There’s something magical about fall: the crisp air and crunching leaves; the smell of cinnamon and spice. Pumpkin, maple, and apple are the pinnacle of the season's flavors, featured in baked goods, grain bowls and everything in between. As the city braces for another brutal winter, the best way to beat the cold is to cozy up in a local coffee shop with a mug of something warm. From Davis Street to Central, here’s a list of Evanston's best seasonal drinks to stir up all the toasty feels.

Backlot Coffee

It’s a short ride on the purple line to Backlot Coffee, located on Central Street. Inside the rustic wooden door, the shop features a variety of house coffee blends, sweet treats and communal booths. Along with their drink, customers can purchase Backlot merchandise like their adorable coffee mug candle or graphic tees created by designer Jay Ryan.

On their seasonal menu is Mimi’s Autumn Latte, an espresso based drink served with milk or other non-dairy alternatives. Amid the frothed milk are accents of bright ginger, which give a welcome citrus undertone to a normally nutty flavor profile. 

Coffee Lab

Mia Rhee

A Noyes Street staple, Coffee Lab boasts a unique, eclectic feel. Snag a seat at the communal wooden tables and try one of their many pastries lining the register, like the Milk Bread Bun with Sweet Mung. The shop also sells greeting cards and a variety of Coffee Lab roasts for your personal pantry. The menu is chock full of seasonal offerings: Caramel Apple Cider, Apple Pie Latte, Peach Cobbler Latte, Pumpkin Spice Latte and Cáfe Miel. For a non-caffeinated option try the Caramel Apple Cider. Cinnamon and mulling spices add depth to the traditional crisp apple flavor; the caramel renders this drink on the sweeter side.

Newport Coffee House

Mia Rhee

Newport Coffee House, located on Davis Street, embodies a clean, modern aesthetic with its all-white interior and wood accents. Try seasonally offered signature drinks like the Oat Maple Cold Brew. Newport’s proclaimed “Extra Strong Cold Brew,” balances the Oatly poured over top with a dark bitter undertone. The combination of oat milk, maple and agave is reminiscent of a comforting bowl of oatmeal: sweet and nutty. The Oat Maple Cold Brew is best enjoyed beside one of the many plants dotting the interior. 

Cupitol Coffee and Eatery

Mia Rhee

Located on Grove Street is the easily identifiable Cupitol Coffee and Eatery thanks to its cheery yellow coffee cup logo. The lounge-style interior is the perfect reprieve from a brisk fall wind with cushy velvet chairs and plenty of seating.

Cupitol does not have a specific fall drink, rather the maca based non-caffeinated Inca Latte, which offers autumnal flavors. When steeped in milk, maca, a Peruvian root vegetable similar to taro, takes on a subtle sweet and earthy taste. The Inca Latte is a sophisticated twist on the pumpkin spice latte with the nutty undertones of a malted shake. 

From Central to Noyes, Evanston’s coffee shop scene is as vibrant as its fall foliage. As snow starts to fall, warm up with mulling spices, maca or chai. There’s sure to be something to satisfy your cravings.