Fall delights and pumpkin bites

With the fall season in full swing, local University shops have taken notice. Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Panera Bread, to name a few, have reorganized their menus to satisfy the classic taste of fall: pumpkin. Students at the University were asked to weigh in on their favorites and explain why one pumpkin treat may rival the other. For anyone looking to appease their pumpkin needs, these students have narrowed it down to the best.


Located on Fifth and Green streets, the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte puts a fall spin on the classic latte. This fall drink consists of espresso, pumpkin-flavored syrup and steamed milk. Emily Findling, junior in LAS, said it is her go-to drink as soon as September rolls around. She said Starbucks gives just the right amount of cinnamon to compliment the pumpkin flavor without overpowering it. Not only is Starbucks serving up pumpkin-flavored drinks, but they provide a variety of pumpkin-spiced bakery items as well. Some of their most popular items include a pumpkin cheesecake croissant, pumpkin cream cheese muffin, pumpkin scone, pumpkin bread and reduced-fat pumpkin cream cheese loaf cake. For students looking to get into the fall spirit without wanting the pumpkin flavor, Starbucks also offers pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies. 

Dunkin’ Donuts

For those who may prefer an alternative option, Dunkin’ Donuts, located at 607 E. Green St., also offers a pumpkin latte. However, Jensen Rafool, junior in LAS, said her favorite fall treat from Dunkin’ Donuts is their pumpkin muffin. Rafool said the cinnamon and sugar-topped muffin is one of her all-time favorite fall desserts. Not only are pumpkin muffins on Dunkin’ Donuts’ menu, but the eatery has also debuted a new pumpkin doughnut this fall season.

Panera Bread

For students still searching for more pumpkin pastry options, Panera is also known for their year-round pumpkin treats. They have everything from pumpkin muffies (which is basically equivalent to a pumpkin muffin without the bottom portion) to pumpkin bread. Tara Hill, junior in ACES, said she prefers buying her pumpkin spice latte from Panera Bread. She said their addition of caramel syrup to the top of the whipped cream makes it a sweet combination.  

Wedge Tequila Bar & Grill

Rebecca Calderone, junior in Education, quenches her pumpkin craving by adding a bit of a kick to her favorite fall pumpkin drink. An avid fan of Wedge Tequila Bar & Grill, located at 415 N. Neil St in Champaign, Calderone found her new favorite fall drink just this past week. She said Wedge is now offering a pumpkin margarita for a limited time during the fall season. This fall special margarita is infused with Silver Tequila, according to Calderone, and packs a punch. 

Curtis Apple Orchard

So where can one find the freshest source of pumpkins? Curtis Apple Orchard is now open for pumpkin picking. Located on 3902 S. Duncan Road, Champaign, the Curtis Farm allows its patrons to get as close to their produce as possible. For those students who would prefer to have their pumpkin treats already made, they also offer a complete pumpkin bar at their Flying Monkey Café. For more information visit curtisorchard.com. Happy pumpkin picking!

Christen can be reached at [email protected]