These are the autumn eats you need to try in Shanghai this year

Pumpkin spice and all things nice – that’s what these fall dishes are made of

Photograph: Alicia Petresc via Unsplash
The thermometer finally dropping, leaves turning all kinds of golden hues and a week-long national holiday can only mean one thing: autumn is officially here. Sure, you can get apples and pumpkins, cinnamon and other cool-weather essentials year-round, but everyone knows fall is their time to shine. Here are the peak autumn dishes in Shanghai that you won't want to miss.

Apple pie

Apple Pie courtesy Pie Bird
Photograph: courtesy Pie Bird

We’d like a piece of every pie on offer at Pie Bird, but autumn is apple’s moment so if you can only go for one, keep it seasonal and opt for that. American-styled, the buttery crust is handmade and supports a fruity filling of Granny Smith and Chinese red apples – spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon. A whole pie (9.5 inches) is big enough to feed the family, just keep an eye out for little fingers helping themselves to an extra slice. 38RMB per slice; 228RMB for a whole pie.


"pierogi courtesy Pierogi Ladies (1)"
Photograph: courtesy Pierogi Ladies

When three of autumn’s sweetest treats walk into a Polish pierogi it’s no joke – these dessert dumplings at Pierogi Ladies are seriously good. They’re crammed with apple, cinnamon and caramel, and the pillowy dough is purposely made thin, so all that sugary goodness shines through. You get eight per plate – which seems perfect for sharing – but after one bite, the kids will be clamouring for more. 58RMB.

Spice pumpkin soup

Photograph: courtesy Pie Society

A spoon of Pie Society’s pumpkin soup is like receiving a long warm hug from your nan – full of comfort and made with lots of love. Spiced with masala, it comes with a dollop of cream for just the right amount of thickness, and crispy bacon bits sprinkled on top. Plus, the piece of toasted sourdough it’s served with makes for a great dipper until it’s (quickly) gone. 35RMB.

Roasted pumpkin and goat cheese pizza

Pizza courtesy La Baracca (1)
Photograph: courtesy La Baracca

Pumpkin can really do no wrong come autumn, so it was never gonna miss when sitting on top of a pizza. This wood-fired stunner at La Baracca shows off its fall colours with a generous portion of pumpkin spread across a thin and crispy base along with other seasonal ingredients like goat cheese, pine nuts, rocket and caramelised onions. 68RMB (eight-inch); 128RMB (12-inch).

Pumpkin pie

Dutch pies courtesy dutch pies (1) (1)
Photograph: courtesy Dutch Pies

Turkey or no turkey, the pumpkin pie at Dutch Pies could hold up any Thanksgiving dinner on its own. It has a soft, smooth pumpkin-filled centre that’s full of seasonal spice, held up by a flaky but strong crust. Thankfully it’s available year-round, so the holiday eating can kick-off long before and continue long after the festive season. 27RMB per slice; 198RMB for a large pie.

Cinnamon roll

"Cinnamon Roll courtesy Moofin"
Photograph: courtesy Moofin

Smothered in cinnamon and topped with a load of cream cheese (just as it should be) the cinnamon roll at Moofin is a great mid-morning sweet treat. The pastry – made in-house – is light and feathery like a croissant which means it doesn’t go too overboard with the sugar high. 20RMB.

Cinnamon roll pancakes

"pancakes courtesy als diner"
Photograph: courtesy Al's Diner

Teaming two dessert legends together was only going to lead to legendary things, and that’s what Al’s Diner have done with their latest comfort creation. Rolled out as part of a new menu for fall, the restaurant’s famously fluffy pancakes have been swirled and twirled in cinnamon, and then covered in an indulgent cream cheese sauce for an instant autumn mood booster. 74RMB.

Pumpkin spice latte

"PSL (1)"
Photograph: courtesy Egg

Is there anything more of the season than a PSL? Just launched this month, Egg serves up its annual take on the autumn signature drink – alongside other seasonal pumpkin dishes like cheesecake, bolognese, quesadillas and soup. 38RMB (plus 8RMB for Oatly or cashew milk).

Pumpkin scone

Pumpkin scones courtesy O'Mills
Photograph: courtesy O'Mills Bakery

It’s not just the leaves that suit orange in autumn, scones do too. These buttery baked beauties at O’Mills are more than just their looks, however, crowned with pumpkin seeds and brimming with seasonal flavours – expect them to become a regular fixture in your fall diet. 13RMB.

Clam chowder

"Chowder courtesy Highline (1)"
Photograph: courtesy Highline

What works in Boston, works in Shanghai too. Highline’s take on the iconic seafood soup sticks to New England traditions: fresh local clams and a hearty flavourful broth, finished off with homemade oyster crackers and bacon crumble. 88RMB.


Raclette courtesy La Cabane (1)
Photograph: courtesy La Cabane

Big get-together? Head to La Cabane to share a mountain of melty cheese, served with potatoes, pickles and cold cuts, where the DIY approach will be especially fun for any little ones in the party to get involved at the table. It’s one big cheesy dream (that you can make even cheesier for an additional 40RMB). 198RMB.

Apple Strudel

"Strudel courtesy Zeitgeist"
Photograph: courtesy Zeitgeist

How do you like them apples? Well at Zeitgeist, preferably in a juicy strudel. Here, the Bavarian eatery keep things classic with a soft homemade dough that’s home to layers of sliced apples and raisins, served hot with a scoop vanilla ice cream as your cooler. Parents, pair it with a coffee (as they do in Munich), and kids with apfelschorle (fizzy apple juice). 58RMB.