9 Dishes, Desserts and Drinks to Get You in the Mood for Fall
Autumn inspires restaurants, bakeries and bars to whip up feel-good dishes, desserts and drinks to match the season.
The Avocado-Chicken Sandwich, a new fall-inspired dish at Square Barrels.
Photo: Courtesy of Square Barrels
We may not experience the dramatic shift from summer to fall—no golden leaves on the trees, no crisp sweater weather—but that doesn’t mean we don’t see some kind of change. Wetter weather, rising north swells—and soulful comfort food and warming cocktails on menus across the island.
Here are nine seasonal dishes, desserts and drinks you’ll see popping up at restaurants, bakeries and bars in Honolulu:
1. Truffle Shuffle Burger, Square Barrels
Photo: Courtesy of Square Barrels
Black truffles signal fall, and Square Barrels decided to add this seasonal decadence to a new burger this month. The Truffle Shuffle boasts a juicy house-ground beef burger cooked in white truffle oil and topped with black truffle shavings. The smoked gouda and horseradish mayo only add to delicious excess. At $35, it’s the most expensive burger on the menu—and oh so worth it. If you’re not in the mood for a burger, there are other new seasonal items including bruschetta with seasoned goat cheese ($9), an avocado-chicken sandwich with spinach and tomatoes ($15.50) and crème brûlée with a scoop of vanilla gelato ($8).
1001 Bishop St., Suite 108, (808) 524-2747, squarebarrels.com
2. Pumpkin Pie Manapua, Chun Wah Kam
This seasonal specialty is so popular, all four Chun Wah Kam locations sell out quickly. Steamed bao buns are stuffed with a pumpkin pie filling that’s unexpected and addictive. The noodle factory, which started in 1942 and continues to make its noodles and manapua from scratch, usually only offers this seasonal manapua ($1.99 each) through Halloween. But, because of demand, it’s considering extending the flavor through Thanksgiving.
Multiple locations, chunwahkam.com
3. Pumpkin Custard Pie, Hawaiian Pie Co.
Photo: Courtesy of Hawaiian Pie Co.
The wait is over. Hawaiian Pie Co. is rolling out its popular pumpkin-custard pies soon ($21 freshly baked), with pre-orders for Thanksgiving starting on Nov. 1. You will also be able to buy them frozen ($18) at both the Kalihi shop and Chef Zone. For Halloween—or, rather, Chocoween—Hawaiian Pie Co. will be bringing back two of its full-size chocolate pies: Hawaiian Choconut ($25), with layers of coconut filling and chocolate; and the silky-smooth chocolate chess pie ($24). These pies are baked daily and only available for a limited time. Best to pre-order.
Various prices, 508 Waiakamilo Road, (808) 988-7828, hawaiianpieco.com
4. Kabocha Risotto, Pai Honolulu
Photo: Enjy El-Kadi
There are a lot of crave-worthy dishes on the fall menu at Pai Honolulu, which earned the Best New Restaurant, Editor’s Pick Award at this year’s 35th annual Hale ʻAina Awards.
There’s a comforting clam chowder ($15, lunch only) served in a house-made sourdough bread bowl; a riff on naw mai gai that’s a roulade of Cornish game hen stuffed with XO mochi rice and topped with chicken gravy and Burgundy truffle (no price); and wild mushroom ragù (part of the chef’s tasting menu, $185 per person, dinner only) with escargot, gnocchi and pecorino cheese. But our favorite is the kabocha risotto ($17, lunch only), with toasted pumpkin seeds and baby veggies. Warm, earthy and very fall.
55 Merchant St., (808) 744-2531, paihonolulu.com
SEE ALSO: The 35th Annual Hale ʻAina Award Winners: The Best Restaurants in Hawai‘i
5. Pumpkin-Squash Soup, Livestock Tavern
Photo: Catherine Toth Fox
This Chinatown restaurant never disappoints with its seasonal offerings, ranging from small plates to cocktails. A standout on its fall menu is the pumpkin-squash soup ($8), a warm bowl of comforting flavors that make us wish for snow outside. (Kind of.) Other seasonal dishes include a hearty beef stew ($21, lunch only), grilled peaches with candied pumpkin seeds and a balsamic glaze ($16, lunch and dinner), pumpkin-sage ravioli with applewood-smoked bacon and browned butter ($24, dinner only), and the extra-filling turkey Fork & Knife sandwich ($18, lunch only) that’s basically Thanksgiving dinner on a plate. We highly recommend the stone fruit shrub ($5), a drink made with stone fruit-infused apple cider vinegar, honey cordial, mint and a splash of soda.
49 N. Hotel St., (808) 537-2577, livestocktavern.com
6. Haymaker’s Punch, Harry’s Hardware Emporium
For fall, Harry’s is serving a take on the classic 16th century switchel, a Caribbean-based drink typically made with water mixed with vinegar and flavored with honey, ginger, brown sugar or maple syrup. At this speakeasy, though, the cocktail starts with your choice of whiskey, vodka, gin or rum. Added to that is apple cider vinegar, house-made grenadine, molasses, ginger and citrus, all topped with fresh fruits.
$13, 1936 S. King St., (808) 379-3887
7. Butter Beer, Via Gelato
Both Via Gelato locations—Kaimukī and Ward Village—are celebrating all things Harry Potter this month, with chocolate-dipped cookie wands ($2 to $3.50 each) and something called Hagrid’s white chocolate magic shell topping. And while there are classic fall flavors—pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin-caramel pie—we can’t get enough of the Butter Beer, a smooth gelato with a kiss of butterscotch. So much better than an Expecto Patronum spell to turn your day around.
$3 to $6, multiple locations, viagelatohawaii.com
8. Fall Malassadas, The Pig & The Lady
Photo: Catherine Toth Fox
The always-inventive crew at The Pig & The Lady unveiled a new fall menu last week, and it’s packed with seasonal deliciousness. We loved the creative banana blossom salad ($14) with fried tofu, bean sprouts, bright pops of fresh mint and pomegranate with a Vietnamese-style peanut-hoisin dressing; the tiger-style rice ($15) with local tomatoes stuffed with pork, mung bean noodles and shiitake mushrooms with a side of pickles; and a Viet pâté maison ($12) with spiced chicken liver mousse, pickled cherries and chives on a toasted baguette. The dish that felt most seasonal to us was the malassadas ($12, lunch only), filled with a surprisingly sweet kabocha-squash cream and dusted with kaffir lime sugar and pomegranate seeds. Even after eating everything else, we still managed to find room for these fried doughnuts. All three of them.
83 N. King St., (808) 585-8255, thepigandthelady.com
9. The Garden Negroni, Bar Leather Apron
This intimate cocktail bar has a reputation for innovative drinks that create an experience. The new Garden Negroni ($14) does just that. The cocktail is a delicate combination of barrel-aged Sipsmith gin, coconut-washed Campari and bay leaf-infused Carpano Antica sweet vermouth that results in a very fall vibe. The rich autumn-red color of the cocktail helps, too.
745 Fort St., #127A, (808) 524-0808, barleatherapron.com
BONUS: Halloween After Hours, M.A.C. 24/7
Photo: Courtesy of M.A.C. 24/7
Ditch the candy and head to M.A.C. 24/7 for some real party noshing. This all-you-can-eat spread of post-reveling grub is only available on Halloween, from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. It includes a nacho bar with 10 toppings, a build-your-own-sliders station, buffalo chicken wings, fried chicken and waffles, mac ‘n‘ cheese bites and more. Draft beers are $4 each and shots of Bacardi, Fireball or Red Bull vodka are $7 each. Just remember, the next day is Thursday—not the weekend.
$24, 2500 Kūhiō Ave., (808) 921-5564, mac247waikiki.com
READ MORE STORIES BY CATHERINE TOTH FOX