Aimee’s Three Favourite Locations for (non-SBX) Pumpkin Spice Lattes

As the leaves begin to fall and the temperature begins to drop in Chicago, it seems that almost every female within a five-mile radius of a Starbucks knows that it’s Pumpkin Spice Latte season. Guilty of being “one of those girls” each Fall, besides dusting off my Uggs and puffy jacket, the thing that I look forward to is that warm cup of delicious and comforting pumpkin flavour I get to indulge in.  Because of my love for Fall and its warm flavours, I’ve always wondered where I could find another Pumpkin Spice Latte  (in the event that I wasn’t close to a Starbucks cafe) or even another spin on the beverage. In my search, I’ve found three locations around the city that offer their take (if not better) than the original PSL, so without further adieu…



Magnolia Bakery

Located Downtown on State Street, this original New York City bakery franchise offers its spin on the Pumpkin Spice Latte this Fall. Topped with fluffy whipped cream and sprinkles of cinnamon and cardamom, the PSL is as delectable as the rest Magnolia’s bakery items. From specialty cupcakes, to freshly made pies, to even its famous Banana Pudding , the PSL is indeed decadent and representative of its original and classic flavours.


Mindy’s Hot Chocolate

Photo Credit: Anthony Tahlier

 If you’re stranded in Bucktown on a freezing cold day, head over to the one and only Mindy’s Hot Chocolate for a warm cup of pumpkin hot chocolate, served with house-made marshmallows. Made with 1/3 Belgian white chocolate, 1/3 French milk chocolate, and 1/3 pumpkin spice, this beverage is a perfect new twist on a PSL. If you’re in the mood for more pumpkin flavoured items, try her pumpkin layer cake. Made with pumpkin cheesecake butter cream, cranberry sorbet, pecan candy, spiced pepitas, butter rum, and cranberry jam, this enticing sweet is a perfect accompaniment.


Duran’s European Sandwiches Cafe

Photo Credit: Tracy Miller

Right next to Chicago’s West Town neighborhood, Duran Cafe offers its version of a PSL. Using fresh pumpkin and inserting their own caramel, hazelnut, vanilla, and ganache syrups as well as spices from The Spice House with La Colombe espresso, Duran’s pumpkin spice latte is light, yet bursting with local flavour. If you’re in the mood for a light lunch or interested in a quick bite to pair with your PSL, try Duran’s open-faced sandwiches or pastries – their recipes are over forty years old.




For those who are super-people, adventurous, and want to make their own version of a PSL, try fellow food lover, Eva K. ‘s delicious and super simple recipe of a Pumpkin Chai Latte!

Photo Credit: Eva K.
Photo Credit: Eva K.


Pumpkin Chai Latte with Maple Whipped Cream & Clove Caramel

By Eva Kosmas Flores of Adventures in Cooking

Serves 4

Clove Caramel

• 1/4 cup water

• 2/3 cup granulated sugar

• 2/3 cup light brown sugar

• 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

• 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 1 teaspoon ground cloves

• pinch of salt

Maple Whipped Cream

• 1 cup heavy whipping cream

• 3 tablespoons maple sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Pumpkin Chai Latte

• 1 and 1/3 cups whole milk

• 1/4 cup pumpkin puree

• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

• 4 tablespoons chai tea powder

• 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

• 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

• 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


©Aimee Gasior

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