The fall not only brings a change in weather, but it also opens up a world of new dishes and flavors for a menu. From comfort foods to tasty beverages, there are many autumn-inspired options to make your restaurant, pub or cafeteria popular throughout the season. Need a little help planning your choices this year? We have a quick list of fall menu ideas and flavors for restaurants to try in 2022.
Classic Pumpkin Spice
From coffee shops to restaurants, the pumpkin spice is all the craze throughout the fall. Everywhere from Starbucks to Dunkin’ has already rolled out this popular fall flavor. Try to introduce some offerings that last through November. For instance, adding a selection of pumpkin spice treats on the dessert menu like donuts, cookies or cupcakes will definitely catch your customers’ eyes. While desserts and lattes are any easy win, you can always do something outside the box. A deliciously flavored pumpkin spice vinaigrette can top a wide variety of fresh salads.
Chai is another option for you Fall menu. This means chai crumb cakes, chai pumpkin spice lattes, chai latte rice pudding and more. Though chai normally comes in the form of a tea drink, you can combine this tea with a variety of different desserts that’ll give your customers the feel of a crisp Fall day. Some examples to include may be:
- Chai spiced donuts
- Cinnamon chai bread
- Chai cookies
While pumpkin spice continues to get most of the love, maple is another popular flavor you can turn to. In an interview with Moneyish, New York restaurant consultant Jason Kaplan described maple as one of the most versatile flavors you can add to a fall menu.
“You can put it into anything from a beverage, to a dessert and even bacon,” Kaplan told Moneyish. “It works really well with a whole bunch of components to offset sweet, salty and sour flavor profiles and adds a very comforting, warm fall feel to it.”
Consider using a maple glaze on meats like chicken or pork chops, or create a syrup blend that can go on sweet potatoes or butternut squash. Instead of pumpkin spice, a maple latte is the perfect morning or after-dinner drink to offer your patrons.
Make It Hearty
Comfort food should be a key staple of your fall restaurant menu, and these items can stay throughout the winter too. There are many hearty dishes sure to satisfy any customer, especially when the temperature starts to get cooler. Think about offering pot pies and skillet dishes. Both seamlessly blend all the essentials of a delicious meal into one filling recipe.
Savory Soups and Stews
Sticking with the hearty theme, soups and stews always make a great addition to a fall restaurant menu. Many establishments love to offer butternut squash and minestrone soups as a pre-entrée starter, but think of doing some different. A roasted cauliflower or creamy chicken soup with carrots, celery and mushroom feature the perfect blend of fall flavors. Instead of offering the traditional beef stew, try something that uses chicken, pork or sausage. You even can got meatless by using hearty alternatives like:
Squash and Sweet Potato
You can keep it hearty and healthy with squash and sweet potato dishes. Autumn carrot and sweet potato soup is a great way to incorporate these veggies into your menu. You can also add maple-glaze sweet potato fritters, loaded sweet potatoes and more. Adding these dishes will not only warm customers’ bellies but give them a savory and sweet Fall meal they’ll crave.
When it comes to squash, there are many different options as well. You could add a butternut squash salad, butternut squash and black bean tostadas and more that’ll leave your customers full. You can also pair a creamy squash soup with an apple grilled cheese to complete your Fall menu.
It goes without saying that cinnamon is a classic Fall flavor. It can be mixed in a cinnamon swirl coffee, made into a cinnamon donut and even sprinkled into an apple pie bread. Try adding your own twist to the classic flavors you typically see by creating a menu of baked goods and warm drinks infused with cinnamon.
An Autumn Apple a Day…
There’s no doubt that apples and fall go hand in hand. From cider and spreads to pies and breads, the options are endless when it comes to your autumn-inspired menu. Apple crisps or tarts with ice cream are always a crowd-pleasing dessert, and apple muffins do the trick either in a standalone or balanced breakfast.
If you’re looking for other ways to include apple, consider a glaze for entrée with pork chops or chicken. The flavor not only brings out that fall feeling, but it pairs nicely with both sweet and savory sides. For side dishes, think about whipping up a refreshing apple slaw or salad that goes with ingredients like cabbage, cranberries and cinnamon. What about the drink menu? Delish recently listed some delicious fall cocktails, which included a fair amount of apple-based concoctions.
While apples take the prize for the classic Fall fruit, pears are also a great addition to any Autumn menu. Think pear tarts, pear pear salads with maple vinaigrette or a pear sangria for an after-dinner drink. You’ll also find unique options such as a roasted pear crumble or a pear chia seed pudding. If you serve breakfast, try out a pear, maple and pecan oatmeal.
Blood oranges give a bittersweet taste each dish. Using this fruit in your salads, drinks and even as sauces can add the hint of Autumn comfort you want. Try to add a blood orange and pomelo marmalade to the menu as well as blood orange champagne cocktails and more. Want to get creative? Include a sorbet or ice cream made with this Fall fruit.
Most times, blood oranges are used in cocktails or punches, but they make a great addition to any fresh baked treat as well. Test out this flavor pallet with breads, sweets and more to get the unique flavors that’ll have your customers impressed.