With sweater weather right around the corner, we all know what that means — it’s pumpkin-spice time! Your favorite fast food restaurants from Starbucks, to Dunkin’, and even Chick-fil-A, are sprucing up their menus with fall fast approaching. As some begin to ditch their beach bods, they’re looking for more comforting food and drinks as the cooler weather moves in. StudyFinds has set to find out the best fast-food fall items to pick up at your next delicious drive-thru visit.
Americans love this time of year as fall is the favorite season for many. And a big reason for that — food! Forty-four percent say they enjoy drinking hot chocolate in the fall, while four in 10 can’t wait to make homemade soup. Another 30 percent say pumpkin spice is their favorite thing of the fall. But it’s not just foodies who enjoy the fall, others take in the foliage and the beautiful colors as the leaves turn.
Even though fast-food might not be the healthiest option, restaurants do offer healthier options. And even though you wouldn’t equate fast food establishments with vegan food, there are several restaurants who offer that choice — including places like Chipotle and Burger King. Other places also offer keto alternatives. However, medical professionals do warn about regularly eating out.
If you’re all in for fall flavors, this is the list for you! With a number of fast food restaurants beefing up their seasonal menu, StudyFinds has delved into some of the best fast food fall items.Did we miss any? Drop it in the comments below!
The List: Best Fast Food Fall Items, According to Experts
1. Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte
Starbucks is bringing back its very popular pumpkin spice latte this fall, but that’s not the only thing they’re adding to the menu. “Guests can also enjoy Starbucks’ Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte, Iced Apple Crisp Oat Milk Shaken Espresso, Apple Crisp Oat milk Macchiato, Baked Apple Croissant and more,” says FranchiseWire.
“The chain has the classics, like pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin cream cold brew, but they are also welcoming new spicy items like the iced pumpkin cream chai tea latte. Plus, that pumpkin cream cold foam can be added to any iced beverages and turn any drink into a pumpkin treat,” notes People.
Another drink customers can enjoy is the Pistachio Cream Cold Brew. “Starbucks decided to kick off 2023 by making it the Year of Pistachio, thanks to the comeback of the Pistachio Latte and the drop of an all-new Pistachio Cream Cold Brew,” adds Taste of Home. “This cold brew is flavored with vanilla syrup and, of course, topped with silky pistachio cream cold foam. It may be nutty, but we’re obsessed.”
2. Dunkin’ Nutty Pumpkin Coffee
“America runs on Dunkin'” and especially will this fall since the chain has brought back the Nutty Pumpkin Coffee. “Pumpkin Spice Season started earlier than ever at Dunkin’. According to the food blogger, Dunkin’ will bring back the beloved PSL and Nutty Pumpkin Coffee — as well as seasonal donuts and Munchkins — beginning August 16. America runs on Pumpkin,” says Spoon University.
“After years of pumpkin spice lattes, the coffee chain still keeps popping out new fall items! Offerings include the return of their pumpkin spice signature latte, as well as their nutty pumpkin coffee,” states People. “A full pumpkin bakery line-up is available, too — with the menu including a pumpkin cake-flavored donut, pumpkin munchkins and a pumpkin-flavored muffin.”
And while you’re picking up your pumpkin-flavored drink at Dunkin’, foodie experts recommend one of their delicious breakfast sandwiches to boot. “Oh, and there’s ‘maple’ flavored items, too, since it’s fall. So far, only Dunkin’ has claimed that space with Maple Sugar Snacking Bacon and a Maple Sugar Bacon Breakfast Sandwich, but if the idea takes off, you can expect maple to show up in other places,” says Consumer Affairs.
3. Dairy Queen’s Pumpkin Pie Blizzard Treat
We all scream for ice cream, even in the fall! Despite the temperatures dropping, that doesn’t stop patrons from going to Dairy Queen for its tasty Pumpkin Pie Blizzard Treat. “In honor of fall 2023, Dairy Queen is rolling out the DQ Fall BLIZZARD Menu,” writes Franchise Wire. “Guests can enjoy the ice cream franchisor’s Pumpkin Pie Blizzard Treat, Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Blizzard Treat, Caramel Fudge Cheesecake Blizzard Treat, OREO Hot Cocoa Blizzard Treat, REESE’S Peanut Butter Cup Pie Blizzard Treat, Choco Dipped Strawberry Blizzard Treat, and Royal REESE’S Fluffernutter Blizzard Treat.”
“Dairy Queen’s Blizzard of the Month for September is the fan-favorite Pumpkin Pie Blizzard! Just in time for the first day of fall, DQ is serving up Blizzard treats made with their world-famous soft serve with real pumpkin pie pieces, garnished with whipped topping and nutmeg,” notes Spoon University.
People can already head over to Dairy Queen to get the tasty treat. “At the end of August, the ice cream spot is re-introducing the pumpkin pie Blizzard as the Blizzard of the month for September. In true autumn flair, the treat is made of real pumpkin pie pieces,” says People.
4. Chick-fil-A’s Honey Pepper Pimento Chicken Sandwich
Not everything has to be pumpkin-flavored to tingle your tastebuds. Chick-fil-A has launched its new sandwich, the Honey Pepper Pimento Chicken Sandwich. “This is a big deal for the company, too. It’s the very first time it’s put a twist on its flagship offering and it likely spent a lot of time and money making sure it doesn’t come off looking foolish,” states Consumer Affairs. “The sandwich is the same basic filet, but on top, it’s adorned with mildly pickled jalapeños, a creamy pimento cheese sauce, and with a hint of honey.”
“You know and love the original Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich. It’s a fast-food legend! But add tangy pickled jalapenos, pimento cheese and velvety honey to that crispy chicken, and we have a new Chick-fil-A classic in the making,” adds Taste of Home.
The Honey Pepper Pimento Chicken Sandwich isn’t the only new thing patrons can sink their teeth into. The popular fast food restaurant is also offering Spicy Chicken Biscuits and White Peach Sunjoys. “For some reason, the spicy chicken biscuit wasn’t on the permanent menu at Chick-fil-A, but the chain has remedied that,” says Cheapism. “You can now get it for breakfast all the time, just like you could prior to 2016. Also returning is the fan favorite peach milkshake, plus a brand new white peach Sunjoy, a refreshing mix of lemonade, iced tea, and white peach flavor.”
5. Carvel’s Pumpkin Cheesecake
Are you a cheesecake fan? Carvel has the perfect autumn treat for you. “Whether you’re into scoops, sips or handheld sweets, there’s a seasonal dessert for everyone,” says People. “There are four iterations of pumpkin cheesecake sweets: pumpkin cheesecake soft serve, pumpkin cheesecake scooped, pumpkin cheesecake sundae dasher and pumpkin cheesecake flying saucer.”
“The Pumpkin Cheesecake flavor will be available at participating Carvel shoppes in a variety of treats, including Pumpkin Cheesecake Soft Serve, Pumpkin Cheesecake Scooped (aka hard pumpkin ice cream with caramel, cheesecake bites and spiced cinnamon Crunchies), and a Pumpkin Cheesecake Flying Saucer featuring Pumpkin Cheesecake Soft Serve sandwiched between two chocolate wafers. You can also enjoy the Pumpkin Cheesecake Soft Serve in a Sundae Dasher, which layers Pumpkin Cheesecake Soft Serve, caramel, cheesecake bites and spiced cinnamon Crunchies, and topped with whipped cream and spiced cinnamon Crunchies,” states Spoon University.
And patrons can run to their nearest Carvel to pick one up. “Carvel is introducing its new pumpkin cheesecake lineup starting August 28,” notes Franchise Wire. “These seasonal offerings combine Carvel’s pumpkin soft serve with cheesecake.”
You might also be interested in:
- Franchise Wire
- The Takeout
- Consumer Affairs
- Taste of Home
- Spoon University
- Eat This, Not That!
- Time Out
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links.