Updated September 8, 2022. Mornings are starting to get cooler, the air is slowly drying out and days are getting shorter. Wait, is that the scent of cinnamon and nutmeg in the breeze?
The PSL might still be king, but there’s also no better season than fall for local coffee shops to experiment with new flavors and spices. So we’ve gathered some of the best fall-themed lattes in Northern Virginia, that use everything from maple to whiskey to clove. And yes, there’s some pumpkin on there.
RAKO, a female-owned, all-day cafe that opened its first brick-and-mortar shop in Clarendon last year, offers a twist on the traditional pumpkin spice latte. Their signature “baklava latte” is made with cinnamon, cardamom, and clove-infused honey syrup. Paired with a seasonal danish, it makes for a spicy and sweet autumnal treat. 2016 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
Cafein, an airy and industrial-style coffee shop located in Chantilly and Centreville, has a latte perfect for the chilly mornings of October and November. Their honey cinnamon latte comes hot or iced and is great with one of their signature breakfast sandwiches. 14106 Lee Hwy., Centreville; 13924 Metrotech Dr., Chantilly
De Clieu features locally roasted coffee beans, soups, sandwiches, and salads. Their Maker’s Mark latte includes housemade Maker’s Mark syrup and chocolate for a comforting treat. The fall is all about comfort food and drinks, and this latte certainly hits the spot, particularly with De Clieu’s Belgian waffle (a mountain of warm fluffy waffle with whipped cream, bananas, chocolate chips, and more). 10389 Main St., Ste. B, Fairfax
Just after Labor Day, Simply Social posted a photo of their seasonal latte, their very own version of the pumpkin spice latte. Their PSLs are made with two shots of espresso and the pumpkin spice latte flavor, along with 10 ounces of milk. The drink can be served hot or iced. Grab a signature breakfast sandwich or avocado toast to round out your perfect fall meal. 11282 James Swart Cir., Fairfax; 260 Cedar Ln., Vienna
The local cafe chain has a location in Shirlington. They offer a reasonably priced pumpkin spice latte ($5.50) with espresso, pumpkin syrup, cinnamon, and your choice of steamed milk. It is great served with a fellow fall food item, Busboys & Poets’ sweet potato pancakes. 4251 S. Campbell Ave., Arlington
Peet’s has a whole lineup of fall pumpkin-themed coffee beverages like a typical PSL and a pumpkin oat-foam cold brew. Perhaps the most intriguing option in Peet’s autumn menu though is their caramel apple latte. While the sticky treats are a staple at any fall festival, it is an often-overlooked fall flavor that often falls falls behind pumpkin. Peet’s caramel apple latte is made with caramel apple butter syrup, espresso, steamed milk, and a sweet caramel swirl. 3985 Pickett Rd., Fairfax
Commonwealth Joe has a whole menu’s worth of fall-themed lattes. There’s the decadent pumpkin cookie butter latte (hot or iced) and the cozy honey cinnamon latte. For a warm, rich concoction that is perfect for fall, side with the honey cinnamon latte. Whether you like it hot or cold, the drink swirls the two flavors together for a delicious taste of fall in your cup. For those who are not latte fans, Commonwealth Joe offers a hot and iced apple cider chai and cold brew topped with cookie butter cold foam. 520 12th St. South, Ste. 150, Arlington
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