Autumn is here, which means it’s officially apple season. Sure, they’re great when crispy fresh, but they’re even better when highlighted in sweet treats. Here are 15 restaurants for amazing apple desserts that will satisfy you to your core. Not near any of them? Discover restaurants near you on OpenTable.
Founding Farmers – Washington, D.C.
Redolent with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, you can smell a warm slice of this pie before you even see the server bringing it over. Plunge your fork in past the tumble of streusel on top to discover layer upon layer of slender cut Granny Smith apples. It’s a pitch-perfect rendition of the classic.
Make a reservation at Founding Farmers.
Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar – Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
The Granny Smith apple tart has been the signature dessert since opening day back in 1996. The petite pie is complemented by caramel sauce and a scoop of locally made vanilla bean ice cream from Lappert’s. Close your eyes and you would swear you were in New England.
Make a reservation at Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar.
Halifax – Hoboken, New Jersey
A warm apple cider fritter is our autumnal spirit animal. Fried to order, the golden globes are rolled in cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. They arrive with a trio of dips: blackberry compote, orange crème fraîche, and warm spiced chocolate.
Make a reservation at Halifax.
Jaya at The Setai – Miami Beach, Florida
A modernist take on apple crisp with a deft Asian accent. A round of caramelized puff pastry piled high with tender apple chunks and crunchy oat-cranberry streusel balances atop scoops of buttermilk ice cream. It’s finished off with a generous deluge of miso butterscotch.
Make a reservation at Jaya at the Setai.
The Bell & Anchor – Sag Harbor, New York
Rum makes everything better. Case in point is this Bundt-y apple cake. It’s served with raisin ice cream.
Make a reservation at the Bell & Anchor.
The Colonial Room – Oak Brook, Illinois
Apple pie just got milkshaked. A thick blend of apple pie and vanilla ice cream gets piled high with apple pie crumble, a slice of crisp apple, whipped cream, caramel, and a candy straw. Enjoy it as is or have it spiked with your spirit of choice (we’re preferential to bourbon, but that’s us).
Make a reservation at the Colonial Room.
Ambar – Washington, D.C.
Balkan apple pie doesn’t look like anything you’d ever be served in Vermont, but it’s still tremendously tasty. The tubular treats are complemented with almond crumble, vanilla ice cream, and caramel mousse. No offense to our friends in the Green Mountain State, but this version has a special place in our heart.
Make a reservation at Ambar.
Don Taco – Alexandria, Virginia
These empanadas remind us of McDonald’s fried apple pies in the best way possible. Packed with apple pie filling, they’re dusted with cinnamon sugar. The pair of treats come with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and a cherry for good measure.
Make a reservation at Don Taco.
Everest – Chicago, Illinois
Just looking at this photo makes our mouth water. Poached heirloom apple tarte tatin is complemented by caramelized black walnuts and maple-y sauce. It’s Alsace meets America.
Make a reservation at Everest.
Lupo Verde Osteria – Washington, D.C.
This dessert is called the “aaa…applesssss wowwwww.” Yes, for realsies. The mock apple is forged from apple white chocolate whipped ganache, spiced roasted apple center, and spiced cake. Chocolate and cinnamon crumbles, apple compote dehydrated meringue, and a dehydrated apple slice complete the pretty plate. Make a reservation at Lupo Verde Osteria.
Honey Salt – Las Vegas, Nevada
This ain’t your average brown bag lunch. The playful paper presentation frames flaky crust cradling Granny Smith apples rich with warming spices and cranberries. Of course, there’s a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.
Make a reservation at Honey Salt.
Mirabelle Restaurant & Tavern – Stony Brook, New York
Apple pie gets deliciously deconstructed. The star is a caramel roasted apple, which is paired with gingersnap crumble and fresh apples. A requisite scoop of vanilla bean ice cream adds the finishing touch.
Make a reservation at Mirabelle Restaurant & Tavern.
Blue Duck Tavern – Washington, D.C.
This apple pie is an icon. Does that make it a pie-con? Serving two to four guests, the restaurant’s long-loved signature dessert is everything you want the all-American dessert to be.
Make a reservation at Blue Duck Tavern.
2941 – Falls Church, Virginia
This Candy Apple is nothing like the ones you pick up at the farm stand. This one features all the things: apple compote, caramel cake, green apple crémeux, sour cream Chantilly sauce, ginger caramel ice cream, apple brandy caramel sauce, candied ginger, and speculoos crumble.
Make a reservation at 2941.
Il Solito – Portland, Oregon
To start, sweetly tart local apples are tossed in brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, lemon juice and zest, and vanilla bean. They’re then layered on top of frangipane and incased by flakey pastry crust folded daintily like a hand purse. Baked golden, the crostata comes topped with buckwheat honey gelato and fennel pollen sugar.
Make a reservation at Il Solito.
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Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.
Photo credit: Danny Kim (@dannygrubs), Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Jennifer Chase.