has lines out the door. Savory eaters should try the Jumbot, a mix of eggs, sausage and spicy peppers.
Recommended Dish: Peanut Butter and Sweet Pumpkin Hotcakes
6. Frost Me Gourmet Cupcakes — San Diego
Based in Southern California, Frost Me Gourmet Cupcakes delivers and caters beautiful, artistic baked goods. Owner and Pastry Chef Audrey Hermes grew up in North Dakota, learning to bake from both of her grandmothers. She followed her passion for extravagant baking, and it led her to create Frost Me in 2011. After competing on Cupcake Wars, Audrey is ready for anything, including orders for Frost Me's excellent Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting.
Recommended Dish: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting
7. Giacomo's Ristorante — Boston
One way to tell whether a restaurant is great is by the line out the door. At this tiny restaurant, the line goes down the block seven days a week, but don't let that stop you from trying the Pumpkin Ravioli and the Pumpkin Tortellini. Rachael Ray swears by Giacomo's, calling the flavorful Italian fare "heaven on a plate." After enjoying the freshly made pasta, take a walk along the waterside, or visit the New England Aquarium.
Recommended Dish: Pumpkin Ravioli/Tortellini
8. Louis Family Restaurant — Providence, Rhode Island
Located on the east side of Providence, Louis Family Restaurant has been in operation for more than 60 years and is a favorite of college students year-round. Guy found it easy to see why when he stopped by on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Locals swear by the Pumpkin Pancakes and the Grilled Pumpkin Muffins. In addition to those fall favorites, Guy loved the Barbecued Chicken Cheese Ravioli and said the 16-ingredient dish had "16 tickets to Flavortown."
Recommended Dishes: Pumpkin Pancakes, Grilled Pumpkin Muffins
9. Marshall's Farm Natural Honey — American Canyon, Calif.
Bobby was thrilled to discover this honey farm in the San Francisco Bay Area, and he was pleasantly surprised by the Pumpkin Blossom Honey, recalling its memorable and unique earthy flavor. Owner Spencer Marshall produces dozens of flavors from the hives, cultivating specific flavors through special microclimates. Spencer utilizes the changing seasonal blooms of the Bay Area, such as eucalyptus, star thistle, wildflower and blackberry plants, to produce floral nectars and pollens to harvest dozens of flavors. Bay Area diners will love visiting the farm, just a 45-minute drive from San Francisco, and choosing a bottle (or several) of honey to take home.
Recommended Dish: Pumpkin Blossom Honey
10. Michele's Pies — Norwalk, Conn.
Life has come full circle for pie-baking maven Michele, who started her pie shop in Connecticut after watching a baking competition on Food Network — and after years of being inspired by her grandmother's cooking. Michele has won a total of 27 national pie championships since opening in 2007. These days, Michele is in charge of processing 15,000 pounds of pumpkin a year to serve up her prize-winning Maple Pumpkin with Pecan Streusel Pie that impressed Bobby. Eaters ready for a savory pie should try her special Chicken Pot Pie.
Recommended Dish: Maple Pumpkin with Pecan Streusel Pie
11. Mini Baker — Los Angeles
Christa Kelso, the mastermind behind the delightfully designed cupcakes of Mini Baker, aims to create treats that are "mini masterpieces." This Cupcake Wars veteran loves crafting her baked goods with attention to detail, from experimenting with ingredients to artfully arranging every topping on a cake. Food Network wants to highlight the Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes, but Mini Baker also delivers an impressive array of cakes, truffles and more throughout San Diego County, Orange County and Los Angeles County. From blogging recipes to catering weddings, Christa is one determined baker.
Recommended Dishes: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes, Pumpkin Muffins with Caramel Streusel Topping
12. Utimate Ice Cream — Asheville, NC
Justin Warner of Rebel Eats is hard to impress, but he was excited by the diverse and unique flavors present at Ultimate Ice Cream. This cozy ice cream shop certainly lives up to its name, constantly changing flavors while staying true to local and organic roots. Run by husband-and-wife team Kevin and Lucia, Ultimate Ice Cream participates in several charitable donation drives and works every day to do a certain kind of social work — bringing smiles to people's faces by creating unique ice cream flavors. The Pumpkin Ice Cream is, of course, a seasonal favorite, but locals also love experimenting with flavors like Buchi Kombucha Sorbet and Highland Brewing Black Mocha Stout.
Recommended Dish: Pumpkin Ice Cream