It has come to my attention that—once again and to no one’s surprise—a global coffee chain has returned with their infamous Pumpkin Spice Lattes (I can’t say PSL because it’s copyrighted). THAT isn’t news to me or you (or anybody), but what IS newsworthy: the return of local pumpkin spice lattes in Indianapolis.
I could write flowery content about White Girl Fall™️ or make a gourd pun or two, or we could just jump right into where to find pumpkin spice lattes at local coffee shops in Indianapolis. Let’s go that route this year. 🙂
Each of the following local coffee shops in Indy is offering some version of a pumpkin drink this fall. So grab your sweaters and turn on your Instagram filters because this is the list you’ve been waiting for that you won’t find anywhere else. I’ll keep updating this list as new drinks come out, so make sure to save it and keep it handy.
Fletcher Place and Fountain Square
Downtown and Fall Creek
Gaia Cafe & Botanical
Hubbard & Cravens
Hubbard & Cravens
Broad Ripple and Meridian Kessler
Indie Coffee Roasters
The Mocha Nut
Greenwood and Southport
Noble Coffee & Tea
Roasted in the Village
Rose & Lois
The Pumpkin Spice Highlights
I will preach until I turn into a pumpkin about how important it is to support local coffee (or any local business) over corporate chains. Switching up your Starbucks PSL habit for local versions is just better for everyone. Here are some of the highlights so far.
Bee Coffee Roasters
If I was writing a thesis on master coffee roasting, I’d spend a lot of time at Bee Coffee Roasters. They’ve always had this special magic touch when roasting their coffees that should be studied to figure out how they get the magic into their beans, but also shouldn’t be studied because that’s the point of magic. I digress. Bee Coffee always does an amazing job with their specialty drinks, and I can’t wait to get my grubby hands on one of their Spiced Pumpkin lattes (or that caramel apple latte) next time I’m at the roaster picking up some beans.
Indie Coffee Roaster’s Pumpkin Patch
Do you like hayrides and pumpkin patches? Do you love cold hands being warmed by a bonfire? Do you love long sleeves and leaves crunching under your boots? Then I’d love to introduce to you the Pumpkin Patch latte by Indie Coffee Roasters in Carmel. It’s the perfectly creamy latte with pumpkin and maple syrup that you’ve been dreaming about since last fall.
Let ‘The Lantern’ from Quills Lead Your Way
When I heard Quills was going to have their own local pumpkin spice latte this year, my ears perked up. To me, Quills is one of those shops where I can never order anything besides black coffee because it’s just so so so good. But their specialty latte game is equally off the charts. This year they’re brightening our dark cold mornings with ‘The Lantern,’ a specialty latte made with homemade pumpkin purée and a sweet little touch of toasted marshmallow syrup. Y’all, I just…
The Classic Pumpkin Spice Latte from Hubbard & Cravens
Hubbard & Cravens was the first time I ever tasted a pumpkin spice latte, and honestly, I never needed to taste a ‘real PSL’ after that. Made with real pumpkin, this crowd warmer only comes around once a year, so you better sip it up while you can.
While not everyone is on board with pumpkin spice and everything nice, almost every local coffee shop in Indy has fall specialty drinks ready to cozy up with. Here are a few of our other fall favorites worth mentioning if you aren’t in a pumpkin mood.
Landlock’s Pumpkin Latte
Listen, Landlocked Baking Company hasn’t made the official Indianapolis Coffee Guide coffee shop list because they are a baking company first and foremost (just like a few other bakeries/cafes in town). Landlocked, however, is home to the Sauce Lab that supplies the sauces and syrups that flavor our favorite specialty drinks from Provider, Coat Check, and Certain Feelings, which are all under the Small Victories Hospitalities group.
This year our friend Logan cooked up a Landlocked-exclusive pumpkin latte that is only available for a limited time at their Irvington bakery. (Secret word on the street is that it may pop up at the other shops at certain points.)
Foundation Coffee Company’s Fall Menu
Though their fall menu doesn’t boast a local pumpkin spice latte this year, Foundation Coffee Company is still hitting us with all the fall flavors. I’ve specifically got my eye on their carrot cake latte and their chai apple cider. 👀 If you absolutely need pumpkin, they have added PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE + WHITE CHOCOLATE GINGER MOON PIES to their menu. Are you kidding me??? The folks at Foundation never disappoint, and I’m salivating waiting for my next trip in to soak up all of the fall sweets.
Maple Brush Latte at Square Cat Vinyl
Do you know how Square Cat Vinyl 2.0 just opened in Fountain Square and is twice the size it was pre-quarantine? Well, their coffee program is also back and better than ever. Word on the street is that they have a maple brush latte that will sweeten your sweater weather and put a little spice in scarves.
Believe it or not, I have been recommending Field BrewingField Brewing in Westfield for YEARS to folks looking for local coffee in the area. Despite the fact that Field is a brewery/restaurant, they also have a really great coffee program spearheaded by Bee Coffee Roasters. Granted, I normally went to Field after a long bike ride for a beer and some Brussels sprouts (they’re seriously the best in Indy), their coffee is always top-notch. OH, and they are serving up Pumpkin Spice Lattes this year, so really you don’t have any reason to not check them out. (And thanks for this tip, Lara aka @see_do_eat!)
Local Pumpkin Spice Lattes in Indianapolis
It’s easy to make jokes about St*rb*cks and White Girl Fall™️ and all, but we’re going to keep having these conversations because they really are onto something. As I wrote about in last year’s local pumpkin spice latte guide, the idea of “pumpkin spices” has been around longer than most of us for good reason. They are delicious and will continue to be delicious. So as long as we’re going to ride this hayride through the pumpkin patch until the wheels fall off, it’s always going to be worth it to try a pumpkin spice latte from a local coffee shop instead of corporate chains, ya dig?
A Note on Local Coffee Lists
While I’ve got your attention, I wanted to remind you that I appreciate all of you who helped put this list together this year because it is no easy feat. For the Coffee Guide, I’m currently keeping track of over 50 different local specialty coffee shops here in Indy, and that can be a lot sometimes, especially when I’m hunting down a specific feature that each shop may or may not have. So I appreciate your input, always!
It was also especially a pleasure to put this list together this year as more and more of us are getting vaccinated and shops are opening up to almost normal-ish standards. It was also important because there are endless amounts of listicles that get published all the time about local coffee in Indy (and everywhere) but rarely do they ever give the full and complete picture. My goal has always been and will always be to be the official guide to all of local specialty coffee, so when I put together my local pumpkin spice lattes lists (and all the others), I’m making sure that all of the information is correct and that all of the shops we feature are truly local, that they serve great coffee, and that they care about the community.