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The 4 Best Places For Real Pumpkin Spice Lattes In Chicago

By Staff in Food on Oct 15, 2013 4:00PM

Pumpkin goodness at Endgrain.

The Pumpkin Spice Latte, genus Starbucks (which can't be made vegan and has absolutely no pumpkin in it) has become so mainstream, it's practically boring. For those looking for a more authentic local pumpkin-latte experience, here are four local coffee joints that offer sophisticated twists on the popular fall pick-me-up.

Ipsento Coffee, Pumpkin Patch Latte ($4.25)
King of the experimental latte, this Bucktown favorite isn’t afraid to venture outside the boundaries of coffee purism. Their take on the fall favorite is heavy with house-roasted espresso, balanced by steamed milk and a homemade blend of ingredients, including pumpkin puree and pumpkin-coconut syrup from Chicago’s own Jo Snow Syrups.

Ipsento Coffee is located at 2035 N. Western Ave.

Endgrain, Pumpkin Spice Latte ($4.50)
North Center’s newest brunch spot contributes a drink made with coffee beans from Philadelphia based La Colombe, steamed milk and a splash of Monin pumpkin syrup. Consisting largely of puffs of milky foam, this latte nonetheless escapes the cloying sweetness of most spiced fall drinks. Endgrain’s pumpkin donut ($3) is a welcome companion-- the moist, cinnamon-rich cake is lavishly glazed and scattered with a crunch of toasted and crushed pumpkin seeds.

Endgrain is located at 851 W. Addison St.

Julius Meinl, Spiced Pumpkin Chai ($3.40)
With an abundance of cozy cafe tables and old-world charm, it’s hard to resist the draw of Austrian chain Julius Meinl. Here they offer a very non-European pumpkin latte, but we recommend the pumpkin chai latte. Spiced with star anise, cardamom and clove, it’s a more fitting tribute to the flavors of autumn.

Julius Meinl has locations at 4363 N. Lincoln Ave., 3601 N. Southport Ave. & 4115 N. Ravenswood Ave.

Elaine’s Coffee Call, Pumpkin Butter Latte ($4.97)
One of the Boka Group’s best-kept secrets is this little jewel of a coffee shop located just off the lobby of the Lincoln Hotel in Lincoln Park. At Elaine’s, the pumpkin latte is made with steamed milk, espresso and pumpkin butter, giving the drink the rich, luxurious flavor of roasted pumpkin with notes of caramelized honey. The excess of pumpkin-y sediment left at the bottom of the cup might scare some off, but for us it’s a comforting reminder they didn’t take any shortcuts.

Elaine's Coffee Call is located at the Hotel Lincoln, 1816 N. Clark St.

By Rebecca Skoch. Contact her at or follow her on twitter @OMGSammiches.